Wednesday, August 30, 2006

ABD {spit!}

Tomorrow at 9:01PM, I will officially be ABD {spit!} which stands for All But Dissertation {spit!} because at exactly that time, my pre-doctoral internship will be complete and the only thing that will stand between me and a firm handshake from the president of the university and a colorful velvet hood will be the completion of my dissertation. I swore that I would spend no time at all as an ABD {spit!} but, 'twas not to be. Technically, I have something like 6 years to complete it, but I would have to retake comprehensive exams {wretch!} if I let it go for even a couple of years. Here is the revised prediction: I'll graduate (again) May, 2007. God help me!

Classic Rock Test


The Veteran

You scored 88%!

You've picked up the majority of the classic rock basics. You probably have a classic rock collection and can sing along with most of the songs on your local radio station.

This is not the highest score, but it is arguably the best: that subtle combination of impressive knowledge and not being a pretentious geek.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on notes

Link: The BASIC classic rock Test written by allmydays on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Te Deum

Check out Sean's post on the Te Deum as the quintessential hymn of the Church.

I spent Lent this year chanting this hymn every day to memorize it, only to find out that Lent is the only time when the church doesn't use this hymn.

One of the reasons that I wanted to memorize this hymn is that I want it to be so ingrained in my brain that when whatever neurological disease catches up with me and I loose my mental abilities, I will automatically (and continually) chant the Te Deum and annoy the nurses at the 'facility'.  I've seen people fixated on the post office or some snippet of their work 40 years ago. I want my fixation and obsession to be this hymn. My God grant me this favor.

Hear what I'm saying...I don't want to be stuck in 'vain repetition' for the credit it will bring me with God (because it won't), nor do I particularly like the idea of not being able to reason and discuss Christ consciously with others. But, If my brain goes and all I can retain is one thing, let it be this terse summary of what Christ has done for us.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


My biggest concerns with the TNIV (to answer a comment to the previous post) are when the change to gender neutrality has Christological implications:

TNIV: For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a human being.

TNIV: he protects all their bones, not one of them will be broken.

New Job

Horrah! I have been offered and accepted an adjunct faculty position at a nearby Christian college teaching undergraduate business statistics and assisting with the students' bachelors theses.

I received my teaching supplies yesterday and along with the stats and questionnaire research books I received a copy of the Bible, nicely bound in "Italian duo-tone" with the college's logo embossed in the lower-right. Rather beautiful actually.



I think this is pretty telling about the character of the college, actually. Clearly they love the
scriptues. That they would give a copy to an adjunct professor of statistics is evidence of that. They obviously think of themselves as Bible-based, and based on the translation they want the Bible to be accessable to everyone. This is an attempt to put it in the best possible light.

But what's up with the weak translation? I think the accessibility arguement is inappropriate for a college setting. I think at the college level, people should be expected to have a fairly high comprehension level and be able to discern nuance, which is considerably flattened in a translation like TNIV. Not that I would have the college logo embossed on copies of the Greek New Testament to hand out as gifts, well...maybe I would.

Ad Fontes!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lutheran Sculpture Competition

I've thought for a while that it would be great to have a garden statue of Dr. Luther and his Katie in my back yard. There are a number of great full-size Luther statues, for example the statue at Our Savior in Houston of Luther clutching Exsurge Domine, but I can find no garden size statues of Herr Doktor.

You see, I have two perfect spots for a garden statuary, but my choices at present are St. Fiacre, St. Francis, the BVM, St. Joseph, or a goose.

So in the tradition of the great competition between Brunelleschi and Ghiberti for the doors of the Baptistery at Florence 1401, let us hold a competition between Lutheran artists for the best garden statue of Luther and Katie.

I will acknowledge that garden statues are probably not the zenith of a sculptors ambition but there is a long history in the arts of making popular pieces to pay for the artists higher ambitions. The artists would retain the rights to sell all entries, but would have to promise to make them available for purchase by the common man, whether by producing them themselves, or selling latex molds of the creations for reproduction by someone else.

So here's the proposal, would anyone like to sponsor such a competition so that there is an actual prize for the winner? Are there any Lutheran sculptors would would like to take up the challenge?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Questionable Validity

You know an online quiz has questionable validity when a recent Lutheran (me) scores more like Luther on a quiz of eucharistic belief than a couple seminarians.

I scored 100% Martin, 13% Catholic, 0% Calvin, 0% Zwingli, 0% Unitarian

So, either I'm doing a great job of catechizing myself or the test is a bit flawed. I'm going with the latter.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Captain Obvious is a research psychologist

Sometimes, studies are conducted to demonstrates what is intuitively obvious to everyone else, on the off chance that lay perception is incorrect, which has certainly happened in the past.
On PsycPORT today, we have two amazing examples.

Teens who watch TV wrestling more violent

Sexual lyrics prompt teens to have sex, study finds

Yes, steeping your brain in violence and sex does indeed have real-life consequences.

And, no, your 12-year-old doesn't just listen to the beat and ignore the lyrics, despite what he or she protests to the contrary. Hey, I think I should do a study to prove that. Hate mail from the prepubescent crowd would be fun.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Metallica and Mark 9

Metallica's song One is a first-person narriative of a person who has been mutilated in a land-mine explosion. He has lost sight, hearing, speech and all of his limbs. He is conscious of pain and darkness, a living hell. It occurs to me that this is exactly what I would look like if I took Mark 9:43-47 literally. Oh, I'd probably have to start with a Galatians 5:12. But then, this wouldn't really get rid of the sin from my heart, which Christ has said is sin indeed (Matthew 5). So, maybe an orbital-frontal lobotomy would also be in order. Probably not radical enough. I think I'd have to aim for a 'persistant vegetative state.'

Christ could sure preach the law. Mark 9:43-47 is a stark passage that reminds me how really awful sin is in God's sight.