About Christov10

I’m a busy guy who’s not getting as much exercise as he needs, paddles folding kayaks for fun, and writes past his ability to clearly and consistently communicate sense. I like taking pictures of things I see while exploring local waterways, abandoned industrial structures, and commercial buildings.

I’ve lived in Germany, Spain, Turkey, Greece. I’ve lived in California, Oregon, Kentucky, and Tennessee. As a younger man, I fluently attempted to speak* French when drunk. As a child I spoke passable German. I am a native English-speaker.

I am what most pollsters would call a born-again Christian, and if it were not for my faith, I would be an anarchist or a super-villain. As a younger man, my dad said to me, only half-joking, “No, you have a light side,” as opposed to a dark side. Prior to earning a baccalaureate degree, I tested into, but did not finish a law school and a Southern Baptist seminary. I hold a degree in journalism. I am not Al Gore. I am Christov of Stepford.

I wish there was a little more wind...

*Bertrand Mafart asked me about my claim of alcoholic fluency in his mother tongue, and after reevaluating what I can remember from the time, I think it more reasonable to state that I more easily attempted to speak French, and it was a variety of American high school French sufficient to convey and apprehend meaning. To the extent that one who has consumed a liter of Vodka and innumerable bottles of cheap beer is capable of expressing and decoding sense.

2010

The following is part of a self-assessment project I completed in early May.  As you might expect, I’ve redacted the text and have not included the list of references cited.  If you are sufficiently curious and have access to electronic databases that include a variety of peer-reviewed journals, you can figure them out for yourself.  I’ve left quite a bit out, which should account for any perceived incompleteness.

I write as a man in early middle age who has for the past 12 years been living within the culture into the fringes of which he was born (toward the middle part of the last century).

If not exactly a weakness, my tendency to disvalue conventional authority while overvaluing my own experience and cognitive faculty when faced with what is usually referred to as an ethical dilemma is a trait that if left unchecked could easily and possibly has produce(d) errors in judgment capable of producing harm in the lives of others.  Furthermore, what may be termed my moral development has, over the course of my life shown a tendency to fall in to Rast’s “Post-Conventional” third Neo-Kohlbergian schema of development wherein “rules are interpreted in terms of self-chosen principles” (Halverson, Miars, & Livneh, 2006, p. 18).  In the same vein, however, I reckon my hypothetical willingness to contravene generally accepted interpretations of legal stricture to promote what Hermann and Herlihy (2006) describe as “(t)he moral principles of justice (fairness), beneficence (doing good), nonmaleficence (doing no harm), and respect for autonomy” (p. 417) may in some instances be a strength.

I am still sorting out whether or to what degree my desire to make sense of circumstance and variable as they present in (my work) or as they otherwise manifest in the course of my life, is a weakness.  Certainly I attempt to remain mindful that my curiosity may in some circumstances be an ethically and perhaps legally insufficient motive to capture some (professional) data, even when it pertains to the (work at hand).

In speaking to my beliefs, I unashamedly and unapologetically identify as Christian whose theology may be described as Calvinist.  I value life and the freedom of all people to act and express themselves as autonomously as they may, knowing nonetheless that actions and expressions may have consequences unforeseen by the individual but comprehensible as what may befall the actor inhabiting shared circumstances with other individuals likewise active.  I value learning and the freedom of individuals to choose to attempt an educational outcome when ready.  I oppose authoritarianism, especially that forced collectivism most closely associated with the Marxist/socialist worldview and its evidently pervasive dialectic of class-struggle as means of goading one group to steal what belongs to another group or to an individual.

My bias is eclectically in favor of what I posit are the best features of my Northern and Southern European heritage:  again, the value placed upon education, both formal and informal; the value intrinsic to the individual; the value of work; the value of thrift.  I see these values resulting in functional vocational and living outcomes, and therefore superior to those fostering dependence and the acquisition of unearned or unmerited gain.  I find that I am unable to take seriously “scholarly” protestations against the so-called “myth of meritocracy” (the term is not mine, but I have now forgotten its proper citation).  As a Eurocentric Calvinist (which orientation is probably not to blame for the fact that) I have sufficient detachment to and have actually (interacted in a personally and professionally ethical manner with) persons whose values are antithetical to my own.

15 thoughts on “About Christov10

  1. howdy!

    thanks so much for posting theflatironarchive.com on your blogroll. also i told you an incorrect fact. the facebook i.d. you want for us is doodle bug. i apologize for this. theflatironcafe is what we use on myspace. i was confused (as usual). i looked for you on facebook under christov10 and christov_tenn but i didn’t find you. but, i’m not very savvy on facebook so i do well just to log in! anyway, hope all is well with you and yours!

  2. Hi there,

    I linked here from some comments on Steve Brown’s blog. I’ve been struggling through some of his stuff, wanting to believe it but afraid of being led astray, and more than a little overwhelmed by the intensity of some of his blog commenters. You seemed to have a reasonable head on your shoulders, so I thought I’d stop by. (I’ve already been driven from a church for being a Calivinist. Lord knows I don’t want to be antinomian, or “emergent” – but the Church is driving me nuts, and I’m tired from making resolutions like Edwards, and feeling guilty all the time, like God’s never really pleased with me.) How’s that for an introduction?

    So my husband and I are HUGE Dr. Who fans. We’re actually watching the original series at the moment, because we ran out of new ones to watch. (We don’t have cable or satellite, but wait til holidays and ask for the latest sets as gifts!)

