Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Inspired Bicycles

I like the effect this guys has on bystanders.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Does the Bible have a single purpose? Can it be readily expressed? In a single English sentence?

Am I alone in thinking it at first seems strange, or at the very least difficult, to search for the "purpose" of the Bible? It seems like the Bible is coherent, united, and in some sense teleological - but it also seems like its singular "purpose", whatever "purpose" means, would be difficult to capture. Seems like the Bible's single purpose, if it has one, would be quite expansive, and yet quite pithy (could it be expressed in English? In a single English sentence? If it required multiple sentences would it be more than a single "purpose"?). Seems like it would have something to do with the restoration of man's relationship to God, sure. But the purpose of the entire Bible? The single driving force behind every single verse? The Constitution that all punctuation, every rabbit-trail, and all repetitions of material have to answer to in order to justify their existence?

To summarize the purpose of the Bible would, I think, require extra-Biblical wording and thinking. Unless I can think of a Biblical statement that seems intended to summarize the purpose of the Bible as a whole, and to do so in a way that captures all the sub-purposes of the Bible, leaving nothing out, and also excluding everything that is not a purpose of the Bible.

Maybe 2 Timothy 3:16 or something along its lines?

One thing I see quite often throughout the Bible however, are singular authors' précises of their own works. Luke 1:1-4 and John 20:31 are a couple. Similarly, Philippians looks like a theologically rigorous thank-you note, and Romans a theologically rigorous support letter. Their purpose for being included in the Canon by the Holy Spirit however, might be something a little more higher-order than those purposes, however.

Speaking of higher-order: were Ezra's or Nehemiah's purpose for initially prophesying the same as the purpose of the inclusion of their books? Can all this rich, intricate, multi-leveled "purpose" be summed up?

If so, and I'm not convinced as of this writing, I will not quickly volunteer to attempt so.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On Recent Dreams and Schemes

This morning my iPhone's alarm went off at 6:30 with the text "time to go for a run!". I pressed "snooze" and immediately dreamt that my wife heard a noise in the basement, which I and my friend, a tall, dark, intelligent, and funny twentysomething of a man with whom I was clearly familiar in my dream, but whom I have never seen in my waking life, promptly and boldly, if nervously, investigated. In my dream the door to our basement was outside - we exited out the back door and walked along the side wall toward the front of the house down a grassy slope and entered by the door on our right, which was ajar. We shortly wound up encountering a vampire whom I, needless to say, rushed and engaged. And I, needless to say, overpowered him. I had half a bulb of garlic, facing out, in my left hand that I pushed in toward his face, and something of a dagger in my right hand whose hard black handle I grasped firmly but whose blade came down from the handle, protruding from the pinky-side of my hand instead of the thumb and forefinger side. I used the knife as situated this way by swinging something like an upward right hook - a right-to-left uppercut. The entire construct of the dream visually tore apart and faded at the same time as I woke up at 6:10 to my iPhone alarm with the text "time to go for a run!". I again snoozed it and relived part of the dream but like in the movie "Ground Hog Day", or "Run Lola Run" if you prefer, I had the knowledge I gained from the first go-around. When my wife heard the noise, I knew it was a vampire, but avoided saying so, so as to not scare the beautifully blue-eyed woman carrying my firstborn son (whose working name is "Søren", but without the Danish "ø"). The brief situation in the kitchen with my wife and strange friend sort of faded, sort of jolted and I relived it but with certain features varying a couple more times, and I intermittently relived, or flashed forward to, my struggle with the vampire.

By 7:00 the real my wife was sweetly waking me up by calling to me from the other room. She recommended/suggested/co-rejoiced with me at the fact that I had the opportunity to go for a run and that it was a nice morning to go for a run on. I felt like I had woken up at 5:00 not feeling tired, but gone back to sleep under the weight and warmth of the blankets only to descend into this bizarre unrest riddled with vampire. I turned and put my feet on the ground and they felt swollen and my left foot felt like there was something wrong with it between the instep bones of my big and second toe.

I pensively ejected a carefully chosen minor expletive. I realized that, like every Thursday, I was supposed to meet with three men from my church at 6:30 at Java.


This afternoon I went with Jonathan to The Resort for a light lunch. He did a lot of the talking. There wasn't a lot of talking overall. He read to me out of a book, which made me laugh a bit. On the way out the front door I was being trailed by a woman. Politely keeping the door open for her I watched as she came halfway through it and stood without further forward motion. I was shocked, and then irritated that she had taken my niceness for granted. I held it longer, but with a rudely impatient look on my face. I stared straight at her, but she was casually standing and fidgeting without paying attention to me. I eventually let the door go, and she came the rest of the way through the threshold without even tipping me.


This late afternoon my wife showed me with genuine loving gladness that PitaPit sent me a coupon for a free Pita in commemoration of my birthday. I turned 25 last week. I had a great day. I wonder how they found out about my birthday and whether I can pull the Max Clark-like prank of getting it changed so that they are always commemorating my birthday with free Pitas.


Last night was the introduction to a parenting class my wife and I are taking. Seems like it will have some true or helpful and challenging main points, packaged in only slightly less of a silly, fundamentalist, prior-generational context. For example, it is introduced as "The Biblical Model of Parenting".

My thing with that is that the Bible is not a parenting book. It speaks to certain things and should be left to do so. You can use the Bible for a text book on marriage, parenting, finances, and psychology without ever touching on the deity of Christ or the reality of the depravity of man. The Bible speaks to certain things for a reason and ought to be not just left to do so, but praised for doing so and studied on those vary accounts! At best the parenting class presents a parenting model based on some Biblical principles.

Still, it is easy to strike away at all the trappings and phrasings of a thing without actually facing it and oneself squarely and dealing with it according to its main themes and points and being honest about oneself and how one can grow and mature in anticipation of an impending child for whom one wants to, above all, model life and love.

Criticism has its place and can be constructive, but it is a correcting tool for building straight and strong and not for preventing good projects from getting off the ground for fear of any slight imperfection.

Lambasting however, is a tool for destruction. But a parenting conference based on Biblical principles, or at least earnestly attempting to be such, need not be destructed (and therefore not lambasted).

This post will not be edited for reading ease.