Friday, November 6, 2009

Book Review: Green

Green by Ted Dekker is the latest edition to the Circle Series. It is intended to serve as both a prequel and a sequel to the original three (Book Zero, as Dekker calls it). It begins after White, the third book, with the Circle fracturing between those who want to fight the Horde again, led by Samuel, Thomas Hunter's son, and those who want to convert, rather than kill, the Horde, led by Thomas Hunter. Meanwhile, Kara Hunter, Thomas' sister, and Monique de Raison deal with a visitor named Billy who can read minds and wants to use Thomas' blood to travel to the time of the Circle.

This book, while entertaining, struggled to know what it was. Was it the prequel or the sequel? Really, I would say it was only a sequel, though it would have been stronger if there was no attempt to make it also a prequel. Too many of the characters and events only have meaning if you have already read the other three. Plus, it gives away the ending of the trilogy, weakening its ability to work as a prequel. Prequels cannot give away this much information and cannot rely too much on the later material. Actually, the connection that makes it a prequel only occurs towards the end and is really strange and confusing, probably only making sense if you had read the earlier books.

Taking the story as a sequel, it was pretty good. I enjoyed reading it. Revisiting old characters and worlds is always fun. This story, however, does not seem to have the strength that the earlier stories had. As with the other stories, it tells in a way a biblical event. For Green, it focuses on a literal understanding of the book of Revelation. Of course there are not exact parallels, or is it as fantastic as the Left Behind series. It does, however, leave you asking what just happened. Also, it ties in the other books related to the Circle Series. I have not read either of the other series: the Lost Books Series and the Paradise Series. The Lost Books seem well merged. I could gather pretty well the important information and I don't know if any of the characters from that series show up, but, if they do, they do well explaining their backgrounds. The Paradise Series, however, is not as well grafted in. Billy is one of the characters from those stories, and I probably would have needed to read those books to understand his character better. Dekker probably avoids trying to give away too much for those who want to read the Paradise Series, but I was lost in understanding Billy. I wonder how much more he would have made sense if I had read those books.

Overall, it is a fun book for those who have already read the Circle Series. It does not, however, work as a prequel. Read Black, Red, and White first then read Green.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Review: It Happened In Italy

It happened in Italy by Elizabeth Bettina tells two stories: the story of the Jews in Italy during World War II and the story of Elizabeth herself as she discovers the story of the Jews, bringing participants together again after many years. The Italians, unlike the Nazis, did not see a need for abusing the Jews they were to detain. Instead, the Jews in Italy were treated with humanity, reflecting the humanity of the Italians, and as a result, many Jews were saved in Italy.

The story was overall a good story. The biggest problem is the book spent too much time discussing Elizabeth Bettina's journey. I would have preferred more about the Jews in Italy. I had the problem of not being as concerned about her story. I wanted to hear the story of the Jews in Italy. While that story is still told, it is split up by Bettina's story. The story of the Jews is still a moving story. Many stories about the Jews show the inhumanity of their captors. This has led to the view that all of our enemies during World War II were pure evil. The story is more complicated than that. In Italy at least, the Jews were treated with civility, and many lives were saved. Humanity corrupted by sin is a complex thing, capable of extreme acts of evil and of good.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A New Beginning

Tomorrow, I start my seminary career. A new step in my life. It feels really weird to think that I am attending seminary. I am taking:

Biblical Interpretation

Old Testament Theology

Greek Exegesis Practicum

Patristics and Medieval Theology

Spiritual Formations

This should be a good semester. It also means that my translation of Dionysius Thrax might be spaced out a little more. I will try my best to keep it pretty regular. On the plus side, I get to buy 14 books. I always like buying books.

Concerning Rhapsody


Rhapsody is a part of a poem encompassing some subject. And the rhapsody has been said as if it is some staff-song (rhabdody), because men who went around with the bay-wood staff sang the poems of Homer.

