Last night as we were coming home from dinner with friends, the CD changer switched from one album to the next and Ellie delightedly said, “What’s this? Pride and Prejudice!” Cuteness overload.
Last night as we were coming home from dinner with friends, the CD changer switched from one album to the next and Ellie delightedly said, “What’s this? Pride and Prejudice!” Cuteness overload.
James Newton Howard’s After Earth score is fairly generic action movie music. But it’s really good generic action movie music.
Flame war time: I’ve basically concluded that for the tasks I use them for, I prefer Vim’s modal editing style to Emacs’ not-modal editing style.
I’d still rather use Atom/Sublime or IntelliJ IDEA for almost everything, though.
You don’t just use illustrations in preaching; you illustrate something. You don’t just offer applications in preaching; you apply something. That something is the word of God, rightly applied.
—Jim Shaddix, lecture, August 19, 2015
Thank goodness for Backblaze. After a bad OS X 10.11 beta install, I had to revert to a Time Machine backup from mid-July—but I’m getting back all the changes I’ve made in the interval.
Sometimes it is tempting as a designer to think that users are stupid. Don’t. If the software is not working for users, that implies stupidity in another party entirely: the one that designed the software. 😉
One of the great perils of our age is to opine publicly on matters that once we would have (rightly) left private—for example, our opinions, for good or ill, of other writers or thinkers. (He says, noting the danger in himself.)
I’ve been wearing my Garmin outside my runs a little the past few days, and it receives, but cannot act on notifications. For the first time, I get the attraction of an Apple Watch. Maybe the third generation or so, I’ll get one.
Ugh. I just discovered that a support email address has been sitting unattended for eight months. (Totally my fault.) Not a lot of problems… but any unanswered emails for that long are the worst user experience. So frustrated with myself right now.
Spent most of the morning organizing and planning out my semester with OmniFocus. Time-consuming—and worth every second.
It turns out browsers render CSS transitions for positioning much more nicely than they do those for the box model (perhaps unsurprisingly, on reflection). Use
top instead of
margin to smoothly animate an item moving within its container.
CDN configured. Sites both 80% done. These podcasts will launch this week, unless something goes particularly sideways.
The domain configuration for Sap.py and New Rustacean is done, and the websites are coming along. Almost ready!
It’s nice when you evaluate a potential product’s market more closely and find your idea might actually be viable.
In my dream of dreams, Trump actually runs third party, which emboldens Bernie Sanders (should he not get the nom–whoa, Sanders vs. Trump would be the greatest political race OF ALL TIME) to also run third-party, since all of them have viable “cores,” and we get a four-party race that spawns four actual parties and American politics is freed from its bipartisan lock and a bald eagle screams across the sky while Stephen Colbert tears his shirt and flexes his muscles and fireworks explode in the shape of America over his head.
Where do you like to set your
--prefix when configuring personal development tooling setups? Somewhere under ~? Or somewhere else?
Dear Washington Post: Georgia was designed for high legibility on screens. You may think it’s “newspapery” to squish the letters together with
letter-spacing: -1.75px, but actually it’s just ugly.
If you’re delivering images over the web, you need to be using something like ImageOptim. No excuses.
My ASICS Gel-Lyte33s lasted me over a thousand miles. The Gel-Lyte33 3s I got to replace them lasted less than 450 miles (more in line with normal expectations for running shoes). I wonder what changed between the models?
Just a few minutes ago, I heard Ellie singing a song that mashed together “Let It Go” with something about munchkins. People who know me well know where the munchkins bit came from. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!” Jaimie immediately opined. 😏
Tradeoffs time: whether ’tis better to drop in an off-the-shelf open source solution for this particular problem, and bring in all the extra weight it includes, or do it myself and pay in the time spent.
Tonight, Jaimie said that she thought Rust had turned me into a bit of a fanboy. Don’t tell anyone, but I think she’s basically right…
The uppers are coming off on both of my current pairs of ASICS running shoes. I guess it’s time to upgrade. $$$…
I found a
CEditDlg instance and went looking for it in the MSDN docs, and was a bit nonplussed not to find it. Oh. It’s a
CFileDialog subclass, and never mind the semantic ambiguity arising from the existence of a native
CEdit class. 😐
Well, hello there, Smetana’s “Má Vlast”—I don’t believe we’ve met before, but you are absolutely delightful.
This is a Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing Mahler Symphony no. 2 kind of work morning.
