Friday, July 21st, 2006
I didn’t have any idea what would come of this. I still don’t. I have connected with a few people who are interesting in their own way. There are clearly dangers of adding interesting people to your friend list. Since I have such a wide diversity of interests, I can see some potential friends deciding not to connect, because of the diversity of my friends. There is always a danger that friends will add content to their myspace that will offend some of my other friends.
There are some very sweet people there, but some deeply distressed ones as well. MySpace seems to include a cross section of our society and world.
The experiment is still on. Who knows what the consequences are. I am not shy about connecting with all kinds of people, but I don’t know also what the connections mean. I suppose I will mature in this. ciao.
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Tuesday, July 18th, 2006
I joined MySpace yesterday. I have no idea the consequences. I did feel the need to connect with one of my former students, and his school email address didn’t work. So I hunted for him on the web and found he had a MySpace account. I had toyed with getting an account, but didn’t think I had the time or wanted to make the effort. But here was the opportunity and necessity. I have since gotten email from a few folks. It’s clearly a viral network. Once they find you, it will be easy to hook up with folks. Getting the hang of editing the pages is a trick, but I’ll figure it out.
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on calvin and determinism
Tuesday, July 18th, 2006
Dale and I have been given the problematic task of expounding further on John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. We are dealing with this topically. Dale will be rehearsing the problematic match between his life and writings, not as judgment, but to parse out what a respectful view should be. There is much to admire and emulate in Calvin.
It is plain that Calvin’s views are mistaken in some fairly troubling ways. What is not plain is how they may constructively be discussed. The problem set I have been given is the difficulties posed by Calvin’s determinism.
First, the conflict for Calvin is how God can call then select specially some of those who are called. Second, what is the criteria by which the church is picked out? Who becomes the elect? What is God’s criteria?
Here’s the problem. To Calvin, it is inconceivable that Christ died for everyone. Since God knew who would become believers, Christ must have died for them only. They are the elect. Since God knew who would be saved, he also knew who would be damned. And so Calvin concluded that God chose some to be saved and some to be lost.
This turns on the problem foreknowledge of states of affairs gives us. Is foreknowledge the criterion of selection, or does human freedom play any part at all?
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