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Book Review: "Philosophy in Seven Sentences" by Douglas Groothuis


Book Review: "Philosophy in Seven Sentences" by Douglas Groothuis

Is it possible to give a complete introduction to Philosophy in seven sentences? No.
But thankfully that is not the idea of Douglas Groothuis' skillfully written book. While he takes you on a journey through the thought processes of various philosophers throughout the ages, what he accomplishes best is a whetting of the appetite for deeper thought and a projected discomfort for mental laziness (or acedia). From a single sentence and brief history of each of the philosophers featured, he weighs the themes of their philosophical approaches with how they affect us today. From Protagoras' idea of man being the measure of all things, bringing about a self destructive form of relativism, to Augustine's desire to find ultimate satisfaction and rest for the human soul, each of these thinkers have impacted the way people see the world today, and there is a gold mine to explore with each of them.

After you finish this book you will be spurred on to further study, and you will realize that philosophy is not merely a discipline in isolation, but rather is the pursuit of wisdom and the knowledge of where we came from, who we are, and where we are going. And this applies to every facet of life. Even if you do not agree with all of his conclusions, you will understand why "the unexamined life is not worth living." So, whether you are a seasoned philosopher or an average Joe just looking to understand the deeper things of life, you will find plenty to explore here.

Dr. Groothuis said it well,
"Philosophy is not a closed club or a secret society. Since we all can think about ultimate questions, let's do it."



Summer Trip to Czech Republic Schedule

We're Going!! Follow along with us!     :) 

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Summary of Trip:

  •  First 2 weeks with Josiah Venture
  •  Spend a couple days in Prague getting to know our Pioneer Team Leaders
  •  Last week and half in Brno with our fellow teammates who have been on the ground for almost a year.

Why we are heading over this summer:

One of Pioneer's requirements for us to move long-term to the Czech Republic is that we take a survey trip beforehand. This four week trip next month will not only fill that requirement, but also give us a better understanding of the country that we are preparing to move to.

For the first week and half we will be partnering with Josiah Adventure to teach at a youth english camp. After the fall of communism during the "Velvet Revolution", Josiah Venture is a mission organization founded just shortly afterwards whose focus is on reaching out to the the region's young people. Their popular summer camps cultivate a positive environment where American teams can share God's amazing grace through teaching English, sports, games, crafts, music and more. Although there are still many remnants of the old regime who firmly hold to atheism and strongly reject the concept of a loving, personal God, there is an emerging young generation of Czech people who are showing an openness to the message of Jesus Christ. That's exciting!

Who is going?

There will be 8 of us American's along with local Czech leaders and translators. The camp will consist of anywhere of 50-80 campers from the ages of 13-18. After the camp is finished, Dan and I will explore the country by visiting our team in Prague and Brno.

Camp Schedule:

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Trip Schedule: Note: Dates August 4-7th are subject to change.

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Prayer Needs:

  • Pray for safety and good health for us who are traveling overseas as well as for our kids who will be traveling and staying with Lisa's parents in Montana.
  • Pray for our kids as we will be gone from them for nearly 4 weeks and which will be difficult emotionally and mentally for them.
  • Pray that God would prepare the hearts of those whom we will come in contact with in Czech Republic.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit will move among the students at camp.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment as we travel and see the country.
  • Pray that we would be an encouragement to those who are there.
  • Pray that we would catch on to the Czech language quickly :)
  • Pray that God would be glorified in all that we do.



A few fragments of 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Milwaukee, WI! 2013 has been a roller coaster year for the Bartol family.  These are a few snippets of what happened: We started the year off in Oklahoma City in the middle of an internship with Sam Storms, then traveled to Chicago to graduate from Moody Bible Institute in May.  In the process of all of that we moved everything to Denver, followed by a 6 week trip around the country, visiting friends and family in IL, WI, and MT.  Then a few weeks after that Lisa and I went to Florida for an orientation with the mission group Pioneers International, where the reality of moving to Brno, Czech Republic became all the more clear to us.

Back in Denver, I climbed my first 14er with my cousin Mark.  Then began the fall semester at Denver Seminary.  The workload I took on was one of the hardest, yet beneficial, challenges of my academic life.  On a brighter note, Lisa and I also celebrated our first 5 years of marriage!  Now that the semester is all over, things have winded down (a little).  We moved into a new apartment in November and we are now enjoying the holidays in Milwaukee (this is my first time home for Christmas since I left for the Air Force).

For 2014, I don't usually take part in the resolution fad, but these are a few things I hope to do more of: -Read more (as if I have a choice), but watch less. -Spend more time alone with Jesus. -Make more room for dates with Lisa -Invest more time in my neighbors and the people closest to us (since moving into our own place this has happened a lot more). -Open up our home to others on a weekly basis.

270864_10151921225672178_1740242438_n1379250_10152277669897178_853820293_n971007_10151951975137178_687643592_n1004579_10152004189462178_1065948994_n1381942_10152303675437178_165530651_n1450891_10152397873192178_1108261102_n1380105_10152313758022178_1064805952_n1380295_10152360259027178_2027285081_n AND Happy Birthday to Adelyn Marie!  She turned 4 years old today :-D Every Year it amazes me to see how big she is getting from how small she was.   1526464_10152526584472178_1303362308_n17457_240312392826_4527352_n




Quandary Peak

1005364_10151868585372419_2034618317_nLast Thursday my cousin Mark and I took a trip to climb Quandary peak.  It was a very memorable day, with deep conversations, taking unknown trails and watching a little old lady pass us like she was an olympic runner (at least that's how it felt).  We were determined to make it the whole way up, even though every step began to feel like a task in and of itself around 12,000 ft.

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Around 13,000 feet it began to rain.  And then rain some more and well, next thing we knew it was raining sideways and hail began to smack our faces pretty hard and the rocks were getting slippery.  Thankfully a group of 3 were going back and a guy gave his poncho to me (only had a jacket up until then).  But we went a little further and thought we would just rough it to the top, but it just kept getting worse, so we looked at each other and determined that it would be wise to turn back. DSC_1976

Sure enough, by the time we made it to the bottom the sun was back out and it was getting warm again.  But overall it was a bonding experience (getting to know my cousin has been awesome) and we were able to see a small taste of the bigness of Jesus.  There's so many analogies you can come up with as you think about climbing one of those things.  But hopefully we'll get another Thursday soon to take it on all the way to the top and feel the weight of 14,000ft on the lungs.

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