Monday, December 17, 2007

A Little Light Reading

So, when the Pillowfight Fairy was just learning how to walk, she developed this truly charming habit of wobbling up to our bookshelf and pulling out a little light material. It was particularly charming since she always seemed to go for the same book, each time she tried this. This book was the 1993 edition of Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, by Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard.

The pages on this tome go up to 518, not counting the preface and introduction, which are numbered with those cute little Roman numerals that take me so long to figure out. And here's a sample of the text, pulled at random:
Writers normally communicate their thoughts through a contextually-coherent statement that uses words according to their natural meaning in such a context consistent with the historical-cultural setting. Each word's impact on the total thought of the sentence arises from its grammatical relationship to the other words. Therefore, to discover what a writer meant, one must concentrate on four things: literary context, historical-cultural background, words, and grammar. Regardless of the literary genre, for any interpretation to be true it must be consistent with:
  • the obvious sense of the literary context
  • the facts of the historical-cultural background
  • the normal meaning of the words in such a context
  • the proper grammatical relationship between the words.

A meaning that does not fit all four principles is unlikely to be the meaning the writer intended.

From Chapter 6, page 156 of the 1993 edition.

Well. The thought that our dear daughter was so interested in theology at such a young age was very bracing! Of course we had to protect our books, or our budding reader would have, um... devoured them, but we were careful to try to keep from squashing her natural curiosity and enthusiasm toward the subject.

Two years later, the Adrenaline Junkie was just learning to walk. She, like her older sister, was interested in checking out the books. But we were in a new house, with a new set of bookshelves; and Introduction to Biblical Interpretation was on a much higher shelf, and therefore--alas--out of her reach.

I can't remember for certain which book she went for, but I seem to remember trying to keep her from eating my copy of Halliday and Resnick's Fundamentals of Physics (3rd edition, from 1988). Actually, strike that. That would have been way too much to eat. We were trying to prevent her from accidentally pulling it out onto her foot, thus crippling her for life. But again, hey--if she wants to learn about physics, well... what more could any geek father like me ask for?

(um... for what more could any geek father like me ask? No... how about, ...what could any geek father like me ask for more? Hm. Still doesn't work. Whoever came up with that grammatical rule was on weed.)

So, we had one young tyke who wanted to learn some hard-core theology, and one that wanted to learn some hard-core physics. This seems very promising, does it not?

Well, the Happy Boy (currently 10 months old) is right on the verge of learning to walk. He even took a few unsupported steps today. And he pulls himself to a stand easily and readily, whenever anything halfway sturdy is within reach (and often when it isn't even halfway sturdy. We have to watch him with a falcon eye to make sure he doesn't suddenly pull folding chairs down upon himself).

And those books! What wonderful colors! I think I shall go over there, pull one out and gawk at the pretty colors, and see what they taste like. Hmmm....

So, which book did Mommy have to rescue three times from his gooey little clutches? What caught our little boy's eye, jarred the wheels of his mighty brain into motion, awakened the latent desires of his heart? What budding proclivities have appear'd in his rapidly developing demeanor?

He picked out the 1973 edition of this volume. This edition is bright, bright yellow, of course.


I know all daddies are supposed to like their kids, but I really, really like this one, 'kay?

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