Friday's Quotables (The Irresistible Revolution Edition)

'the best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them away.'

'we have got to unite ourselves as one body. Because Jesus is coming back, and he is coming back for a bride, not a harem.'

'most of the time when I see Christian superstars like Jerry Falwell or Al Sharpton, I feel like I'm watching professional wrestling. There's a lot of shouting and sweating, but the people seem to superhuman, and I'm not convinced all the moves are real.'

'God made us in his image, and we decided to return the favor.'

'live simply that others may simply live.'


Taylor Tragedy

You can read the story here from MSNBC or here from Taylor's site.


For the Kids

A challenge from Sports Illustrated??
"That $20 you just spent on lunch could help wipe out malaria. But it's your call . . ."

Check it out and be motivated here (from a man who is usually just annoying), and then go here.
I've already had a post entitled 'Cutting Down the Nets', so I'm in.

And thanks to several of you for passing along this site:
I would enjoy hearing from those of you who are able to get involved.


One Among Many

"Mr. Matheson,

I won't be able to come to class today. I currently have a migraine, and don't want to risk becoming physically sick by getting out of bed.

I apologize for missing class today."



The Life of Brian

Brian asked me if I knew of any good classic or definitive books on the history of Canada or the U.S.
My knowledge here is extremely lacking, but if any of you have anything to pass on please leave it in the comments.


Friday's Quotables (Simpsons Edition)

Homer: "Start inhalin' Waylon."

Ralph: "When I grow up I want to be a principle, or a catepillar."

Homer: "Silly rabbit, kicks are for ribs."

Homer: "Purple's a fruit."

Lenny: "So then I said to the cop, 'No, you're driving under the influence . . . of being a jerk.'"

Ralph: "Me fail English? That's unpossible."

Homer: "Vampires are make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and Eskimos."

Wiggum: "I hope this taught you kids a lesson: kids never learn."

As always, I anticipate additions, but I have learned not to hold my breath.

Easter Karis

Office Hours

The posts have been sparse lately since students keep coming in to my office hours. How am I supposed to get any blogging done? More soon.

Until then you can brush up on the rules of re-gifting. Especially you Danny!


Friday's Quotables

In honor of National Humor Month these supposed quotes from the courtroom:

Q: "What is your marital status?"
A: "Fair."

Q: "Do you drink when you are on duty?"
A: "I don't drink on duty unless I come to work drunk."

Q: "Are you sexually active?"
A: "No, I just lie there."

Q: "How many autopsies have you performed on dead people?"
A: "All of my autopsies have been on dead people."

Q: "How many times have you committed suicide?"

Q: "How was your first marriage terminated?"
A: "By death."
Q: "And by whose death was it terminated?"

Q: "All of your responses must be oral, O.K.? What school did you go to?"
A: "Oral."

Q: "What is your date of birth?"
A: "July 15."
Q: "What year?"
A: "Every year."


Complacent Slumbers

Kant said of Hume that he awoke him from his dogmatic slumbers.
Thanks to Katie I have recently been undergoing a similar awakening with regard to my Christian convictions. Earlier in the blog Katie recommended Shane Claiborne's book 'The Irresistible Revolution' which Lesley and I have been fighting over at every chance we get to read it.

It is provocative, challenging, and you cannot walk away the same after reading it. He writes on everything from his time with Mother Teresa and at Willow Creek to the war in Iraq, the death penalty, and poverty.

It is particularly challenging to me since Shane urges us not to leave Christianity at a set of beliefs (even though these beliefs are so fun to think about). The challenge can be presented this way: If you surveyed others as to what Christians believe, all in all you would get a fairly decent report. If you surveyed others as to what Christians do, the answers would not be anything like what Jesus would want to hear. This is not good. We have come a long way from 'they will know we are Christians by our love'. Shane's goal is to put a radical face back onto Christianity. If you think that Christianity has been getting too comfortable, this is for you.


Cohen's Paradox

Help me out by letting me know your intuitions regarding the following case.
When is the following sentence truthfully uttered and when is it not:

Joe is on the witness stand at a trial and utters the following:

U: "I state that I have never been a member of the communist party."

