There’s a lot of work yet left to do, but so far I’m pleased with how things are coming along.  From the design side of things, I want to convert the background to SVG so that I can take it to the next step, that being a dynamic and potentially interactive scene.  I’ve had musings of changing it based on the tags within a given post, or perhaps animating the birds, waves, the sun, and so on.  It’ll be a while before I get around to that, but I’m already getting a bit tired of the existing scene, so the clock is ticking.  Moving on: thoughts after reading my entire blog from start to finish – the first time I’ve ever done so.

Memories are recorded very differently in words than in photos.  I go through all of my pictures on facebook once a year or so –  not as a ritual, but at some point I just find myself scanning through them, revisiting the progress of my life, trying to see what the pictures say about the names and faces contained therein.  Photos capture moments, but they don’t immerse you into the time and place.  They make that moment easier to access, but the only story they tell is the one you already know.  Writing, on the other hand, is quite like a short film of thoughts and feelings, available to be re-experienced an infinite number of times.  In this sense, I relived the last nine years of my life through the lens of my writing.  It was more intense than I had expected it to be.

Continue reading identiclasm


I attended a forum at Cornell a few months ago, framed as a dialogue between two scientists, one Christian and the other atheist. To be frank, the entire thing gave me a headache. I was disappointed at both sides, but for quite different reasons.

The Christian plasma physicist Dr. Ian Hutchinson spent much of his time railing against a notion which he described as “scientism”, the philosophical belief that the only valid source of knowledge is scientific inquiry. At no point did he name any relevant person or theory that could be accurately categorized as submitting to this fallacy, but he was nevertheless quite passionate in ridiculing it. Following this, he then claimed that there exists no conflict between science and faith, going so far as to admit that he believes the laws of nature can be broken at any time and place.

To my great frustration and disappointment, his atheist partner in this discussion, Nobel laureate Dr. Roald Hoffmann, failed to counter Hutchinson at any of these junctures. What’s worse, Hoffmann abandoned a number of key epistomelogical pillars of secular humanism, stating that he felt analyzing and describing human behavior at the level of neurons and neurotransmitters was overly reductionist and threatened to destroy the magic of such experiences as beauty and love. Although I would like to take the time to expound more on reductionism, it is outside the scope of my current focus.

Continue reading straw

doctor, heal thyself

Once upon a time, stories of demons, angels, and miracles excited me. They spoke to the reality that I was taught of, but had never seen. They hinted at something beyond my own experience, a plane of nature that I would be forced to regard with fear and reverence. A shard of that remains, but it lies defeated after little nourishment over these past few years.

On my last day at L’Abri, my Swedish tutor asked me if I ever prayed. I told him no – it feels a useless activity. I have yet to see a tangible response. I might as well talk to a wall, and in fact, that is what I used to do, from a literal standpoint. He scoffed and asked if I believe in God – which I do. What kind of God do I believe in, then, that I do not pray to him, my perfectly good and all-powerful creator?

Sources are everything. Many, I believe, find their source of faith in anecdotes of old women rising from the firm grip of death. That shard within me yearns to have my belief confirmed by a lovely story such as this. But I cannot escape the fact that leaping for miracles is a wholly useless activity. It defies logic, progress, rationality – if we were so impatient as to pass off our ignorance as miraculous, we would be nowhere and a half. Praying for miracles is, I believe, a mostly foolish activity. Miracles are, by nature, the exception. To expect the exception is poor faith, to say the least.

All that to say, I wonder what my source of faith is. My faith is tremendously weak – I know, I understand, but my belief sees a paltry level of realization. Having walked away from anecdotal evidence and hand-me-down stories, I am left with frustratingly little – a handful of people I admire, and a book of eerily accurate wisdom about human nature and the surrounding world. The moments where I can only say “I don’t know how I know this to be true” are becoming more frequent, and this endlessly vexes me. I’m tired of uncertainty. I’m tired of being unsure. Yeah, Crede, ut intelligas, but that whole belief part isn’t just a choice. It has to come from somewhere.

Where the fuck am I supposed to derive my beliefs, with so little to trust?


I just felt like sharing a conversation I had with Greg tonight, because it helped me understand a bunch of stuff. And I’m in a really good mood. So here you go.

