1:30 AM


sorry, i'm becoming increasingly bad at titling things. this is just another update, full of random thoughts and updates and questions.

my sister's flight gets in tonight at 2ish AM. since i spent most of the day on my back with a rather bizarre and highly unwelcome illness, i'm going to bed before then, but i hope she wakes me up to say hi. i've missed her.

yesterday at the wonderful annual memorial day party thrown by some family friends i got into a fight of sorts with an old middle school history professor of mine. he ridiculed me, frankly, for my "ignorant" claim to be a calvinist when i don't even know what the (pardon my spelling) bezial and hermention debates were. though a google search wouldn't come up with anything, i did try searching a few more terms he mentioned and found this, which seems to be on topic with the debate we had. call me crazy, but in my extremely young and relatively uneducated mind, it seems like the four options outlined on that site - and the two options (of those four, don't think he made them up) my professor mentioned in our discussion - present for us an inappropriately limited number of options. that's what i think anyway.

on an entirely different note, today i read the wedding and loved it. basically, it's the story of a man who realizes he needs to woo his wife again after 29 years of marriage. by now you probably know i'm quite the romantic, so it should come as no surprise that i liked the book. but i saw so much more in it - the redemption of relationship is a beautiful thing. i'll post a few quotes from it tomorrow.

thanks to everyone who posted their favorite books from childhood. i'm responsible for story time and so my question was defintely designed in part to get ideas. it seems that there are sometimes connections between such things and who we become later. and sometimes not nearly so much.

i will never understand boxing - like RAW on tnt and such. i just don't get the appeal at all.

12:56 AM

Odyssey Quotes

Connie: "Eugene, you just ended a sentence with a preposition!"
Eugene: "Impossible! Prepositions are not words I end sentences with!"
Connie: "I think it needs a bigger ending."
Bernard: "Oh, like what?"
Sam: "Maybe Percival goes out and gets hit by a bus."
Courtney: "A bus."
Sam: "Yeah! Then the moral could be look both ways before you cross the street."
Connie: "I don't think so, Sam."
Jason: "Eugene, how would you like to take a trip to the Middle East?"
Eugene: "I'd have to think about it. Okay, I thought about it - let's go! By the way... your treat?"
Clerk: "The bell works, sir, but thank you for testing it for us; nice robe, by the way."
Eugene: "It's a caftan, I've recently returned from the Middle East."
Clerk: "Delaware or Maryland?"
[a little later]
Eugene: "'The bell works sir.' I'd like to work his bell."

12:30 AM

Tell Me Tell Me: Favorite Children's Books

ok, so occasionally i will ask you to tell me something. a "sound off" opportunity of sorts.

some of my favorite books from my childhood were ~>

ezra jack keats' the snowy day
don freeman's corduroy
russell hoban's frances books
eric carle's the very hungry caterpillar
marjorie flack's the story about ping
beatrix potter's stories
leroy neiman's casey at the bat
anything nancy drew
louisa may alcott's little women
l. m. montgomery's anne of green gables

what were your favorite books as a small child?

12:01 AM


We're gonna have fun tonight, kids. I'm going to tell you all kinds of fun things.

First off, I'm sure you've noticed that lately I've been watching alot of movies. This is because I love movies and I'm trying to "catch up" so to speak. Today I'm going to brag on the Disney Channel Original Movie that just went to DVD - "High School Musical." It was fabulous - very much an old-school musical, and the music is great.

You will also have noticed that I now product-link to the B&N website. Call it loyalty.

I am getting excited about trying out for American Idol - yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am actually sticking my neck out and actually going to auditions. I'm hoping they put up the information soon, and that there's something close-ish.

My precious old dog Bridget - who is a Golden Retriever long out-living her expected lifespan. She's nearly 15 (Golden Retrievers are supposed to live 10-12 years), and she's now having a really rough time getting up. She's such a sweetheart, and though she's been quite blind and quite deaf for a while, it's hard to watch her body slowing down and stopping. :-( She's my miracle dog - I prayed for her for years, and our family got her for Christmas when I was 6.

I love to read. L-O-V-E to read. It's really fun. Especially novels. Still plugging away at God Is the Gospel, though. :-) Never let it be said that my affection for novels is indicative of not enjoying theology... ;-)

I'm keeping my car, by the way. I just decided I like it too much. Well, that and my dad was like "What are you thinking????" That was kinda a clincher for me.

KJ is called "the Bug" because "Squirrel" didn't stick. No, really - that's why. He used to not let anyone but me call him "the Bug," but now he lets Dad and Mom call him that every once in a while. It's a petname, but there's absolutely no reason behind it. Sorry to disappoint.

