Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The windshield wipers and the internet

It is amazing what one can learn from the internet. I often joke with people that I have learned how to do all I have done on the house by surfing the web. While this is definitely an exaggeration of the truth, I have learned much from the web.

For example, I have learned how to install a new circuit breaker from the web, and, like Cindy likes to say, I am still alive to tell about it. I have also learned how to install wood flooring from the web. The process is very simple and with some ingenuity can be embellished: see the pictures of our Brazilian Cherry wood floors, with border, that I am currently installing in the living room and will eventually install throughout the house.

From time to time I reach an impasse or need some input, and so I go and search, search , search, until I find the answer. For example, several months ago our windshield wipers on the Saturn started misbehaving. I could turn them on, but could not turn them off unless I turned the car off at precisely the right time: when they were at their lowest position. Since we are in a drought, it has not been very inconvenient, but with the advent of fall and the lower temperatures in the morning which cause condensation on the windshield, it finally had to be fixed. So where did I turn to try to figure out what might be wrong with my 1998 Saturn SL2's windshield wipers? Well, you guessed it: the internet and my friend Google. I entered the search string: "1998 Saturn SL2 windshield wipers do not stop," selected the first proposed site which had a link to a site which contained the answer: replace the motor.

The answer at first did not make any sense. I talked it over with a couple of friends and did some tests and convinced myself that the motor was the problem. So I asked a friend if he could change the motor. And guess what? The site was right, changing the motor did fix the problem. So if you are having the same problem, now you have TWO sources confirming the solution. BTW, the reason it fixed the problem has to do with the gearing in the motor, but I won't go into that here.

So next time you have a question, hop on over to the information superhighway, you never know, you might find the answer to all your know how problems.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More Philosophy and Ecclesiology

Another comment that came to mind last night:

My professor was pointing out one of the flaws of post-modernism: it claims that truth is known in community and that as long as the community agrees that something is the truth, then it is valid in that community, even if that truth would not be agreed upon in the community next door. He correctly pointed out the lack of absolutes this type of thinking displays, and therefore that line of thinking is flawed.

This got me to think of Christendom. Aren't denominations just that: communities that agree something is true, even if its truth is different from the community next door? Isn't this mentality then by parallel flawed? Or am I committing an informal fallacy? Yet, some in Christendom would state that denominations are a positive thing, since they allow unity amongst diversity (viz. thanks to denominations, we can disagree, but since we are separate, we can do that without struggle). Aren't they therefore also denying the absolutes?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Philosophy and Ecclesiology

Tonight, during my philosophy class, my professor stated that one problem with today's culture is that things are often defined by what they do and not by their essence: particulars are used to define things, not universals.

This got me to thinking ... if this is a Christian complaint about the culture, then why do most Christian ecclesiology books commit the same fallacy when defining the church? Why is the church so often defined by function instead of by essence?

Is it that people do not understand the essence of the church? Is it that looking at essence would result in a different ecclesiology? What do y'all think?

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