"Post-Recon," "Post-Theonomy"

A real philosopher was asking about my use of these terms in a comment on my blog. I don't really know if I'm an original user of these terms, but I think they're very helpful to characterize the later "Tyler-group" theology and its "Moscow-circle" follow-on. What I mean by these terms is a theological orientation which is uniformly postmillenial, predominantly paedo-paedo, characterized by an almost episcopal concern for worship and liturgy, and having as historical and ideological prologue :) the sometime entertainment of the "high" theonomist thesis of Rushdoony and Bahnsen--i.e., that the "civil" law is valid except to the extent explictly altered by the NT. In my view, Jordan is more or less the father of this movement in much the same way that Rushdoony is the father of Reconstructionism in the first place. I would place the Gary North of Tools of Dominion (the greatest printed book of the whole movement, btw) in this category as well, inasmuch as, in his exegesis of the slavery statutes of Exodus 21, he practically abandoned the "high" theonomist thesis of Rushdoony and Bahnsen as a going hermeneutical principle, right at the height of acting on the thesis as an intellectual motive. Although I have not followed Sandlin's post-Chalcedon journey as well as I probably ought (he is an old friend), it strikes me that his "reformed catholic" musings are essentially in the same boat. And this further ties into the willingness of the Auburn Avenue "heretics" to question the universality and strict necessity of what are in many ways historically-constructed Reformation- and English Civil War-era formulations of soteriology and sacramental theology. (This is a subject on which I am woefully underread, however.)

Does that answer the question?
Meeting Tony Soprano

One relatively unproductive thing I've done over the past week is to watch too many episodes of The Sopranos. Hitherto, I was a virgin (don't get HBO). Now I'm something of a fan. Maybe it's because Godfathers I and II have become so completely part of my mental iconography. Maybe it's because Babylon 5 is over and I haven't found another dark, question-heavy dramatic serial with which to fill the void left by Londo Molari and G'Kar. :) Anyways, I've been consistently impressed thus far with the cinematography (which is very good for a serial) as well as the characterizations.


Wasted Productive Break? :)

Break is almost over. I had hoped, as always to get so very much done. I did get a little done: some work on my SVC paper, some organization, and I even caught a Sopranos episode as part of my on-going cultural criticism project. And then there were the fast go-karts and a lot of beer. LOL.

I guess that I've blogged enough about my personal life by now, and not just about my stuffy "intellectual interests," and that this blog is supposed to be reflect anyways something of my Dantesque wanderings in una selva oscura, so I don't mind sharing that the most significant thing I did over break was to spend many hours IMing a young woman whom I met online some months back (!), then many more hours talking on the phone (!!), and that we've now decided to try to meet in person without undue delay (!!!). She's smart, beautiful, and fascinating; we share a lot in common, and seem to be nicely complimentary. And I'm very upbeat!
Bachelor Party

A very interesting evening with my brother and his coworkers. We went to an indoor racetrack and raced gocarts. I placed last in the first heat and second (beating Daniel) in the second heat. Then we went to a sports bar and consumed a large quantity of wings, while I informed the coworkers of the legal definitions of several activities and failed to guess the meaning of "kegling" (it's apparently bowling). Then we went to Fado's and experimented with Strongbow and Boddington's while reminiscing about drinking experiences in Merry Ole England.


Relationship theory

I watched When Harry Met Sally the other night, at the behest of a friend, and found it affecting and hilarious. LOL indeed. I must blog a reviewette or something soon (this serves as a memorandum/placeholder) to that effect. On a related note, I visited this horrid site, at the behest of a very different friend, and found it depressingly accurate, at points (although not at the point of summum bonum).

Then I went to the bookstore and started flipping through Camilla Paglia and Andrea Dworkin. I guess I really need get down and work on my much-vaunted SVC paper.



I got an A- in Akkadian. That's better than I expected! I must actually be learning something about this HARD language. And a B+ in Arabic grammar, which is acceptable. (I was competing against native speakers who know their own vocab, just not the grammar.) When I actually finish, I expect to have picked up 40-45 credit hours of semitics, all told. That's more than a minor. :)


What's amazing about the war is the assymetry of its proportions. Actually, when you come to think of it, there are only four great power-projection states in the 20th/c. Two were colonial empires with navies--France and Britain, and France barely counts. One was Japan in WW2, and the other is America. The USSR tried to develop such capacities, but couldn't develop more than a handful of carriers and lacked the ability to undertake effective amphibious assault. While Russia may retain much of the USSR's airlift capacity for airborne assault, its present naval projection capabilites are no better than France's or the UK's.

