Still Living Out of Boxes . . .

You are a long-suffering bunch, and this is certainly to be commended. I have been messing around computer-wise for a number of months, and the effects have been clearly visible, some of them mud-fence ugly visible. I wanted to take this moment to praise you, and for not swearing at me in the comments.

I also wanted to explain. So let me explain a little bit. I am a technoramus, and I can only learn my way through computer stuff if I labor heavily, with beads of sweat on my brow, and with my tongue sticking out of the corner of my mouth. In some fields of knowledge, I read or hear something and the datum that I just read or heard has little bits of velcro all over it, as does certain parts of my brain, and — ta-da! — that information will be readily available to me until the day I die. I have control over some of this, and no control at all when it comes to other aspects of it. Why do you build me up, build me up, Buttercup, baby, just to let me down, let me down, mess me around, and then worst of all, worst of all, you never call baby when you say you will, say you will, but I love you still, I need you, I need you, more than anyone . . .

When it comes to other kinds of knowledge, I can do it, but no longer with velcro brains.

Another distant ancestor is not amused at my forays into caricature.

Another distant ancestor is not amused at my forays into caricature.

No, now  it is teflon brains. Nothing sticks. Mechanical knowledge is like that for me. I have done serious engine work on some of our cars before, and have figured it out, but I have a high level of assurance that if I had to do the same thing over again a couple months later, my mind would be the acme of Locke’s tabula rasa, worth preserving in a jar on some philosopher’s desk. Wood isn’t like that. When I learn how to do something in carpentry, I remember how to do it. Which brings us to the painful subject of ones and zeros.

This whole field bewilders me. I am a tyro, an abecedarian, a mere colt, a rookie, a neophyte, a greenhorn. I have been at it for years, and am still regularly flattened by this stuff. This is is not to say there has been absolutely no progress — for I have detected some movement, some unbending of the programmers, in the direction of user friendliness.  In other words, I don’t think I am gaining on it, I think some senior executives in the business world have laid down the law to the programmers, and told them that idiots are a potential customer base as well.

A Meander Through My Reading Habits

I recently got a question in the comments here about my reading habits, and thought it might be fun to take a meander through my library, pointing out objects of interest as I go. File this one under autobiographical fragments.

I liked books as a kid, but simply read in pursuit of my interests. Those interests were shaped by the reading our family did together, which is where I found my love for Lewis. Dad started reading Narnia to us when I was about five. The only jag I recall was somewhere near the junior high years, and it was a science fiction jag — that is where I got my Heinlein in. I also remember reading Aku Aku by Thor Heyerdahl when I was in 6th grade. I was in high school when I first got into Tolkien, egged on by my mother. Around the same time, I also stumbled across Up From Liberalism by William Buckley, and my course of political education began there.

When I was in the Navy, I think I read a lot of fiction. I wasn’t building a library because submarines and barracks aren’t conducive to it, but I would pick out whatever seemed interesting from the common shelves. I was buying some books to keep — A.W. Tozer and J.I. Packer were there, I recall.

I got out of the Navy in 1975 and started in on my philosophy work at the University of Idaho. In addition to school reading, I remember discovering Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, which was for me a lifeline of sanity. When I was done with school, I also had by that point become, as it happened, the pastor of a small Jesus people-like outfit, and was not in a position to get away for any real seminary training. I did manage to get one set of summer classes at Regent in Vancouver, where I had a class on the atonement by Leon Morris, and a course on the book of Acts taught by John Stott.

But I was more or less done with schoolwork, and had a bunch of pastoral responsibilities, and so I decided I would have to do the OJT stuff simply by reading.

Patience, Patience . . .

Okay, then, you probably noticed the theme has changed. I need to mention this because there are all kinds of features tucked away in all kind of nooks and most of the crannies. Even where I have noticed something — that is, for example, not true — this does not mean I am deliberately trying to mislead anyone or otherwise break the 9th commandment. Take, for example, the one about affiliate links. I need to play with this a while to customize it, and so you must needs be patient. That’s a virtue anyway, so I look at it as win/win.

Davenant Presents . . .

Future Prot

A number of you regulars at this blog are located in Southern California, which means this is an event you should mark on your calendars. For those of you living elsewhere, you can get information about live-streaming at this location — so I guess you all should mark your calendars. Okay, everybody mark your calendars. It promises to be a hummer.

Here is the back story on how this all came together. The event was made possible by the Davenant Trust, the same group that provided New St. Andrews with a generous gift to kick start our translation project of Reformation theology. Make sure to check them out.

A Few Milestones

A year or so ago, we urged my father to start writing his autobiography. He has been doing so, a bit at a time, and has been bringing those completed sections over to our weekly Sabbath dinner. I have been enjoying it very much as he writes — he is a wealth of stories.

As he has been getting more into the parts of his life that involve his four children, he has asked each of us to write out a skeletal outline of our own lives so that he can cross-check dates and so on. And so here is mine. I am not expecting you to be interested in when I lost my first tooth, and so I leave that out. Don’t remember it anyway.