The Man of a Single Book

imageA Seven Quick Takes post as hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler on her Conversion Diary blog. I am grateful for her generosity.


“Beware the man of a single book.”
― St. Thomas Aquinas


“We are confronted with atheists who claim that science, rather than faith, has sole claim to real knowledge. Atheism, they claim, is a more reasonable and informed position than faith. Faith is portrayed as superstition; something that stands purely above reason. We have faith, they say, because we prefer being faithful to being reasonable. Some atheists claim that people of faith would rather be told what to believe than to use intelligence to determine truth for themselves.”

That came from a article published this week on the Crisis web site, and reminded me how many people there are who are men of a single book.  I say this because, although they accuse people of faith of wanting to be told what to believe, the can’t seem to get that they aee the ones in that position.  Science is an extremely limited field of knowledge, it’s subject matter is only that which can be quantified and measured in some way.   People who think science the only source of knowledge are reading from a single book, they are getting only one side of the story.  They can’t even explain their own “faith” in science in those terms, since this faith isn’t something that can be explained by the scientific method.  Why stick to one book when you can have the whole library?


Fall has arrived, even if it took a few days after the autumnal equinox to do so. Notwithstanding (I’ve been on the Thesaurus app again) the fairly warm days we’ve been enjoying, there’s a hint of chill in the morning air, sometimes more than a chill, and Halloween is fast approaching. Thoughts are already turning to Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season. I worried, when planning retirement, that finding ways to fill the days might be a problem and that I’d end up hooked to the tube all day. So far, that is the least of my worries; there are even times when I think I’m far too busy and need to slow down. Imagine.


Listening to Fox News on the radio, on the way to a workout yesterday, I heard some female celebrity asking for all kinds of criminal action against unknown hackers who posted immodest photos of her on the World Wide Web.

Such action may be justified, but I wonder when people will learn that if you don’t want such photos seen by the world, maybe you shouldn’t have them taken in the first place. Assuming that simply impossible, when will they learn that posting such photos anywhere on line in the same as having them appear on the front page of the New York Times? Nothing is secure on the web, just ask the NSA.

Perhaps these problems could have been avoided if people were once again taught the now terribly out of fashion virtue known as prudence, along with just a little temperance.


The clarinet playing is progressing. For my lesson on Saturday I’m scheduled to play a duet with my instructor. I’m nervous about it even though there’s no reason to be, the piece will be played in a 10×10, throughly sound-proofed studio, carefully shut away from the world. Thank goodness. The piece itself is three lines from something by Schubert and is mostly pretty simple, 4/4 time, few register breaks, and mercifully short. The only complicating factor is that the notes in every measure but two are slurred. I’ve been struggling with it the last three days when I should be able to play it in my sleep. I guess the famous Yogi Berra was right when he said, “99% of the game is half mental.”


I do most of my writing on an iPad. I do so because most laptops are far too heavy for me to use sitting on my lap; the weight does terrible things to my back. For the same reason, sitting at a desk for too long is also a questionable proposition. With my iPad, neatly enrobed in a one piece keyboard case, the whole thing weighing less than 2 pounds, the device can sit on my lap without problem for extended periods. It’s a convenient solution to my tech needs.

The reason I bring this up is to wonder if Apple is beginning to lose their way. Am I the only one who hates iOS 8? I keep getting an untraceable “Unable to Download Item” message, Apple has copied the much hated and always disappearing top-of-the-screen navigation bar from Google, and they moved around the Bookmark and Reading List icons, and made several other (non) improvements. I’m always reminded of those lines from Ecclesiastes when it comes to software upgrades, “vanity of vanities.” Just when things are working smoothly, someone has to come along and change it all. Ugh!


Speaking of vanities, I just read that Microsoft is readying a new Windows 10 version that will include features from Windows 7, features like the Start button and the desktop screen that were “improved” right out of Windows 8. Makes sense, coming up with a new version that brings back the best of the old version. Ugh!


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