At any rate, a very interesting war. Hopefully, it will be over quickly with minimal casualties on all sides.


"The second great discovery of the Old West--next to the dualism of church and empire--was the discovery, or invention, of doomed passion as the essence of selfhood, the means by which men and women become most fully themselves in a fatal act of love." David Gress, Plato to NATO, p. 223.
And so the ballon goes up . . . May God have mercy on the soldiers and civilians in the Gulf, both ours and theirs.


The tragedy of German academia:

"He was too great to be subdued to the will of the Dark Power, he saw nonetheless only those things which that Power permitted him to see. The knowledge which he obtained was, doubtless, often of service to him; yet the vision of the measureless might of Mordor that was shown to him fed the despair of his heart until it overthrew his mind" (bk. V, ch. 7).

Hic est doctor Faustus.
Latin rules.

Matt Colvin, who is a classicist and one of those post-recon types, has written a very good article about the value of Classical languages and literatures. Another good piece is made available by Ruben Alvarado (my hero LOL). Both of these pieces are taking issue with the sort of Hebrew-worship common in certain reformed circles; for a good presentation of that side, see Rodney Kirby's thesis.

All of this actually reminds me of what Christopher Plummer's character tells Kirk's crew in Star Trek VI: "You haven't experienced Shakespeare until you've read him in the original Klingon." LOL.
A good piece defending French film. In National Review of all things.
All I want to have is epiphanies.

I had a regular epiphany this evening while chatting with an online friend. We've known each other virtually for about six months or so and banter in binges about alienation and the soul and what's wrong with "independent" Presbyterians. Anyways, I had been giving unsolicited advice the previous night to the effect that she needed a real portrait--one close enough to show the eyes, without hard lighting and overexposed features. She didn't take my criticisms very well at the time, but came back tonight with a pile of new pictures which she and a friend made later that evening.

She is very beautiful. Terrible as the storm and the lightning. Fair as the sea and the sun and the snow upon the mountain. (She actually looks vaguely like Kate Blanchet too. LOL.)

It was profoundly metaphysical. I suddenly found myself face-to-face with a vision of great beauty and confronted with such terrible personhood. I recognized not a pretty girl but the Ever-Feminine itself, come in human form (digitally registered). I felt as though I were seeing the Muse before me or Philosophy herself descending into my cell as a woman of deeply piercing eyes and such height as to penentrate the heavens themselves and be lost to sight. Or like Sheridan falling in the flash at Z'ha'dum. Or like contemplation of auto to kalon at S 211d.

Often, especially in faceless online communication, one can go on forever without really seeing the express image of the person. We type and read and send and IM and save and read and type and often forget that a human person stands behind that string of symbols.

But this is only part of the larger confusion of our masked and anonymous world. For instance, I got to school with over twenty thousand women. In a few weeks, I will wander around campus and smile lasciviously upon a sea of legs of all sizes, shapes, and descriptions, looking for a young venatrix, one nuda genu. I shall probably never speak with any of them. I may objectify, frame-grab, enfetish them all then (and later) in my own mind. But I will never speak. Yes, it is, sometimes, agony. But we will never speak, for there will never be a we.

Here, in seeing the true portrait of the reformed girl I know online, I experience the ecstasy of recognition. I knew her mind on many things; we'd had several long intellectual chats. But I didn't know her. Now, to see her eyes and the lights of her soul, if only frozen for an instant in a digital camera. The stroke of the pendulum is interrupted; the cord arrested, its orb reels around a new barycenter. So this is what it means for the Word to become Flesh?

I have been in love before. I think I was in love very recently. But there are many shades of amor. I have been in lust. Many times. I have been in despair. I have been in delirium. Over New Year's, I wondered whether I was in pity, like Turin Turambar. LOL. But now, as I have no been for a very long time, not since I was much a younger man, not since the image of my freshman crush would interrogate me in nightly visions, have I felt quite so much in sudden awe. As Dante in awe at last before Beatrice, sotto verde manto / vestita di color di flamma viva.

