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Hebrew class is hard.

Posted on : 08-30-2007 | By : Andy | In : fun

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It’s practically as hard as Chef school, as Tyler demonstrates.

Hebrew Class

Using tab in OS X

Posted on : 08-24-2007 | By : Andy | In : tech

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After a few days of frustration with my Mac skipping over drop-down menus in web forms (what’s the reasoning behind that?) I finally found a guy who has the answer. In a post aptly-called Tab Skips Select Form Fields in Mac Browsers, Tony Spencer points out the easy solution. Thanks Tony!

Oh, yeah, he also makes the suggestion on every PC user’s mind: “Pssst– Hey Apple. Make this one default.”

Took the Mac Plunge.

Posted on : 08-19-2007 | By : Andy | In : fun, pop culture, tech

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I feel like I just proposed or something. Honestly, the path to the dark mac side has been a long, soul-searching journey… who am I kidding? I’m a PC guy who just bought a Mac.

Oddly, it wasn’t the OS that sold me on Mac. It was that 1.08-inch-thin profile, 13″ screen, good battery life, fast processor, and Accordance Bible Software–available only on a Mac (according to SvenOnTech.com, “this may be reason enough to move the Mac platform”). But yes, I finally did it. There will be laughter and jubilee in Akron, Ohio tonight. I’ll have to make fun of myself for being a hippie-artsy-type with the trademark white clamshell.

No MBP for me (what would I use it for besides making other people jealous? I’ve got a desktop PC for gaming or processor-intensive tasks), just the bottom-of-the-line MacBook, $999 with my education discount. Tack on a free-after-rebate iPod and free-after-rebate printer (which will be sold after cutting out the UPCs), and I’ll probably end up getting away with a $800-ish new MacBook by the time it’s all said and done. How could you turn that down?

It feels good to finally be done with all the waffling back and forth. NT Greek Exegesis I will be so much easier with software that parses verbs for me…

The greek test results are in!

Posted on : 08-18-2007 | By : Andy | In : random, religion, tech

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So I got the results to my greek test…and lo and behold, I passed! Suprisingly, I did well enough that supposedly they put me in the top tier class of NT Exegesis I. Praise the Lord, this means 1 less class to take, at a savings of about $2400!

The temptation is to spend that money on a new MacBook Pro, right? Unfortunately, it can’t really work that way. Since I didn’t really earn anything, I won’t see a check for $2400, and that money that would have otherwise-been-spent will go to pay for sensible things like rent and food and other tuition. :-(

I am, however, considering a MacBook yet again. The specs are good, the battery life good, noise—good, size: perfect. Unfortunately, I’d probably have to get parallels and run XP on it as well so I can use BibleWorks 7. Has anyone out there run XP in Parallels (or VMWare Fusion) on a Macbook (NOT a MacBook Pro) that could give me any word on performance?

Or, better yet, anyone want to buy me a MacBook Pro? :-D

Update: It seems that Accordance Bible Software for OS X is pretty sweet, and comparable in price (at least for what I’ll be using it for) to BibleWorks. Maybe, just maybe, I won’t need windows after all…

TULIP – Calvinism, and the doctrine of election

Posted on : 08-14-2007 | By : Andy | In : Calvinism / Arminianism, religion, TEDS

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I figure that I’ll certainly be behind some of my classmates entering school this fall, since I have no really formal Biblical training. (Unless you count a high school sunday school class and 18 years of listening to sermons)

So I decided that now was as good a time as any to start getting educated, and since I’ve had a few discussions about Calvinism/Arminianism in the past, I decided to start by reading John Piper’s position paper on the issue. If you aren’t familiar with the topic, [click here for a primer].

Arminianism

came about when a theologian named Jacob Arminius came to reject 5 specific aspects of the broad set of doctrines known in the 1500s as Calvinism (they were largely influenced by the work of John Calvin). When Arminius began to teach in opposition to these parts of Calvinism, his doctrine began to gather weight, and in 1610 a group of Arminianists published Five Articles under the name Remonstrance. As a result, the Calvinists came back with an official response that clearly defined the Five Points of Calvinism in opposition to these Articles.

