Monthly Archives: November 2005

I’m not blogging right now.

I don’t have time to blog, but if I did, I’d tell you about Library Thing.

It’s like a personal library card catalog online. It’s really rad, you enter a couple key words from the title or the author or an ISBN, and it goes out and searches Amazon (not just the US version) and other huge libraries and imports your bibliographical information.

Here’s my user profile, and here’s a look at my library. Maybe next year I’ll enter more than 14 of the books in my library. That, and I’ll create a wish list (maybe I should have created a wedding registry at

The only thing I wish Library Thing could do is export a ready Turabian style bibliography.

Wedding Countdown: 76 hrs.

Skype hype.

Here is an unashamed, bold-faced plug: Skype is cool.

Tonight Elsiene and I used SkypeOut to call her brother’s home phone in Rio de Janeiro. He said, “Are you using Skype? Hold on, let me get set up, and I’ll call you back.” In ten minutes he was online and called me back (it would have taken him 30 seconds if he hadn’t forgotten his username) and we chatted with telephone quality sound for over an hour… for FREE!

So there’s my testimonial. Gotta get Skype. It also is good to have a headset with a microphone, but those are cheap, like a fraction of the cost of one month’s phone bill.

When you download Skype, give me a call. My Skype name is mcarroll.

Haven’t we met before?

I think there is a conspiracy afoot. Either that, or ecumenism has found a common fount of graphic arts.

A couple days ago, I was reading an e-mail. Gmail’s slightly disturbing robot scanned my e-mail for content and placed several context sensitive ads in the side bar. One of them was to a seeker-sensitive webzine for young Catholics. Always curious to see what passes for popular religion, I followed the link and found the image at left gracing a series of featured articles on sex & relationships.

Today I was working at my church bookstore, and was stocking the book If God Already Knows, Why Pray? Imagine my surprise to meet the same young woman from the Catholic webzine gracing the cover of a Reformed exegesis of the Lord’s Prayer!

Fascinating! But what does it mean? And what does it mean when seeker-sensitive religion starts taking out context sensitive advertising?

P.S. For more seeker-sensitive fun, check out Pyromaniac’s Biblezine posts and parodies:

Nice in blue.

Pinkerton reports a near stranger told him that today, contrary to the normal, he looked nice.

Yesterday I wore a blue shirt and my friend Jonathan told me, “You know, you look nice in blue. Are you going to wear blue at your wedding?”

I hemmed and hawwed remembering that two days before, my fiancée asked me to wear blue “because it makes your eyes look really nice.” (Yes, I’ve been wearing the same blue shirt all week.) I told Elsiene the church is decorated red and green, her bridesmaids are wearing black and white, the flowers are red and pink, “I can’t wear blue.”

But I was still standing there hemming and hawwing, so my friend explained, “It really makes your eyes look nice.”

I’m sure at the wedding Elsiene will be the only one paying much attention to my eyes. We might just have a very colorful wedding!

Say it ain’t so.

Here’s a handy adjective: apophatic

When finite humans attept to describe an infinite God, they frequently have to resort to describing Him by describing what He is not.

Apophanai in Greek means “to say no”, and when we talk about God we often use words like “uncreated”, “imperishable”, “boundless”, “incorporeal” and “unchangeable”.

Worship is often said to be “praising God for who He is,” but it’s also biblical to praise God for what He is not.

The hymn writer did well who took his inspiration from 1 Timothy 1:17 and penned these words:

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise.

Hebrew is fun.

Today in Hebrew class, my professor was doing an exposition of Psalm 19, “The heavens declare the glory of God…” and he gets to verses 4 & 5 where it says, “In them He has set a tent for the sun / Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber / And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.

The professor explained that in his preaching, he does not translate חֻפָּה as “chamber”, because modern English-speaking Jews still refer to their wedding canopy as a “chuppah” [HOOP-pah]. He leaves it alone, saying the sun “is like a bridegroom, coming out of his chuppah.”

My professor wanted us to understand how the psalmist is trying to give us a picture of the sun leaping out into the sky, and racing like a youth across the heavens. He asked “How does the sun come up? First you see a little glow on the horizon, and then a sliver, and then it seems like ‘boing!’ it’s up!”

He went on, “For you married men out there, How did you descend from the altar after you were married?”

From the back of the classroom, your’s truly (with 25 days to go) shouted out, “Hoop-pah!”

How random is that?!?

I am sitting in Hebrew Exegesis, and my professor spoke of the tendency in Hebrew poetry to include merism, using two opposites to express a composite whole or everything in between, much like we’d say “I searched high and low,” meaning “I looked everywhere.”

I Googled “merism”, and went to the Wikipedia entry, which I found very interesting and quite helpful.

Then I noticed for the first time, on the left side bar of Wikipedia, a link to a “Random article“. I followed the link, and learned something I never knew, that Uzbekistan had a vice president once! According to the article, he lasted only a couple months.

You never know what you’ll learn in Hebrew class!