You see, this is not about the internet or virtual reality or introverts going blind before CRTs. This is about the text and the flesh, and less about the text of the body than the person of the soul. This is about fleeing from persons into texts. About being afraid to look upon the face of philosophy as she truly is. From this experience, I bring away but this simple truth: that I must see the face of the Lady. This is the sort of thing that one can read about in Dante or Petrarch or the others, but which one cannot really read.

I think I have a free will epiphany to write about some time as well. LOL


Babylon 2

I took my Akkadian final today and it went a LOT better than the midterm. I actually feel confident of not failing. And next quarter, we'll read wonderful stuff. Like the code of Hammurapi and the Epic of Gilgamesh. This is truly the most fun I've had in academia since . . . since my Jurisprudence seminar. LOL. Well, I guess I shouldn't count that... since the Symposium seminar with Garnjobst senior year.
I should blog about law school sometime. I read a nice article in the Hillsdale Magazine about one of my fellow alumni who has pretty much reached the summit of legal education. He is, of course, a better man than I am. And doubtless both worked harder and invested more in the "system." But I think that people like that also want different things. I suppose that all of this should cause me to produce some sort of personal reflection about legal education. I wonder if Julie Gurley would read it? :)
Thanks to Charles Robison, I've developed a fetishistic passion for gourmet olives.


Big brother will be tracking you.. In other news, Buchanan is fighting back.The American Conservative is actually an interesting read. And a good foil.
This is the Roman Empire all over again. Europe is as Greece was, and the States will be Rome.


Dona nobis pacem.

Doesn't one ever fear the persecution which will attend one's "necessary" assaults upon socially constructed theologies, imperial judiciaries, and historically-na•ve reformed movements? Doesn't one sometimes flush with pride in the future chance to taste the bitter poison and to share the sophist's fate? Oh God, why have you left me estranged from my old philoi, from America and her secular constitution, from Puritanism and her feckless rebellion again the schoolmen and the rebirth? Must, I like Odysseus before me, be condemned to wander the seven seas, staring at the beautiful divas and copying strange inscriptions from the margins of memory? Can I never come home and lie with Penelope and care only for the state of my own garden? Perche, perche, perche.


Interesting that the UN appears to have drafted a contingency plan for Iraq post-Saddam. This would appear to render the organization even less credible to member states.

Interesting too that a North Korean missle warhead is alleged to have been found in Alaska.
Here and there does not matter
We must be still and still moving

osculetur me osculo oris sui quia meliora sunt ubera tua vino

nigra sum sed formonsa filiae Hierusalem sicut tabernacula Cedar sicut pelles Salomonis

fasciculus murrae dilectus meus mihi inter ubera mea commorabitur

ego flos campi et lilium convallium

leva eius sub capite meo et dextera illius amplexabitur me

et dilectus meus loquitur mihi surge propera amica mea formonsa mea et veni
iam enim hiemps transiit imber abiit et recessit
flores apparuerunt in terra tempus putationis advenit vox turturis audita est in terra nostra

dilectus meus mihi et ego illi qui pascitur inter lilia
donec adspiret dies et inclinentur umbrae revertere similis esto dilecte mi capreae aut hinulo cervorum super montes Bether

paululum cum pertransissem eos inveni quem diligit anima mea tenui eum nec dimittam donec introducam illum in domum matris meae et in cubiculum genetricis meae

vulnerasti cor meum soror mea sponsa vulnerasti cor meum in uno oculorum tuorum et in uno crine colli tui

quam pulchrae sunt mammae tuae soror mea sponsa pulchriora ubera tua vino et odor unguentorum tuorum super omnia aromata

ego dormio et cor meum vigilat vox dilecti mei pulsantis aperi mihi soror mea amica mea columba mea inmaculata mea quia caput meum plenum est rore et cincinni mei guttis noctium

pessulum ostii aperui dilecto meo at ille declinaverat atque transierat anima mea liquefacta est ut locutus est quaesivi et non inveni illum vocavi et non respondit mihi

averte oculos tuos a me quia ipsi me avolare fecerunt

quae est ista quae progreditur quasi aurora consurgens pulchra ut luna electa ut sol terribilis ut acies ordinata

