Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Break Reading List

Christmas Break Reading List:

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
A housemate gave me this for Secret Santa! I'm excited to read it; more Chestertonian fiction!

The seven letters of St. Ignatius to the early early Church
Un-academic reading related to my term paper. I hope it proves edifying.

Out of the Depths: Women's Experience of Evil and Salvation by Ivone Gebara
This is something that some of my friends had to read for a Theological Perspectives course this semester; I'm interested in Gebara's work, so I'm going to try and tackle this.

Are there any glaring omissions from this list? Please let me know. One caveat, though. If anyone in the Lower/Porter family adds anything over 200 pages to this list, and I accept it, and hasn't read Orthodoxy by Chesterton yet, adding said thing automatically adds it to their reading list for the Break, meaning I'm expecting them to have it read by January 14 or so, just as I'll expect me to have read their book by that time. I'm throwing that out partly as a challenge to the people in my extended family who don't think they can take the Chestertonian heat, when I'm fairly certain deep-down inside they're well and able.


Early Church History final complete.

Partial Differential Equations
final survived, so far as I can tell. Update: I now have Professor confirmation and I-looked-at-my-test confirmation to confirm that I've survived not only the final but also the class.

Christian Personal Values
final optional, and I already had a straight A in the class. So no point in taking it.

Real Analysis I
final complete, or at the least I've used up all the time allotted in my professor's guidelines. Update: This appears to have gone fairly well and the problem that I did correctly that I was most worried about has been somewhat confirmed to have gone correctly via discussion with a classmate; this is as opposed to the one problem that I know for sure I did wrong.

Update: Religion and Science is done. Turned in. I'm probably going to bug my professor via e-mail to see about turning a bunch of stuff in to his online drop-box, because I haven't done that all semester. I'm pretty sure he and I both won't get in trouble for my not doing it; this is a just-in-case measure.

Classes ought to be survived, though I'm going to have to make some time to do some math over the break. I just am.

Theological thoughts: How do you people feel about the notion of God's self-emptying as applied to the process of creation? That is, in creation, God gives up some portion of the divine attribute of omnipotence? Update at 10:00 AM: I did write about this for the final, and it was interesting. I kind of like the voluntary-restriction-of-"omni" tack, but I wish people gave more credence to neo-Thomistic thought. In particular I wish the foreknowledge/foreordination distinction got more respect; you'd think it would from Christian theologians, considering Calvinists and Arminians have been arguing over whether it exists for years; oddly enough, in not acknowledging it so much, or in making it practically pointless, more modern theologians are siding with the Calvinists. Sigh.

Musical thoughts: "A Taste of Honey" is an awesome song. I'm not actually listening to the Herb Alpert version either; this is The Harry James Orchestra, apparently. And it's still awesome. Update: I've decided this song ought to be danced to.

Update in Placement: I did get some sleep, not entirely on purpose or entirely on accident.
Update: I'm going to go turn in a couple of finals and then get to relax, maybe sleep more. Good day and God bless.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Here's that Finals Schedule

And it's looking absolutely horrid. I might (depending on scheduling of other things, like doctors' appointments) ask Dr. Hallstrom if I might take my PDE final a day early.


8:00-10:00 Early Christian History
10:30-12:30 Partial Differential Equations
1:30-3:30 Christian Personal Values


10:30-12:30 Real Analysis I
1:30-3:30 Religion and Science

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm Insane

Apparently I don't need Cryptography next semester. I don't even need to be in Differential Equations.

I also don't need to be in two of my theology classes, but those are good to have on hand for fulfilling my General Education upper-division stuff.

Sometimes it pays to actually check one's plan for graduation. If I had I might've been actually able to double-major-double-minor. Oh well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stuff on Translations

Henri Neufeld has some interesting thoughts on Bible translations.

