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Keeping Up with the News

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:48 AM

Over the years, I've had the pleasure of helping one of my professors back at Lindenwood, Dr. David Brown, with his various web site endeavors. I am especially excited about his new site, which went live a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Brown has repurposed a design I created for him back in 2005 and used it to finally enter the blogosphere.

Dr. Brown is surely nothing short of a genius. I was able to take four of his philosophy classes during my time at LU and they were amongst the most thought provoking classes I've ever had. (He is also the one responsible for talking me into picking up a philosophy minor.) Much of what I learned from him has been helpful in seminary. Part of what made the classes, and talking to Dr. Brown in general, so interesting is his awareness of current trends not only in philosophy, but also various related fields.

What's all of that got to do with his new blog? For as long as I have known him, Dr. Brown has scoured the web for helpful articles related to philosophy, religion, science and other fascinating topics, which he would then e-mail to some of his colleagues and students. Now, he is posting links to those articles on his blog instead of mailing them, which means anyone can benefit from his eclectic, interesting recommended reading.

I think you'll find his news gathering addictive enough that you'll want to keep following his blog.

In Seminary?

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:13 AM

From Logos Bible Software on their $1,000 seminary scholarship:

If you refer someone to our scholarship and they indicate that you referred them, and they win the scholarship, then we'll give you a scholarship too! You could both get a $1,000.00 tuition scholarship and a copy of the Logos Scholar's Library (

Interested? You can apply here. If you apply, please consider mentioning that I “sent” you.

The Final Piece

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:08 AM

I had one three hour block of electives at seminary I had not already registered a class for. Tonight I signed up for one, meaning I now have everything scheduled I need to graduate. Amazingly, I will finish less than five months from now (assuming I survive the six classes I will be taking this fall!).

The Undiscovered Country

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:45 AM

Tonight I had the delight of attending the first class for “Shakespeare: A Christian View of the World.” It was a positive thrill. It has been five years since I last took a Shakespeare class and that is about five years too long. When I saw that this class was coming up as an elective at Covenant, I could not resist adding it to my schedule.

A semester with the Bard? At seminary?

I am really excited about the selection of plays we will be looking at. While not all of my favorites are amongst the eight we will study, Hamlet makes a showing, along with other old friends such as Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure.

We are going to be looking at how Shakespeare's Christian beliefs influenced his works and also (so it appears) simply soaking up the greatness of the world's greatest poet. It certainly must be said that Shakespeare's work is a testimony to the gifts God bestows.

As T.S. Eliot said, “Shakespeare and Dante divide the modern world between them. There is no third.” (Of course, Eliot was too humble…)

I'm delighted I am in one half of the world this semester.

I Have Survived

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:58 AM

Over the last 24 hours I've begun to decompress. Last night I finished my final final and polished up my last exegetical paper of the semester. After the crazily intense Jan-Term Hebrew Weak Verbs course jumping into the semester this spring was a challenge and the particular way this semester's schedule fell out only made things more difficult to hold together. Though I learned a lot, I have to say I have never been more thankful to have reached the point where I can say, “I am done.”

That's not to say I am done entirely, of course. I have three semesters left at Covenant. And I'm not in a particularly hurry to move on. I'm just happy to be able to focus my time on other things for a few months. I am about four to five months behind on many of my projects. Sheesh.

Gripping Reading

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 7:18 AM

I always feel bad complaining about N.T. Wright's work — he's not only prolific, he's perhaps one of the best examples of a scholar who fits somewhere within Evangelical ranks. I like that Wright is willing to question the status quo while remaining strong on the essentials. He's not merely someone who can sound scholarly, he's a major mover and shaker. So, the benefits to reading his works are fairly obvious.

Yet, his scholarly level works can be tedious at times. I'm reading Jesus and the Victory of God for class right now. Some of it is actually quite engaging, and all of his work feels profound. I expect people will be reading these relatively new books still in 100 years. But, it can be slow going. For quite possibly the first time ever — or at least in a very long time — a book put me to sleep. Literally. I'm not sure how long I was asleep, but for a few minutes, I suppose, the second chapter of Wright's work faded into dreamland.

Wright can write quite well, so I'm not sure why he can't try to give his scholarly works a bit more of the life that the great theological writers of the past did. Barth can be hard, but he doesn't put me to sleep. Be that as it may…

I'll likely be writing more on Jesus and the Victory of God in the coming weeks.

Abandon All Hope...

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:24 AM

Tomorrow I begin a two week intensive Hebrew term. Somehow in two weeks, students are suppose to become masters of the Hebrew weak verb. I'm not entirely sold on this idea, but it is a required part of my degree, so come tomorrow I'll be trying to plow back through new parts of Hebrew… and thinking about Dante. ;)

What a Day

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:47 AM

Well, my article I mentioned last night drew quite a crowd. Slashdot, Gizmodo, DSL Reports and numerous others — including the AHN newswire — picked up the story. Gizmodo more recently has mysteriously pulled the story, but Slashdot is still in full gear, and the article looks like it should easily pass 10,000 reads on OFB before morning.

My SAFARI CMS withstood the Slashdotting quite well. How exciting!

Sharing a Joy

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:03 AM

I too often come onto my blog sounding melancholic, if not downright depressed. I don't want to convey the image that I'm just a perpetual rain cloud, I'm not. It just seems on issues such as my last post, my blog is such an inviting canvas on which to paint that I can't resist. And, really, troubling issues are often the ones I need to dwell on in writing, for better or worse.

But, tonight I'll share a joy I had over the last few days: I've translated my first little Hebrew sentences. Sure, they aren't much more complex than “See Spot run, run Spot run,” but to just to get that beachhead feels marvelous with as intimidating as Hebrew appears. Especially since one sentence was even a little snippet from Genesis. I know the language is going to do its best to kill me in the coming months, but for the moment, I'll bask in the joy of what is past. :)


By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:03 AM

Well, I have been quiet on here for weeks as I tried to survive the ever crazier scheduling of the semester, but as of Wednesday, I turned in my final project, a paper entitled “May Good Win Out in Glory: Towards a Barthian Exegesis of Genesis 22,” which served to wrap up the semester.

I'll perhaps write more about the end of the semester soon. I do hope to return to my regular posting schedule of the past over the next few days as I decompress and catch up on everything.

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