The Cobwebs of My Mind

In the women’s Bible study at our church, our pastor has been teaching through a book about the biblical patriarchs. The discussions about creation, the fall, original sin, the flood, etc., have led to some interesting rabbit trail discussions that have more to do with philosophy and apologetics than perhaps most people would imagine from a group that consists a bunch of women who are mostly middle-class moms. The conversations have started to clear away some of the cobwebs in my head from my days in college when I took a “philosophical” class in Christian apologetics. (I say “philosophical” because the class my husband took in serminary dealt more with evangelism and outreach than with developing philosophical arguments.)

My class in apologetics, now lo, some 20 years ago is one of my favorite academic memories. I went to a Christian college rooted in anabaptist history. My professor for this class was Dr. Randall Basinger. He is quite the scholarly fellow, and he had written some very obviously arminian books and articles. Most of my classmates were also arminians. I had one friend in the class who was a Calvinist, and he and I were always the designated devil’s advocates in almost every discussion. I remember devouring the articles and books that we read for this class and then writing responses to them with great enthusiasm. Even though I disagreed with practically everything my professor said, I always appreciated him because he seemed to value my opinion.

I am thinking about all of this because this Bible study is reminding me of a time when I enjoyed reading thoughtful and somewhat complicated pieces. I also enjoyed interacting with them–picking them apart, trying to wrap my mind around the ideas of really good thinkers. It seems so long ago that I was this person. As time marched on after college, I was not called on to read anything very complex. I think I still would have enjoyed reading philosophy and apologetics, but I didn’t have anyone guiding me to things that would be worthwhile to read. Then, as more years passed, I got busy with marriage and kids, and the idea of reading something more challenging than Goodnight Moon had lost its appeal altogether.

So, now that all these ideas about “the problem of evil” and “God’s sovereignty and man’s freewill,” have come up in discussion, I find myself remembering words like “ontological,” “teleological,” and “supralapserian” and “fideism” (which, by the way,I just had to have Mark remind me how to spell).

So what’s the point of all this? I am not really sure. I am feeling like I might want to jump back into reading some deeper things. Yet I also know that I am busy and I will likely not find much time for such an endeavor. Perhaps I’ll look for a book about apologetics that is written at a more popular than academic level that I can read. Maybe I’ll find some other women who want to read it with me and talk about it. I know I can talk to Mark about anything I would read, but I think it would be more fun to have a group conversation and to hear what others are thinking about what they are reading.

I already have a book in mind–Apologetics to the Glory of God by John Frame. Has anyone read it? What are your thoughts? Will it meet my need to rekindle some of my old philosophical interest?

I guess I am also wondering if I am capable of really thinking again. Has my brain atrophied to the point of no return? I think I’ll work on making this group a reality some time in the near future just to test my brain and maybe learn something.

Leap Pad in the Bathroom

It was a snow day for all the kids today. At one point, I said, “Hey, where’s Evangeline?” I went poking my head around corners looking for her, and I found her in the bathroom with her Leap Pad on her lap. I asked if she was through with the bathroom, and she said “Not yet.” I told her to finish what she went in there for and to come out to play with the Leap Pad.

Now, we all know that kids get ideas for such behavior by watching what the grown-ups in their lives do. Who do you think gave her the idea that taking electronics to the bathroom with you is normal behavior?

It’s #*#*$#! Cold Out

An Explanation of Why I was Unable to Publish my Anual Groundhog Day Post!

So it is 3 days past Ground Hog Day, and I missed it! I didn’t even see Punxsutawney Phil on TV. I had to google him to find out what he said. Here’s Phil’s official prediction from

Phil Says Spring is Right Around the Corner!
Phil’s official forecast as read 2/2/07 at 7:28 a.m. at Gobbler’s Knob:

El Nino has caused high winds, heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the west.
Here in the East with much mild winter weather we have been blessed.

Global warming has caused a great debate.
This mild winter makes it seem just great.

On this Groundhog Day we think of one thing.
Will we have winter or will we have spring?

On Gobbler’s Knob I see no shadow today.
I predict that early spring is on the way.

My Punxsutawny ancestors are certainly dismayed that I am so late to add my 2 cents of commentary to the hooplah that is Groundhog Day. My parents were both born in Punxsutawney, and I grew up about 20 miles north of there. For the last several years, I have posted some homage to the great rodent prognosticator on my blog. But, alas, this year, I was busy.

I was busy moving space heaters from place to place in my house to fend off the cold. Why, you might wonder was such an exercise necessary? Our furnace broke on Friday. On what was one of the coldest days of the winter so far. (Although today is probably colder.) We have a great house, but the circuits are easily thrown. So those little space heaters with their major amp-sucking motors can really give our circuit breaker a work out. I was up and down the basement stairs at least 8 times on Friday night and again on Saturday night while I tried to find some place that I could plug in those great little warmth boxes.

Ah, you may be wondering about the husband. Where was he during all this fun? He was in sunny northern California to speak at a church out there. So I held down the fort and the space heaters during his two-day absence. The repairman came out on Friday night, but the furnace required a part that couldn’t be obtained until today. The repairman didn’t make it back until tonight at about 7:30. But, we do finally have heat. I am so thankful that I live in the 21st century where central heat is just expected. It is awful when it is out of service, but losing it made me really appreciate it!