Friday, April 30, 2010

7 Quick Takes

My first ever 7 Quick Takes. I'm not sure what the point it, to be honest, but I assume it is to look at the little things (or big ones too, I guess) that made (or unmade) your week in a positive light. Well, here it goes:

Paradise Lost - Book I

Lines 283-330

Recap: Last time Lucifer, now on land, threw around some heavy philosophy – he’d rather be king of the damned than a lowly servant, and Beelzebub once again played the role of brown-nosing second in command as he urged Lucifer to call together the rest of the fallen angels.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Church Attire

What, exactly, is proper attire for attending church?

My neighbors back home, every sunday for Mass, dress to the nines. I mean it. Hats, gloves, heels, humble dresses, no jewelry or makeup in sight; men in suits shining their shoes while they waited outside. I love it. That is how I have always envisioned you had to dress for going to church. To me, it conveys respect - not only for God, but for the church, your community, and yourself.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Paradise Lost - Book I

Lines 242-282

To recap: Lucifer and his crew have been tossed out of Heaven and into the Vulcan like fire and brimstone Hell. Chained down in the Lake of Fire as a matter of fact. Lucifer and his second in command exchange some words regarding their situation, break free of the chains and fly to dry land.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It wasn't until I began attending college in the Midwest that I realized, Catholicism is not the most prominent branch of Christianity in the United States. In fact, earlier while I was showering I realized that there area I grew up in had a very high number of Catholics, and it probably wasn't indicative of the rest of the country - the statistics that Protestant was the most common religion popped into my head.

I have wondered why not many people I have met identified as Catholic. A quick look at some statistics gives me my answer. Turns out, Protestantism - particularly Baptist - is the most common religion where I am attending school (approx 25% are Baptist, with about 15% Catholic compared to 8% Baptist and 40% Catholic where I grew up). Protestant, of course, is a group of denominations - Lutheran, Baptist, and Pentecostal being the major ones.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Caravaggio and Saint Paul

I thought I would put my art history class to use!

One of my favorite artists is Caravaggio. His subjects are of the religious variety, from The Calling of St. Matthew to Entombment of Christ, usually commissioned by the Church or a family for the family Chapel. There is something so simple, striking, about his work that I love. It isn't over the top in its religious-ness. His use of dramatic lighting, average models, low horizon line, and the understated quality of his paintings creates an intimate religious experience for the viewer. Take Conversion of St.Paul on the Way to Damascus:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Paradise Lost - Book I

Lines 127-241

Right now Satan is being written as the hero of the story (which, obviously, conflicts with basic theology). He’s just a basic guy rebelling for something he thinks is right. It certainly is interesting to see the Devil being written as so…well, human. There is sort of a sympathetic light being cast on Lucifer right now. We feel bad for the guy – and how can you not, he’s had his dreams and beliefs crushed right before him; he lost. He's been kept prisoner on a Lake of fiery darkness for nine day, his anger growing steadily. No one likes to lose. Especially not in a war.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How to Read the Bible

My second major question, after where to begin reading (answer: the beginning), was "How do you read the Bible?" Well, there are two parts to this seemingly innocuous question. I bet if you asked even the most dutiful Christian it would throw them off.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Paradise Lost - Book I

For the sake of my mind, I am skipping anything entitled Introduction or The Argument. Too much reading!

I, admittedly, have been having trouble figuring out how to break this up. I took notes as I wrote, so needless to say - there's a lot. How do you make a manageable post about book that contains 800 lines of poem, without it becoming overload? Break it up into manageable chunks, that's how. Here goes nothing:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Where to Begin

After I purchased my books I would like to say that I worked on my art history essay, however I stared at my computer screen and wondered "Where does one actually being reading the Bible?"

(I won't lie to you - I looked for quotes to put on my Facebook profile for about two hours before these questions popped into my brain.)

Is there a proper place to start? Is there a technique to it? Do I start at the beginning and then just read all the way through, or do I have to skip around?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Paradise Lost - Introduction

Paradise Lost, by John Milton, was written in 1668. It is an epic poem (Like the Iliad, Odyssey, or Beowulf) written in blank verse. Each book has a summary page at the beginning, called "The Argument".

It is comprised of 12 books, and tells the story of the Fall of Man, or simply "The Fall", and begins in medias res (in the middle of the story). The Fall is told in two story arcs - one about Satan and the other about Adam and Eve.

Milton wrote a sequel entitled Paradise Regained

I am choosing to begin reading this poem while I am still in school for several reasons, which I shall list for you below.

1. I want to read it
2. It seems like a good transitional piece into the Bible (and my summer class on Greek mythology)
3. It gives me something to blog about for the next few weeks
4. I'm avoiding studying for my chemistry exam

That is all folks. Read along if you wish.

Bible Versions

And so, my research has begun.

Last night I Googled for what seemed like hours looking for the most perfect version of the Bible. Finally I sighed, coming to the realization that there is no "one version" of the Bible that has EVERY SINGLE BOOK. I figure this is mostly because nobody can agree which books should and should not be included.