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Archive for January, 2012

The Original Harding College Arch

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I took a personal day today to go to Harding University and hear John Walton speak.  If you don’t know who that is, you should.  He’s big enough to have a Wikipedia page.  I also did a quick post from his book The Lost World of Genesis One.  He’s an Old Testament scholar and professor at Wheaton College.  I highly recommend his book as well.  Not only does it present the first chapter of Genesis in a new and enlightening way, but it’s also very readable.

Due to my inside connection with Harding’s Bible faculty, I was able to sit in on a talk this morning on the book of Job, another on whether Christians should read Christ into the old testament, a question and answer with the faculty at lunch, and another public question and answer at Midnight Oil, a local coffee shop.  He also spoke on Genesis 1 and 2 at a larger venue tonight, but I wasn’t able to attend (curse you concession stand!).

I was fascinated by the lecture on Job.  Most of the time when Job is taught or preached it’s about dealing with suffering and how righteous Job was, or even about how just like Job, sometimes we don’t get answers when we question God.  Dr. Walton added some depth to the book for me by pointing out that the book really isn’t about Job.  He used the metaphor of a trial and pointed out that we usually think of Job (and Job thinks of himself) as defendant, but really he’s the star witness.  What’s truly on trial in Job, are God’s policies.  It results in a subtle shift in perspective for the whole book.  Because, really, if Job is the one on trial, what’s lost by his failure?  Well, Job is, but that’s about it.  I mean that sucks for Job, but it hardly affects us.  But if it’s God’s policies on trial, suddenly Job’s success or failure take on a much, much bigger meaning.  Job’s life/well-being aren’t what’s resting on Job’s shoulders, it’s God’s divine plan for mankind.  That realization lends the book so much more weight than I ever gave it before.  Also it makes me want to watch A Serious Man again.

The second lecture was the more controversial.  Should a Christian read Christ into Old Testament passages?  I hesitate to write about it, because I don’t think I can give the two views he presented justice here, but I’ll try.  Just assume an implied “but…” on the end of every statement that sounds  concrete.  He seemed to argue that a Christocentric view of the Old Testament — that is, one where every passage is read with the question ‘What does this tell me about Christ? — is not the proper way to read the Old Testament because it exceeds the boundaries of Biblical authority.  He argued for a Christotelic viewpoint — that is, one where the Old Testament should be read as building towards Christ.  He argues this by placing a very high value on authorial intent as the authority for how to interpret a passage, and to determine authorial intent we need to have an understanding of ancient Near Eastern cultures, and since the Old Testament authors didn’t have the faintest clue who Christ was, their intent would not be to write about him all of the time.  What made it more interesting is that not all of the Bible faculty agreed with him, so I was privy to some good discussions on the pros and cons on both viewpoints.

It was a good way to spend a personal day, and at the end of it, I wanted to study the Old Testament.  I think that’s the best complement I could give Dr. Walton.

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Iron(III)-nitrate-nonahydrate-sample

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So it’s sixth period, going on seventh, and I’m running behind getting my AP chemistry lab ready and trying to make all of the solutions we’d need.  It’s a two day lab, which, coincidentally, is also the total number of days I’ll be at school this week, so we were working in a pretty narrow time margin.   The bell rings and I’m still not done, but we’ve got to get going.  I usher all the students in, and I’m trying to hurry them along while still mixing my chemicals and answering their questions.  That’s when I dump about 100 mL of water into the beaker clearly labelled 0.0200M iron(III) nitrate instead of the beaker labelled 0.0200M potassium thiocyanate, also clearly labelled.

And I know I don’t have to tell you what that means.

Oh well.  Back at it on Wednesday.

 

 

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Looking to start your weekend on a high note?  How about learning something you may not have known before.  The subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

Javon Jackson.

…his music has been a mix of hard bop with soul and funk influences.

I like to think that “hard bop” is like jazz AC/DC.

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Grim Fandango (1998) introduced 3D graphics in...

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Half Life 2
Labyrinth of Worlds

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Aren’t All-Time Great lists fun?  I came across this one today that lists the top 100 PC games of all time as determined by PC Gamer.  Of course I think there are a few omissions (3 Lucasarts adventure games, and not one from Sierra?  Come on now, be reasonable.), and I believe Half-Life 2 should probably be number 1 instead of 2, but despite the flaws, there are some good things on here plus some stuff I’ve never heard of.  I have 32 of them.  Although a few of those — Fallout 3, Beyond Good & EvilKnight’s of the Old Republic — I have on a console, not my PC.  Here are the ones I have:

  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Far Cry 2
  • Ultima Underworld II
  • Crysis
  • Braid
  • Beyond Good & Evil
  • Monkey Island 2
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • The Longest Journey
  • Diablo II
  • Grim Fandango
  • Day of the Tentacle
  • Company of Heroes
  • Mass Effect
  • Mafia
  • Homeworld
  • Max Payne 2
  • Bioshock
  • Doom 2
  • Knights of the Old Republic
  • Baldur’s Gate II
  • Ultima VII: The Black Gate
  • Portal
  • GTA IV
  • Civilization IV
  • Fallout 3
  • Planescape: Torment (Best RPG ever, by the way)
  • Fallout
  • Rome: Total War
  • Half-Life
  • Half-Life 2
  • Deus Ex

So which of the greats am I missing out on?   Can I still claim to be a PC gamer if I’ve never played System Shock 2?  Can I still be a Star Wars Fan if I’ve never played Star Wars: TIE FighterI?  Please.  Help me fill the gaps in my gaming education.

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Academy Award

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Did you think Thor was one of the best movies you saw this year?  Well it wasn’t, and I’ve got the list to prove it.   That’s right, today the Academy announced this years Oscar

nominees.   Now you can find out what you should have been watching instead of The Hangover II: Hangovier.   Because, really, if I’m going to let someone else tell me what life choices I should make, I could do worse than a mysterious committee of rich, Hollywood types.

I’ve watched a grand total of one of the nine movies up for Best Picture.  So I think it’s time to modify my Netflix queue and see if I can fit a few more in before the big night.  Although I’ll really be tuning in to make sure “Man or Muppet” wins Best Song.

 

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I found an interesting quote in Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, that I felt was worth sharing.  Just in case, the strong anthropic principle is the idea that there are

Cover of "A Brief History of Time"

Cover of A Brief History of Time

either a lot of different universes or at least different regions of a single universe all with their own set of configurations and constants, only some of which match up with the conditions needed to support life.

Here’s the quote:

Nevertheless, it seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers that would allow the development of any form of intelligent life.  Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.  One can take this either as evidence of a divine purpose in Creation and the choice of the laws of science, or as support for the strong anthropic principle.

So there you go.  Something lite to ponder on a Monday afternoon.

I pick option A, by the way.

 

 

 

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In honor of SOPA being shelved for now, I thought I would post some copyrighted video from YouTube.

Viva La Internet.

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