Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Will?

as discussion on Jason's Post: Mistakes and Evil

“I tend to think free will is an absolute truth” SVS

i think i tend to agree… however, our choices are restricted, both consciously (i.e., by not doing things that are societally unacceptable but psychologically we could) and subconsciously, through psychological conditioning and upbringing, as well as cultural pressure, instinctive pressure, etc.

All that said, determinism’s thesis isn’t empirically demonstrable (or at least, it’s extremely difficult to demonstrate it), so I personally prefer to think of our ability to make decisions as heavily constrained, but still nominally free (i.e., not determined in a deterministic way, meaning, one could make a choice other than the one they made in a particular set of circumstances). to make things perfectly clear, humans are rather unpredictable in any given circumstance

“evil is from the heart of humanity” SVS

and the question then becomes how did it get there? i can’t believe in orignal sin… my take is more Eastern Orthodox that we are born into a world where sin is already present.. plus our evolutionary nature has a build in self-preservation response. i’ll have to post this on my blog as it’s something i’ve been working on in the past few weeks in my doctrine class… pluses and minuses of the doctrine of original sin, who was right Augustine or Palagian? such like things… these are the things one does while waiting on a child to be born

“Free will………. Bah Humbug… So rather than me having my own free will, I like to think its a collect will that determines our outcomes” T4T

and yet we humans can really chuck off all of these notions and run nakkid into the forest.. something completely unexpected and nonpredetermined. or maybe it was. causality is a messy, messy thing. chicken or the egg? largely we’ll find it’s the common ancestor!

but i like the idea of a collective will. we have that! sometimes it’s good “all men are created equal… life, liberty, pursuit of happiness” and all that jazz and sometimes it’s bad “jim crow and segregation.” i think if we throw in some divine will and try to follow that (namely we’re all connected and must live in harmony with our differences!) we’ll be in a better state.. yet we are still free within limitations. and sometimes even within the limitations a truly creative person can come up with new ways of continue’n.

as Erasmus of Rotterdamn stated ": The Bible is filled with God’s demands and there is an implied assumption that human will can choose for or against God. If there is an ought from God there must be a can from humans." (On The Freedom of the Will)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Lord and My God

i'm in a poetic mood... so i'll keep going.

tell me about your God,
is it a he, she or other,
does it tell you to embrace your sister
or shun and kill your brother?
does it like babies and children
does it ever show it's face
did it write a book
or with science keep pace
does it keep on forever
can it be worshipped any place
would you dare to name it
is it a Sue, Bob, or Mars
would it walk among us
and hang out in some bars?
would it answer prayers
would it speak in confusing riddles
the voice so musical
like a cello or a fiddle?

i can't tell about mine
it's just too big for words
i try with all my might
with nouns, adjectives and adverbs
and nothing seems to stick
it's too close for comfort
and no doubt that it exists
it's not that often
i get glimpses just sometimes
here and there and everywhere
something terrible and kind
i wish i could say more but
these glimpses they are fleeting
this God can be found
in anything with meaning
a mother and a father
creator of the human race
a source of hope
a giver of unending grace.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Impending Zombie Apocolypse

Apparently, we can use landscaping to defend against zombie attacks. Not only is this a mighty catchy tune, it is also very practical in helping you pick the best plants that would fit your environment.

it's not a question of "if" zombaggendon will hit, it's "when". be prepared! those screen-door sheild ones and the dolphin ones look pretty fierce.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grey Area

a man walked up and said
"i've studied the scriptures and i need to decide,
my grandma so recently dead,
what happens when we die."

now i'm a skeptical man,
who thinks the grey areas should be mined,
i said "i dunno, but maybe so,
things tend to turn out fine."

this man, a scientist and all,
said "show me evidence of your find."
"what good is evidence," I said in reply,
"when aeronautics and science can't say,
why a bumblebee should fly."

i cannot tell you nor should i say,
it is up to you to decide whether
from what you feel and what you know
if there's an otherside, and if we'll be there together.

now he's a skeptical man,
no grey areas are fine,
everything must be backed up
every reason to the rhyme.

he said he concludes
life is linear like a horizontal line,
from birth to death with no deviation,
where it stops on a dime.

that's a perspective but for me
i must disagree
i simply don't see it so
each life is a raging river
each with an ebb and flow
and everyone reaches the sea.
for life is concentric circles,
and this here you can test,
that reality defies categories
and each circle is enmeshed.

and the wind when it blows,
it's older than Cairo,
more ancient than the sands,
or our joy or our sorrow.

and from this talk well he just walked,
but got to thinking...
of all the truth and what's the use,
what's worth believing?
since all our lives can't be verified
is truth still worth seeking?
life's not a test but still do your best
search for ideas worth keeping.
and when we die we might just fly
all along on the wind that's breeze'n.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A good quote and some thoughts on it.

