Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sunny day!

The first sunny day in ages and I am nowed under with study. I have to finish an assignment on upgrading a computer and designing a network and it is not working out that easy! I realised I have not posted any pictures in a while. Here is what I should be reading:

(If you click on it you can almost read what I am reading!) Meanwhile my friend the african blue lizard is having a wonderful time just lazing at the window in the strong sunshine:

OK so you the lizard is made out of blue beads, but still enjoying the sun. I also have to show you the new favourite item that I have. Isabel bought me this yesterday. It is a hand turned Yew handled magnifying glass. I can be a true nature detective now (you can also see my bookshelf again - contrast it now with 5/10/05):

Friday, April 14, 2006

Evolutionary progress

Yesterday I had a few minutes to spare and I was reading an essay on Teilhard by Bernard Towers. It is funny how today after- 46 years after this was written that we are still having to face up to scientism reductionists who want to make man no more than an advanced ape:

"We can no longer think of ourselves, as did some of Huxley's audiences in the nineteenth century, as no more than advanced apes with no more responsibility than befits an ape. That is evolutionary regress, not progress. Teilhard, however, is absolutely consistent in his interpretation of the nature of evolution. Further progress can only be through the personal sanctification of the species, personal because, as always, the evolutionary process must work actually work through individual members of the species."

For some reason, even though I have been crazily busy these past few day I cannot stop thinking about this.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Peterson and Updike

I must admit that when it comes to so-called 'Christian' books I am not really that keen. There is something about Eugene Peterson, the fact that he has just published his own translation of the Bible - 'The Message' which I am attracted to and the idea that he is an academic and evangelical. I have bought his two books in his Spiritual Theology series and yes his style is too chummy and nicey-nicey at times so I only read it in little bits. Sometimes it is quite uplifting and interesting. Like this quote from Updike who is commenting on his love of Karl Barth's book 'The Word of God and the Word of Man', it inspires me. He is saying that when he read Barth he learnt:

"that truth is holy, and truth-telling a noble and useful profession; that the reality around us is created and worth celebrating; that men and women are radically imperfect and radically valuable."

(p.8 'Eat this book' by Eugene Peterson)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Teilhard and Newman

I was reading the introductin to Teilhard on the British Teilhard Association Page and I noticed that Teilhard was influenced by Newman's Essay on the Development of Doctrine. This is particularly interesting because it seems that two characters in history that I am interested in were linked and Teilhard was interested in Newman too. It may also be interesting to note that Teilhard was a Jesuit and Newman was accused of being involved in a secret Jesuit plot after the Oxford Movement finished. I am fairly sure there was a book published but I can't find any trace of it at the moment.

I am still reading 'Loss and Gain' by Newman occassionally. It is a very refreshing and relaxing read. Newman is widely considered to be one of the finest non-fiction writers. I can't understand why it cannot be acknowledged that some of his fiction was rather good. I quite enjoy escaping to the world of an Oxford undergraduate in the 1830s debating church issues with friends and having quite innocent and light-hearted interactions with girls. He also seems to capture in the following passage that moment when you first realise that no matter how hard you try not everyone is right and somehow or other the only person who can decide who is right or wrong is yourself:

"So Charles went on, painfully perplexed, yet out of this perplexity two convictions came upon him, the first of them painful too; that he could not take for gospel everything that was said, even by authorities of the place and divines of the name; and next, that his former amiable feeling of taking every one for what he was, was a dangerous one, leading with little difficulty to a sufferance of every sort of belief"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

there is a dust which settles on the heart

Sorry this new post is a bit delayed, I am a bit busy at the moment, I only have until the end of April to finish my assignments and it is a terribly busy time!

Just started to read a chapter on Richard Jefferies and was struck by one particular passage which I am sure you are all familiar with:

" for there is a dust which settles on the heart as well as that which falls on a ledge. It is injurious to the mind as well as to the body to be always in one place and always surrounded by the same circumstances. A species of thick clothing slowly grows about the mind, the pores are choked, little habits become a part of existence, and by degrees the mind is inclosed in a husk. . .

a long breath of the pure air of thought - could alone give health to the heart."