Saturday, February 10, 2007

Rainy Day Outside. Productive in the Library

Today it has been drizzling and overcast all day. Thus, I have not been outside all day. I have worked in the library throughout the day, and it has been a much more productive day than yesterday, when all I did was wrestle with my computer which was causing all kinds of problems. Today, the first thing I did was sit down to figure out how I could master my computer to make it useful and efficient rather than malfunctioning and testing my patience each time I use it. By God's grace, I stumbled onto information that was extremely useful. Had it been disclosed to me yesterday, I could have resolved most of my computer problems yesterday in 5 to 10 minutes. Instead, that happened today. And since I installed the proxy server software, the computer has been humming along without a hitch.

I am planning to attend Eden Baptist Church tomorrow. I have heard good reports concerning Eden going back to my student days. Now I have an opportunity to attend. Of course, I will be walking to church in the morning. As I've been told, it should take about 40 to 45 minutes.

Friday, February 9, 2007

A Humbling Experience While Researching

It was not always this way, but now after having written and published for magazines, journals, and books, while doing research, it is not unusual to come across my published materials in books or journals or magazines that I read. This week I had an occasion to read an article in a very recent issue of a scholarly journal on the New Testament concerning the same crucial passage in one of Paul's letters on which I had published a sizable and significant article several years ago, an article that derived from my work on my dissertation. As I read the recent article, I observed that the author showed no knowledge of my research and gave no indication that she had accessed my article, even though it is indexed in all of the major scholarly indexes of journal articles.

Well, it was humbling that the author showed no indication at all of having any knowledge of my essay. Humbling as that was, however, it was even more humbling to reflect upon an experience that I had within the past year. I received notification that an essay I had submitted for publication in another scholarly journal for biblical studies had been rejected because I did not show that I had interacted with a particular essay that had touched upon the same passage on which my essay was based. This reflection gave me pause to be humbled further to realize that not even the referees of the journal in which the woman successfully published her essay knew of my ignored, forgotten, not cited, and not even mentioned essay.

Some have said that scholars write things that only other scholars read. Perhaps this is true. However, an corollary may also be fitting: Scholars write things that not even other scholars read.

Update: Humbled again. Today, as I was continuing to research in the area that I addressed in my dissertation, as I revisit that work to update my files with a view to possibly publishing some essays, I came upon another essay that was sort of a twist on the title of my dissertation, "The Cross and the Curse" whereas my dissertation is title, "The Curse of the Law and the Cross." Again, this essay shows no awareness of neither my essay published in 1989 nor my dissertation completed in 1991. What is particularly disconcerting about this essay is that the first segment offers "A History of Interpretation of Galatians 3:13." How thorough was the research that supported this summary of the history of interpretation. The odd thing is that my essay is even available on the internet,
here and listed here. Once again, I'm humbled.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

A Touch of Minnesota In Cambridge

Yesterday I introduced you to Selwyn College, one of the many colleges that make up Cambridge University. This morning, take a look at Selwyn College now. I took a shot of Selwyn College Chapel from the same angle as yesterday.

The weather forecast was correct. I awoke to snow this morning. I rose early and took a stroll through familiar streets of Cambridge to snap some pictures to share with all of you.
It wouldn't be right for me to neglect some shots of Tyndale House. Here are a few snaps of the House in the freshly fallen snow. On the left is the main entrance from Selwyn Gardens (street). Below is another shot of the main entrance from the walkway in front of the library. On the right is the rear entrance walkway covered with virgin snow.

Below on the right is is the Holy Trinity Vicarage house No. 2 directly across Selwyn Gardens from Tyndale House.

I wandered on down to
take a few pictures of Mathematical Bridge before returning to Tyndale House for some breakfast. What's a disappointment! I took an early morning stroll through romantic Cambridge graced with a fresh blanket of snow without my romantic one, my wife. Next time I come to Cambridge, Lois will surely be with me.

Enjoy these shots of Mathematical Bridge dressed in snow. View my earlier pictures of Mathematical Bridge here.

What a difference one day can make!

As I sit at my study carrel, it continues to snow. Unfortunately, I also hear the wailing of sirens, many times this morning.

Freshly Fallen Snow on Cambridge

Enjoy a few more pictures of freshly fallen snow on Cambridge.

How Well Do You Know Your Bible?

John, my son, challenged me to take this Bible quiz (How Well Do You Know Your Bible?). Oops! I got a few questions wrong. A few Old Testament questions caught me.

You rank 80% on the biblical comprehension scale.

Well done! You have comfortably passed this advanced biblical comprehension test. You are clearly an attentive student of the Scriptures. There may be a few areas where you are a little rusty, though. Hopefully this test has helped you to identify some of them. Keep up the good work!

How Well Do You Know Your Bible?
Quizzes for MySpace

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Selwyn College, Cambridge University

I will introduce you to a lovely college just a block or so from Tyndale House. Tyndale House is located on Selwyn Gardens, a cul de sac, off Grange Road which runs by Selwyn College. We readers at Tyndale House are permitted, if we desire, to go to the dining commons at Selwyn College for dinner in the evening. This is something I have not yet done.

Selwyn College receives its name from a missionary, George Augustus Selwyn, the first Bishop of New Zealand (1841-68) and later Bishop of Lichfield (1868-78). The College crest incorporates the Selwyn family arms and those of the Diocese of Lichfield.

Click here to view the Selwyn College Chapel and Choir. On my way to Barclay's Bank to exchange dollars for pounds (ouch!), I strolled through the quadrangle of Selwyn College and snapped a few pictures to share with you. Take note of the greenness of the grass, you poor folks in cold Minnesota.
On the left is the college gate. To the right is a view of the chapel from within the gate. Below is a view of the quadrangle. Imagine college students and personnel walking around this quadrangle as if it were routine, nothing extraordinary, just any day's activity. I'm trying to blend into the landscape by not appearing to be too much agape.

