Monthly Archives: February 2011

CCM Praise Songs With Which We Have Trouble

Rod of Alexandria over on the blog “Political Jesus” has started a new meme: “CCM Praise Songs We have Trouble With.

As someone who played drums and guitar in my Southern Baptist church’s praise band, the song I really, really, really, really hated to play and listen to: The Heart of Worship.

My problems with it:

1) If it’s “all about you”, why is this song all about what I am doing for you?

2) This song just lends itself to Michael W. Smith whispery prayers in the outro and I hate those.

3) It’s cheeseball. Enough said.

Want something beautiful and actually glorifying? Here you go.

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Save the Tree Octopus

This article is hilarious and it speaks to the sorry state of education today. The solution is NOT more “science and math” classes (which are talked about as if they’re academic messiahs), but the basics of a liberal education that teach critical thinking. I took one biology course in college, so I’m by no means an expert on octopi and couldn’t tell you about the variety of octopi that might live in the ocean. However, I was a Classics major and we learned to be careful readers of texts and to hunt down sources. If someone were to say that there is such a thing as a “Tree Octopus”, I would of course be skeptical, but I would also realize I have the resources available to find out the truth. This is an absurd example and most people with any sense wouldn’t believe it (I hope), but there are less extreme examples that get passed around on the internet all the time. Consider the “Zeitgeist” film that was produced a few years ago. Have you run into anyone that believes the things said in that movie? I have, plenty of times. Perhaps universities would do well to not rid themselves of programs that teach students to be critical thinkers.

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Thucydidean Dating in Book II

In Book II of his Peloponnesian War, Thucydides gives us the date and time for when the Thebians invaded the town of Plataea. The way he goes about it, however, is interesting. He uses typical Hellenic ways of dating (the Priestess at Argos, the Ephor at Sparta, the Archon at Athens). But he works his way down from the year, the month, all the way down to the very hour at which the Thebans entered Plataea. Here’s a little outline of how he dates it:

1 He tells us his history is written in order according to the winters and summers
-γέγραπται δὲ ἑξῆς ὡς ἕκαστα ἐγίγνετο κατὰ θέρος καὶ χειμῶνα.

Now onto the event. It happened:
2. After the fourteen years of the Thirty Year treaty had gone by
-τέσσαρα μὲν γὰρ καὶ δέκα ἔτη ἐνέμειναν αἱ τριακοντούτεις σπονδαὶ.

3. Which was made after the capture of Euboea
-αἵ ἐγένοντο μετ’ Εὐβοίας ἅλωσιν

4. Thus in the fifteenth year
-τῷ δὲ πέμπτῳ καὶ δεκάτῳ ἔτει

5. In the forty-eighth year of Chrysis being Priestess in Argos
-ἐπὶ Χρυσίδος ἐν Ἄργει τότε πεντήκοντα δυοῖν δέοντα ἔτη ἱερωμένης

6. When Ainesias was the Ephor in Sparta
-καὶ Αἰνησίου ἐφόρου ἐν Σπάρτῃ

7. In the second-to-last month of the Archonship of Pythodorus in Athens:
-καὶ Πυθοδώρου ἔτι δύο μῆνας ἄρχοντος Ἀθηναίοις

8. Six months after the battle at Potidaea
-μετὰ τὴν ἐν Ποτειδαίᾳ μάχην μηνὶ ἕκτῳ

9. At the very beginning of spring
-ἅμα ἦρι ἀρχομένῳ

10. The Theban men entered the city at the first watch of the night
-Θηβαίων ἄνδρες…ἐσῆλθον περὶ πρῶτον ὕπνον

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A perfect example of the dative of degree of difference

I’ve been thinking of starting a little ‘series’ on the blog called “A Perfect Example Of…” where I point out good examples of different grammatical concepts in the texts I’m reading. I figure most people won’t benefit from this because they already know it, but the random first year Greek or Latin student may do a google search and find these examples, so hopefully they’re helpful.  Today I’ve got a good example of the dative of degree of difference from Thucydides. Thucydides says that a little more than three hundred men entered Plataea. The Greek is:

Θηβαίων ἄνδρες ὀλίγῳ πλείους τριακοσίων…ἐσῆλθον…ἐς Πλάταιαν (Peloponnesian War, Book II, Sec. 2)

The ὀλίγῳ is the dative here and it’s showing a degree of difference. So, the men of Thebes were more than three hundred by a little.

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Genghis Khan the Environmentalist

According to an article, Genghis Khan killed so many people who owned farms and whose land returned to forest. Read all about it here.

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A New Look

Out of the darkness and into the light. What do you think of the new look? I have a feeling this is less depressing and easier to read.

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