In other news, grad school in historical theology means I'll be learning some new languages. Latin and Greek for source texts and French and German for scholarship. (Thankfully it sounds as if the learning of the latter two will be a tad less intense.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Adventure and Inconvenience

"An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." - G.K. Chesterton

To be honest, sometimes these words seem to fit Disney movies more than they fit real life; what right-minded person looks at inconveniences as if they were adventures? But I'm starting to think they might be much more applicable to real life than I had started to think. After all, Chesterton never promised the resulting adventure would be fun or that the resulting inconvenience would not. He only said that an inconvenience can be looked at as adventure and an adventure as an inconvenience, and at least in the vast majority of cases I would say he's probably right.

Also, in other news, I've started a new thing where I'm trying to pray (not long, just like a line or two) every time I wash my hands.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Just...

I can't vote Obama.

He's. Just. Too. Pro. Choice.

It's just too much. I can't. People can scream at me all day to keep theology out of politics. I no longer care, as much as I respect their opinions and rights thereto.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Interesting Song

I actually was told of this song by a MegaZeuxer a long time ago (note: not everything on that website is appropriate for kids.) It's a song by a band called "Hatfield and the North" called "Share It." The lyrics can be found on this webpage, and are quite awesome (there's half a stanza in there ranting about shampoo commercials), but I haven't quite worked out the meaning of everything in the song so again, there's the advising that it might not be fully appropriate. Anyway, here's the song: "Share It" by Hatfield and the North.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Matthew 3:7: "But when he [John the Baptist] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: 'You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?'"

I'm confused. Is John mad? He goes on to remind them that being part of the Jewish tradition does not protect them from judgment, and that they ought to "produce fruit in keeping with repentance" (3:8) so it seems to be just part of a larger context of giving an (albeit less than friendly) exhortation to the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Quotations from the NIV.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Back After a Month--and Check This Out

Holy crap. Lindy-hoppers on Good Morning America. 90's footage, but still good. There's a completely sick and insane aerial in there around 1:15, but do yourself a favor and watch it all anyway. Hat tip goes to a guy on the Gargle Blaster Blues forum.

This also marks the introduction of my label of "dancing: beautiful and fun", which is taken from an episode of the Muppet Babies where Scooter's sister, whatever her name is, is arguing with Piggy over whether dancing is supposed to be beautiful or fun; Scooter saves the day by coming out with a tap number and announcing "dancing can be beautiful and fun!"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How 'Bout that FLDS?

So here's what I know, or think I know:

The Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints has, institutionally, perpetrated a lot of abuses against its members, particularly against teenage boys and girls, particularly in the arrangement of marriages between older men and teenage girls, but also in the exiling of boys from their homes to decrease competition for multiple wives. It is clearly an abusive organization.

At the YFZ Ranch in Texas we have about 400 children separated from their parents, many against their probably-legally-incompetent wills, and only one underage pregnant bride in custody. We have a bunch of families (families in a perpetually abusive system, but nonetheless I imagine at the least the mother-child bonds mean something) and they have been torn apart.

Based on a phone call from someone claiming to be a pregnant 16-year-old girl whom the authorities can't find. There are even suspicions that this girl is really a thirtysomething woman from out of state. They have some evidence now for the abuses they're accusing the FLDS of at this ranch, but it seems there may not have been enough to go in in the first place. I believe that the FLDS is an abusive church and that anyone involved in the essential rape of teenage girls or the exile of teenage boys should be prosecuted.

Does anything about this seem it's been handled in maybe a slightly un-Christian fashion? It's my personal opinion that in a Christian ethic both ends and means must be considered, and I'm fairly sure that the means have been violated in this case, and quite possibly the ends, too.

Parents, don't fret. This information has been stewing in my brain for quite awhile, and it's coming out now. But I am interested in what you have to say on the matter.

Back to liberation theology.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Prescription to the Christian World

...Read this. Responses are more than welcome, especially if you decide to try it.
I am sick of feeling my acute lack of compassion for people.
I am sick of serving God.
I am sick of having faith so deeply ingrained in me.
I am sick of feeling like I ought to work.
I am tired of being myself.
I am tired of caring about details of theology.