Ellie and Kate consistently get up half an hour to an hour earlier on Saturday mornings than any other day of the week. Coincidentally—or is it?—Saturday is also the only day we try to sleep in. It’s like they know, and plot against us!
Thinking about setting Input as my typeface for doing my development for a week or two, see how it goes.
Anybody tried it? Bugs or problems to report?
Quote of the week (3-year-old Ellie talking to her mom, who has been learning Python): “Mommy! I have a function for you!”
Hooked up my digital piano to Logic Pro X tonight and wrote the theme for a podcast we’re doing together on learning to program. It’s so good!
Don’t blame me: it’s all @manton’s fault. He started this.
New modem installed and configured. 120Mbps is something else. Now, to set up the wireless router so that I can get something above 10Mbps anywhere besides right next to the cable outlet.
About to set up my new cable modem. If all is as expected, we should get about 5⨉ our current speed when I’m done.
A minute ago, Ellie asked me to play with her and Kate. I started to answer, “No, I need to finish publishing Winning Slowly.” Then I remembered: putting that first would be pretty much exactly the opposite of Winning Slowly.
So far, at least, System Integrity Protect (“rootless” mode) is causing quite a mess on the El Capitan betas. I’m sure Apple will get it straightened out… and I’m hoping it’s by the next public beta.
Hey, Google, I know I keep telling you this, but you don’t seem to be listening. If I put a search term in the box, I actually want it in my results. I know you think your algorithm is smarter than me. But it isn’t.
I’ve now migrated all my chriskrycho.com emails to Fastmail. Still have some organizing to do, but I’m no longer tied to Google Apps there. Just a few more addresses to migrate…
Whoa! After years of demand, Confluence finally added support for importing Markdown-formatted content in its “Markup” box. It’s not native support for editing in Markdown… but it is a step forward. Good work, Atlassian.
Just recorded the first episode of a new, short, weekly podcast I’m working on. Audio should be live in about a week!
Internet acquaintance and generally solid thinker Derek Rishmawy hits this nail right on the head:
And here’s where I just want to say, if your first instinct when you watch or read about these videos is to think, “Geez, are you telling me they lied to get the footage of these people sorting through these fetal parts, or discussing prices non-chalantly over lunch? Woof. That’s a bridge too far”, then you’re reading the story wrong.
I started looking into bespoke publishers for that blog-post-book idea. First one I found has this for a logo:
Yes, that is Comic Sans. Immediately filed under nope nope nope.
I think—so I can have a hard copy—I may start printing a nicely typeset of my blog posts each year.
People often point to this (hilariously accurate) flowchart to explain how to solve tech problems… but it leaves something really important out: we “techies” know the right questions to ask. That makes a big difference.
Another little feature of Rust I quite like: the use of
traits instead of inheritance to share behavior. All the benefits of inheritance, and a few more besides, but none of the drawbacks.
Ooh, look! A beta for Reeder 3! Shiny!
An advantage to running Windows 10 in a VM: this boondoggle isn’t a problem for me, because as far as that VM is concerned, it’s talking over an ethernet connection and doesn’t have any idea there’s a WiFi network involved.
On a semi-related note to the previous post… I love the new option to hide and show the menubar automatically on non-full-screen views in OS X 10.11.
El Cap public beta 2 was all sorts of broken. Things like copy and paste weren’t working right! Beta 3 looks much better so far.
Courtesy of something in my stack not playing right, I’ve now been reduced to pushing and pulling changes between OS X and my Windows VM through Bitbucket, rather than just having a mapped drive locally. This feels silly.
Hmm, this may be telling of the future… SourceTree now introduces itself as a Git tool. No mention of Hg at all. 😟
Another one in the music industry—but in this case, companies taking the long view and advancing the good of the whole community, rather than just their own bottom line. (Spreadbury, the guy behind SMuFL, was one of the team laid off in the aforementioned layoff from the Sibelius team, and now heads the product development for a new notation software tool from Steinberg.)
Avid: charging Sibelius users more money than ever for less value than ever, after laying off their dev team a couple years ago just to maximize profits.
This is not Winning Slowly material here, folks. They lost me (and many other) customers along the way, and they’re headed further down that road here.
Subscription models for software can be valuable and reasonable—but the providers have to justify them with product to match. Avid isn’t, and hasn’t been. I’ve no doubt they’re continuing to profit in the short term, but this will no doubt erode their market position and waste an amazing product in the long term. Greed destroys good things.