[Greek Text]


  • That section was difficult, especially the last sentence. This section is about the rhapsody which is a section of a poem about a particular subject. Think of the different segments of the Iliad and the Odyssey that are often viewed on their own.
  • The second sentence, I believe, is either an explanation of what Dionysius thinks to be the etymology of rhapsody or an explanation of rhabdody, which maybe a common misspelling of rhapsody.
    • The "because" clause gave me the hardest trouble. Here is the original Greek: ἀπὸ τοῦ δαφνίνῃ ῥάβδῳ περιερχομένους ᾄδειν τὰ Ὁμήρου ποιήματα. First, I had no idea what the object of the preposition was. Then, I also was struggling to find how the infinitive fit into the sentence. I knew that τὰ Ὁμήρου ποιήματα was the object of ᾄδειν and that περιερχομένους was the subject. What I did not know was the infinitive can be used with any prepositions (a little searching through Smyth helped there). Because of my NT background, I thought that infinitives went only with ἐν, μετά, διά, εἰς, πρός, πρό, and that was about it (those were the ones mentioned in Mounce). It is always good to learn one's ignorance. I also decided to translate the απὸ causally though this may be just as much of a source idea. My first translation until I smoothed it out was "because of the singing of ones going around of the poems of Homer with the bay-wood staff." That is a more literal translation that leaves singing as the object of the preposition.

Are there any other ideas about what is going on here or how this should be translated?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Concerning the Period


There are three punctuation points: full, middle, and comma. And the full point is the sign of the completed thought. And the middle point is the sign used because of a breath. And the comma is a sign of a not as yet completed but still lacking thought.

In what does the period differ from the comma? In time. For, on the one hand, in relation to the period the interval is great, but in relation to the comma the interval is altogether small.

[Greek Text]


  • Grammatically and conceptually, this was a fairly straightforward section. It concerns the punctuation points that you often see in Greek texts (well, at least three of the punctuation points). I don't know what the points looked like at the times (anyone have information on this?), but here is how they correspond to our current usage:
    • The full point is the normal period, and like our period, it shows the end of a completed thought.
    • The middle point is the raised period (a semi-semi-colon?). I have wondered what the purpose of the sign was because at sometimes a period seems the best way to "translate" it and at other times a comma seems best. Apparently, it is a place for the reader to take a breath.
    • The comma is the usual comma, and it represents a partial thought.
  • This next section I am a little unsure about. I believe when Dionysius refers to the period here (στιγμὴ), he means the full point (τελεία). He is making a distinction between the period and the comma, yet above he includes the comma in the list of the three punctuation points (στιγμαί). I also think that the middle point is not included in this discussion because it does not seem as though Dionysius attaches any grammatical significance to it. The full point and the comma both deal with thoughts, but the middle point signifies a breath. Or perhaps I am wrong. As I think about it, Dionysius has already told us what the distinction between the full point and the comma is: completeness of thought. We are left, however, wondering what the difference between the middle point and the comma is. Neither signifies a complete thought, so both in some way show sections of a thought. So how do we tell the difference between the two? Dionysius answers this question with time. The pause is greater with the middle point while the comma's pause is very short. The problem with my first idea is that I had no idea how to explain the time answer.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Concerning Pitch


Pitch is the resonance of a musical sound. The resonance of height is shown by the acute accent. The resonance of leveling is shown by the grave accent. The resonance of a change in direction is shown by the circumflex accent.

[Greek Text]


  • Dionysius (I am constantly wanting to type Dionysios) describes pitch as basically how the musical sound (or voice) sounds.
  • This next section is very difficult for me. I am still not certain as to how it should be translated. It was not so much the grammar that caused problems as figuring out what the words meant. Here is the section in Greek: ἡ κατὰ ἀνάτασιν ἐν τῇ ὀξείᾳ, ἡ κατὰ ὁμαλισμὸν ἐν τῇ βαρείᾳ, ἡ κατά περίκλασιν ἐν τῇ περισπωμένῃ. This section is made up of three smaller sections each with three parts: (1) ἡ (2) κατὰ followed by a noun (3) ἐν τῇ followed by an adjective
    • The first issue is to what does ἡ refer. The feminine gender points to either ἀπήχησις (resonance, sounding) or φωνῆς (sound, voice). The more natural choice seems to be ἀπήχησις due to its significance to the previous sentence.
    • The next two parts gave me the most fun. There are six words which can be divided into two groups: the nouns following κατὰ and the adjectives following ἐν. These can be divided into three sections: those referring to the acute accent, those referring to the grave accent, and those referring to the circumflex accent.
      • When I looked up the nouns, the most relevant meaning I found was when following κατὰ they mean "of the acute accent" (ἀνάτασις), "of the grave accent" (or "without a rise in tone" ὁμαλισμός), and "of the circumflex accent" (περίκλασις). On their own, however, they mean "height," "leveling," and "change in direction," respectively (there are of course other meanings, but these seem to be the next most relevant).
      • The adjectives I had seen before and knew that they refer to the accents as well (though I did learn that this happens when they are in the feminine gender): ὀξεία – acute, βαρεία – grave, and περισπωμένη – circumflex. Their basic meanings are "high," "low (or unaccented)," and "being wheeled about."
    • The question arose in my mind: which of these words refer explicitly to the accent and which refer to their basic meaning? It seemed to me that both the noun and the adjective could not explicitly mean the accent. Woodenly, that might look something like: the resonance of the acute accent is by (in, with?) the acute accent. That doesn't really explain anything which seems to be Dionysius' purpose, so I figure that one set refers to the accent and the other set explains the accent. I eventually decided on the way translated above because the adjective group is the group I have seen before in reference to accents. I realize that isn't the strongest reason, but I couldn't see a better way with the resources I have.
    • Whichever group names the accents, they both offer insight into how the accents sound. The acute accent has a high sound. The grave accent seems to be a level sound. Ὁμαλισμός refers to a leveling, like that which one might do to the ground, and βαρύς can either refer to a low sound or a unaccented sound. The circumflex accent has a sound that changes (wheels about, twists).