[21:22:22] Steak220: and he asked the most OBVIOUS question i should have been able to answer off the beat
[21:23:36] Steak220: “god hates us because we sin?” “no, he loves us despite that.” “he loves us even though we sin, no matter what we do?” “yeah” “so we can do whatever we want?” “err….”
[21:23:36] drakos7: and you choked, eh.
[21:23:55] Steak220: it’s a question i always stumble on, and I can enver give a good answer to
[21:24:48] Steak220: i’ve been told like twice before how to answer it, but i always forget
[21:28:21] drakos7: You need to remember the essence of the gospel and always go back to it. Prevent them from wandering off to their own topics.
His love is based upon what Christ did on the cross, and not what we do. BUT, what we do shows how much we love God. Anyone actively commiting sin would be greatly deceived if they thought they were redeemed. AND, God’s love says nothing about God’s chosen for salvation. Difference between mercy and grace. God not punishing is mercy (not gettng what we deserve), God giving eternal life is grace (gettin what we don’t deserve).
[21:30:33] Steak220: i don’t quite understand
[21:30:41] Steak220: like..
[21:30:43] drakos7: what part?
[21:30:56] Steak220: God’s love is based on how much we show our love for him?
[21:31:12] Steak220: i don’t think that’s true, but that’s what it seems like from what you said
[21:32:43] Steak220: i mean, you can fall into sin, and still truly believe in God, can’t you?
[21:32:48] drakos7: My very first sentence of that paragraph: His love is based upon what Christ did on the cross, and not what we do.
[21:33:03] Steak220: right, but also look at
[21:33:09] Steak220: “Anyone actively commiting sin would be greatly deceived if they thought they were redeemed.”
[21:37:27] Steak220: this is what i don’t really get
[21:37:50] drakos7: right. If you are actively pursuing some(or many) sin with no repentance, should you really hope that you are redeemed? If God’s love abides in us, then we know Who we belong to. There is no scriptural evidence that unrepentant sinners will receive mercy or grace. The calloused heart is easily decieved.

Now, what about “assurance of salvation” and “perseverence of the saints” you may ask. Those who persevere are obviously saints. Those who eeke by are still saved “but as through the fire”. Still saved but not pretty.
[21:38:30] drakos7: And like I said in SS, we cannot ultimately arbitrate who gets in.
[21:38:35] Steak220: so your faith isn’t permanent?
[21:39:04] Steak220: i was always taught that if you believe once, that’s all it takes
[21:39:53] Steak220: like, taking shelter in Jesus’ death sort of kept you there from that point on
[21:46:03] drakos7: yes. but what if the object of your faith is not real? what if you believe with your whole heart that Jesus saved you but you also believe that Jesus=ReverendMoon? In that case you would be sincerely believing something that is not worth believing in. Many “accept Christ” just because of the social benefits, fear being punished eternally, did not have a father figure, … They are often trusting in something in their own imagination (or someone elses) and not in the Jesus of scripture (and reality).

So that is why we talk about objective faith, that we have a specific object in mind and we need to know who that is.

Yes, I do believe that some truly trust in Christ and then are ensnared by Satan and his minions. They are still saved, no doubt, but are not glorifying God.

So when I say “actively commiting sin greatly decieved” it can only be directed to one’s own heart and not applied to others. I need to search my own soul and decide whether running amok is a sign of the Spirit in me. Does that help at all?
[21:47:15] Steak220: i think so
[21:47:44] Steak220: i understand the whole first part
[21:48:09] Steak220: but what do you mean objective faith? faith that is in the eye of the beholder?
[21:49:36] Steak220: and when you say actively commiting sin greatly decieved
[21:49:40] Steak220: you mean, decieving yourself?
[21:55:24] drakos7: objective: that the object is true. you believed that before you sat down that the chair would support your weight. Now if I had snuck in and sabotaged it, your faith would still be the same, but the object would be faulty (and you would plummet!) so if the object of your faith is an idol, no matter how sincerely you believe, and even if the name is Jesus, then, well… You can come up with numerous analogies along these lines because in truth, we live most of our lives in faith. Faith that our water is not poisoned, faith that our car will not blow up, faith that the bus’s steering will not fail, …

yes, deceiving yourself (and quite possibly/often deceiving others as well). If I claimed Christ but tried starting a cult of highschoolers who would take over Ithaca at gunpoint, my Christ is not the true Lord of scripture.