I can feel my motivation on this paper dropping by the hour. Must. finish. it.
So… Apple Music is going to have some serious issues if it can’t get “playing music on demand” separate from iTunes store issues.
Pro tip: it turns out that generic versions of psychotropic medications may not be as effective as the brand-name version. Lessons we’ve learned the hard way in the last two months.
One of the things that impresses me most about the new DayOne sync is how blazingly fast it is. Changes are nearly instantaneous.
Me: I’m really delighted by the big girl you’re growing into, Ellie, and I love you so much!
Ellie: I really love my magazine!
Woke up to my alarm with my head feeling stuffed with gauze, went back to sleep, woke up with my wife’s alarm to find the room spinning, went back to sleep, woke up to just a plain headache. Rough start to the week…
Trying to delete an Amazon account.
Good grief, this is a labyrinthine process.
Just one more reason to dislike this company.
How in the world have I gone all this time and never listened to Krzysztof Penderecki before today? This is outstanding stuff.
My dear wife has started teaching herself Python as a hobby. She has the essential skill required to succeed as a programmer: the willingness to persevere even when it isn’t making sense to her. I’m extremely impressed.
That time when I accidentally deleted my “dev-tools” folder in /Applications.
I’m grateful for Time Machine right now.
A wished-for future Apple laptop lineup: 12- and 14-inch MacBooks, 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros. I’d do a 14-inch MacBook and a retina iMac as my remote/at-home combo in a heartbeat.
I want so much to grind some of this single-origin decaf coffee and drink it right now.
But my 1-year-old is asleep downstairs.
Trying to decide whether the kind of “not good” I’m feeling today is the kind that will get better or worse with exercise.
Playing with CSS transforms and transitions while I listen to a lecture on Romans for my New Testament class. Keep myself awake…
Found a new use for Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack: boosting audio from too-quiet vidoes. Sweet.
Working on an essay on theological anthropology. The introduction alone is 650 words long…
I cannot wait till I can switch to ES2015. Got bit by the stupid var scoping issue again. You’d think I’d be past that by now…
One of the things that annoys me most when writing C is how difficult (really, almost impossible) it is to do anything generically. The same operation for different items in a struct? Good luck. It’s possible, but rarely worth the work.
I heard someone suggest that even if the subordination of the Son in the Trinity isn’t expressly taught, it’s useful in debates, so why not?
Besides the fact that I think the idea is contrary to Scripture, we should never reduce the Triune I Am to mere means to other ends.
Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: To love work and be as efficient as possible in every task.
—the first question in the Western Technocratic Catechism
Depression is an awful, awful part of our fallen existence. I’d do almost anything to take that darkness away from my wife.
God has grace for us in the meantime. But we’re ready for resurrection bodies with healed brains.
“Come, Lord Jesus!” —Revelation 22:20
Finally giving FontStand a try.
Holy wow. This is a great tool—good software, good business plan.
It’s 96° out, it feels like 105°, and it is about 50% relative humidity. I got sweaty walking to and from my car. Gross.
I’ve been using Cardo as the typeface for theology posts for the last month or so; I’m thinking about switching again. The barrier? Greek and Hebrew support. Because of how
font-family and font-loading work, I may be able to get away with adding a custom font for them, though.
Holy Scripture is more than a watchword. It is also more than ‘light for today.’ It is God’s revealed Word for all men, for all times.
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, p. 50.
Well, tonight I seem to have finished my journey from the dispensationalist premillennialism I grew up in through the historic premillennial view I’ve held for the last few years into amillennialism.
I have been using a small notebook to jot down ideas and thoughts as they come to me the last few weeks. It’s funny, but I can almost physically feel them flipping different switches in my brain as I write with pencil and paper rather than tapping on a screen. Medium matters.
Kate kept us up late last night (no idea why). And we ran out of coffee yesterday. It’s going to be a long day…
Our youngest has been sleeping through the night for a week now. Going to bed at 9:45 & getting up at 5:15 is suddenly doable again. Huzzah!
If, in your discussion of eschatology, you skip or glide over physical resurrection, you have missed Christian hope almost entirely.
I’m reading Life Everlasting, and reminded again just how much form matters. This is heady stuff, but the authors (or their editors) seem incapable of rising above a dry recitation of the facts. It undercuts everything they say.
Tip: if you’re using Mercurial’s bookmarks to track lightweight branches, somewhat analogous to Git’s branches, use Mercurial’s special
@ tag to track whatever you want to treat as the tip of a
master branch. That way, any clone will check that out by default.
