From the Director
Welcome to the first issue of the CCEL Times, the newsletter of the Christian Classics Ethereal Library. In it you'll get news about the latest happenings at the CCEL, pointers to good books, discussion about future plans and ideas, usage hints, and more.
We have considered a number of possible mottoes for this newsletter. How about this one: "All the Olds that have Gone Out of Print"? Or, "What's Old, but Worthwhile Anyway"? We invite you to send us your suggestions.
This newsletter is edited by Nathan Bierma of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, and it will have contributions from various people, including myself. We plan to publish it once a month (perhaps twice eventually). We'll keep it short, perhaps a page, with some links to other web resources where appropriate. If you're not interested in receiving this newsletter, you can unsubscribe by adjusting your account settings at the CCEL (see "Your Subscription" below).
We pray that it may help build up the church.
Director of the CCEL
Remington Steed recently joined the CCEL staff as a programmer/analyst. His services will help users resolve any technical issues they may encounter. He brings the experience from his tenure as a Web developer at Neural Planet, in a high speed commercial environment, and his time with Wycliffe Bible Translators in North Carolina, as a software developer in a missionary organization. In addition, he was responsible for PC maintenance at IT Technique in Lake Odessa, Michigan. Remy is a graduate of Calvin College, where his major was computer science. His international perspective was broadened with his training in Honduras and with multiple missionary trips to Mexico. The CCEL is pleased to have his skills, expertise and enthusiasm!
In this section we plan to offer hints on using the CCEL. This month's hint is on searching.
The CCEL offers four kinds of searches: searching for a particular book, searching for words and phrases within books, searching for definitions of words or names in CCEL dictionaries and encyclopedias, and looking up commentaries, sermons, and other resources for a scripture passage.
The first three kinds of searches have tabs under the Search tab. For a more complex search, such as searching for references to the trinity in the writings of Augustine, click "Advanced Search." For that example, you could enter “Augustine” in the Keyword box and "trinity" in the Full text box.
There are various ways to search for commentaries and other resources for a scripture reference. We’ll highlight three of the ways here. Read more...
Featured ClassicTheological Reflection in Augstine's Confessions
by David Rylaarsdam
Calvin Theological Seminary
Since Augustine tells us things about his early life in The Confessions, some people assume it as an autobiography. Actually, autobiography as we know it doesn’t arise till well over a millennium after Augustine is dead. Moreover, Augustine would be an unlikely person to create a new genre, “autobiography,” for he wants to make clear that he is not the author of his own story; God is. In his Confessions, Augustine is not giving the history of his own life as much as he is doing theological reflection. He is using life experiences to reflect on God, creation, and their relation. I want to point out six prominent characteristics of Augustine’s theological reflection, because some or all of these may edify our own habits today.
Reading the ClassicsThe vision of the CCEL is to promote not only the use of the classics in research, but also the reading of the classics for spiritual growth. See this short list of recommended reading for some of our most treasured classics that still speak to us today.
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