Baus In Berlin

Here are a few photos of me from Easter weekend (click to enlarge). You'll notice it was still a bit cold there.

In this first one I'm at the Schiller monument. I liked this guy behind me at the base more than the statue of Schiller himself. He seems so thoughtful, like maybe he's thinking about how Bernard Lonergan and Herman Dooyeweerd compare on the topic of knowing the Self. Or maybe he's just wondering where he can buy some cigarettes.

Next I'm at the Huguenot Church in Berlin. There were a bunch of people sitting around on either side at cafe tables when I stopped in my tracks and started shouting for Paula to get the camera. My friends asked what was the big deal. I said, "this is Calvin!" And all the people drinking coffee started whispering to each other, as though they were discussing among themselves who in the world Calvin might be and why this American tourist was so excited to be photographed with a plaque of him.

This is at Checkpoint Charlie. Facing east I presume.

This is Hannah Arendt Street, near the stunning Holocaust Memorial, a massive field of granite monoliths.

Here I'm gazing at a bit of the old wall displayed at Potsdamer Platz.

Here I'm fantasizing about the quaint life I never had as an U-bahn kioskman.

This gorgeous Kruezberg district Italian and Arab owned joint was a serendipitous find.

Here I'm at an autobahn exit with a sign to Hannover, the halfway point.

And yes, I did smile during this trip. Quite a bit. Just not in any photos. Sorry.


Easter In Berlin

Three friends, Marthe, Heleen, and Paula, invited me along to Berlin for the weekend. Marthe arranged a ride Friday afternoon from Amsterdam to just south of Berlin, then we hitched into the city and met Heleen and Paula at the Brandenburg Gate around midnight. The hostel at which we hoped to stay was booked up, so we found accommodations elsewhere, but we got in for our final evening and loved it.

If you're ever in Berlin, the Circus at Rosa-Luxemburg Platz is excellent. It's a classy and mature atmosphere. Large, clean, comfortable rooms with a good cafe downstairs. Only 18euro a night. Marthe abandoned us for some other adventure on the second evening, but she footed my entire bill anyway (since I had initially said I couldn't afford to go with).

With Heleen as our guide, we wandered about and saw major landmarks; Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag, Potsdamer Platz, etc. I particularly liked the Gendarmenmarkt. (When I get the pictures, I'll post them). I brought my books and did some studying. We even went bowling! One can hardly beat German beer and a game of 10-pins for a good time. I relished the goulash soup, and finally had a decent schnitzel. I didn't get my fill of spaetzle, I'm afraid to say.

We met some very nice people at the hostel and stayed up til early Monday morning playing cards, and billiards, and chatting. Monday early evening Paula and I went out to a gas station in the southwest of Berlin near the autobahn and started thumbing it. We made a sign, and smiled enthusiastically (tips here). Eventually, we were on the road.

We had four rides and it took us 12 hours to get back to Amsterdam. Much thanks to Mike the naturopath, Michel the military helicopter pilot, Gregoire the civil engineering student, and the last gentleman who took us the farthest when our spirits were lowest and whose name I was too exhausted to even ask. You all made my first European hitchhicking experience a blast. And thanks to dear Paula, whose charm and German skills made things go smoothly.


MP3s Blossoming

Though not here in the Netherlands I'm afraid, the T.U.L.I.P.s are ever in bloom.
URCNA blog Semper Reformanda and Sinners&Saints offer podcasts on the basics of a biblical understanding of salvation.

Or you can cut to the chase, and read up on the L.


Gnostics in Bizzaro World
Irenaeus (and DeMar) on the Gospel of Judas

The Gospel of Judas is actually old news. While a Coptic-language version of this 'gospel,' dated around A.D. 300, was found in the Egyptian desert in 1970, Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, debunks it in one of his writings around A.D. 180.
Like so much would be scholarship today, liberals are a day late and a dollar short.

Read DeMar's full article here.


Mister Pancake's

Josh stopped by on his way back to the U.S. from Iraq. It was great to see him, and it was fun playing tourist. I continued touring when Keenan arrived. We wore ourselves out walking around and stopping in a different bar every two hours or so. We also enjoyed the Van Gogh Museum, and my new favorite restaurant, Meneer Pannekoek ("Mr. Pancake")... the closest thing to a diner this town's got.

Finally found a copy of Dooyeweerd's The Analogical Concepts in English, thanks to Andrea. I toast to you! We may use it for our next Philosophy Club meeting, and I should probably give a copy to the University library for future generations of Anglophone students. I'm continuing with Lonergan thesis readings. I don't have anything pithy to report just yet, but I'm getting a lot out of it.

Updates (mp3 and CD-ROM links) at The Kuyperian.
The last two installments (13 & 14) in Hart & Muether's Turning Points series are posted.

Thank the Lord, (and McDowell) and congratulations to the Emissary of Swing, brother Gary. He received a two year visa and is now a legal resident! Come visit me, Garçon. I'll take you out to Mr. Pancake.