What Does The Fall Of Man...
have to do with the splitting of the atom?

This week I had a drink at East Of Eden, a Genesis 4:16 - John Steinbeck - James Dean inspired bar near the Tropics Museum. I met a friend of a friend of a friend who works at AMOLF, a research institute for atomic and molecular physics. She's a British Christian who has a strong intuition that, as a whole person, "leaving her faith out of her science" just doesn't make sense. I'm hoping to find adequate Reformational Physics references to recommend.

Fellow Kuyperian, Sander Chan, had me over to his exquisite apartment near the Rembrandt House, also near the little pub in the photo. We watched a "Thai-Western" film: Tears of the Black Tiger. Hilarious. If you can find a copy, watch it. This morning we had breakfast at the end of his block, across from the Amsterdam School of the Arts, Theatre Academy. Coffee at a Cafe on a Saturday morning in the city is so much more vivifying than in ones own lifeless apartment.

addendum: I forgot to mention among everything else under the sun that Sander and I discussed related to Christian Worldview, we talked about nuclear power plants. "I don't see any problem with nuclear power," I said. "Uh... how about a 100,000 year waste management project? I don't see how that is Christianly responsible," Sander replied. So, I'm seriously reconsidering my view on that. Any thoughts?

If you're having trouble reaching me, my internet connection is intermittent recently.


Thesis... And Everything Else

Unfortunately, I've come down with a slight cold again. I'm praying this won't slow me down too much, since I already feel behind schedule.

I'm in full swing with the thesis. At this point it will involve a comparison of the views of Bernard Lonergan and Herman Dooyeweerd concerning "self-understanding." More on that to come, as it's my bread&butter til August. There are many interesting parallels between these two philosophers. Working at the same time, though never directly interacting, they both tried to develop "transcendental-empirical" approaches to knowledge (that is, concerning the necessary conditions for knowledge related to concrete experience) informed by their respective religious convictions. Lonergan was a Jesuit Neothomist, Dooyeweerd a Reformed Neocalvinist. It will make for a very interesting thesis, if I can do it justice.

I recently had the opportunity to visit Rotterdam, Utrecht (shown above), and some other nearby cities. I really enjoyed Utrecht and plan to visit again soon, particularly when my lifelong friend, Keenan, comes to visit in April.

Gearing up for the Reformational Philosophy Club's fourth meeting this Tuesday, it should be a good one. We'll be at deBalie, since vE90 was booked-up that night.

Happy First Birthday to my niece, Lillian.

Happy (belated) St. Patrick's Day to my brother, Gary, and all our Irish and Celtophile friends out there.


The Master Cleanser
a meditation for Unlent

Last month I was washing the dishes after dinner when I heard a knock at the door. I answered it, and there stood my upstairs neighbor, Nick, with his arms full of vegetables and half a block of plastic-wrapped tofu.

"You want these?" he asked.
"Sure," I said "you leaving town for a while?"
"Nope... The Master Cleanser," he said.

I first heard of this detoxification diet some time ago when an old friend told me about it. It became a popular craze in the 70's, especially among newagey types. You might be familiar with some version of it under the name "Lemonade Diet." The basic idea of detoxing is to fast and to only drink certain liquids that will aid your body in flushing out the toxins that it normally stores. There are hundreds of these diets. You can even go on professionally organized detox retreats.

I don't know if such things have been shown to improve health or not. Maybe one day I'll start to feel unhealthy, and look into it. For now, I have to confess that I'm in miraculously good shape for a 33 year old non-exercising, bacon-loving, scotch-drinking, smoker. And, you know, every once in a while a neighbor gives me a carrot and some tofu. So I feel pretty good about my toxin levels.

But chemical toxins aren't the only sort that threaten us mortal beings. There are powerful psychological toxins, for instance. These are much harder to get rid of than chemical ones, but there are self-help books for various emotional toxins too.

The Bible speaks of sin as a kind of toxin, a dark defiling agent that enslaves and kills, worse than any other poisonous addiction. But the Bible is no self-help book. In fact it tells us there's no diet, no methodology, no cure that we can apply ourselves to make us whole, clean, or alive again. We're in dire need of a cleanser that reaches to the depths of our being, but only the Master Himself can apply it to us.

The really interesting thing about this true Master Cleanser is that the cleansing agent He applies to us is... Himself. And once He washes us in Himself, we are definitively cleansed. No matter how much uncleanness we step into or consume, while we have Him (or rather, while He has us) we still remain ultimately clean. And we are miraculously made cleaner and more clean in His continual application of Himself to us by His Spirit, especially in His Word and Sacrament.

Diets can be terribly hard (or, so I've heard). Dieters tell me it's helpful when you diet with others. But with all the self-help material out there, rightly encouraging us to take responsibility for our lives together, the hardest thing might be to admit that we can't help ourselves, or each other, when it comes to ultimately getting rid of sin. Only the Master can eliminate that toxin along with it's deadly effects and addictive power. Thankfully, He is indeed the Master, and His cleansing is irresistible, irreversible, and reaches to the core and totality of our being and community. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!


100% Ash-Free Calvinist

It's that time of year again folks. One of my favorite annual feasts: Unlent. During this time of year we try very hard to practice moderation in moderation. We're extra careful not to give up anything, and to add extra goodies... all for Jesus, of course.

I mean, if you're Lutheran or Anglican or run-of-the-mill cafeteria-gelical... whatever, sure. But professing Presbyterians that observe ecclesiastical calendars, especially ones who have abandoned the Lord's Day as a new covenant sabbath, well, they should just "go the whole way" as some squeamish translators would have Paul say.

Anyway, it's a full-on thunder and lightning snow blizzard right now, and I'm feeling a little energized. Can ya tell?