Does anyone besides me think that the "Sonic has it; others don't" commercials are exceedingly annoying?

1:26 AM


i just cried like a baby watching "king kong."

9:43 PM

Latin, History, and Other Exciting Examinations

i know what you're thinking. hold it, lauren - you said you were done with exams. you're home from school. you started your job and everything. what's the deal? well, the bug (i.e. my brother) has examinations this week, and when your 13 year old brother has exams, and you're home from college, you might as well have them to with all the studying you two do. right now the bug is reviewing his history. today he took latin and english - i was mostly in charge of latin. but tomorrow is math and history. thankfully, i'm not helping with math (we do want the fellow to pass, you know), but history is all me. incidentally, the class is called "renaissance and reformation history," which i happen to know pretty well. i think the bug will be a history or art history major. he knows SO MUCH and retains SO MUCH and is excited about it. it's really cool. he wants to be an architect. (he has a couple of computer programs that let him design houses, and he does it all the time; he "specializes" in palatial domiciles. in other words, he likes mansions.)

thankfully, the bug's summer starts on friday and then we can do all the fun things we've planned - go ice skating at the mall, go see "over the hedge," go swimming in the pool, go to local art museums, etc. since i'm only working 4 days a week, we should be able to hang out kinda alot. i happen to love the bug, so i'm crazy about this idea.

katie (my amazonian athlete sister) finally finishes up exams and comes home on the 30th. she only has 11 days off before she has to go back :-( but at least she gets to come home for a little.

also near and exciting: 40% off week at b&n for employees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12:38 AM

Summer Conference Notes, #1: The Church Seminar I

why study the church?
because if you're a Christian, understanding a healthy ecclesiology is an important step to maturity

what is the church?
- the avenue God crated to carry out His redemptive plan
- the Father's family, the Son's presence, and the Spirit's temple

the church really is first instituted in genesis 12 with abraham (emphasis on family)
at pentecost it takes on a more explicit form, but it is not new [translation: we are into covenant theology, not dispensationalism]

circumcision is no longer required because there is no physical requirement to enter the spiritual family
- so what about baptism?
~ explicitly commanded by Christ
~ physical sign is not the issue; the heart is (i.e., you can be saved without being baptized - does not negate the command to obey and be baptized, but rather demonstrates further the truth of sola fide)

there is a difference between what we see when we look at the church and what really is (visible vs. invisible distinction)

so why bother with the visible church?
- the invisible church must be expressed (like faith must have works) or it will be only a theoretical platitude
- going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than works do, but both of those things demonstrate an invisible truth, or belonging (works demonstrate faith; being involved in the visible church demonstrates membership in the invisible church)
- even Jesus did not ditch the visible church; the Man went to synagogue (clearly those people didn't know what was going on, as Messiah Himself was sitting there with them and they didn't know), Who of all people was the one most justified in not going
- immediacy of visible church prevents unpracticed benevolence and affection for others, which CS Lewis describes as "largely imaginary"

Pietism: a reaction to the intellectual emphasis of religion (experiential conversion, centralized individual inner life) which focused on emotion
Revivalism: experience, individualism, emotion, personal decision to be personally saved from personal sins, cognitive theologicial self-actualization
Problem with these: the church is more than a place to stoke the flames of individual hearts for Jesus

individualism is idealistic and detatched from reality and practice

incarnational church: you cannot believe in God in the abstract (if you believe Him, you will follow Him) - faith has flesh and blood

the submission of the church:
Jesus has been made "head over everything for the church"
this implies structure, which has developed over time and in accordance with need
two areas of submission to Christ through submission to
1) the Bible (central to worship & thinking
2) church leaders

sermon ought to be central to worship service because it is to be the Word of God preached - thus it should usually be expository

new testament letters are 1/2 doctrine and then half behavior impacted by doctrine

why are the particular people elders who are mentioned in titus 1:5? what pisition do they really practically have over my life?
qualifications: Paul lays these out pretty clearly, but basically we are looking for spiritual maturity
can church leaders really tell me what to do? there is biblical precedent for elders making a decision and the people following it - they cannot bind our consciences, but they do lead us in a real way

the point of church government is not dominion but stewardship

what does the church do?
eph. 4:15-16 "we will in all things grow up into Him Who is the Head, that is, Christ"
key distinction between kingdom and church
in/for the world: balance between (a) the push to spread the gospel and push out and reach (become culturally aware) and (b) protection against false teaching (prevent world from corrupting via interaction)
the church glorifies God as an instrument of redemption
christians have responsibilities the church does not have
kingdom of God: "God's sovereign rule in principle comes into concrete expression" - redemption of anything ("go find something that's broken and fix it")
nonchristians can bring God's kingdom to bear as well, they just are unaware of it
preachers are called to preach the Word, pray for flock, and disciple