I'm going to keep trying to be compassionate anyway.
I'm going to keep serving God anyway.
I'm going to thank God for my faith anyway.
I'm going to try and work anyway.
I'm going to try and find who I am in God anyway.
I'm going to keep caring anyway.
I've been working with a lot of stuff lately. So have many others, including a good number of my friends and relatives. I'm going to suggest a Prescription to the Christian World right now (this is not to suggest all of my friends and relatives are Christians so much as to suggest that the aforementioned Christian world will probably find this prescription most helpful.) This is based on the notion that despite our belief in an all-powerful God, we also maintain belief that the same God is all-knowing and all-loving. It's a jumbled prescription. It's probably not perfect in dosage or content. This prescription is really a prayer. It is a not a full prayer; I would recommend you find sometime in the same day, same hour, even the same prayer to work in whatever else in your belief system ought to be included in a proper prayer. But at any rate I recommend that you do this:
Take a walk. Slowly. In private if you can, and outside if possible. Admire God's creation. Tell God how wonderful Creation is. Tell God how much you found yourself annoyed by Creation, especially those crows. Tell God how much you love being a servant. Praise God for the opportunity to serve in this world and in the world to come. Then keep serving. Tell God how much you love/hate being a servant. Shout at God. Tell God how much you wish you could stop serving. Then keep serving anyway. The emotion doesn't matter. What matters here is that you're telling God. God is there. God will listen.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

D.Lo Posts Old Writing

Some old writing. Edited for personal stuff, but I felt it was good spiritual reflection, and now is as good a time as any to post it.
I’m not sure a person is always meant to take complete responsibility for their own actions, and for the results of those actions, because I think I get that much more insane when I try to do so... It helps a little to not just be angry with myself.

I feel sort of like a jerk right now for lots and lots of reasons, including the elevation of my petty thoughts and feelings in my mind over all the much more serious problems in my head…THERE I GO AGAIN…in their [my friends'] lives. This is not Christian.

And yeah, I know, children in Africa, children in Africa—there’s always something I can feel bad for not feeling bad about. I know. I don’t care. Other people have problems too; my problems aren’t the only freaking problems that matter. And that’s the issue, is that I’m not caring enough about stuff that I really ought to care about.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Hey Guys I Took A Quiz

I took the hermeneutics quiz that's been going around some of the Christian blogosphere. I scored 66, which puts me just barely, barely in the progressive camp. So I guess take the quiz and post your scores. I doubt any of the people reading this will manage a 20 (lowest end of "conservative" but I'd like to see where you place.

I can't find the thing right now and I'm not going to try, but Henry Neufeld who does the Participatory Bible Study Blog took the quiz, got "progressive" but noted he had some issues with some of the questions. He didn't say what issues.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

If I Didn't

If I didn't believe firmly that we were all sinners, I'd probably be totally depressed right now, as opposed to just tired.

Don't worry too much about me, as it's not for once something I did that makes me relieved of that theological truth.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Soy Yogurt is bad. At least, the stuff I had was pretty bad. As in, it was as bad as soy milk when I had soy milk (and I had soy milk about 10 years ago.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


It is now officially 18 minutes into Ash Wednesday. What this means is that Lent is here, as are my Lenten Sacrifices. This year:

- No making "That's what she said" jokes. Expanded, this rule means: No making new "that's what she said" jokes or quoting Office iterations, no matter how tempting. No quoting other "that's what she said" jokes unless repeating a story. No intentionally setting up other people for a good "that's what she said" quip. Special situation: If I'm halfway through a phrase and then realize that it's a "that's what she said"-worthy phrase, I am allowed to finish the phrase as planned. In other words, it's about the intent at the moment the phrase leaves my mouth.
- No fries. No French fries, period. Not at the Cove or anywhere off-campus. I thought about giving up cheese but that's going to have to be a Lenten project all its own.