Thinking about how to structure the content on my blog. Layout, categories, etc. I think the problem is insufficient clarity about data hierarchy—a lack of understanding about how the pieces relate to each other. I’ll keep working on it.
I just taught Jaimie how to use GitHub for Mac (as she is helping a friend with his Jekyll-powered website), and explained the basics of distributed version control. She is totally a boss. And GitHub for Mac is a pretty good app.
I was inspired by the release of Tweetbot 2 for Mac to finally try seeing what utility I can wrangle out of lists. I think it’ll be a win.
I officially understand why people like triathlons. Cycling after running is just fine. Running after cycling is amazing.
Ugh. I’ve spent an hour searching for an Evernote replacement, and my conclusion is: I’m going to end up using flat text files and grep.
I think I’m going to give up on Evernote again. UI problems left and right.
So… what’s a good taggable, hierarchical, searchable notes app?
One of the tricks as I’m trying to work out what I want to do with Evernote: I have a bunch of old Evernote I want to pull in, but I am intentionally starting fresh. Now I have to decide how to bring that content over, especially as regards its tags, etc…
I am slowly working out a system for using Evernote to manage notes, books to read, etc. I have tried this before, but failed to think carefully enough about how to organize my system. Hopefully this time will work out better!
Found my wallet! After I ordered replacement debit and credit cards and driver’s license, of course. (It was in the back of Jaimie’s 2nd-grade Sunday School teaching binder…)
Wait, what’s that? The sound of an update to the about page, and one that includes a picture, for the first time since I relaunched this site using Pelican instead of WordPress? Can it be?
I’m listening to lectures on theology… at double speed. It’s surprisingly comprehensible even at that pace, and getting through the material in half the time is no joke.
In the process of replacing my wallet and all of its contents: driver’s license, credit and debit cards, etc. Not my idea of a good time, to say the least.
One of (many) irritations with using Angular: every search turns up Bootstrap solutions.
I’m not using Bootstrap.
Why do we need to model the world using abstractions invented for pencil and paper? Can we solve quantitative problems without manipulating symbols?
Answer: exploring new approaches like this is great—but throwing out patterns that have worked for millennia is… unwise.
Neat! I just created a simple workflow in Workflows on my iPhone, which lets me generate new posts like this on the fly. I’m hoping to get to a point where I can even auto-publish with it… but that’ll be a while.
Every time I watch the kids at FBC Durham during out “Extended Session”—our main service childcare session—I get sick. Take it as a mark of my love for you, saints of FBC, that I keep doing it anyway.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I really need to find a good way to organize links, notes, etc. for later reference. I’ve tried Evernote before, and didn’t love it, but I don’t know of anything better. Time to try it again, maybe with a different approach this time, I suppose?
Every once in a while, I get frustrated with doing all my website stuff a bit more manually using Pelican. But then I remember the dark days, of WordPress, and I don’t regret the switch a bit.
Currently on my mind: how to chunk up the Bible text with semantic blobs and chapter/verse trees in corresponding data structures, in order to present meaningful sections of content (paragraphs, etc.) without resorting to delivering a whole book.
This post brought to you by a brand new script, which automatically generates the file needed—YAML header and all!—to create a new microblog post on chriskrycho.com. Python for the win.
I’ve only been using tmux for about a week. I can’t even imagine trying to work without it anymore.
I confess: my first response to seeing this page was a flash of anger: Hey, he didn’t just learn from my site configuration, he actually stole my site design! And then I remembered: I open-sourced the design precisely so people could do that. This was just the first time I’ve ever actually had someone reuse something I did and shared like this. It was a strange (but ultimately wonderful) feeling. I hope to have it again many more times.
In any case, I rather like the tweaks Andrew Comenga made to my design to make it his own; go take a look!
That time I misread a quiz time on Moodle and thought it closed at 12:05 am tonight… but that’s when it opens. :sigh:
A friend of my complimented me tonight, describing me as “intelligent and articulate.” I appreciated and accepted the compliment, but it struck me later: good as those things are, they are not the same as “wise” or “Godly”—and those are what is necessary to teach well.
On the one hand, I really enjoy (many of) my seminary classes. On the other hand, having no time at all off between the end of my Spring semester and the beginning of the summer semester makes me want to be done with my M. Div.
Microsoft Visual Studio: bringing you links in error messages… that aren’t clickable!
