9:48 PM

The Other Kind of Bookie...

it's kinda like a "foodie..."

(got this from kari)

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Agatha Christie, hands down. She's so addictive, so relaxing, and she wrote SO much!

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
Pride and Prejudice. And that's AFTER throwing out like 3 copies.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
No. I don't really believe in that rule anymore.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Good heavens, that's hard to pin down. There are so many fabulous heroes.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life?
I'm not sure whether Kay Arthur's Israel, My Beloved wins or Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love - I read both of them multiple times a year for several years in middle and high school.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
I was really into this Zion Chronicles series by Brock and Bodie Thoene back then. Probably my favorite was the first, The Gates of Zion.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
Usually, if I really don't like a book, I quit reading it. The only one that I can remember the name of is Bag of Bones by Stephen King, which I read some of last week and decided I didn't like. I know that is terribly uncool of me to say.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
That is soooooooooooo hard. How about in the past month? That would be Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
I will be nice and choose a fictional work, since those seem to be the most universal. And I'm going to go with The Odyssey - translated by Robert Fagles. And if you absolutely refuse, you can read Howard Pyle's The Story of the Champions of the Round Table. I think we all need a little more in the way of the heroic epic.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?
I have no idea.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Rick Riordian's The Lightning Thief. It'd be a really cool - and not cheesy - way to bring Mt. Olympus into the 21st century. (Yay YA fiction!)

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis. The book (and the others in the series) have an old-school PI hero.... but it's set in ancient Rome. It would be absolutely absurd and not fun at all on film.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I mean, once I dreamed that Jesus was a biker-hippie who rescued me from a kidnapping by throwing grenades at the would-be kidnapper, but He's real... That should count though. He's in lots of books, and it is a REALLY weird dream.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
I think probably The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. Sorry, Lauren Willig...

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
The first time (in high school) The Sound and the Fury was pretty dang hard. I was all kinds of confused. But Faulkner made much more sense in college.

16) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
Oh the Russians.

18) Roth or Updike?
I plead ignorance, since I couldn't make it through The Plot Against America and haven't read any Updike.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Sedaris. But I am basing that off a reading he did on The Late Show.

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Shakespeare for sure.

21) Austen or Eliot?

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Probably that I haven't read the entire LOTR trilogy - and barely made it through the first 60 pages of The Hobbit.

23) What is your favorite novel?
Pride and Prejudice. Although I have to say that

24) Play?
A Midsummer Night's Dream is tied with Henry V.

27) Short story?
"The Fall of the House of Usher."

28) Work of non-fiction?
John Piper's The Pleasures of God.

29) Who is your favorite writer?
Too many... we'll go with the living ones:
Fiction - Deanna Raybourn, Dianne Setterfield, JK Rowling, Jane Yolen
Memoirs, etc. - Lauren Winner
Theology - Elisabeth Elliot, John Currid, John Piper, Paul David Tripp

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
David Baldacci. Good gosh, but The Camel Club was an experiment in hilariously bad fiction.

31) What is your desert island book?
Probably The Pleasures of God.

32) And … what are you reading right now?
The Lightning Thief, Get Married, and the Bible.

Now tagging.... whoever wants to be tagged.

6:02 PM

On Making Decisions

i think it's interesting that we - people in general, not just Christian people - often don't like being told what to do in general. sure, we can usually handle "don't murder" without throwing a hissy fit, but when God presumes to dictate how we spend our sundays or when and with whom we have sex, we feel encroached upon.

yet, despite this, we want to know what we are supposed to do in specific instances - should i go to this concert with a friend or should i go to this other birthday party? should i marry this man? should i take this job offer? sometimes those are moral questions, but more often they are wisdom questions i think - and sometimes they are matters of preference.

i mean, obviously you shouldn't take the job offer if the job description involves swindling people out of their money. but most of our decisions don't look like that. it probably doesn't make much of a difference whether you go to the birthday party or to the concert - just pick one! so many women (and presumably men) are looking for "the One" when instead we should be looking for a certain sort of mate. i'm not advocating marrying someone just because they fit your little check-list, but i also think that the idealized idea of "the One" is poppycock and balderdash.

i think we have this tendency because it is much easier to just be told what to do than it is to become the sort of person who will make those decisions well. i'm not saying we shouldn't wrestle with decisions, or that they aren't hard, but that we should be about the business of growing wise and knowing Christ. the better we know Him, the more we will instinctively as well as thoughtfully know His heart - perhaps you should have gone to that birthday party out of love, because the honoree is having a rough time and you know being there will mean much to him. i still think that it's not a moral decision between good and bad, but that doesn't mean it's an irrelevant decision.

as Christians, we live beyond the law in a way - not that the law isn't important, but that there is much freedom in decisions that are beyond the pale of black and white. paige brown, one of my favorite speakers of all time, says it this way. say you are talking to a friend you haven't seen in a while, and you ask her how her marriage is going. she says, with great self-satisfaction, "great! you know, i haven't had sex with anyone else since we got married! i haven't done drugs, or stolen anything, or killed his mother!" you would look at her very oddly.

and you should. it's a good thing that she hasn't killed her mother-in-law, but the fact that her focus is there shows that something is seriously off with this woman. her obsession with her keeping of the law is depriving her of LIFE.

we aren't so different, i think.

