Showing posts from September, 2013

New England gabion house idea

Although I love straw bale houses, New England is not a big wheat producing region with lots of waste straw to bale. I'm not certain, but I think straw would have to be imported for a Connecticut house. It's a great insulating "brick" to build with, but I've been pondering what is local, and abundant and affordable to build with?

I also love earth bricks, but our soil typically needs to have clay supplemented in these parts, to make them. I have seen a Canadian rammed earth house built in a sandwich around a foam core. Rammed earth has the same needs as earth bricks and earth bags as well.

I live in Connecticut, where farms are very good at raising rocks. Literally, for centuries, New England farmers have to clear new rocks out of their fields, heaved up each winter by the freeze thaw cycle. Stone walls are everywhere around here. Like many things in these parts, glaciers get the blame. Nevertheless, stone is an abundant natural resource. Quarries are also a…

book response: Against the Gods by John D. Currid (2013)

When it comes to understanding the Bible, context is extremely important. Dr. Currid has provided a very distilled, but excellent introduction to the ancient Near Eastern (ANE) world that the Jewish scriptures emerged from in his book Against the Gods: The Polemical Theology of the Old Testament. Archaeologists have done tremendous work and translators, who cannot keep up with all the discoveries, are making the context better and better. Dr. Currid focuses the book on a few key stories from Genesis and Exodus. He has a chapter on the creation account, Noah's flood, Joseph and the false rape accusation, Moses and his infant escape, Moses's escape from Egypt, God's name "I am that I am", Moses's miracle rod, the parting of the Red Sea and seemingly plagiarism of Canaanite Psalms.

The book description on the back of the book is enlightening for what leading question it does not answer. "Did the Old Testament writers borrow ideas from their pagan neighbors…