I’m doing Project Euler with Elixir as a way of keeping myself sane while I try to get a project that worked fine in Visual Studio 2015 Technical Preview to build in Visual Studio 2015 Release Candidate. sigh
Poetry, as I have been arguing throughout this study, is not just a set of techniques for saying impressively what could he said otherwise. Rather, it is a particular way of imagining the world—particular in the double sense that poetry as such has its own logic, its own ways of making connections and engendering implications, and because each system of poetry has certain distinctive semantic thrusts that follow the momentum of its formal dispositions and habits of expression.
—Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Poetry, p. 151.
What I would like to suggest about the effect of the language of poetry in this [Isa. 1:2–9] and most other Biblical prophecies is that it tends to lift the utterances to a second power of signification, aligning statements that are addressed to a concrete historical situation with an archetypal horizon. The Judean contemporaries of Isaiah the son of Amoz become the archetypes Sodom and Gomorrah in respect to both their collective destiny and their moral character. If one considers, as the metaphors of the poem require one to consider, how God has treated them as beloved sons, then their exploitation of the poor and the helpless in their midst (1:23 and elsewhere), in flagrant violation of God’s commands, becomes a paradigmatic instance of treachery, of man’s… capacity for self-destructive perverseness. In this fashion, a set of messages framed for a particular audience of the eighth century B.C.E. Is not just the transcription of a historical document but continues to speak age after age, inviting members of otherwise very different audiences to read themselves into the text.
—Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Poetry, p. 146.
When the police beat an 87-year-old grandmother who called 911 to get medical help for her grandson who had been shot—just because they don’t believe her—and suffer no consequences for it, the “law” as such has become wicked. This doesn’t excuse riots, but it sure as heck explains them. Baltimore is broken, but primarily in a massive system of abuse. Yes, pray for peace. But remember that civic peace comes in large part through civic justice; rule of law follows the law ruling justly.
Connor Friedersdorf has a lot more; you need to read it, even though—or rather, precisely because—it is such a mess.
Current status: buried in the weeds of
extern "C" and DLL linkage.
Let’s just say I’m looking forward to finishing this part and getting back to the bits where I actually make awesome things instead of just fighting with the tools.
One of the small joys of running my site through GitHub Pages is that you can trivially see the entire history of this site since I started doing it this way: just check out
gh-pages at a date. I’m especially mindful of that for future archaeology, as I’m tweaking it right now.
The screen on Jaimie’s Kindle Keyboard cracked. Now we have to figure out what we’re going to do to replace it… and since we’ve basically sworn off of Amazon (a story for another day), I guess it’s time to start evaluating other ereader options.
There are things I want to do with my website that I just can’t do effectively in Pelican (like art-directed, multi-part presentations of certain content), and which were even worse with WordPress (which I loathe). I basically need a bespoke CMS to do everything I want. Alas.
A major irritation of writing Hebrew papers in Word: unlike every other tool on my Mac, Word does not properly transition between left-to-right and right-to-left languages. I have to type the Hebrew letters in left-to-right order. Argh.
I’ve officially migrated the management of my Pelican environment (with which I build my blog) from virtualenvwrapper to pyenv. And I love it. Next up: the two remaining virtualenvwrapper environments I have.
7 pages of this paper, down. 13 to go. This is going quickly—the advantage of having done lots of good preparatory research work.
I’ve been tweaking things on this site a bit as part of my plan to freshen it up and make it more in line with my desires (and also to take a break from working on this crazy Hebrew paper…). I’m happy with the progress and changes I’ve made.
No matter that Deuteronomy had envisioned it and the prophets had foretold it; nothing could prepare one for the ruel reality and the apparently finality of the situation. The burden of Lamentations is not to question why this happened, but to give expression to the fact that it did. At certain moments the book seems to look beyond the destruction, to hold out hope for the future, but in the end despair overcomes hope. Past and future have little place in the book. It centers on the “present”—the moment of trauma, the interminable suffering. The book is not an explanation of suffering but a re-creation of it and a commemoration of it.
Why immortalize this moment of destruction? Because in its own way it signals the truth of the Bible’s theology, and it points to the continuation of the covenant between God and Israel….
This explains why the poet can cry out to God and expect a response, why can vent his anger at God, why he can declare that God continues to exist even though his temple does not (Lam 5:18–19), why God is portrayed as so strong and the enemy gets no credit for the destruction. The suffering is, as it were, an affirmation that God is still there and still concerned with the fate of Israel. He may hide his face, but he has not ceased to be Israel’s God. Lamentations contains the seeds of comfort and religious rebuilding that the exilic prophets (especially Second Isaiah) developed more fully in the aftermath of the destruction.
