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Musings

It's after 1:00 and I can't sleep, due to naps, inactivity, and copious amounts of chocolate. Since I haven't made a substantive post in, oh, two or three weeks, I figured I'd give it a go. Please forgive any incoherencies on account of the time.

Another Christmas has gone. Once again, I was nearly oblivious to the season until the day before, although I did get my shopping done about four days beforehand...a new record. Christmas seems to be the one time of year that I get to spend massive amounts of time with my whole immediate family, which I very much enjoy. This Christmas involved a late Christmas Eve viewing of several episodes from the fifth season of The Simpsons, which my brother brought home with him. Christmas Day involved the obligatory gift exchange. To my delight (albeit unsurprised delight) I received the complete works of Francis Schaeffer, Will Durant's "The Story of Philosophy," and Richard Tarnas' "The Passion of the Western Mind," among other things. This gives me plenty of reading over break that will hopefully help me to begin generating honors thesis ideas, a primary goal for my break. Other Christmas Day activities included "Master and Commander," "Big Fish," and a five hour, five nation, Risk game that ended in a draw. I enjoyed "Master and Commander" much more than "Big Fish," probably because of my Russell Crowe bias, the historical early 19th century setting, and the interesting war vs. nature theme.

I'm halfway through "The God Who Is There" and am enjoying it very much. Although sometimes Schaeffer could stand to organize his thoughts better, the content of the book (relativism's emergence in Western thought) is very interesting. It's especially helpful in seeing the role 19th century philosophy played in paving the way for the relativism that's widespread today. Having read some of Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche last semester, this book helps place them in the proper context of the development of modern thought.

Schaeffer's book causes me to consider doing my honors thesis somewhere in the philosophy/theology of the 19th and early 20th centuries. A possible focus is German theology during this period. I haven't thought much beyond this, but Barth has been on my mind this semester and especially now.

Okay, I'll try sleeping again.

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I was really excited when I read that you got the "Complete Works". Every household should have one (in my opinion).

Also, Durant's "The Story of Philosophy" is the book that first sparked my interest in philosophy my jr. year of high school. So, needless to say, I think these are good items to have.

As far as the other book, I have yet to read that one (I suppose that comment makes it sound like I have read all of the above books which I have not. I haven't read through all of Schaeffer's works). Anyway, it sounds very interesting. I've been thinking a lot lately about western ideology and specifically how it effects a christian's view of salvation and santification. I've been looking for some good books relating to that subject and the subject of the western mind in general. Let me know what you think of the one you got.

Andrew--
I too would like to know how you enjoy your books. I have been trying to read more and more of what seem to be the formative Christian texts, and let's just say that my endeavor to read Augustine's City of God over break isn't going as well as I would like it to (stupid football game). Schaeffer is probably next on my list (either he or Calvin, but my 16th cenury French isn't really up to par, and I still haven't learned Latin), so any insights as to what to read (this goes for anyone) would win you gold stars in my book.

Furthermore, I need a thesis idea too. So, if you could just sort of make photocopies of any relevant information and maybe underline the important parts, I would really appreciate it. It would save a lot of time on my end.

Jacob, I don't think you need 16th century French for Schaeffer, you're probably closer than you think with your knickers/knee breeches.

Jacob,
Having only read most of "The God Who is There" and none of Schaeffer's other works, I feel highly qualified to recommend "The God Who is There" as your next reading assignment. I'd loan you my Volume 1, except that I'm not yet finished with it and have yet to overcome my clinging attachment to my new books. Or, in that churchspeak that we're all so fond of, I have yet to "lay them on the altar."

Note: Jacob, I'm not insinuating that your borrowing them would lead to their burnt destruction or anything of that sort.

Andrew--
Don't worry. I wasn't too offended.

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