12:28 AM

Work & Bball Updates; Advice Question

favorite question i got today at b&n's children section: "i'm looking for books that babies can chew on." and yes, she was serious. i did have some such books, but isn't that a weird question?

today was mindnumbingly drudgery once they sent me back to "zone," but i did get two visits - one from my dad and one from my dear friend tiffany, who brought her two little boys with her. i must say - they were MUCH more well-behaved than most of the kids that come through there. it is such a mess most of the time because parents don't make their kids clean up after themselves. weird with a beard if you ask me.

i got to see the bug (that would be my brother) play a basketball game tonight - he was fabulous - scored 8 points and stuffed a few people a lot of times. and i love cheering loud. if only he liked to play baseball... oh well. you can't have everything. he has another ball game tomorrow night at 9.

i'm not so tired today as i have been - i think i'm getting used to the intensity of a "real job." my extroversion has been reaffirmed, as work that involves people i love and find invigorating (i LOVE helping customers), but zoning nearly led to brain-deadness.

i'm off tomorrow (and every sunday, thank God), so i will hopefully be able to dig into some of the fun stuff from summer conference on here tomorrow.

well, the mavs just lost. 7th game here we come. and can i just say i have loads of respect for michael finley, even if he did leave the mavs for the spurs? the man is phenomenal. mark cuban, on the other hand, is SO weird.

since this blog is, at least from what i can tell, frequented relatively heavily by men, i thought i would ask an advice question about cars. now i know that being male does not make you a car-freak, and that being female does not preclude you from being such a one, but odds are better that you guys know about this stuff. so here's my question: i have a 2001 nissan pathfinder that i love dearly but already as 71000 miles on it. i have the opportunity to get my grandfather's 2002 toyota avalon which has a very very very scanty number of miles wracked up on it. it's dented and scratched something fierce though. so what should i do?

9:47 PM

Work & Basketball

not as catchy a title as "love and basketball," but the latter wouldn't be really be accurate.

so the job i'm doing is technically called "bookseller" at barnes & noble, and i'm focusing on the kids' section. i am EXHAUSTED - napped for 2 hours today when i got home, didn't watch the end of the mavs game because i was too tired (definite sign of exhaustion), and have generally been wiped. but i really enjoy it, despite the fact that there are creepy and gross things scattered throughout. but the kids section is muy fantastico and i know it pretty well and i know the books pretty well and it's exciting. AND they're now paying me $7/hour instead of a mere $6.75. and no, that does not mean i got a raise - they just changed policy in time for me to arrive.

so. despite (or perhaps partially because of) micah's utter disdain for basketball, i thought i would explain things a bit re: me and basketball. so here we go.

i live in a basketball family. my dad played in college (he's a whopping 6'11"); my sister now plays in college (she's a whopping 6'4"); my brother plays in middle school (he's a whopping 5'11 1/2", which isn't bad for a 13 year old). So basically, my mom and i live on a steady diet of basketball. it's a good thing i like to watch it or i would be a family traitor. i actually didn't for a while (long story), and it was bad. anyway, some tastes are acquired and i had no choice but to acquire this one. being the runt of the family - and the non-athletic one, to boot, although i love a good game of volleyball - i must say i am glad because it IS fun and i DO enjoy it on my own and plus, it is good for family morale. so no more picking on me for liking basketball or you answer to the family mafia.

not really mafia. but we grow 'em pretty big, so still be careful.

just kidding. we're not that insecure.

ps - i'm reading God Is the Gospel right now - the new john piper book - and it's mahvelous.

8:56 PM

Basketball, Work, and Other Fun Life-y Sorts of Things

so the mavs had a phenomenal win last night - it was SUCH a last minute thing. it was all exciting and adrenalin-surging and such. it was fun. and now tomorrow night is really important to finishing out the series.

tomorrow i start work. i'm really excited about it. it will be really fun. that said, i am pretty nervous.

i still haven't unpacked hardly at all from the semester. but that's ok, i've gotten a ton of good chill time with mom.

right now i'm watching "the family stone," which is really fascinating. amazing how dreadful people can be to other people.