11:37 PM

Spring Break

i've been in dallas since last sunday, and i'm flying back to north carolina tomorrow. it is really nice out here - not even a little bit cold, but not unreasonably hot. it's amazing. i love it. i've been hanging out with my brother and my parents, seeing friends, getting ahead on homework, eating frozen grapes. it's been lovely.

i had surgery on friday, which has made yesterday and today weird. i am really glad to have been home - REALLY glad. hopefully this will take care of a ton of my medical problems from the last year. i am so relieved. i just hope the rest of my recovery is easier than the first 36 or whatever hours have been.

i love frozen grapes.

my brother rented me six movies to watch while recuperating - most of them are decidedly children's films, like bolt and horton hears a who. (both of those were fabulous, btw.) he has been looking after me too, not just my parents. it is nice to be cared for when you feel awful and are kinda helpless and a mess.

1:22 AM


i have been known to forget my toothbrush on occasion. for example, almost every time i spent the night at someone's house growing up. in fact, when i went to college and had my first "hall meeting," our RA had us bring our favorite things from home. i brought my bible and my toothbrush, and announced how incredibly glad i was that i had remembered that toothbrush this time i left home.

i flew home to dallas for spring break on sunday and - you guessed it - forgot my toothbrush. my ever-resourceful mother found a fresh one, still packaged, lying around the house somewhere, and now i am using it. apparently it makes my teeth very white (yay!).

that said, it is really strange. there's this bumpy thing on the back of the brush part that rubs against your gums and the inside of your cheek and all that and it feels very weird. invigorating, i suppose, but who needs the inside of their teeth invigorated?

what i'm trying to say is that i have no clue what this thing is supposed to do. i tried scrubbing my tongue with it this morning - it's definitely not intended for that. i mean, it's squeaky! what is the deal?!?

1:55 PM

Pet Peeve

i wish people would stop talking about how nestor carbonell (who plays richard alpert on LOST) is wearing eyeliner. HE'S NOT. HE JUST LOOKS LIKE THAT.

that is all.

8:11 PM

Wanna Know What I've Been Pondering?

you have to click the picture to see the whole thing... but if you're a LOSTie and haven't seen this week's episode, this might count as a spoiler.... not the part you can see right now, but the whole picture.

7:03 PM

Shoe Binge

i have large feet - size 11, which is not an easy size to find. (it's not as hard as 12s though, not by a long shot. of course, that is what my mom and sister wear.) once i got to this size, the options were limited - crazy lime-green-with-rhinestones sandals (hello, i'm like 13!) and old lady shoes for the most part. i had to buy men's tennis shoes. you get the idea.

there was one place that wasn't SO bad in the mall, and a DSW that i got to where i could look down an entire aisle for the yellow "11" sticker and figure out whether it was worth it to even look. but it was pretty hit or miss.

then this beautiful and amazing thing happened to dallas. we got a nordstrom.

nordstrom is known for (1) excellent customer service and (2) carrying really bizarre shoe sizes, not just 6s-10s. and lemme tell you, they brought both in a major way. MAJOR.

their shoes are fantastic. i love them. and it seems that wherever they plant their roots, other stores in the area start broadening the sizes they carry - not as much as nordstrom, where you can get a 13 in women's shoes sometimes! it's like suddenly someone realized, gee, there's this huge untapped market, especially as women are getting taller.

all this is an introduction/excuse for my shoe binge. :-D nordstrom was having a sale. what can i say? and i ordered a couple of other pairs from zappos (one works and i love it; one doesn't) on account of all the weddings, etc. on my horizon. the thing is, i wear through shoes a lot - i get a few pairs that i wear all the time, and 3 years later (max) they are dead as doornails - either the heel breaks or the cushion stops cushioning or the bow starts looking like antennae.... you get the idea. the point is, i wear my shoes OUT.

so here are my recent conquests purchases.

i had to chuck my brown flats last fall because i kept slipping in them. and now that my beloved but very worn cheetah print shoes are getting close to the end of their lives, i really needed something brown. so i got these:

these are just fun and comfortable, and they cost less than $30! "what can you possibly wear hot pink shoes with?" you ask? EVERYTHING. except red.