quid videbis in Sulamiten nisi choros castrorum quam pulchri sunt gressus tui in calciamentis filia principis iunctura feminum tuorum sicut monilia quae fabricata sunt manu artificis
umbilicus tuus crater tornatilis numquam indigens poculis venter tuus sicut acervus tritici vallatus liliis
duo ubera tua sicut duo hinuli gemelli capreae
collum tuum sicut turris eburnea oculi tui sicut piscinae in Esebon quae sunt in porta filiae multitudinis nasus tuus sicut turris Libani quae respicit contra Damascum
caput tuum ut Carmelus et comae capitis tui sicut purpura regis vincta canalibus
quam pulchra es et quam decora carissima in deliciis

quis mihi det te fratrem meum sugentem ubera matris meae ut inveniam te foris et deosculer et iam me nemo despiciat

pone me ut signaculum super cor tuum ut signaculum super brachium tuum quia fortis est ut mors dilectio dura sicut inferus aemulatio lampades eius lampades ignis atque flammarum
aquae multae non poterunt extinguere caritatem nec flumina obruent illam si dederit homo omnem substantiam domus suae pro dilectione quasi nihil despicient eum


For me, blogging is like drinking or smoking--something to be done in binges



I just looked up an old friend and found that she has been very busy and has a nice geocities page illustrating her recent work on a stations of the cross cycle..
How will the wheel turn?

Moral relativism in the guise of sexual autonomy today tends to be the unquestioned assumption of my generation in the same way that amoral economic liberalism was made out to be the unquestioned assumption of the mid-19th century in America. As the Russian Revolution and American Progressives replaced political liberty and democratic methodology with economic intervention and utopian schemes, so I predict that we will see another revolution in somewhere in the West in the next few decades which will recast both the non-economic and sexual liberalism of 1917 and 1968 in terms of some new synthesis which sharply appropriates human sexuality and reproduction along more communitarian and less individualistic lines, either in response to or in transmutation/appropriation of the ideologies of gay rights and radical feminism.
Changing guards.

The Hillsdale Collegian reports that Don Mossey has resigned as chairman of the Hillsdale College board of trustees, after about 30 years on the job, and has been replaced by William Brodbeck.
What Henry Fast was supposed to be doing . . .

atque omne immensum peragravit mente animoque,
unde refert nobis victor quid possit oriri,
quid nequeat, finita potestas denique cuique

De Rerum Natura
, I.74-76.

Tokyo girl, Tokyo girl
You've got the moves to rule the world
That cute inscrutability
Tokyo girl, you're a mystery

Tokyo girl, Tokyo girl
Shaking up hearts around the world
You can't forget that stunning face
Smiling at you it's your destiny

She's got the face sweet as a baby
Elegant taste and money to burn
Her "yes" is "no", "no" is a "maybe"
Her language is so hard to learn

Tokyo girl, Tokyo girl
You've got the moves to rule the world
That cute inscrutability
Tokyo girl, you're a mystery

Though there's a fire burns inside her
Outside is ivory, silk and ice
Nothing she wants is denied her
You'd better take my advice

Many have tried to get near her
Deep in the heart of Tokyo
Found nothing there but a mirror
She's no one you'll ever know

Tokyo girl, Tokyo girl
You've got the moves to rule the world
That cute inscrutability
Tokyo girl, you're a mystery

She's got the face sweet as a baby
Elegant taste and money to burn
Her "yes" is "no," "no" is a "maybe"
Her language is so hard to learn

Oh, well, it's just a song from my sister's Ace of Base album.. LOL.

In the grand scheme of things, with hundreds of years of hindsight, the aircraft carrier may well be recognized as the distinctive, decisive instrument of American power, much as the Roman legion was served for Latin power-projection. Maintenance of such units is of course economically and technologically possible for the other powers, but even France and Russia never really devoted the effort.
PK troopers?

Did anyone see Jeffery Sharlet's article in the March 2003 Harper's: "JESUS PLUS NOTHING: Undercover among America's secret theocrats"? The article is alarmist, left-wing paranoia on one level, but on another, I think it does accurately capture the mentality of the post-Reed, post-PK Christian republican sophisticates: people of this ilk really do think this way, quite to the point of Machiavellian subterfuge coupled with Gnostic mysticism.