Now when is what he says true? Here are some options:
(i) U is true in virtue of Joe saying it.
EVIDENCE: Since U is about what is stated, and Joe is stating what he is reporting himself to be stating, U is true. Compare if Joe said, "Mary states that I have never been a member of the communist party." Joe would be speaking truthfully regarding Mary solely based upon the things that Mary states -- it would have nothing to do with Joe's actual membership of the communist party. Since the sentence about Mary has a similar structure to U, U should be treated in the same way, thus it is true if and only if Joe states it. Since Joe does state it, U is true.

(ii) U is true in virtue of whether or not Joe has ever been a member of the communist party. If he has, then U is false, if he has not, then U is true.
EVIDENCE: The judge would not be happy if he later found out that Joe was merely reporting what he states, not anything about his political memberships. Joe would likely be convicted of perjury if he had been a member of the communist party.

(iii) U is true if and only if Joe states it and he has never been a member of the communist party.
EVIDENCE: Conjoin the evidence for (i) and (ii), both are good, but neither is sufficient.

(iv) U is true if and only if some other reason.
EVIDENCE: You tell me.


Friday's Quotables

"The constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." -- Benjamin Franklin

"There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers." -- William James

"Two kinds of people: the just, who consider themselves sinners, and the sinners, who consider themselves just." -- Blaise Pascal

"If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people?" -- anonymous

"Two things a man cannot hide: that he is drunk, and that he is in love." -- Antiphanes

"Only the shallow know themselves." -- Oscar Wilde

"Too often we . . . enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- J.F.K.


Big Baby Beautiful

Karis is fresh off her 6 month doctors appointment.

Here are the specs:
Height: 27 inches [90th percentile]
Weight: 15 pounds 5.5 ounces [45th percentile]
Head Circumference: 44.25 centimeters [90th percentile]

Here are some pictures of her 6 month celebration (04/05/06)

Packer and Packers

Read about how Billy Packer stands by his claim that George Mason should not have made the NCAA tournamet and how Brett Favre won't come back unless Green Bay can be competitive at the quarterback position here.


The Problem of Evil Remixed

Thought to ponder:
The following is a recounting of a comic strip in The Irresistible Revolution:

'Two guys are talking to each other and one of them says he has a question for God. He wants to ask why God allows all of this poverty and war and suffering to exist in the world. And his friend says, "Well, why don't you ask?" The fellow shakes his head and says that he is scared. When his friend asks why, he mutters, "I'm scared God will aks me the same question."'

Cutting Down the Nets

Congratulations to Rob who takes home the March Madness crown this year narrowly holding off Lesley's late surge. She is attempting to take solace in the Gamecocks back-to-back NIT championships. Cliff gets the consolation prize of most games correctly picked. One does have to wonder what to make of doing well in this year that defied logic merits. I'll leave that to you.

One final basketball comment/question: Does anyone else find it extremely annoying when announcers/coaches use the term 'bigs' as in 'Florida's bigs can really get down the court.' I have never heard that expression as much as this year, and have never noticed it bothering me before, but now I can't imagine any more annoying slang term in sports.


More Rock Star Stuff

I just received my latest journal from Word Made Flesh. It was full of moving articles on brokenness. What a strange but essential Christian virtue.
The journal concluded with an excerpt of Bono's speech at the (US) National Prayer Breakfast this last February. An excerpt of the excerpt:

"'Stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Get involved with what God is doing -- because it's already blessed.' Well, God, as I said, is with the poor. That, I believe is what God is doing. And that is what He is calling us to do."

The whole speech is available here and is worth looking at.


Friday's Quotables (Saturday 'Apology' edition)

Sorry on the delay. I guess I'm using 'apology' equivocally. I recently taught on Plato's Apology, here are some gems from there:

"human wisdom is worth little or nothing."

"to fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not."

"wealth does not bring about excellence, but excellence makes wealth and everything else good for men, both individually and collectively."

"death is something I couldn't care less about, but that my whole concern is not to do anything unjust or impious."

"the unexamined life is not worth living for men."

"it is not difficult to avoid death, gentlemen; it is much more difficult to avoid wickedness, for it runs faster than death."