    That’s all I’ve got. Hope you don’t mind if I drop by from time to time.

  3. Hey Laurie,

    You guys are always welcome here.

    I wasn’t actually driven out of the church where my wife and I served as Sunday School teachers and I as a deacon for several years. We voluntarily left that congregation because I perceived it had become sort of a niche or boutique congregation deliberately, but not openly, catering to a particular demographic – and I didn’t see any of that as having more than vestigial relation to Christ and the Gospel. Actually, that group reckons itself very Calvinist. Unfortunately, that seems to mean they are rigidly clericalist in their ecclesiology (I may have misspelled that word). Functionally, they are in lock-step with the folks over at The Whitehorse Inn who reckon cleric-less Christianity the same as Christless Christianity.

    I’m not sure where I stand on the whole emergent movement. Strikes me as just another club with somewhat different means of establishing bona fides: Little beards, square narrow glasses, doctorates, “don’t read their books, read mine,” etc. Where the folks from either side of that war are capable of honest reflection and communicating the sense arising therefrom, then I’ll listen to or read what they’ve got to say.

    I guess I gradually came to a reformed understanding of scripture on the fourth or fifth reading of the New Testament, over a long period of time.

    Having little respect for what passes for authority in or out of what passes for the church, I have some real antinomian tendencies, can’t justify making resolutions I know that without divine intervention on a bone-nerve-joint-synaptic level I will not keep.

    To keep from being led astray, here is my completely unasked-for advice: I can only suggest reading the gospels again and again, then the rest of the New and also the Old Testaments in some kind of systematic way that makes sense to you. Ask critical question while you’re reading like, “Why was that included?” and “Who would have known and then communicated this information to the author or to someone from whom the author got the information?” then “What did it mean then (to the original readers or hearers)?” and “What does it mean now? (which is a variation on ‘why was that included?’)” Be honest with yourself and God in prayer as you read the scriptures about what you think, feel, and question about them, and trust God to provide you with some real insight through time.

    One of the best things reformed theology teaches is that the only thing any of us bring to contact with the Living God is his having called us, our sin and guilt – the work of salvation is all God’s.

    I’ve been trying to get through a 1964 set of Dr. Who episodes entitled The Aztecs. It’s in black and white, and the first doctor is an old man who has a granddaughter. I’m going to have to check Wikipedia to get the story on Who’s granddaughter. Some of the shows from the 70s appear to have daytime drama production values – pretty claustrophobic for this viewer. I’m hoping Netflix uploads the 2008 series so I can get back to the current set of stories and conflicts.

  4. Thanks for your response. We’re on the original 1963-66 shows, with the old doctor and granddaughter. It seems the doctor gets slightly younger with each regeneration. Definite soap opera production quality but wildly entertaining, though some of the laughs were clearly not intended. (The running scenes are a riot.) We’ve recently finished watching a set of the very early Twilight Zones, and feel they may have influenced Dr. Who. One of the episodes reminded us an awful lot of the bomb shelter Twilight Zone – exploring the dark side of human nature and all that. We too can hardly wait to get the next new episodes.

    I overstated my case when I said we were driven out. It felt that way, but technically it was my brother-in-law, who was an associate pastor, and several others who were heavily pressured into leaving “willingly”. So they did, hoping to avoid splitting the church. The way they were treated, compounded with the fact that you had to sign a form stating, among other things, that you were not a Calvinist in order to serve in the church, led us to feel that church was no longer the place for us.

    I’m not familiar with the “clerical” business you’re speaking of. Probably because our church is independent and baptist. We’re congregational, and so small and new we barely know what we’re doing – which brings its own set of problems.

    Again, thanks for your response. I’ll be back to visit.

  5. I can more than equal your wind – no doubt about it. It’s only immense self-control (is there an emoticon for tongue-in-cheek?) that keeps my comments as brief as they are.

    I haven’t come across an explanation for the grand-daughter yet. If I find one, I’ll let you know. My husband knows way more about all this than I do, but I haven’t asked him about that. He doesn’t like to give me spoilers. My goal is to eventually see them all – even the ones from the eighties (that’s where that character K-9, the robotic dog, came from, in case you didn’t know).

  6. Love your blog and your writing style. I like your personal stories, sense of humour and parenting insights and experiences – essential elements of humanity I think. Also all the pics of the waterways where you go kayaking look gorgeous – you seem to be surrounded by lots of beautiful nature. I’m impressed by how you find the time to maintain and regularly update the blog as well as find time to parent, go kayaking etc etc. Well done on a fabulous lifestyle and home-family life!

    • Your kind words make me blush.

      We have got a lot of water around here. One of the great things about Tennessee, as opposed to my native California, is that words like “creek,” “stream,” “river,” and “lake” have more than dictionary meanings, have existence outside the bindings of books.

      Finding time gets to be a chore, but it is a creative expression without which I’d probably develop temper problems.

      Our lifestyle probably only looks fabulous from a distance. Living is cheaper here, and we tell ourselves “No” a lot.

  7. You’re able to completely see your effort with the work you are writing. Society wants additional zealous internet writers as you what person will not be frightened to speak about that they trust. Frequently follow a core..

  8. Greetings from Brisbane. Thanks for the useful info. I’m doing a project at college and your stuff was quite useful. Thanks for sharing 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s