Sunday, December 25, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
What was I doing ten years ago?
Being an idiotic freshman.
What was I doing one year ago?
Imagining what life would be like with Cosmo (Graham's womb name).
Five snacks I enjoy:
2. Homemade Chex Mix
3. Maple Pecan Scones
Five Songs to Which I Know All the Lyrics:
1. "Red-Hooded Sweatshirt" (Adam Sandler)
2. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (Gordon Lightfoot)
3. "Yellow Ledbetter" (Pearl Jam)
4. "You're the One for Me, Fatty" (Morrissey)
5. "Bust a Move" (Young MC)
Five Things I Would Do If I Were a Millionaire:
1. Call the cable company and tell them that they're currently giving us free service.
2. Buy a Chipotle franchise and open a burrito shop on campus.
3. Endow a chair in Christian Theology at the University of Minnesota.
4. Take up the violin.
5. Have the oil changed in my car every 3,000 miles.
Five Bad Habits:
1. Picking my nose.
2. Online data piracy (Aaarrrgh, matey!).
3. Swinging my son upside down by his legs.
4. Not rewinding books on tape from the library when I'm done listening.
Five Things I Like Doing:
1. Changing diapers.
2. Playing horsey.
3. Grocery shopping at Whole Foods.
4. Listening to Car Talk on NPR.
5. Adoring my lovely wife.
Five Things I Would Never Wear, Buy or Get New Again:
1. Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Cereal.
2. Bumper stickers.
4. Tank tops.
5. Dial-up internet.
Five Favorite Toys:
1. The Millenium Falcon.
2. Legoes (the space ones, of course).
4. Fingernail clippers.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Paris, March 5, 2003
The French government announced today that it is imposing a ban on the use of fireworks at Euro Disney. The decision comes the day after a nightly fireworks display at the park, located just 30 miles outside of Paris, caused the soldiers at a nearby French Army garrison to surrender to a group of Czech tourists.
It's probably beneath me to post this. After all, I've got nothing against the French, and I should not like to use this blog for anything so illiberal as a national reflection. But First Things has posted a collection of French jokes on their website, and some of them are quite funny. Quite funny indeed. I would be perfectly willing to publish a set of Ugly American jokes, if any can be found. Stuart, can you help us out here?
Thanks to Sarah Sours for drawing my attention to this little bit of fun.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Saturday, December 10, 2005
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - There was no doubt about the latest No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup.
There was no doubt who the top players were, either.
J.J. Redick had career highs of 41 points and nine 3-pointers and Shelden Williams added 23 points as No. 1 Duke beat No. 2 Texas 97-66 on Saturday, the third-biggest margin in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup.
The Blue Devils (9-0) used some impressive defense to pull away early in the second half, holding Texas (8-1) without a field goal for a span of 8:25. In that time, Duke went on a 21-3 run and all that was left for the sellout crowd of 19,579 was to cheer for Duke and chant Redick's name....
The win gave Duke a 3-3 record in No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchups. It also improved Duke's record in Continental Airlines Arena to 17-1, extending its winning streak there to 10 games.
Texas was playing in its first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup - the Longhorns are now 0-6 against No. 1 teams.
Duke led 45-33 at halftime, but Texas opened the second half with a 9-2 run to get within five. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called a timeout with 17:43 to play and things were never the same.
Redick hit a 3 on the play out of the timeout. Aldridge scored with 17:21 to go to make it 50-44, but that was Texas's last field goal for what seemed like an eternity.
Duke had a 16-0 run during that 8:25 span, with half of those points coming from Redick, and when Tucker finally got a field goal for the Longhorns, it made it 71-49 with 8:56 to play.
Redick's 41 points were the most by a Duke player since Danny Ferry had 58 against Miami 17 years ago.
Friday, December 09, 2005
The reviews have been flying off the presses for the last week or so, most of them positive. Nevertheless, the movie seems to have come out as explicitly "Christian" enough to smell like death to certain reviewers (see the particularly noxious and ill-informed bit of hate speech by Polly Toynbee of the Guardian; cf., 2 Cor. 2:15-17).
For a more sympathetic treatment, check out the review by Frederica Matthewes-Green at at beliefnet. "Mama Fred" always has something good to say, and here she draws our attention to the way Lewis narrates the atonement. The Western tradition, since Anselm (1033-1109), has generally described Aslan's sacrifice as a debt, paid on behalf of humanity, to satisfy the justice of the Emperor over the Sea. The Witch does not figure large in this understanding; rather, the Passion of the Lion is seen as a transaction between members of the Trinity on behalf of the sons and daughters of Adam and Even. This view is strong on the Trinitarian nature of the atonement, but rather weak on the narrative aspect. As Matthewes-Green points out, however, Lewis's retelling seems to follow more closely to the older, Eastern understanding of the atonement, especially as elaborated by Gregory of Nyssa (d. 385/6). On this reading, Aslan tricks the Witch into taking the bait, and her own greed is her undoing: the finite (i.e., evil) tries to swallow up the infinite (i.e., God), which it cannot contain--at least not for more than three days! This view is strong on the narrative aspect of the atonement and in representing the Lion's work as liberating his people from the power of sin. It is weak on the Trinitarian themes, however (at least in Lewis's retelling)--after all, where is that distant Emperor over the Sea? And the Holy Spirit? Is there a Holy Spirit in Narnia?
Lest we think that we are left with a stark opposition between Eastern and Western theories of atonement, however, Lewis's story does give some hints as to how the two may be resolved. The key lies in the fact that the actions of all the characters--both the Witch and Aslan--are governed by law. When Aslan comes to claim Edmund, the Witch responds with an assertion of her right to the victim: "Unless I have blood, as the Law demands, all Narnia will be overturned and perish in fire and water." Aslan could, of course, just gobble the Witch up in one gulp and have done with it. But he doesn't. Aslan assents to this demand, because it is his law--to break it would be to contradict his own character, and negate his creation. But--and here's the hook--there is a "deeper magic," of which the Witch knows nothing: "When a willing victim who has committed no treachery is killed in a traitor’s stead, the Stone Table would crack and even death itself would turn backwards."
I still get chills every time I read that sentence. It lies very near the heart of the Christian Gospel. Evil--Satan himself--plays a part in a drama that is not of his own making. As Luther understood so clearly, the Devil is "God's Devil"--like a dog on a chain, he can act only by God's permission. And, like the White Witch, he is permitted to act only in such a way as leads to his ultimate undoing--and to the liberation of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve from sin and death. We human beings do indeed owe God a debt we cannot pay--we have exchanged the glory of God for a bit of Turkish Delight. The devil, sin, and death are God's collection agents. But Christ has broken their power and sealed their doom. That is what the "deeper magic" is all about: God's mercy and his justice are not ultimately in conflict.
But don't take my word for it: go see the movie. (And if you can't find a babysitter for tonight, here's a link to whet your appetite a bit more)
Valiant steed, trusted friend,
We ride together to the end
Blazing trails, seeking thrills,
Fording rivers, climbing hills
Galloping across the plain
With thundering hoofs and flowing mane,
Till Mama calls to end our play:
"Put up your [daddy]-horse for today."
Thursday, December 08, 2005
But in the meantime, if you want to procrastinate what you're really supposed to be doing and get some sweet Jedi lightsaber skills, click here.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Congratulations Chris and Maria! Graham was quite pleased to learn that there would be someone to keep him company next time you come down for a visit.