Theology, tech, theology tech.
Archives For August 2009
I agree with this guy. If you are wondering which Bible software to buy, his advice will help.
I’ll add one other thing: if you like keyboard shortcuts and overall computer quickness, BibleWorks beats Logos.
Ok, one more thing: I have BibleWorks and Logos, and I don’t feel I wasted my money. I buy BibleWorks for the searching and original language tools; I get Logos for the commentaries, books, journals, and reference works. Admittedly, there’s some overlap in the capabilities of the two programs, but each one does its thing so well that they’re both always running on my computer.
HT: Dustin Battles
My blog has a new name to go along with its new design: βλογάπη. “Marklwardjr,” the old name, was just way too eponymous.
After almost two years, and now having reached the two-subscriber mark (my mother-in-law recently signed up), I think it’s time to pick a name that reflects the twin themes of the blog: theology and tech. As they used to say on the SAT, blog : agape :: tech : theology.
There are a few reasons I talk so much about tech:
- I really believe our generation—of theological students in particular—needs guidance in the use of technology.
- Few other nerdy Fundamentalists combine the twin themes of “Ra Ra!” and “Cave Canem!” when it comes to tech, so I have stepped into the gap.
There are a few reasons why ἀγάπη (agape) makes up the second half of my blog’s new name:
- I can’t help talking about ἀγάπη, because as Hezekiah 45:55 says, “Out of the abundance of the dissertation, the fingers type.”
- I want my blog to provoke you to love and good works. I know it pushes me toward those things, partly through the interaction I get to have with you sometimes. I thank you, my readers, sincerely for that. I dearly want to be holy, and God says we need each other to make that happen.
My RSS feed will remain the same.
I named this site marklwardjr because I wanted to avoid the temptations of Internet anonymity. I’ve wondered as time has passed whether the site’s name looks self-promoting. Hopefully, the content speaks for itself. It would be foolish for any blogger to seek the chief seat at the blogosfeast.
For those readers who are willing to join me in my openness, my new blog design includes Google Friend Connect. I’d love to get to know you, or at least a small avatar of you.
This is not just a hat tip; it’s a hat steal.
I had to get this absolutely brilliant content (written by a BJU graduate!) to both of my readers. Moisés Silva is an exegetically and linguistically careful scholar, and this is brilliant, just… brilliant!
It is approximately the year 2790. The most powerful nation on earth occupies a large territory in Central Africa, and its citizens speak Swahili. The United States and other English-speaking countries have long ceased to exist, and much of the literature prior to 2012 (the year of the Great Conflagration) is not extant. Some archaeologists digging in the western regions of North America discover a short but well-preserved text that can confidently be dated to the last quarter of the twentieth century. It reads thus:
Marilyn, tired of her glamorous image, embarked on a new project. She would now cultivate her mind, sharpen her verbal skills, pay attention to standards of etiquette. Most important of all, she would devote herself to charitable causes. Accordingly, she offered her services at the local hospital, which needed volunteers to cheer up terminal patients, many of whom had been in considerable pain for a long time. The weeks flew by. One day she was sitting at the cafeteria when her supervisor approached her and said, “I didn’t see you yesterday. What were you doing?” “I painted my apartment; it was my day off,” she responded.
The archaeologists know just enough English to realise that this fragment is a major literary find that deserves closer inspection, so they rush the piece to one of the finest philologists in their home country. This scholar dedicates his next sabbatical to a thorough study of the text and decides to publish an exegetical commentary on it, as follows:
We are unable to determine whether this text is an excerpt from a novel or from a historical biography. Almost surely, however, it was produced in a religious context, as is evident from the use of such words as devoted, offered, charitable. In any case, this passage illustrates the literary power of twentieth-century English, a language full of metaphors. The verb embarked calls to mind an ocean liner leaving for an adventuresome cruise, while cultivate possibly alerts the reader to Marilyn’s botanical interests. In those days North Americans compared time to a bird—probably the eagle—that flies.
