Archives For December 2010

Christians need to find a way to thrive in a society that looks less and less like any sort of Christendom — and more and more like the diverse and complicated Roman Empire where their religion had its beginning, 2,000 years ago this week.

A brilliantly written piece that names the difficult place American Christians find themselves in each December. Douthat gives a nod to Hunter’s book as well as mentioning “American Grace.” Perhaps this ought to be on the must-read list for dmingml?

As an aside, the banner ad when I loaded the article was for GFES. Nice. Read the entire article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/opinion/20douthat.html?_r=1

Jeeps and Memoirst History

December 14, 2010 — 4 Comments

Jeep_wrangler_jkfording_water

When I was in college, I bought a Jeep Wrangler. I loved that car. It let me go where other drivers feared to tread. It broke with the monotony of the commute. No longer bound to asphalt, I was free to take less obvious paths to new, exciting destinations. If no path existed, I could simply forge my own. For those of my friends brave enough to pile in with me, I promised adventure the likes of which they’d never seen on four wheels before.

Soon after I became the proud owner my Jeep, I noticed other Wranglers on the roads. They seemed to be everywhere, a rising tide of other wander-lust motorists. As we passed one another on the byways, it was not uncommon to exchange a lifted hand as a sign of solidarity. It said, “I get it. You too are only temporarily bound to these ‘roads.’ Soon, we will be free, my friend. Soon, we will be free.”
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Why We’re All Gardeners

December 12, 2010 — 2 Comments

Von_koch_curve

My last post on Wheatley’s Leadership and the New Science centered on the role that relationships have to play in organizational leadership. Now I want to take a closer look at what Wheatley has to say about organizational behavior and leadership. For this, she draws from the image of fractals.

A fractal (like the snowflake above) is, simply put, a repeating geometric shape that, when it is split into parts, each part is roughly a smaller copy of the whole. This gives the fractal the appearance of infinite magnification. In nature, fractals can be seen in the patterns of ferns, snowflakes, even broccoli. Mathematicians make fractals by writing non-linear equations–problems where the answer is fed back into the equation each time it is solved, resulting in a new equation with a new answer. This behavior is called “self-reference.”
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Drinking-from-a-firehose-300x1

It’s cliché, but this first semester of my doctoral pursuits has been like drinking water from a firehose. Each week seemed to come with a deluge of its own. My reading and comprehension skills have never been better. I’ve felt on the edge of overwhelmed the entire way through, but I take that to be a good thing.

So what have I learned from all that reading and subsequent writing?
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