—Adele Berlin, Lamentations: A Commentary, 18–19.
Ugh. Nothing like being up sick half the night (throwing up etc.) to start the busiest week of the semester.
This paper requires that I cite 4 commentaries; I have notes from 9 so far. I need to write ~5,500–6,000 words; I have ~6,750 words of notes so far.
I need to stop reading articles and commentaries soon…
… Lamentations more than anything is about formation: discovering what it means to be human in a world where things often times seems [sic] upside down. Lamentations squares off with this reality and responds with artistry and humanity before God.
—Heath A. Thomas, Poetry and Theology in the Book of Lamentations, p. xi.
Downside: our girls both got up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning. Upside: they both slept through the night. I think I’ll take that over/under.
I’ve been playing with pyenv. I think I’m sold. By which I mean: “How long will it take me to convert from doing things with Homebrew and virtualenvwrapper to pure pyenv?” The answer is: I should wait till I finish my 20-page Hebrew exegetical paper.
It is simultaneously exciting and unnerving when you see something delightful while doing exegesis on a passage… and none of the commentators see it.
“I don’t want a back door,” Rogers said. “I want a front door. And I want the front door to have multiple locks. Big locks….”
Rogers suggests the adoption of “front door” access will allow for essential security measures while keeping data safe from hackers or an outside attack. But opponents of the idea note that even broken into pieces, a master digital key creates security flaws. “There’s no way to do this where you don’t have unintentional vulnerabilities,” Donna Dodson, chief cybersecurity adviser at the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technologies, told the Post.
That last bit is absolutely true. The government basically wants to make sure it can spy on anyone, any time it wants. That’s a bad, bad plan.
I have flown a lot (for me) lately; it has been both wonderful and terrible. I love seeing different places; I hate being away from my family.
If you’re in a meeting and you know there’s a fight to win, fight that one as hard as you have to… and let every other, less important thing go.
People who edit podcasts take different tacks on this, but for Winning Slowly, I happily shift around interactions, cut “uhhs”, and generally improve the sound. My goal is for the show to be clear, not for it to be exactly what we recorded.
Dear TSA, allow me to resolve your worry that “it could technically be anything in that water bottle”—by drinking from it.
For a class this year, I had to subscribe to a Baptist state paper. I picked the North Carolina paper, the Biblical Recorder. The experience of the “digital paper” is awful. It’s basically scans in a copy-protected container—as un-web-native as can be. These things need to improve, or they’ll die in the next generation.
This is sort of a hybrid review and essay. The review proper concludes:
In short, Echoes of Eden says all the right things. Barrs has provided a healthy, sound theology of the arts, reiterating and synthesizing the helpful work of Schaeffer, Lewis, Tolkien, O’Connor, and Dostoevsky. What is more, his survey of English literature grounds that theology in concrete examples we can follow. This is a solid book.
But there was a bit more to say about this, because…
There was one thing it lacked, though: beauty of its own. As Barrs himself says, “A book that is not well-written, no matter how compelling the story is, will not be reread multiple times” (114). I doubt I will read Echoes of Eden again, because this is true for non-fiction as well. Form matters. It may not be quite true that the way we say things is just as important as what we say—better to say the truth boringly than a lie splendidly—but it comes a close second. The truth is beautiful, and we should always aim to present it beautifully.
I think you’ll find the rest interesting! Take a look.
A note: I actually meant to have this reviewed about 18 months ago. I got buried in Greek III and it totally slipped my mind! Gladly, the folks at Crossway who sent me the book were understanding.
For as when a figure painted on wood has been soiled by dirt from outside, it is necessary for him whose figure it is to come again, so that the image can be renewed on the same material—because of his portrait even the material on which it is painted is not cast aside, but the portrait is reinscribed on it. In the same way the all-holy Son of the Father, being the Image of the Father, came to our place to renew the human being made according to himself, and to find him, as one lost, through the forgiveness, as himself says in the Gospels, “I came to seek and save the lost” (Lk 19.10)…. So, rightly wishing to help human beings, he sojourned as a human being, taking to himself a body like theirs and from below—I mean through the works of the body—that those not wishing to know him from his providence and governance of the universe, from the works done through the body might know the Word of God in the body, and through him the Father….