Any comments or advice as to how this passage should be translated would be appreciated. Do you think I am correct or should I have translated it another way?

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Concerning Reading


Reading is a faultless utterance of poems and prose works.

One must read according to delivery, variation in pitch, and distinction. From the delivery we see virtue, and from variation in pitch skill, and from distinction the particular mind in order that we might read the tragedy heroically, and the comedy lively, and the elegies clearly, and the epic vigorously, and the lyric poem elegantly, and the lamentations subdued and mournfully. For the things which are not produced according to the observance to these rules of reading both despise the virtues of poets and render the habits of those who read absurd.

[Greek Text]


  • First, notice what reading is. It is the faultless utterance. Reading involves speaking aloud. Greek works, in particular, are meant to be read aloud, not, as most of us are used to, read quietly in our heads (I suspect most modern English works are meant to be read silently. I wonder how this has affected writing style. I also wonder whether reading aloud or silently is better for learning and understanding what is being read).
  • If we should read aloud, then we should read correctly, that is, the way the work was meant to be read in order that we may feel the full effect of what the author intended. Dionysius gives us three main points on which to focus: delivery (ὑπόκρισις), variation in pitch (προσῳδία), and distinction (διαστολή).
    • Delivery belongs to the art of orators and actors. This is one place, as Anonymous commented on the previous section, it would be handy to have a Classical scholar or at least someone who has read something like Aristotle's Rhetoric that might better inform us on what delivery entails. We do see, however, that based upon the delivery we can observe virtue or excellence (I really cannot decide whether it refers to the reader or the text. The following ἵνα clause makes me want to say the text, but the next item in the list "from variation in pitch skill" seems to point to the reader while I am uncertain of the final item of the list (though I might be leaning towards text. See below)).
    • Variation in pitch concerns the pronunciation of what we see today as accents. The pitch accent of earlier Greek was probably starting to die out when Dionysius Thrax wrote in the 2nd century A.D. Basically, I see Dionysius as arguing for a reconstructed pronunciation, a utilization of the pitch accent when reading ancient works because we can see the reader's skill based upon his use of variation in pitch (I myself do not use a pitch accent. I have been trying to learn Randall Buth's Reconstructed Koine, but I find it really hard not to slip back to Modern Greek pronunciation which I have used for at least a year or two now and I really like).
    • I am not sure what to make of "distinction." Could it be enunciation? That is my best guess, but I really don't have assurance of it. What Dionysius tells us we can see from distinction does not give me any clues either. He says we can see τὸν περιεχόμενον νοῦν, which I translated "the particular mind" (or maybe "the contained mind," "the surrounded mind," "the particular thought"? This last one might have some virtue) but I am not certain what he means by it. Perhaps, it means the particular characteristics of the author or the interpretation of the reader (If we went with "the particular thought," maybe distinction refers to vocal pauses indicating punctuation and the particular thought refers to phrases and clauses. That is appealing. What do you think?)
  • This ἵνα clause is a wonderful passage. It makes me want to go try to read the Iliad, plays, and other poetry. He gives a list of the different genres of Greek literature with an adverb describing the way these genres ought to be read.
    • The word "lively" (βιωτικῶς) has the idea of pertaining to common life
    • The word "clearly" (λιγυρῶς) seems to have some sad connotations, something clear, sweet, and sad. While I cannot think of any in particular, I have head songs that I would describe that way.
  • The final sentence says that if one does not read according to the aforementioned guidelines, one ruins the skill and artwork of the author as well as makes those guidelines laughable.
    • The first section of the sentence offered some difficulty: τὰ γὰρ μὴ παρὰ τὴν τούτων γινόμενα παρατήρησιν. The phrases are intertwined in a way that I did not expect to see. Normally (at least in what I have read of the NT so far, which of course is different), I would have expected the παρατήρησιν to fall before the γινόμενα in a nested structure (which seems to be fairly common in Greek) especially with how the sentence begins, but Dionysius threw a curveball at me and placed the παρατήρησιν outside the τὰ…γινόμενα structure. I wonder if and how this changes the emphasis.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Concerning Grammar