These are the zappos shoes. They are BCBGirls and they are really comfortable and really fun and I want to wear them with a black dress to a friend's wedding - you know, channel a little Angelina.
These are my new favorites. They are ADORABLE and fun and by Linea Paolo, one of my favorite shoe lines. (Only Nordstrom carries LP.) Again, I think they will go with pretty much everything I own (except navy). I expect to get a lot of wear out of these babies. And you probably can't tell this from the picture, but that black-and-tan patch definitely sparkles.

10:24 PM

One-Two Punch: Presuppositional Apologetics = Awesome

i am taking the exam for my one-week apologetics january class tomorrow afternoon i hope. i figured that writing the promised post on the presuppositional approach to apologetics would help me distill the essentials of what we learned, prepare me to write about it tomorrow, and fulfill that promise.

rather than spend a great deal of time explaining why other methods and philosophies of apologetics are insufficient at best, i will be jumping straight into an explanation of the presuppositional system itself. this is due to two factors: 1) i am not wanting this post to be longer than methuselah's beard, and 2) this is the most important stuff for the test tomorrow. i will be happy to field questions or explain further in future posts.

cornelius van til is, from a formal standpoint, the father of presuppositionalism (though i agree with a number of other reformed folks in thinking that the methodology has been around for ages and was used by everyone from moses to paul in writing the Scriptures). so hats off to dr. van til, who i liked a lot way before i learned all this stuff. now i can't wait to meet him.

as best i can tell, presuppositional apologetics is rooted in the idea that a worldview can't break the law of non-contradiction and still be valid. therefore, in order for us to claim Scripture as our final authority, we have to base our deepest level argument on.... Scripture! van til is innovative in that he realizes that circular arguments are necessary for absolute authorities. suppose i were to say to frank, "how do you know that the Bible is true?" and he were to respond, "well, lauren, there's all this manuscript evidence for the authenticity of the books we have now..." and go on to reference everything from the testimony of eyewitnesses to the number of manuscripts we have of homer. in saying all this, frank is making good sense. however, if that truly, fundamentally is the reason that frank believes the Bible to be true, then frank's highest authority is not the Bible; it is the evidence. circular reasoning is essential for ultimate authority arguments to be at all consistent and coherent.

and so we come to the transcendental argument, which is a beautiful thing imho. my professor, the excellent michael j. kruger, is pretty much obsessed with triangles and lines. especially triangles. so imagine with me a triangle. each corner is labeled (lucky us!): (a) evidence, (b) experience, and (c) ultimate authority. these three comprise a person's worldview. the one-two punch works this way: there are two triangles - one of them representing our worldview, the other representing our friend's. here we have an offensive and a defensive approach - first we go after their worldview, showing the inconsistencies in each of the three areas - evidence, experience, and ultimate authority. then, having demonstrated the insufficiency of their explanation of the world, we present positive arguments for our position in those same three areas.

[this is not at all to suggest that testimony about what God has done in your life or evidential argumentation are bad; in fact, their use is encouraged. but unless your worldview is sitting on the firm foundation of Scripture, the integrity of your position is compromised.]

one of my favorite things about all this is the way that it accounts for all sorts of pagans being right or doing good things. this is what we like to call "borrowed capital" - these pagans are thinking christianly, at least in this area right now. it's not surprising, really, particularly given the knowledge-suppression described in romans 1. dr. kruger had a very helpful illustration of this: say you are in a friend's backyard pool playing volleyball with your pals. then all of the sudden, after a play, the ball disappears. everyone is looking around at everyone else, wondering who has it. midge has stolen it and is now trying to sit on it and maintain decent balance. she isn't doing a very good job, and pretty soon the ball springs up to the surface of the water. midge has been supressing the ball under her, but she can't keep it up for long. similarly, non-Christian hearts and minds seek to supress the knowledge of God, but they can't do it consistently. it sneaks out, in their belief in the laws of logic, in their kindness to an elderly stranger at the supermarket, in their desire to care for their children well. this is the volleyball springing up, the knowledge of God manifesting in their lives. in such matters, whatever they may be, men and women are presupposing God, even if it is wayyyyyyyyyyy down deep in their logic and they aren't aware of it. no non-Christian worldview can account for any such behaviors.

the goal of all of this is twofold - to call people to repentance and new life, and to silence those who persist in rebellion against God. this is not at all to be a vendetta, and ripping people apart is the antithesis of what we are called to. but it is not compassionate to leave a sleeping neighbor in a burning house. to show the dangers and the way out of them to freedom in Christ is all kindness.