"A man may either move westward through life, following the light, or eastward toward the ever gathering darkness. It is a kind of orientation of temperment that is set in our earliest years; an emotional compass. One either pursues one's dreams or memories and it's an exceptional man who, once his compass is set, can alter it even a point or two."

-Halden: Essays.

i found this quote in a notebook of poetry i wrote in high school. the poems aren't very good, but some quotes in there really ring true... i look upon that time and i was always angry, sad, and morbid. now i'm usually described as an incurable optimist and having a sense of infectious hope.

maybe our compasses aren't set. maybe we not as conditioned as we seem. i mean Doug and myself have altered our compasses more than a point or two... maybe others have as well...

or maybe i was always like this.. i just went through a phase... or my memory is faulty... i dunno...

but memory is nothing more than a receptacle of our past; the future a fabric of dreams. And the much vaunted present, that which we are all to seize with a passion, is but the smallest measure of an instant, the single tick of a clock, a medium for translating the future into the past, dreams into memory.

i'm going to try to stay in the present and live on hope. hope for my future and for Eve's future as well... memories are there, experience has brought me this far and taught me much, but the present is the place to be.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Eve Elizabeth

here's your first look at Eve E.

everyone said that having a baby changes you, changes your world, changes everything! and they're right! i'm more astonished at life and the wonder of it all... it's amazing.

i really can't fathom anyone being an atheist now. like i could sorta see it, but now i think i've been pushed over the edge by the birth of my first child. this kid has aspects of me, aspects of Kate, and some combination of the two... or even stuff that we have no idea where it came from! (and this is only day 5!!)

it's all too perfect of a system, too well designed, thought out, it functions pretty awesomely. and since everyone has been born, you'd think we know everything about it... but we don't. we have the chemicals to induce birth, but have no idea how these things occur naturally. we have no idea why women have Group B streptococcus (GBS), nor why it kills some babies and not others.

just like the world... we can figure out a lot of things in it.. but we can't account for it's existence. we can't account for why things are they way they are, why humans act like they do, why gravity is and how it acts (because it's no where near as uniform as we once thought).

anywho... i love this child. i stare at Eve, i take joy in her even when she's wailing to beat the band. i can't account for how she is or what she will become, but i will take joy and soak up the wonder and awe of it all.. i will be a witness.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


EVE ELIZABETH LINDON! WOOT! I'm in awe of my wife and her uterus of steel. i'll post pix on here shortly, but until then check out my cousin's website, The Extreme Alpha Geek, or facebook.

until then, enjoy some words to live by from Kahlil Gibran from "The Prophet" (read the full poem on this site)

They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

We are feeling tired but grateful.... speaking of which.. here's a song!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


all things are set to go... tonight, Tuesday the 14th, we go in to give Boogie his/her womb eviction papers.

i will update y'all as soon as i can. keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Rule of Three:

Movie: Tudors: Complete First Season


and also this song:

Book: Brisingr by Christopher P. i needed a break from all the theology...

but check out Voltaire's The Philosophical Dictionary: Religion

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Thoughts

Jesus came into the world to save it.. so the Christians want you to believe.. but what has changed? did this peasant from some back water town, who got himself killed on a tree by an imperial power as well as a religious institution he was a part of do any good? Uncle Globie paints a picture here:

Jesus lost.. he was dead, buried, and abandoned by his followers.. these followers who never really got what their teacher was saying to them, these followers who swore that they would follow him anywhere... gone as soon as the going got tough. then they soon discover that the tomb was empty. Jesus walked the earth again.. this wasn't just a resurrection for Jesus, it was FOR THE DISCIPLES AS WELL! hope resurrected... those who lived in fear, trapped in their upper room devoid of faith, those who pledged publically one thing and then did another, those who were imprisoned and all but dead from their lack of hope... they soon began to speak fearlessly about what they believed, they left their upper room, they began to live as they said they would and fulfilled their promises... and above.. .they never lost hope.

so despite what Uncle Globie says... i still have hope.. and here's another picture of what hope can do for everyone (thanks to RJ for the find!)