11:03 PM

a brief bit of rambling

if you looked me over right now, you would never guess me and my pastey-white self had been to florida last week, or that i don't highlight my now very-blonde hair (darn sun will go after my hair but not my skin!), or that i want to live in a small town (at least for a while) but that i love big-city shopping. you wouldn't guess that i bought a long "book-lady" skirt today at old navy or that i took some amazing pictures last week and this weekend. you wouldn't even be able to tell that i do a killer-awesome monkey-face when pressed even just a little. but you would know that i love ruf. that's because i'm wearing the shirt.

8:52 PM


Hello faithful readers!

I have been AWOL. This you know well if you are indeed faithful readers. ;-) The moving thing kinda took over my life, and we don't have wireless internet yet. Then the RUF summer conference herd left and I only got back to home, family, and internet late last night. I'll be posting more very soon about the teaching and all that sort of rot. Right now I'm just trying to recover- I drove 13 hours yesterday and stopped for about 2 in the middle to tour RTS Jackson, which is no longer on the list. Oh, and Covenant Seminary is now on the list. Funny how when all the campus ministers you meet went to Covenant, it changes your perspective.

I love cheesecake and I think work starts on Wednesday.

10:23 PM

are you rundown, tired, listless?

do you poop out at parties? are you unpopular? the answer to all your problems is in this little bottle: vita-meata-vega-min...

i'm a senior, i'm almost totally moved into my apartment, i bought a mattress today, and i am exhausted.

summer conference: T-5 days!

10:13 AM

can you be a christian platonist?

This is a dangerous question because so many people have claimed to be exactly that. I trust that the real issue at hand is whether it is logically consistent to be a Christian Platonist, not whether people have tried very hard or actually pulled it off via compartmentalization. My answer, as a Christian, is no.

In the phrase “Christian Platonist,” “Christian” operates as an adjective, while “Platonist” is a substantive adjective. This means, frankly, that the most significant weight of this phrase is the “Platonist” part. That just won’t work.

Philosophy and religion are both difficult issues, particularly when they meet. In order to have consistency in your beliefs about the world, you have to have some sort of governing principle. You must have a foundation. For a Christian, that foundation should always be the Gospel. Scripture, then, is the final authority since it is the way God speaks to us and the primary way that we know Him. In itself, this is not something we can explain using only reason, and neither is much of what the Bible says. God incarnate? Virgin birth? Resurrection? These things are far from explicable, yet we have it on good authority – divine authority – that they happened. The rationality of Platonism would not accept this.

The Gospel is essential to Christianity, and it is in this particular area that we can examine the problem of Christian Platonists. Paul sums up the Gospel in Romans 5:6-10:

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.”

The basic assumptions here simply are not compatible with Platonism. Here we learn that the equation of Christianity includes the fallenness of man, the sacrificial love of God, and a heroic rescue by Christ from divine wrath. Let us look at these issues point-by-point.

Firstly, Plato’s dialogues assume quite the opposite state of man. Where Christianity pronounces mankind to be sinful and incapable of living a life pleasing to God, Socrates and his compatriots seek the good life, which they believe could be summed up by pursuing philosophy. People are fundamentally capable of using their minds to live the best way possible. But if that were true, then the sacrifice of Christ was ridiculous – people would need to be an example, not a sacrificial lamb. Any attempt to live the good life without Christ, to the Christian way of thinking, would be ultimately fruitless.

Secondly, Plato’s definition of love does not deal in terms that would allow this kind of radical sacrifice for one’s enemies. His stance on love, as displayed in the Symposium, is fundamentally about lack. God does not lack something that would compel Him to love us, but He loves us anyway.

Finally, the stance that the substitutionary atonement assuaged the wrath of God stands preposterous before the ideals of the Platonist. Part of what is required for all of this to work is the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, which Paul in I Corinthians refers to as far from popular among “reasonable” people: “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (I Corinthians 1:22-24)

Ultimately, the issue at hand is brought up by Paul in verse 25: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Christianity requires that we yield to the superior wisdom of God. Plato is not such a fan of submitting to anything but your own reason.

7:10 PM

Happy Happy Joy Joy

i am happy to say that not only is division v (math and science) over, but now my language requirement is done. i'm taking a break from greek for at least a semester.

today was the day we got the key to the condo and started moving in. tomorrow is the big day for moving though - psycho massive amounts of work will be done. i'm kinda pumped.

so far i haven't napped a bit. that's fun. i would have though i should have crashed and burned already... about 2 and a half hours of sleep before a greek exam is not fodder for a happy day, or so i thought. apparently that's not really true. at least not today.

only a little more paper proofing to do and one final (for blasted history of english common law) and then i'm FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

well, so to speak.

4:39 AM


wednesday, may 3 @ 12pm i will be a senior.

that's way soon, man.