Month: July 2016

Watercolor metaphors for Postmodernists

STEPHEN - WIN_20140418_073727
Watercolor School: metaphors for luminosity (partly-found-verse)

  1. The equipment necessary to begin:
    brushes, palettes, sponges.
    Be sure to buy the best paints
    and sable brushes,
    though squirrel and ox hair will suffice,
    if you keep them clean.
    You will ruin your brushes
    if you leave them standing in water.
    Sponges and cottons
    create highlights, corrections,
    and can lay down colors.
    And most importantly,
    you must have good light
    over the left shoulder (if right handed).
    Soak and stretch your paper,
    or use hand-made of pure rag.
    Water and color on white paper
    reflects white back through
    the thin layers of paint,
    giving them their luminosity.
  2. A wash
    is a veil of color
    over a large area
    that can be the background
    for a sea-scape, land-scape, or still-life.
    It can be flat or uneven (as in gradated)
    which is needed for blue skies
    and requires practice
    — like variegated washes for a sunset —
    but too much water,
    or not enough,
    will create undesirable effects.
  3. Because you cannot judge the colors
    until the paint is dry,
    watercolors can require
    much waiting.
  4. You can make random effects
    by dipping your brush
    into any color,
    even though you will not know
    how they will look
    until applied and mixed on paper,
    how dark or light.
  5. Because watercolors
    are transparent,
    you cannot make any color lighter
    by overlaying one on another;
    you can only make it darker,
    though you can alter layers
    by painting lighter ones
    over darker ones.
  6. This is comforting
    because it takes away the fear
    that nothing can be changed
    once it is brushed onto paper.
  7. Counterchange
    means the lightness
    against the darkness.







Paradoxes & principles of painting:

  • Spontaneity can only be achieved
    through careful planning.
  • Creating spontaneity
    involves flexibility, trial, and error.
  • Do not be ashamed
    to use a ruler to be creative.
  • Following these rules
    will produce unique results.
  • To construct highlights leave the paper bare,
    since white does not absorb light.
  • Luminosity is light
    reflecting back from the paper
    through veils of color.
  • Masking, or scraping and scratching, through the layers of color
    are other ways to bring out the light.
  • Forms of all objects
    are determined by the light
    that falls upon them.
  • Shadowed forms are made
    wherever an object
    turns away from the light.
  • Too much overlay of shadows
    will muddy the divisions
    between light and shades.
  • The intensity of the light
    and the texture of the object
    will determine contrasting degrees.
  • Blending of colors
    gives varying effects,
    of either soft or hard edges.
  • In both cases,
    the boundaries and divisions must be retained,
    whether soft or harsh results.
  • Shadows are necessary
    to act as an anchor,
    tying each object to its place.
  • Shadows link objects,
    and seldom are gray,
    but are ablaze with the hues of many colors.



Entirely Scientific Postscripts of Principles to Our Serious Unalysis of Old Mother Hubbard[1]

  1. Principle of criticism: no documents from the past can be accepted as authoritative. All claims must be weighed by modern presuppositions and perspectives. Judgments about the past can only be probability, not true or false. All “pre-critical” interpretation is suspect as unscientific.
  2. Principle of analogy: The only legitimate key to the past is the present, and past events must be analogous or similar to what is possible now, prohibiting unique events.
  3. Principle of causality or correlation: all historical data are interrelated and dependent so that any change in the historical nexus effects a change in all that surrounds it.
  4. Principle of scientific objective neutrality: datum is all part of a cause-effect sequence that can be tested. Historical-criticism eliminates the ‘prejudice’ contained in the interpreter’s background (especially, one’s theological school or church associations).[2]
  5. Principle of autonomy: the research scholar can make up his own mind in light of the scientific evidence.
  6. Principle of naturalism: rejection of supernatural in ancient texts, and the elevation of rationalism to explain away all such residual superstitious religious aspects.

[1] Adapted from  V. Poythress, Science and Hermeneutics, pp. 441-442. He quotes Ernst Troeltsch, “Uber historische und dogmatische Method in der Theologie,” Gesamelte Schriften, vol. 2, Zur religiösen Lage, Religionsphilosophie, und Ethik, 2d. ed. (Aalen: Scientia, 1962), pp. 729-953); W. Kaiser, Toward Rediscovering the Old Testament. p. 60, who quotes George Kelly (very similar to Troeltsch), The New Biblical Theorists: Raymond Brown and Beyond, (Ann Arbor, Mich: Servant, 1983), p. 21.

[2] Poythress, Science and Hermeneutics, p. 466. That is, historical-criticism sought to eliminate interpretive prejudice through scientific exegesis and objective historical study.

A Verily Serious Analysis of Mother Goose’s “Old Mother Hubbard” for Modern Readers, or, Mother Goose Goosed by the Historical Critics

In order to illustrate the folly of the so-called “critical” methods, J.W. McGarvey authored (in 1893) a piece titled, “A Literary Analysis of an Ancient Poem.” This satirical piece showed the absurdity of the critical ideology that fragments the biblical text into many alleged contradictory sources, something that many critics have not yet caught onto . .  .[1]

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard,
To get her poor dog a bone.
When she got there, the cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.