Now then, if they ask why he did not appear through other more noble parts of creation, or use some nobler instrument, as the sun or moon or stars or fire or air, but merely a human being, let them know that the Lord came not to be put on display but to heal and to teach those who were suffering. One being put on display only needs to appear and dazzle the beholders; but one who heals and teaches does not simply sojourn, but is of service to those in need and appears as those who need him can bear, lest by exceeding the need of those who suffer he trouble the very ones in need and the manifestation of the divine be of no benefit to them….
Properly, therefore, the Word of God took a body and used a human instrument, in order to give life to the body and in order that, just as he is known in creation by his works, so also he might act in a human being, and show himself everywhere, leaving nothing barren of his divinity and knowledge. Again, I repeat, resuming what we said before, that the Savior did this in order that as he fills everything everywhere by his presence, so also he might fill all things with the knowledge of himself, as the divine scriptures say, ‘The whole earth was filled with the knowledge of God’ (Isa 11.9).
—St. Athanasius, On The Incarnation, 14, 43, 45.
A faithful worship leader magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by skillfully combining God’s Word with music, thereby motivating the gathered church to proclaim the gospel, to cherish God’s presence, and to live for God’s glory.
—Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters, p. 55.
Doctrine is not merely an affair of the tongue, but of the life; is not apprehended by the intellect and memory merely, like other branches of learning; but is received only when it possesses the whole soul, and finds its seat and habitation in the inmost recesses of the heart…. To doctrine in which our religion is contained we have given the first place, since by it our salvation commences; but it must be transfused into the breast, and pass into the conduct, and so transform us into itself, as not to prove unfruitful.
—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, III:6.4.
One thing I didn’t talk about in comparing reading experiences on a Kindle and on an iPad the other day is the elephant in the room: old-fashioned books. I enjoy Kindle and iPad, but I still love books best. Turns out I’m not alone… and there might just be reason for it.
Paper books were supposed to be dead by now. For years, information theorists, marketers, and early adopters have told us their demise was imminent. Ikea even redesigned a bookshelf to hold something other than books. Yet in a world of screen ubiquity, many people still prefer to do their serious reading on paper.
Count me among them. When I need to read deeply—when I want to lose myself in a story or an intellectual journey, when focus and comprehension are paramount—I still turn to paper. Something just feels fundamentally richer about reading on it. And researchers are starting to think there’s something to this feeling.
I spent a good bit of time working on this over the last week, and I hope you’ll find it helpful.
Last week saw the premiere of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and with it a (predictable) storm of controversy from the evangelical community. Reviews have ranged from predictably critical to outright disdain to hostile readings, and from strongly (though not unreservedly) positive to more restrained restrained affirmation of the film on aesthetic and spiritual grounds to especially measured theological and artistic engagement. In short, the responses spanned exactly the range one would expect from the evangelical community, which is itself deeply divided on the purpose, value, and meaning of the arts—decades of conversation on the topic notwithstanding. Noah works as a sort of theological-artistic Rorschach test. We seem to find it in what we expect given its origins and our disposition.
Rather than offer another review (which would add nothing to the conversation at this point), or decry once again the predictable evangelical response to the arts, or even critique reviews with which I disagreed, I thought it might be useful instead to ask where we stand today and point to a few places we might grow from this.
I think you’ll find the rest of the piece salient and helpful.
This bit by Alastair Reynolds is an excellent summary of the position to which I have slowly come over the last few years of reflection on the question of physical death before the Fall. It shows the influence of patristic thought in the best way possible, and also demonstrates a great handle on the bigger picture of salvation history in the whole of the canon.
A few salient quotes. First, on moral and physical perfection:
Perfection was not the creation’s natural state, but its intended destiny (and salvation is not a ‘rebooting’ of creation to its primary state, but the restoring of creation to the future that God originally intended for it)….
With perfection, our wills will be so capable of apprehending our good that we will no longer be capable of willing to do evil, not by virtue of some external compulsion, but by virtue of mature wills and natures and their appropriate mutual correspondence.
And then from the conclusion, which I positively loved:
First, Christ’s obedience is not about ‘innocence’ but about ‘perfection’. Christ brings humanity to the height and fullness of its divinely intended moral stature. He gives us, not merely innocence or obedience, but full maturity.
Second, humanity was always intended to die and rise again to a more glorious form of life. Christ death and resurrection achieves this destiny.
Third, as the last Adam, Christ will pacify and tame the entire creation, ruling until every enemy is placed under his feet.