The author of this piece, moreover, makes clever use of word associations. For example, the term glamorous is etymologically related to grammar, a concept no doubt reflected in the comment about Marilyn’s “verbal skills.” Consider also the subtleties implied by the statement that “her supervisor approached her.” The verb approach has a rich usage. It may indicate similar appearance or condition (this painting approaches the quality of a Picasso); it may have a sexual innuendo (the rapist approached his victim); it may reflect subservience (he approached his boss for a raise). The cognate noun can be used in contexts of engineering (e.g. access to a bridge), sports (of a golf stroke following the drive from the tee), and even war (a trench that protects troops besieging a fortress).
Society in the twentieth century is greatly illuminated by this text. The word patient (from patience, meaning “endurance”) indicates that sick people then underwent a great deal of suffering: they endured not only the affliction of their physical illness, but also the mediocre skills of their medical doctors, and even (to judge from other contemporary documents) the burden of increasing financial costs.
A few syntactical notes may be of interest to language students. The preposition of had different uses: causal (tired of), superlative (most important of all), and partitive (many of whom). The simple past tense had several aoristic functions: embarked clearly implies determination, while offered suggests Marilyn’s once-for-all, definitive intention. Quite noticeable is the tense variation at the end of the text. The supervisor in his question uses the imperfect tense, “were doing,” perhaps suggesting monotony, slowness, or even laziness. Offended, Marilyn retorts with a punctiliar and emphatic aorist, “I painted.”
What I’m struggling with is the encroachment of the buzz, the sense that there is something out there that merits my attention, when in fact it’s mostly just a series of disconnected riffs and fragments that add up to the anxiety of the age.
Thoughtful people keep saying this. We who aspire to thoughtfulness ought to listen.
I’ve read about 200 pages of Gary Wills’ history of Southern Seminary, including the final section on the Mohler years (I couldn’t wait!), and I’m really enjoying it. God used James Boyce to perform Herculean tasks to keep the seminary alive in the early years, and faculty members like John Broadus made deep sacrifices, too. The seminary was firmly Calvinist in those days, as was the denomination, and the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy hadn’t happened yet—so it was a dynamic quite different from today.
However, the SBTS of today is more like the SBTS of the 1860s than it has been in a century, a point the book makes well. Al Mohler is, humanly speaking, the major reason for the recovery of Boyce’s original vision. Mohler performed Herculean tasks of his own, and every good fundamentalist will thrill to hear how the wolves in sheep’s clothing were removed from the faculty. It doesn’t get much better in your earbuds than Mohler’s comeback to the postmodernist faculty member who refused to interpret the Bible straightforwardly but insisted on a rigorously literal interpretation of his contract—followed by C. J. Mahaney’s uproarious laughter. I was edified (and, I admit, entertained). I highly recommend these two MP3s.
I said it, too: “Who wants to know what other people had for breakfast?”
But I signed up for Twitter anyway, dutifully, because my blog’s subtitle is “theology, tech, theology tech.” And I’ve found that, despite one problem I will—dutifully—note, I am glad for Twitter’s existence.
Here’s why: it has brought out of the woodwork some talented, gospel-centered micro-bloggers whose voices would not have provoked me to love and good works otherwise. Actual fundamentalist leaders are still underrepresented in the blogosphere, but Twitter’s lower time demand and learning curve have changed things.
Now you can hear from some sound fundamentalist voices that had been silent.
For example, if you’re a ministerial student, sign up for Kerry McGonigal’s feed. He knows, loves, and produces sound homiletics, and he’s an elder at his local body (namely my own!). You need to be challenged by observing what he loves, how much he knows, and what he reads.
Now for the problem. I’m already too scatterbrained by the Internet; focusing on one task is already way too far from second-nature. Twitter obviously doesn’t help.
However, I actually find that the brevity of the tweets that pop up on my screen (and I’m selective about whom I follow) allows me to get a quick benefit and go back to my main task quickly without losing my thread.
So my Twitter philosophy is a work in progress.
And I had Cream of Wheat.