Grammar is the craft of the general things said in both poets and prose writers. Its divisions are six.

First, a practiced reading according to pronunciation with pitch.

Second, an interpretation according to the inherent poetical customs.

Third, an easy explanation of both the obscure words and inquiries.

Fourth, a discovery of etymology.

Fifth, a consideration of analogies.

Sixth, a judgment of the poetical forms, and this part is the best of all in the art.

[Greek Text]


  • It is always great when the first sentence gives you a lot of trouble. Here is the first sentence in the original Greek:

    γραμματική ἐστιν ἐμπειρία τῶν παρὰ ποιηταῖς τε καὶ συγγραφεῦσιν ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ λεγομένων.

    • LSJ gives as a gloss for ἐμπειρία experience, practice, or craft. The examples provided for "craft" connect ἐμπειρία with τέχνη (Arts and Crafts, anyone?), so it seemed fitting. I am, however, unsure if any of the idea of experience or practice colors the use of ἐμπειρία here or not.
    • Παρὰ + Dat. also offers some difficulty since my background so far is mainly NT Greek where παρὰ + Dat. will usually be "beside" or "in the presence of." Those ideas did not seem to fit here so I looked in LSJ and Smyth (P.S. I don't own either one of those, sadly; I am just using electric versions). LSJ had παρὰ used in quotations of authors, and Smyth gave possession as a meaning of παρὰ + Dat. While nothing is being explicitly quoted, Dionysius is referring to what the authors have written, so I have translated it as above. Possession is still a valid possibility, and it is not really excluded in my translation, but I think "of" sounds a little awkward there and may not be entirely clear.
    • I had no idea what to make of ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ. My first literal attempt gave me "as to the many" (though, it probably should have been "much"), but I was very unsure what to make of it. I guessed that it might mean the things that the poets and prose writers wrote to the people. When I searched, however, I found that ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ is an idiomatic phrase for which LSJ gives the gloss "for the most part."…..*crickets chirp*…..That was as helpful as trying to light a candle with a lightning bug. What was helpful, though, was the example given: "μὴ καθ' ἓν ἕκαστον, ἀλλ' ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ π[ολύ] Isoc.4.154." "Not according to each one, but in general," or something along those lines. This phrase is modifying λεγομένων so "things said in general" which I smoothed to "general things said." (Actually as I sit here and think about it, "for the most part" and "in general" are connected, but when I use "for the most part" it is normally showing some doubt or lack of completeness, so that threw me off.)
    • So my understanding of the first sentence is that Dionysius views grammar as the examination of the whole of what both poets and prose writers have written. I think this is shown in his six divisions of grammar. Grammar does not deal with just poetry or just prose nor is it just form or just content. The six divisions remind me a lot of modern exegesis (with the exception of the first one and maybe replacing poetical customs and forms with grammatical structures or discourse analysis).
  • The first division concerns reading, which is also the next section. I will wait until then to say much, but I do think that practiced reading would help exegesis by offering a better picture of the whole instead of the exegete focusing on each word exclusively.
  • The second division is the interpretation of the poetical customs within the text. Sadly, I can't say all that this entails as I am not an expert on Greek poetry, but things like elision, meter, and other ways that poetry may get in the way of understanding. It could also be that Dionysius wants those doing grammar to point out various poetical conventions whether or not they hinder understanding.
  • The third division focuses on explaining difficulties in the text (see above J). Ironically, this sentence offered some difficulties. The sentence is: τρίτον γλωσσῶν τε καὶ ἱστοριῶν πρόχειρος ἀπόδοσις. The challenge for me lies in γλωσσῶν τε καὶ ἱστοριῶν. My first instinct for γλωσσῶν was "languages," but a little research led to "obscure words" which seemed a likely possibility (I suppose "dialects" is still a good possibility and may be best keeping the context of poetry and drama in mind). Ἱστοριῶν can be taken two ways: inquiries or knowledge gained by inquiries. The context led me to choose the former. Since γλωσσῶν is dealing with difficulties that arise while reading a text, ἱστοριῶν would also deal with similar difficulties, but here the idea is of inquiries made of the text or about the text instead of difficult words (or dialectical differences).
  • The fourth division is that of etymology, the study of words and their roots. Dionysius is advocating that a part of grammar is discovering how the words are formed.
  • The fifth division I do not fully understand: the consideration of analogies. Perhaps he refers to comparing the words and structures in one work to another to shed light on the word or construction. I wonder if we will ever see these divisions put into practice throughout his work.
  • The sixth division concerns the judgment of poetical forms. The last phrase of this sentence gave me trouble. In Greek, the sentence is: ἕκτον κρίσις ποιημάτων, ὃ δὲ κάλλιστόν ἐστι πάντων τῶν ἐν τῇ τέχνῃ. I am not sure what to make of the relative phrase and how it fits. One possibility is that it is this division of grammar that is the best in the art, so I have decided to translate it as thus.