Fourth, as we are in Christ, the bad character of death is minimized. We are not unclothed to be left naked, but in order to be more fully clothed, to have death swallowed up in life. We are still subject to the hostile attacks of the world and to the possibility of death within it, but Christ is the Tree of Life and we have unrestricted access to him. Death is no longer the alienating power that it once was.
This is a great read, start to finish. “Death Before the Fall”
The short story is the pastoral form for narrating Heilsgeschichte (salvation history) in the vocabulary of Seelsgeschichte (soul history). In the Heilsgeschichte of Judges, for instance, the enmity of the Midianiites is kerygmatically integrated into the historical narrative and shown to be a part of salvation; in the Seelsgeschichte of Ruth the bitter emptiness of Naomi is pastorally attended to under the dynamics of providence and guided to a concluding fullness. In the Heilsgeschichte of Exodus the formidable and unyielding Egyptians are judged and defeated in the catastrophic plagues and miraculous sea crossing; in the Seelsgeschichte of Ruth the everday ordinariness of gleaning in the barley fields is used as a means for accomplishing redemption. In the Heilsgeschichte of Joshua the gigantically walled fortress Jericho is surrounded and conquered by the total community of God in colorful parade, accompanied by brilliantly sounding trumpets, and the promised land is entered; in the Seelsgeschichte of Ruth an old levirate law is patiently and quietly worked through by some old men at the city gates of provincial Bethlehem, and a link is forged in the genealogical chain of the Messiah.
—Eugene Peterson, Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work, pp. 84–85.
My latest piece over at Mere Orthodoxy (and the first such in too long):
It has been common these past few years to speak of “incarnational theology” as a way of describing the Christian mission to the world: we ought to “incarnate” Christ to the world as Christ “incarnated” the Godhead to us. There is much to appreciate in this sentiment…. Yet for all that, I think that applying the language of incarnation to believers is a serious mistake.
The Incarnation matters, and it matters as more than a means of getting Jesus to the cross so that he could die for our sins. We evangelicals too often reduce everything to penal substitutionary atonement. Yes, the atonement is incredible and amazing. It is one of the central affirmations and joys of the Christian faith: our sins are paid for! Glory to God! But Jesus did more than that, and he is worthy of yet more praise. He did not stop at paying the price for our sins while leaving our bodies subject to corruption. He did not content himself with performing a judicial act while leaving our wills broken, certain to turn again to the same sin that led to our death in the first place.
I think this is the best thing I’ve written so far this year; I hope you find it stimulating.
Christ and Pop Culture has some great follow-up on the link I posted last week:
If you run in certain Facebook circles, you’ve likely already read that North Korean leader Kim Jung-un has called for the execution of 33 North Korean Christians. According to the widely circulated reports, these 33 people were detained after it was discovered they had ties to Kim Jung-wook, a South Korean missionary whose arrest for religious activity last year has made international headlines….
But here’s the thing: No one can verify this call for executions actually took place.
A great example of journalism done right, and of how Christians ought to carry ourselves in the public square. It matters whether our facts are right or not— even when the “message” might be right either way. The whole thing is worth your time.
Great piece here from Alan Noble, who is increasingly showing himself to be one of the sharpest guys around.
It seems inevitable that our country will try to combat generational poverty and all its great harms by investing heavily in early childhood intervention. We already see signs of the State moving towards such programs with President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address and Mayor de Blasio’s expanded pre-K. Tragically and despite enormous costs, de Blasio’s pre-K initiative in New York will most likely have very modest results, particularly since it begins intervention at age four, so late in the child’s mental development. The question for the church is, will we allow the state to take the initiative, or will we take up this task and engender the kind of deep, redemptive healing that the state can only dream of?
The Washington Times reports:
North Korea tyrant Kim Jong-un has reportedly ordered that 33 Christians believed to be working alongside South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jung-wook be put to death.
N.b. the source is Breitbart, which I usually take with a very large grain of salt—but this is not exactly surprising for Kim Jong-un or North Korea, so it is deserving of further investigation and prayer in any case.
Pretty damning of the current (lack of a) regulatory regime, if you ask me:
According to a recent study by Ookla Speedtest, the U.S. ranks a shocking 31st in the world in terms of average download speeds. The leaders in the world are Hong Kong at 72.49 Mbps and Singapore on 58.84 Mbps. And America? Averaging speeds of 20.77 Mbps, it falls behind countries like Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Uruguay.