Showing posts from November, 2005

The In-Between

Home today reading, rain non-stop for the last 30 hours, the long headcold still clotting my head. A good session splitting wood day before yesterday, craving any kind of exercise today but too sick and the weather too wet to come up with anything. Catching up for school: Madame Bovary; and EFM, more than two weeks behind, Abraham and Isaac.

Sick headache. After nap mouth taste. Mikey home from school, walk from the bus wet, watching ESPN and asking me silly questions more beautiful than my home or career:
'Troy, why are mini-bibles orange.' Talking about his 'real' father; amazing to me everyone gets along after nearly a decade.


EFM is awesome. For each section of the bible we read there is accompanying text, easy to read but touching on scholarly issues, not just regurgitating the story; critical, rational, also faithful. I love it.

I know the modern focus on innerrancy is a reaction to the higher criticism, skepticism, some of it Christian much of it not, of…

Three Things Sunday

As usual, I like the three thing format but feel moved to express myself on another day. Consider me to hold a liberal blogology

1) sorry for the typos in the post below; it was written in two pieces and I need to clean it up; since I've apologized I'll probably leave it with all its typos and lay weaknesses; lay apologists get their butt kicked sooner or later and my time will probably come; doesn't mean I won't get up and learn from the experience

2) I found an interesting article here on Intelligent Design; the way ID is described in the media I considered it a waste of time and insisted on the term teleological argument, bettter, teleological question (though I'd read Paul Davies years ago) but this link HERE reminds me the jury isn't in yet, if it ever will be

3) I am experiencing something which could be described two ways: the skeptic in me would say that I have innate abilities/characteristics which will only feel fulfilled with increased church min…


An atheist colleague of mine discovered my blog by walking into my office while I was working on it; as a fellow blogger it took him two seconds to read my url. He's a good guy, a friend, and he's welcome here. We've been doing some emailing back and forth about theism in the few minutes either of us calls spare time right now. He's well read, it seems, in anthro and I assume the modern skeptical lectionary. Fair enough. But this blog is also about my feelings, and those are coming up right now in one of those hard days.

I've been open about how hard this semester has been. I have all new courses, the only possible exception being my composition classes online. I've taught comp. a hundred times, but never online. Trying to build those classes and teach them at the same time has, frankly, been impossible to do well, not while staying caught up in Am. Lit. and honors. It's been a sucky term and I want it to end; soon, it will.

One of those online comps…

Three Things Thursday

Okay, I admit, it's Friday morning and I'm too honest to roll back my blog calender and date this Thursday; in my heart it's Three Things Thursday.


I found the originator of Three Things blipping through blogs. Then I lost her! I can't remember the name of the actual blog, but in honor of the tradition I blog on.

1) I think I'm getting sick. My wife has been sick for almost two weeks and the stress in my life, plus the proximity, may be leading me down the sickie path. My throat is sore and I'm calling in to work. In some ways this actually feels good; a day to catch up, read, REST!

2) I have been building built-in bookcases. I have books that have been in boxes since, well, truthfully, at least since 99, some maybe since 92, but I'm not sure. The new unit is taking up a whole wall, eight feet by twelve. This is very new to me. I'm not a handy kind of guy and it takes me lots of thinking to do something like this for the first time. We found …

In the beginning...

Another busy week. I'm taking out a few minutes to write only because a friend left a voice message telling me how much he appreciates reading the blog. Considering how infrequently, and quickly, I post I was moved to hear he takes something from this in his own spiritual search. Enough to take out a few minutes to talk about what I'm learning in EFM.

I would love it if the OT were an inerrant, god-rich ethical masterpiece. The text doesn't support this. What it seems to be, at least what Jesus thought it was, is a collection of books which outlines, which prepares for, his personal salvation. It's a record of various individuals' experiences with God, and sometimes tells us as much about the person writing as the God the author is reaching toward. Many religious conservatives believe in both the sinful mind of man, even his utter spiritual depravity, and yet hold to an inerrant Bible. How could this be? God would have to dictate apart from the mind of the …

Morning Thoughts

Genuine thanks for the wonderful comments on my post below. All cause me to think, more importantly, to feel, to reflect perhaps, on my spiritual life. I will hang on to what the three of you said.

E: for what it's worth, I did read James, a couple times. I don't have the benefit of any scholarship, but three things stuck out: one, it's a collection of sayings strung together, almost epigrams; two, its constant defense of the poor is comforting. The author was very concerned with social class and the spiritual elevation of the 'brother in humble circumstances.' Three, he uses hyperbole. The passage I quoted below does seem to be about Christians asking for help in times of suffering; ask in faith, James says. Then he dismisses those who don't have the faith. But he says other things, just as strong and directed at believers, other places in the letter, examples which would include us all at one time or another. This softens his comments for me a bit. …

Evening Thoughts

Sincere thanks to all the kind comments on my previous post. Today I did take out a few minutes, maybe five beautiful ones, to watch the sun set from a hill on the way home; the sky in the foothills is so gorgeous a few hours after a front moves through. Sunday I cut and split much wood, an 80 foot fir tree that dropped behind my neighbor's house. These were both good suggestions.

As far as obedience as in Chambers, I'm a bit stumped. I don't feel like I'm engaged in anything I shouldn't be, except the usual candidates: fear, worry, self-pity, obsessive criticism of others...those things are so part of me that slowing them down actually takes positive input, looking at a sunset or chopping wood.

Could it be that God simply wants faith from me? I don't know. I think of Bertrand Russell, the brilliant 20th century mathematician/philosopher. His autobiography, incidentally, makes compelling reading. He felt God didn't give him enough evidence to prove H…

Four Things Friday

Okay, I think I'm supposed to do this on Thursday but I needed some reason to post four things:

Thing one: I'm hitting burn out. Too much work, not enough play, projects backing up around the house and school of course and truthfully I feel like not even logging into my online classes or coming to my job. Since I'm not drinking to 'unwind' every night I'm really feeling it. I need to rent about twelve episodes of old star treks or ab fabs or kung-fus and lay on the couch for two days. The sucky thing is I can't do this, at least not yet.

Thing two: My OCD plays a role in my faith/doubt distress. I don't know how faith works in the mind, but it's a different part of the mind, one OCD likes to shove into the dirt. OCD is a response to awful emotion, yes, but often fear: if God's not real, my faith is fake and I have no heavenly father or eternal life; the abandonment and cold betrayal inherent in this shift in world-view invokes my freaking co…

True Fall

It's in the low forties outiside, rainy and dark; yes, fall has finally come to the Sierra. We won't get snow at my elevation, but it will be cold. I'm huddled home with the laptop, wearing a turtleneck sweatshirt with the name of my college on it, the wood stove humming is good right now. I even worked on a long blog post this morning. It's coming soon, it's theology heavy, but good for me to write.

I have to take our car in for an oil change at 11:30. Better bundle up. Days like this I don't ever want to leave the mountains, even with my drive.

It feels so good to feel warm and relaxed. Steph took Mikey to school this morning and let me sleep in a little and it was such a beautiful gesture as I've been taking him most days this semester. I have school work I should be doing and will have to get to, but I've decided I'm not paid enough to work as hard as I've been working. I'll do what I can.

Be well all. More soon.