“In the uncritical ages of the past, this poem was believed to be the composition of a single person – a very ancient English woman by the name of Goose. Whether we should style her Mrs. Goose, or Miss Goose, we have no means of deciding with certainty, for the stories which have come down to historical times concerning her are mostly legendary. It might be supposed that the title “mother” would settle this difficult question; but, as in certain convents of our day, venerable spinsters are styled Mother, so may it have been in the days of Goose.

But, leaving this interesting question as one for further historical inquiry, we turn to the poem itself, and by applying to it the scientific process of literary analysis, we find that the document did not originate, as our fathers have supposed, from a single author, but that it is a composite structure, at least two original documents having been composed within it by a Redactor. This appears from the incongruities between the two traditions which evidently underlie the poem.

One of these traditions represents the heroine of the poem, a venerable Mrs. Hubbard, as a benevolent woman, who loved her dog, as appears from the fact that she went to the cupboard to get him some food. If we had the whole story, we should doubtless find that she did this every time the dog was hungry, and as she surely would not go to the cupboard for the dog’s food unless she knew there was some in the cupboard, we can easily fill out the story of her benevolence by assuming that she put something away for the dog when she ate her own meals.

Now, in direct conflict with this, the other tradition had it that she kept the dog “poor;” for he is called her “poor dog;” and, in keeping with this fact, instead of giving him meat, she gave him nothing but bones. Indeed, so extreme was her stinginess toward the poor dog that, according to this tradition, she actually put away the bones in the cupboard with which to mock the poor dog’s hunger.  A woman could scarcely be represented more inconsistently than Mrs. Hubbard was by these two traditions; and consequently none but those who are fettered by tradition, can fail to see that the two must have originated from two different authors.

For the sake of distinction, we shall style one of the authors, Goose A, and the other, Goose B. In these two forms, then, the traditions concerning this ancient owner of a dog came down from prehistoric times. At length there arose a literary age in England, and then R [Redactor] put together into one the accounts written by the two gooses, but failed to conceal their incongruities, so that unto this day, Mother Hubbard is placed in the ridiculous light of going to the cupboard when there was nothing in it; of going there, notwithstanding her kindness to her dog, to tantalize him by getting him a mere bone; and to cap the climax, of going all the way to the cupboard to get the bone when she knew very well that not a bone was there.

Some people are unscientific enough to think, that in thus analyzing the poem, we are seeking to destroy its value; but every one who has the critical faculty developed can see that this ancient household lyric is much more precious to our souls since we have come to understand its structure; and that, contradictory as its two source documents were, it is a blessed thing that, in the providence of God, both have been preserved in such a form that critical analysis is capable of separating and restoring them” (J.W. McGarvey, Biblical Criticism, Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 1910, pp. 34-36).

[1] From


The Christian’s Intellectual Life by Gaebelein

No Christian, however pious, will ever grow intellectually if he feeds his mind on trash, on the third-rate; if he never on his own reads some hard books, listens to some great and profound music, or tries to converse seriously about difficult subjects.

Turning from these th41YWS2AoRbL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_ings to the greatest Book of all, let me ask, What is the place of the Bible in our lives? Have we the fortitude to maintain inviolate a daily time alone with the Word of God? One may be an intellectual person without the Bible, but one will never be a Christian intellectual without it.

Finally, we grow in intellect in the broadest and deepest sense as we submit ourselves to our teacher. And who is that? As Bishop Stephen F. Bayne, Jr., said in a semicentennial address at the Kent School, “God Is the Teacher.” In the Christian college — and herein lies the inestimable value of a committed Christian college — the living God is recognized as the source of all wisdom and excellence. And how does he teach? Let me say it reverently. God is not a progressive educator. He teaches us daily, as we pay the price of hard thinking. He teaches us through his Word. He teaches us through teachers who in turn are taught by him. He teaches us through the discipline of trial and disappointment and suffering, and through our successes too. But most of all he teaches us through our Lord Jesus Christ. When God teaches us, he is always saying in and through and above whatever we are studying and learning for ourselves, or, in the case of us teachers, what we are teaching others, “This is my beloved Son; hear him.”

The intellectual life at its highest and best is above all else a Christ-centered life. It means having the mind of the Lord Jesus. It has a goal, the magnificent, lofty goal, as Paul said, of “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Like the high priest of Israel who had written on the mitre over his forehead, “Holiness unto the Lord,” so the Christian student and scholar, dedicated the intellectual life, must have written over his mind, “Holiness unto the Lord,” as he seeks to ponder and dwell on the truth.”[1]

[1] Frank Gaebelein,”The Christian’s Intellectual Life,” A Varied Harvest, p. 97.