The world against me rages, its fury I disdain;
Though bitter war it wages, its work is all in vain.
My heart from care is free, no trouble troubles me.
Misfortune now is play, and night is bright as day.

--Awake, My Heart, with Gladness (Auf, Auf, Mein Herz, mit Freuden), Paul Gerhardt

Monday, May 7, 2012

Faith seeking truth

Recently, I did a presentation for our university's pre-seminary students.  Here are some clips:

I want to talk about truth tonight – the search for knowledge.  This is the connection between learning and faith, or as Augustine put it: “faith seeking understanding”.  In the title of this talk I have put it as “faith seeking truth”.   I will also tie all of this in with libraries, vocation, technology and evangelism – all in under forty-five minutes!... 

For me, libraries have always held some real fascination.  All that information – I dare say knowledge – in one place.  I loved going to libraries when I was little.  And libraries go way back – the earliest libraries we know of were storehouses of religious “knowledge”, and were connected with the religious temples (in Egypt, for example).  Later on, all manner of learning were sought by the cruel Assyrian conqueror Ashurbanipal, who, oddly enough, was at once the leader of the world’s superpower and one of the world’s first librarians.  When he said “Shh”, you took heed....

From a simple worldly perspective, I can think of a variety of reasons persons might seek truth:  

Truth is something we just want to know....
Truth is valuable in a practical sense... is good to seek the truth, even if the truth is not always good...
We actually suppress the truth.  

We have nothing to fear from a robust conversation with the world (they, alternatively....).  All real truth and knowledge are of Divine origin.  The people of God have always been about learning, and hence, literacy, universities, and libraries have taken hold in areas influenced by Christianity... 

Just remember though "For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief" (Ecc. 1:18).  But we are to imitate Christ, the Man of Sorrows – who also knew great joy... 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Library tutorials I'm proud of

I am a librarian by day.  I’ve recently produced some video tutorials that deal with issues related to searching, research, and the nature of authority – and I think their applicability goes beyond our library (Concordia St. Paul).

I put a bunch of time into them and thought I'd keep track of them here.

So, if you are interested...

My favorite (discusses how to determine which sources are good for research and academic work. It includes information about the nature of authority / reliability):

This one goes along with it (discusses practical tips that can be used to help locate and evaluate quality web sites that are appropriate for your research and academic work):

This one is my second favorite (an introduction to doing research):

This one (on Advanced Searching) is is almost my second favorite (understand how the nature of language and the structure of databases can affect your search):

 ...and this one goes with it (advanced search features databases have in common that help us to search efficiently, effectively, and specifically -- getting great control over our results):

Finally, a video on Copyright Law (for educators- to supplement the SOPA mania from a few days ago):