This turned out to be a lot longer than I expected. I appreciate any critiques, comments, suggestions. I think I am going to start a post which will contain the whole translated work which will edited based on suggestions or what I learn as I move further in (also minus the comments so it could be read more continuously).

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Introduction to Dionysius Thrax

As a way to practice translating Greek as well as to read something that I have wanted to read, I am going to translate through the Art of Grammar by Dionysius Thrax (Τεχνη Γραμματικη Διονυσιου του θρᾳκος). Dionysius, a Thracian (from the area of Thrace northeast of Greece), lived during the 2nd century B.C. (or B.C.E if you prefer) who, according to the Souda, a 10th century A.D. (or C.E. if you prefer, though I am not entirely sure the A.D. is in the right spot) encyclopedia, worked in Alexandria. He wrote the Art of Grammar when the vernacular Koine Greek was becoming more divergent from the classical Attic Greek of literature in order that people might better understand the older writings.

I will translate each section of the work and post it hopefully regularly. I might also comment on the text, noting constructions, words, as well as my own thoughts.

There is a Greek text at Bibliotheca Augustana as well as at Wikisource. Feel free to compare and critique my translations.

Here is the Table of Contents:

  1. Concerning Grammar
  2. Concerning Reading
  3. Concerning Pitch
  4. Concerning the Period
  5. Concerning Rhapsody
  6. Concerning the Letter
  7. Concerning the Syllable
  8. Concerning the Long Syllable
  9. Concerning the Short Syllable
  10. Concerning the Common Syllable
  11. Concerning the Word
  12. Concerning the Noun
  13. Concerning the Verb
  14. Concerning the Conjugation
  15. Concerning the Participle
  16. Concerning the Article
  17. Concerning the Pronoun
  18. Concerning the Preposition
  19. Concerning the Adverb
  20. Concerning the Conjunction

Friday, May 29, 2009

Christianity in Crisis 21st Century

Christianity in Crisis 21st Century is a book written by Hank Hanegraaff who is updating his previous book Christianity in Crisis. In this book, Hanegraaff examines the claims and teachings of false teachers, particularly the Word-Faith, health and wealth teachers. When I started looking at it, I was unsure of what to expect, but it is an interesting and engaging. I never really looked into what some of these teachers said. I always figured it was merely God wants you to be rich. Hanegraaff does a good job at showing what these teachers teach using their own words. The book is filled with quotations, if not in the text itself then in the end-notes. It really blew my mind the twisting of Scripture that occurs and not just in the realm of money. God is a powerless God. Jesus was rich. Faith needs to be in Faith itself. Words shape the world. What is spoken comes into existence. Hanegraaff does go a little over board with acronyms for my taste. Everything has an acronym. FLAWS looks at the errors of the false teachers. ABCDE looks at corrections to those errors. Each of those has other acronyms inside them. But some people like acronyms, so it isn't completely a bad point. Overall, this is a good book, not a heavy read, but one that will strike you as you see some of the errors that exist in the world.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh, How I Wish I Had Time

This semester is going to be a challenge at some points, such as now when I have an application essay to write, a resume to finish, along with actual schoolwork. Eventually, hopefully, I will have time to actually really write things on here. Until then, here are some interesting pictures:

Siege of Leningrad Blockade Now and Then


Today is Ash Wednesday, forty days (excluding Sundays) before Easter. It is well known for people giving up things they should have already given up so that they can look good. I am going to try to use this time to work better at reading my Bible. I found this reading plan which goes through the New Testament during the season of Lent. The guy who originally made it up is going through it in Greek and I think I will as well.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lincoln's Faith

I read an interesting article the other day about the faith of Lincoln. Historians are divided on how deep his faith went, but the article gave a quote written by Lincoln during the middle of the Civil War which is pretty amazing:

“The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God can not be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party—and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose. I am almost ready to say this is probably true—that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere quiet power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.”

