Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sufjan unveils new song!

Is this Sufjan's new direction? Not his most accessible work ever, but seems to be part of a discernible trajectory in light of his previous work. Can't wait to hear about what LP this might be part of.

G.K. Beale on Christ and the Church as the True Temple

"To see Christ and the church as the true end-time temple is neither an allegorical spiritualization of the Old Testament temple nor of prophecies of an eschatological temple, but is an identification of the temple's real meaning. While it is true that Christ fulfills what the temple stands for, it is better to say 'Christ is the meaning for which the temple existed' (Clowney 1972:177). This is well expressed by Jesus himself when he says 'something greater than the temple is here.' (Matt. 12:6)"
- G.K. Beale, The Temple and the Church's Mission 374-375.

Quote of the Day

"It comes from espresso plants... I think."
-Starbucks barista to J. Badgley, when asked about the origin of their 'Spro.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Birthday List

The anniversary of my birth is approaching, and some of my readers might be interested in buying me a present to commemorate the occasion. So as a service to you I thought I might compile some items that I would like to be possessions.
Traditional Caps are my favorite espresso beverage and this cappuccino cup from espresso parts would be a fitting vessel.

The Arizona Cardinals have been my favorite football team since I understood what football was, which was approximately around age six. This retro shirt, though anachronistic (the Cardinals were in St. Louis if not Chicago around the vintage this shirt imitates), is very cool.
Eckhard J. Schnabel is one of my favorite scholars, and his two volume set Early Christian Mission is a magisterial work. I feel embarrassed that it is not on my book shelf.
And as long as my library keeps on expanding, this customizable stamp would be exceedingly useful. Not only do I loan out quite a few books (many of which do not make it back to me), but my flatmates and I have a very similar book collection, largely because 3 out of the 4 of us went to the same college. Anyway, I can just picture this gorgeous fluer de lis surrounded by "from the library of M. J. Butterworth" on each title page.

So in conclusion, I would like to thank you in advance for the gift(s).

Friday, September 18, 2009


I drink a lot of coffee. I talk a lot about coffee. And the fact that I used to work in an independent coffee shop gives me some cred among the caffeinated proletariat, but my more informed aficionado friends are not as easily impressed- for good reason. I'm mostly talk. Name drop James Hoffmann or mention how natural process is overrated, insert appropriate nods and sighs during responding banter, and its easy to find acceptance among the aspiring elitists at your local pseudo-Bohemian cafe.

That being said, I do want to learn more about coffee.

Yesterday was my first day on bar at Java Brewing Company and it was a very informative experience. Most of the shift was spent pulling shots, which resulted in a lot of espresso to sip/slurp. I knew that espresso is a finicky beverage, but it wasn't until I started tasting my under/over extracted shots that I realized how critical each step of the process actually is. The fruit flavors I discovered in the properly pulled shots were painfully absent in the failed attempts. It is amazing how three plus/minus seconds of extraction can have such a profound impact on the taste.

As part of my training, I am now reading The Professional Barista Handbook by Scott Rao, which so far as shown to be a very helpful little book. It's fairly technical but still accessible. Should be a fun read.

Also, my coworker Sarah just started a collaborative barista blog. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Terry Wright on the Johannine Prologue

"If the opening verses of the Prologue allude to its Genesis counterparts, then its latter section, 1:14-18, may be said to find its antecedent in Exodus 33-34, where Moses met with God's presence insight the tent of meeting and there beheld God's glory (Ex. 33:9, 11a, 18-20, 34:29, 33-35). John suggests that Jesus, the Word made flesh, has surpasses and superseded Moses and all that he represented: Jesus himself is the 'place' where God's people meet with him (cf. John 1:14); Jesus himself is 'full of grace and truth', whereas only the law was given through Moses (John 1:14, 17); Jesus himself is the one facing (pros) God the the father as his Son, making him known, whereas Moses could only see God's back (John 1:18, Exodus 33:23).

Terry J. Wright, "How is Christ Present in the World?"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Christian Scenesters

Even if you have never heard the term before, those of you with similar cultural backgrounds as me (i.e. went through a period of white middle class alternative music angst) will probably instantly understand the term "christcore." Well for those of you who don't our friendly neighborhood cultural deconstructionist bloggers at yourscenesucks have pigeon-holed Christian scenesters and just about every other counter-culture/subculture you can imagine. Definitely worth visiting if you don't think you can handle seeing one more kid with sideways hair or a deep-v (shirt or rims for that manner).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quote of the Day?

"A meaning means something for somebody in a given situation."
-Charles Sanders Pierce, pragmatist philosopher.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Space is Cool

The English language doesn't have a superlative for these pictures. They makes me miss living in a small mountain town with no light pollution. They also make me glad I am a creationist; I have someone to thank when I see them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shoes Tied Tight

Toms has released a shoe with laces. We all knew this was inevitable after seeing Blake Mycoskie on an AT&T commercial. Not everyone can be convinced to pay $50 for a slipper. It looks good, but I feel it would just serve to replace my Sperrys... and I don't want to replace my Sperrys.

It was some time ago now that my friend Peter pointed out to me that shoes were a reoccurring image in many songs by Sufjan Stevens. I have begun compiling a list of songs that reference shoes, any assistance in this project would be appreciated. So far I have:

"Happy Birthday" from A Sun Came
"Worried Shoes" (with Danielson)
"To Be Alone With You" from Seven Swans
"Vito's Ordination Song" from Michigan
"Casimir Pulaski Day" from Illinois
"That Was the Worst Christmas Ever" from Songs For Christmas

In non-shoe related news, I am starting a new job at Java Brewing Company on Monday. I am very excited to get this job and I am looking forward to being part of the team.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Providence: Framing the Discussion

While discussing the Arminian view of providence in class Dr. Ware raised an interesting point. Traditionally, Arminian theologians (or Arminian Christians in general) tend to find Limited Atonement the greatest fault in the Reformed model of providence. Understandably, they are very offended by the idea of suggesting that Jesus died for some people as compared to others. It doesn't really seem fair.

However, Dr. Ware pointed out there is nothing exclusively Calvinist about Limited Atonement. Jacob Arminius suggested that election is simply God's foreknowledge of the free choices of his creatures; he chose to save those he knew would choose him. Philosophically speaking, the atonement could simply be the out working of this election. It is not fundamentally necessary in the Arminian model of providence that Jesus died for all of humanity.

The real issue is grace. Can humans choose to believe in Christ apart from God grace? Can humans reject God's grace? This is where the discussion belongs.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

El Salvador

El Salvador Cup of Excellence brewed in a Chemex. Delicious and ironic considering the U.S's victory over the El Salvador national team yesterday.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Random Reflection

I finished my first thought-flow diagram on 1 John today (which I keep wanting to call a "flought throw diagram"). Time-consuming, tedious, and challenging work, but very edifying.

I am proposing we change the name of Club 2029 to the Speakeasy. It's catchier.

Tonight I was on my front porch in gym shorts while shirtless. I felt like it was a Schnitzelburg/Germantown rite of passage.

I had a job interview today and I feel it went very well. I will know tomorrow if I got the job... more on that later.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Shook Foil

"The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil."
-G.M. Hopkins, God's Grandeur