Thursday, September 30, 2004


Does anyone want to know why I have been gone so long? Well then...

Answer 1.
Fire Breathers
Jeremy VanGelder

The Fire Breathers were people who could not discuss issues. They simply inflamed people with their napalm-like rhetoric. There were many noble people on both sides of the conflict, but they were often out maneuvered by the extremists on either side. Revolutionaries in the North and Reactionaries in the South left little room for Reformational thought.

At first glance the extremists on both sides seem polar opposites. But on closer inspection the differences begin to fade. The Revolutionaries did try to preserve the One for number One, while the Reactionaries tried to break the One into its individual components so that number One could be himself. However, both the Revolutionary and the Reactionary ended up focusing on number One. This is evidenced by the Revolutionaries’ desire to continue their ideas at the expense of human lives. The Reactionaries proved this by their disagreeable diversity and bickering among themselves. So the fire breathers from both North and South committed the same sin, placing Man before God.

Luckily, there is an alternative to the fallacy of both Right and Left, the Reformational way. This approach recognizes that there is an objective and absolute Authority who has established immutable ethics. This way chooses mediatory and restitutive justice. And it looks forward to a covenant community continuing to the end of the world and beyond. This road goes between the pits of Revolution and Reaction. Follow the Narrow Way.

Answer 2:
The Boys of ‘61
Jeremy VanGelder

This book is an eyewitness account of the doings of the Union Army and Navy. Somehow or other the author was able to be at almost all of the big battles and main events. If the introduction is to be believed, he also gave the war a personal perspective with scenes from hospitals, camp, etc. The author additionally, “endeavors to give the truth of history rather than the romance; facts instead of philosophy; to make real the scenes of the mighty struggle through which we have passed.” No, this is not Dr. Grant’s moral philosophy, but if the facts were not recorded, the creation of a moral philosophy could not be achieved. So, as I read this book I will read it with Coffin’s (the author) statement in mind. Did he achieve in stating facts, and making the situations look real? Or did he relapse into sentimentalism? Looks like I need to read this book if I want to know.

And answer three should come in a few days.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Yesterday we went to the T's to help them build a barn. Digging post holes four feet deep by one foot wide is not the most comfortable thing you can do. Imagine an exercise where you are supposed to touch your toes, pull apart the handles of the post hole digger, pull the p-h digger out, and then repeat many, many times. Then you have to do the same thing with a 20 pound bar. This exercise supposedly strengthens the lower back but it mainly just makes you sore everywhere. However, I did survive, so I can't complain to much.