Here is the whole article:

The Puzzling Faith of Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kiss: An Enjoyable, Wild Ride

I have read several books by Ted Dekker before, and they always prove to be enjoyable. Kiss has continued this tradition. Kiss is written by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy, who apparently is Dekker's editor on some previous works. I was a bit concerned because I had not heard of Erin Healy before and I did not know what kind of affect she might have the quality. This book, however, did not suffer in quality; in fact, I found it very well written, so I approve of this collaboration.

Kiss is a mystery thriller with Dekker's touch of supernatural (cf. Blink). I cannot say too much or else I would give the fun of the story away. But, the main character, Shauna, wakes up after a terrible car wreck with amnesia of the past several months. Her father ignores her, her step-mother hates her, and her beloved brother is brain-damaged. She is left trying to reclaim her memories, but some people do not want her to remember.

This story is a good thriller, a good mystery, and a good emotional ride. Some parts are very tense, not so much because you worry about someone getting hurt or the like but because you are certain Shauna should not be telling all the information she is to the people she is. There are times I wanted to yell out, "NO!! Don't say that!!!" and when she did, I was left wondering how this would come back to bite her.

The mystery was well done. It was gave you just enough to have an idea what was going on but not enough to know all the details. It was not too hard to guess what was going to happen, but there were still enough smaller things to keep you going. Actually, there was one detail at the end that took me by surprise.

This story contained familial love, romantic love, intense anger (there were several times I wished one of the characters would kill another of the characters), sadness over injustice done (this book brings up human trafficking and torture, as well as a brief mention of the Terry Schiavo case). It takes you through an emotional gamut.

One thing I really appreciated about this book was its latent Christianity (as C.S. Lewis called it which Dekker refers to on his blog). The story contains a Christian worldview. There is a right and a wrong. God is present (though not all the characters always acknowledge it). It is a Christian story in the same way that The Lord of the Rings was a Christian story, a quality story written by a Christian that upholds Christian virtues and a Christian worldview, even if God is not invoked on every page or the Gospel is not presented to the characters with amass conversion following. God is mentioned in this story. Several times, an old rhyme Shauna's mother used to tell her would come to her mind that contained the three Persons of the Trinity. A couple of characters are Christian but none of the main characters are and none of them become Christian either. They just respond to a situation in a world where there is a God.

At the end of the book though, the authors do give a "moral" to the story: remember your past and remember how you were brought out of it. That is a very important message that is repeated over and over again throughout especially the Old Testament. It is a message that we need to continue to hear today. I think Dekker and Healy did an amazing job fleshing out that message with an entertaining story that I was able to read in one day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gospel Reminders

Gospel Reminders is a blog that my former pastor showed me. Everyday the author gives a quote that pierces my heart and reminds me of all my failures, pushing me towards seeking my God. To some that up: it is good stuff.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Homecomings and Temptations

My computer has been having problems since I tried to update my anti-virus program. That is why I have been absent for a little while, but now my computer is usable (but not fixed….and still no anti-virus). My mind has been a busy place lately. Many things have been plaguing my thoughts, and I can't seem to make any sense of most of it.

One thing I have decided upon: It is bad for me to practice Greek from the New Testament. If I do, I tend to want to view it purely in that mindset and I can't do that healthily. I have taken out Xenophon's Anabasis to use for practice. I am really enjoying it. I can view it grammatically and as simply a story.

This does not mean I cannot read from the Greek New Testament, but I cannot let grammar cloud over the meaning. It is one of those annoying temptations I wish I didn't have to deal with.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cyril and Methodius

To me, these guys are cool (definitely a technical term). They helped bring writing and Scriptures to the Slavs. The alphabet used to write Slavic languages is called Cyrillic because of these guys. They were given the title "Equal to the Apostles" because of their work in bringing the gospel to a massive language group.

Here are some articles to read:

Christianity Today