Quiet Week

It stopped raining as often, and the temperature dropped below freezing. The canals are frozen, thick enough to hold ducks, but probably not ice skaters yet. I bet those ducks are sorry they didn't go south for the winter. If you think ducks walk funny on average, you should see them when they're really, really cold. Oh man, it almost makes the bitter weather worth it, just to see those guys try to waddle all scrunched-up like that.

So... beside the duck thing, not much is going on. Earlier in the week I attended another SID lecture in a series on Religion and International Relations (& Development). If you're interested in the topic, you can read several of the lectures here (scroll down).

David Lynch (yes, really) stopped by the university the other day, but it was only to evangelize for TM.

You can read about some of the historical background to my short paper in an article I would have entitled "The Anti-Revolution Betrayed."

Recently posted articles on Kuyper, Science, and Design by R.vanWoudenberg (thanks to Steve Bishop). You may also be interested in Macht's 101 posts about Intelligent Design. Good stuff.


De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum

I'm not quite myself yet, but feeling much improved. Oddly enough, I can tell how recovered I am from the taste of my tobacco. Experienced RYO-ers will understand.

Anyway, in this January term I'm working on a short paper. See my academic blog for details. Also, there are updates at The Kuyperian. Check it out and pass it on.

Fellow Covenant College alums should check out the new association page.

And in other news, the Russians finally agree to return precious books that the Soviets stole from the Hungarian Reformed (Calvinist) Church. Since the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991, the Hungarian people have struggled to recover their Magyari culture and Reformed religious heritage.


In A Fever Dream

Tuesday evening I began to feel ill. "Here it comes," I thought, "I just hope it doesn't last more than a few days." For some reason, I'd been expecting to get sick for a month now. I tend to have a brief cold at some point each winter. But I've been taking my vitamins, so I almost supposed that I might escape it. But no. Last night it laid me out.

I was in bed for a long time. Half asleep in a sort of stuffy-headed delirium, I had an inexplicable feeling of light-heartedness and simultaneous profundity. I can't quite explain (it wasn't the same as the flashes of euphoria one gets with certain sicknesses). But it came to me as a realization that I've been taking some things too seriously, and other things not seriously enough. For instance, I might be undone by someone's unfriendliness; or I might lose sight of the bigger picture concerning my work here. The first, I should take less seriously; the second more seriously. It was a moment of insight and re-prioritizing, and I'm thankful for it. Having taken it to heart, I will, in the Lord's mercy, bear up under this minor affliction.


Where Two Or Three Have Gathered

This weekend I attended the annual study conference of The Association for Reformational Philosophy. I arrived a bit late due to re-directed trains, but eventually met up with my colleague, Karel, and caught the last bit of Dr. Schuurman's address and attended two workshops. That evening in Amersfoort I crashed a gathering for the Christian Union Party Youth at Café Seven. And later, was hosted by Johann & Lizette for a wonderful curried potpie dinner. I stayed the night, and Johann graciously passed on to me the "wandering guitar," an ownerless Juan Salvador modelo2 which, after countless stewards, found its way to him some time ago, and which I promised to pass on before leaving the Netherlands.

This afternoon Karel and I met with Sander to discuss the formation of a Kuyper Society at the Free University for the propagation of a Calvinist worldview and interdisciplinary co-operation among students and scholars. We are quite encouraged by each others zeal, and yet are keenly aware that the task is too great for any of us. Thankfully, the battle is not ours to win.

In other news, I've really been enjoying Pandora. Listen here to "Baus Cool Jazz Radio" and tell me how you like it.


The Return

After today's second semester agenda meeting I went out with a few friends to the Tropen Museum. They have an intimate theater, and although I had seen it a year or two ago, we watched the Russian film Vozvrashcheniye. Amazing scenery, solid acting.

On the way home I walked by the Alto Jazz Café, and remembered that someone had recommended it to me. The house band was trying too hard to look hip, and not succeeding.

Anyway, I ended up meeting Phil Leavitt and his girlfriend Genevieve among the audience at the bar. Turns out Phil is the drummer for dada and Butterfly Jones. They were very kind and let me chat them up for a while. I didn't realize til later that I've been somewhat missing familiar American conversation.


This Is A Test...

this is an audio post - click to play
this is an mp3 sound file

[the first half paragraph of chapter 8 of Herman Dooyeweerd's In The Twilight Of Western Thought, revised edition p.119]
What Is Man?
The Crisis of Western Civilization

The question, "What is man?" occupies a central place in contemporary European thinking. This question is certainly not new. After every period in the history of Western thought wherein all interest was concentrated upon the knowledge of the outer world, i.e. the immense universe, man began to feel unsatisfied. In this situation human reflection always turns again to the central riddle of man's own existence. As soon as this riddle begins to puzzle human thought, it seems as if the external world recedes from the focus of interest. In one of his splendid dialogues, Plato pictures his master, Socrates, as a man obsessed with but one aim in his search for wisdom, namely, to know himself.

It's a bit rough, I think. But guess how I did it. Skype! That's right, I computer-phoned-in my test audiopost. I got inspired by the podcast on my new favorite devotional site, Klingon Word.

Believe it or not, the site is devoted to reflections on Holy Scripture, through the lens of the Klingon Language Version of the World English Bible. On top of that, the commentator seems to be a Catholic layman, but it's really good stuff.


Back In The Stacks

Time spent with The Republic's "Emissary of Swing," Cork's own "Saxophonist Supreme," Gary Baus, was excellent. I was able to witness his performance with almost every one of his numerous acts. Thanks to all the tenants of House Hawthorne and friends. Hope to see you all again sooner than later.

I was also introduced to the music of OX, whom my brother toured with a while back. Enjoying their latest.

The Reformational Philosophy Club has its next meeting this Monday. I hope we can keep up the momentum.

I recently acquired various books on/by Vollenhoven: 1, 2, 3. And I'm quite ready to dive back into the studies. I recall the sentiment of a fellow student who commented that sometimes too little study is also wearisome*.

Dear friends, thanks for all your continued prayer and support. Thanks for the socks. Thanks for the cookies. It's good to have such friends.