If you click on the picture of the gate to enlarge it, you may notice a Greek quotation over the arch. It is from 1 Corinthians 16:13, "Stand firm in the faith; be men of courage."

A View of Tyndale House Library

Click on the graphic above to get a larger view. The desk I use is indicated by the dark circle. It faces Selwyn Gardens street.

The library is full. I
t receives about a thousand volumes each year. You may view plans for expanding the library area. Funds are needed to undertake this project.

Below is a picture of my study carrel. It's quiet. It's spacious. It's my study area for these many weeks while in Cambridge.

Today has been a productive day of research. Productivity, at this stage, is measured by how successful I am at locating and gathering resources that I have itemized on my bibliography. Given the stacks of resources, I would say I have been quite successful. Now I have to read all these items. That success will be measured differently and realized more slowly.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Senior NT Seminar Lectures

This morning I learned from fellow readers, here at Tyndale House, of an opportunity of which I intend to take advantage. At 2:30 pm, today, I expect to attend the lecture for February 6.

University of Cambridge

Faculty of Divinity
Lent Term 2007

The Seminar will take place in the Lightfoot Room at the Faculty of Divinity at 2.30 p.m.
on the following Tuesdays:
  • 23 January
    Dr Andrew Chester
    (Selwyn College)
    The Law of Christ and the Law of the Spirit

  • 6 February
    Prof. John Riches
    (Emeritus Professor, University of Glasgow)
    Westcott and the traditions of Cambridge New Testament scholarship Revisited

  • 20 February
    Prof. Ithamar Gruenwald
    (University of Tel Aviv)
    What can the New Testament tells us of the Judaism of its Time?
    A joint meeting with the Hebrew, Jewish and early Christian Studies seminar

  • 6 March
    Mr Jonathan Moo
    (Corpus Christi College)
    Roman 8.19-22 and Isaiah’s Cosmic Covenant

    Mr Ryan Jackson
    (St Edmund’s College)
    Cosmic Christology and New Creation Epistemology in 2 Cor 5

All welcome

Monday, February 5, 2007

Lost Sleep and Lost Memory in Cambridge

Lost sleep. Today has been less productive than I would have wished. I stayed up to late, until 1:00 am watching the first half of the Super Bowl game as the Bears and the Colts slogged it out. I watched with two friends, Barry Danylak and Trond Skinstad, with whom I attended Evensong at St. John's College chapel. Barry, having lived in Chicagoland, as I have, rooted for the Bears. Trond, on the other hand, is from Norway. That made it fun. He was learning the game of American football. As we watched, we enjoyed fine cheeses with crackers left over from a fancy reception for the launch of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, not the ordinary snack for watching a Super Bowl game.

I suppose that I should not have been surprised when I rose this morning to discover that the Bears lost. I hope to watch the other half of the game when I return home in March. John, my son, recorded it for me in high definition.

Well, now about losing memory. Before I left home for Cambridge, I had ordered an upgrade of RAM for my laptop computer. Unfortunately, it had not arrived before I left. Today, it arrived via DHL. I was eager to get it, hoping that it will ease some of the strain on the computer, given the increasing demands of software. Regrettably, I discovered that one stick of RAM is defective. Of course, to discover this took considerable amount of time and some alarm. I did not narrow it down to one stick without numerous attempts to sort out where the problem resided. Upon carefully and meticulous placing the RAM sticks into the computer, the laptop would not boot up. It simply ground away. At last, I received an alarming message, "system32\Drivers\Ntfs.sys" missing. Oh no! Now what do I do? Well I decided to place the original RAM back into the computer. VoilĂ ! It booted up properly. Thanks to Google, I after searching the web for
"system32\Drivers\Ntfs.sys," I discovered the likely problem. Bad RAM. Sure enough, one stick is no good. So, after having received the RAM upgrade, it unfortunately does not help my situation. The old RAM is back in the computer. Memory gained and memory lost, all in one day.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Mathematical Bridge at Queen's College--A Sunday Afternoon Stroll

Research in the library is not possible on Sunday afternoon, given that the library is closed, and wisely so, for otherwise scholars would become more eggheaded than they already are. So, after having enjoyed a pleasant dinner with new friends, Don and Melissa Howell, in one of the flats at Tyndale House, I took a stroll through old Cambridge. I snapped the picture on the left of "Mathematical Bridge," spanning River Cam at Queen's College.

Mathematical Bridge strains under a load of several legends. It's a wonder that the bridge remains intact, given the weight of these myths. Here are some of the
myths that shroud the truth about the construction of the bridge:
  • That the bridge is of Chinese origin and that its design incorporates some form of special mathematical technique from which it derives its name.
  • That the bridge was designed and built by students. It was so perfect that the planks were laid one on top of the other and held together by their weight and the angles by which they were put together. The professors were so intrigued and in awe of its architecture that they took it apart to see how it was built. Their downfall was that they could not piece it back together again and therefore the bridge is now held together by nuts, bolts and screws.
  • That the bridge was designed by Isaac Newton, but that he did so without the need for bolts to hold the wood together - the story of college members then dismantling it and being unable to reassemble it is also part of this version of the myth. This version is unlikely to be true because Newton died in 1727, 22 years before the bridge was constructed.
The bridge connects to older segment of Queen's College (The Dark Side) with the newer portion (The Light Side).

Here are few other shots to acquaint you with Queen's College.On the left is the Gate House viewed from the Old Court. To the right is the Queen's College shield.

On the left is the cloister with the long gallery on the left. To the right is the President's Lodge. Finally, below is a shot of the bridge in winter, on a frosty morning, many of which we are having at this time.

For further information on Mathematical Bridge click here.