November 18th, 2017

Juliette on Christian Prayer

My friend and Africa travel buddy Juliette shares her thoughts on prayer:

'... in situations like this, Christians pray for the comfort of the living, that they are reminded of the hope of eternal life, and to go along with that, that their loved ones likely made it into Heaven, considering what they were doing when they died.'


Genesis. 2:18 - 20. "... he did not find a helper corresponding to him." The subject of the sentence is Adam, as the Artscroll translation recognizes with the uncapitalized "he". G-d has already declared an intention to "make" a companion for Adam. The purpose of introducing the animals to Adam is to encourage the as yet undifferentiated Adam to create a shared language language so that he/she/they will be able to communicate. Adam is presumably looking for, and "not finding", a companion in the natural world, unaware that the Creator has already made other plans. The two differing intentions - Adam's and G-d's - are beautifully harmonized in v. 23, where (male) Adam gives a name to his new companion, "woman" [אשה], because she was taken from man [איש]. There's a tradition that if you take the names of man and woman [אשה|איש] and take away the name of G-d [י-ה], all you're left with is fire [שאֵ].

The Federalist. 39 - 40. In 39, Madison (as Publius) argues that the proposed Constitution represents "neither a national nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both." In 40, he defends the convention's decision to scrap, rather than revise, the Articles of Confederation.

The Road to Reality (Roger Penrose). Section 5.3. Exponential function expressed as power series; multi-valued logarithms in the complex plane. "There are many different solutions z for a given choice of w in the relation w = e^z." Introduction of the factor 2*pi*i in the exponent, and the derivation of Euler's formula.

Visual Complex Analysis (Tristan Needham). pp. 14 - 17. Derivation of sine and cosine from Euler's formula, and geometrical interpretations.