HAPPY EASTER! and to those of you who aren't Christian... please accept my wish and prayer for you to have a resurrection... not of faith so that you believe like me.. no. but a ressurection of hope! so that you may overcome whatever obsticles you are facing in your life. be well. proclaim your hope boldly and loudly.

may we all do the happy dance together, with all of our different ways and thoughts on dancing. peace to you!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Know Your Canon

it's funny. i've never met these folks in real life but their writing speaks to me. i feel like i know these cats and even when we disagree, we follow the thoughts of the other rather closely.

i think it was Jason who coined the phrase The Canon.. since all four of us have names that line up with various books in the bible and we tend to have each other's back while providing our own opinions.. just like the real canon! so here are these ab fab. peeps:

Representing the TaNaK (and in her mind, THE CANON period) Yael. Even though i can't pronounce her name correctly, she's helped challenge Christian assumptions i have when reading the TaNaK (that's the book we Christians rearranged to form our "Old Testament"). we met on Jason's blog when discussing the historical evidence of the Exodus and Joshua stories. She's well versed, firey, and just plain awesome.

Now aside from myself (Luke) and John T, i can't remember whether it was Jason who was Matt or was it Doug? anyways.. we represent the Gospels:

Jason or SocietyVS, is the glue that holds the group together. I met him on the Naked Pastor's website and really enjoyed his writing style and thought process. he brings a whole progressive bent and is funny, articulate and thoughtful. his perspective helps me name my beliefs. we don't agree on everything but the whole listening process has been such a wonderful experience!

Doug or freestyleroadtrip, RAWKS. he's a marathon runner who has recently come out of the Nazerene denomination. he's searching, struggle'n, wrestling, and finding a new faith and is incredibly honest about it. plus any sporty dude who likes pizza and Mt Dew is a friend of mine!

John T or Tit4Tat, is the wisest dude i've ever not met. his ability to see the issue at hand and write 5 words or less on it is outstanding... each word he types weighs a pound. i just hang around him to see what he'll say next! John and I share a curiosity about the world and the unusual approach we both take i think bonds us.

i hope one day we can meet! we'll have to pick a place close to all of us and hang out for a few days. like i wrote on Yael's blog, "i’m happy to have found you all.. now i’m trying to capture this pride in a post about the canon and finding words fail… plus i’m afraid to name what we have here. it’s pretty kick ass."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Baby Comet... i mean cometh!

so Boogie is due soon...

Kate and I feel like we're standing on our front porch and watching a comet come at our house. we're pretty sure it's gonna hit us, we just don't know when. we think we're prepared for it, but who know what the aftermath will look like.


but have you seen a better looking mom-to-be? i don't think you can get better than my wife here!

can't wait to meet this little person i've been talking to for 40 weeks or so... i'm a little nervous about becoming a dad, but i figure that since Kate and I are decended from the most successful parents in human history.. our caveman and women ancestors survived long enough for us to get here, so that relieves some of the pressure.

i'll keep y'all posted on when Boogie arrives.

Rule of Three:


Watching: Joan of Arcadia, the complete second season.

Reading: UnChristian, what a new generation really thinks about Christianity and why it matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Friends on the Side

Just a run down of some of the peeps on the side over there >

Cody Crashes the Last Supper
he was a peer mentor this past summer, is in undergrad in phila and is a wonderful person and chef. his blog i think is the only one to offer theological recipes.

the DeCons at De-Conversion may seem like an odd choice for a seminarian to have. this is not a "keep your friends close..." sorta move but more of a "you learn the most from your harshes critics" deal.

Blair Divides by Zero is a sci-fi fan who introduced us to Firefly. we met him when Kate and I were part of the Gaithersburg Germantown Jaycees. He's full of mischief that one!

KT askes does God Have A Nose, Chris romps in the Garden of Eden, Greg is an NT Geek, and Sally Yields to Pedestrians. I attend seminary with all of these folks and they all provide wonderful perspectives on this shared trainwreck called seminary. Greg is one of the conductors, the prof of New Testament here at LTS. great blogs all!

I'll cover more later, but for now, enjoy!