Calvinism

is based on an overwhelming emphasis on God’s sovereignty, and at its core (from what I now understand of it) states that man really has nothing to do with becoming saved, and that said salvation cannot be lost once it is attained. It’s a very involved theology to get to that point, but the end result is that Calvinists believe in the doctrine of election, which asserts that: 1) God chooses (or “predestines”) all who will be saved, 2) if he chooses you, his Grace overwhelms you to the point where it’s impossible to NOT “choose” Him, and 3) if you’re not chosen, there’s nothing you can do to ever be saved, because you’re a worthless pile of sinning crap, incapable of believing. The five points start with letters that form the acronym TULIP.

This info was take from “TULIP: What We Believe about the Five Points of Calvinism” by The Pastoral Staff of Bethlehem Baptist Church, May 1997.

  • Total depravity
  • Unconditional Election
  • Limited Atonement
  • Irresistable grace
  • Perseverance of the saints

These five points make up the most notorious bit of Calvinism, and are what people generally assume you to believe these days if you call yourself a Calvinist. This is not the whole entirety of what Calvin taught, but certainly the five points that have caused the biggest controversy, and the five that are in contrast to Arminianism.

Now, I am no expert on Arminianism. In fact, I’ve never read Remonstrances (although I hope to do it soon) and I don’t claim to be an Arminianist, because I’d hate to align myself with something that I don’t even know what it says. That being said, I’ve got some disagreements with Calvinism. I’ll be posting my way through the five points—please feel free to comment, and point out my logical fallacies. Please do not throw lots of scholarly references and high-faluting mumbo-jumbo at me, because I’m a simple guy, and I could care less what Saint whoever said 800 years ago unless it can be simply shown to be scriptural—and if it’s scriptural, just point at it in the Bible, and maybe comment that the idea started with said Saint holy-guy so he doesn’t come out of the grave and sue you for stealing his intellectual property.

I’ve got little respect for scholarship for scholarship’s sake alone: if the idea has merit, it shouldn’t have to stand solely on the reputation of some famous guy.

Standard Biblical Content Test

Posted on : 08-03-2007 | By : Andy | In : religion, TEDS

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Such an innocuous title, sounds so easy, right? After all, this is standard content, so most “well-informed” Christians should be able to pass it, no problem-o. (Or so I thought)

The SBCT is something Trinity Evangelical Divinity School does to ensure that incoming Divinity students are up-to-speed enough on the Bible to not flounder their way through their first couple years. The idea: wonderful. The execution: maybe a little sketchy.

In case you’re an incoming Divinity Student at TEDS studying for your SBCT, and want some advice: read the Bible a lot. There’s really no way to cram for this test unless someone gives you all the questions, and I’m not going to do that. The content test focuses not on big, important things, as you might expect, but less-crucial minutiae. For example, you might be expected to know:

What region is [some random city] in?
What is the reationship between [some guy] and [some other guy]?
In what book is [some bible verse] written?
How would you describe [some OT king]?
and, my favorite,
What city/region is [some minor character] from?

Unfortunately, if you’re not good with names, locations, and marginal characters, this test could be a bugger. Thankfully, it’s all multiple-choice, and you get two attempts. While the test is randomly-chosen questions, you do get a bit of overlap, so if you fail the first time, hopefully you’ll know what gaps you have in your Biblical Content Knowledge.

Your studying philosophy should not be “what is crucial to life and doctrine?”, but “where was this guy from? where did this happen? who was he related to? what was his occupation?” I suppose at the end of the day it will certainly weed out anyone who’s not very familiar with the Bible, but unfortunately could weed out a whole lot of people who don’t have a Christian School eduction or a mind for random (often useless) facts.

If you’re going to take this test: good luck! At the worst, you have to end up paying about $600/credit hours for NT and/or OT review courses. $1800 because you didn’t know that one guy was a tentmaker? Yikes!