Additionally, I'll be giving up desert at the Commons / Cove only (so family gatherings and Burgerville shakes are allowed.) That last one's more of a health thing that I'm using Lent as impetus for, so I'm not counting it.

Other things you may want to know about, as far as goals for the year:

- I'm attempting again to memorize the book of James, which currently means reading it cyclically throughout the Spring semester.
- I'm going to try and learn to Waltz sometime before the year of 2008 is over and preferably before the start of the 08-09 year.
- I'm going to start learning to savor food, preferably before the end of the 07-08 school year. This will probably involve bugging Stephanie to see if she'll take me out someplace that serves good food in small portions.
- I'm going to try and work on my lindy-hop "game" (which means the swingout and building on that) and get the swingout down more solidly. Not sure how to do this, aside from going to swing on Mondays and maybe finding one or two times this semester I could go out for Lindy social dancing.

Lastly I went to the Mardis Gras celebration at the Commons tonight and the Jazz band played some swing-worthy stuff--on the last song a bunch of swing people got up and did some lindy hop and that was fun--at least for a few minutes I was back on my game, but I definitely felt dried out and wanting water afterwards.

Peace out and God bless!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


XKCD is actually sort of sad today. (You should probably read this comic first to get context, though.) This is probably the one time I've really felt bad for the top-hat guy. Stuff like this is why XKCD as a comic is more spiritual and poignant than most of liberal Christianity. It's also an excuse to use my favorite "blargrequeafd" label!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Brief overview of my weekend and week:

I got to do Swing dance on Friday.
I got to go to a theology gathering at the Baastens' house on Saturday.
I got to do blues-dance on Saturday.
I get to do homework today. I also go to church, and I'm going to finish cleaning my room when this gets typed.
I get to go to class, work with Dr. Lum on making my proofs not suck, and do homework, and go to Swing club, and go to mass, on Monday.
I get to go to class, do homework, go to class again, and hopefully go dancing Tuesday.
I get to do class and homework on Wednesday. I might go to the basketball game.
Thursday is class, homework and CHUBS.
Friday is class, homework and slacking off.

I need to start readings and homework much, much earlier next week. As in, Thursday night. I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now, though:

I'm restarting my project of memorizing the epistle of James. I'm also improving as a dancer. I'm not ultra-good by any means, but stuff feels a lot more natural than it has in the past, and that's a good thing. Also, lindy-hop swing is very nice workout.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Fun Stuff Found in an Old Assignment Tracker

I was looking through my old notebook for keeping track of assignments. It's the one from my Senior year of high school. Most of the pages have been thrown out but I kept a scant few temporarily, as they have awesome quotations from different people. I think an old friend of mine, Marcus, is the leader. I'll list all the quotations followed by the person they came from following:

"I think I saw my life flash before my eyes." - Stephen
"Was it shiny?" - Marcus

"You got a lot of points. Too bad you're shooting at the wrong basket." - Marcus

"Surround yourself with smart people." - Marcus, probably

"I'll give you participation points if you can read my notes." - Marcus

"Today's gonna be a good day, because I don't have to go tomorrow." - Marcus. I'm pretty sure that "going tomorrow" refers to CIP work-days, but I'm not absolutely sure.

"And the majority of dorm windows don't have trampolines under them." - Mr. Huelskamp

Not that many if any De La Salle people will ever read this, but this one came from a poster in Mr. Z's room. I think the context was to make posters revolving around issues from the 1800s: "A slave is a slave no mater who owns him. Stay nutral / It for the best"

I also found two other things:


This was funny because when Mr. Boyle said it, I got this picture in my head of a king-kong sized Bill Clinton taking on the city of New York in the style of a giant-monster movie. As such it did at the time (and still today) strikes me as incredibly humorous. I believe the actual court case involved Clinton's ability to do a line-item veto, but I don't know.

Also, someone wrote "Hi Daniel!" randomly on my notebook. I think it was a girl, based on handwriting. Don't know who, though.

Anyway, I found this a fun ride. Hope you did too.