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I was born in eastern Ontario in 1970, but moved to Espanola, a paper town in northern Ontario, as a child. After graduating from high school and attending the University of Waterloo (where I had a "false start" in mechanical engineering), I graduated in 1997 with a BA in English - Rhetoric and Professional Writing. Subsequently I moved to the Ottawa area, where I currently work as a technical writer for a hi-tech manufacturer in Kanata.

Scott’s interests

Christian theology and thought

I am an evangelical Christian, attending a member church of the Associated Gospel Churches of Canada in downtown Ottawa, where I also sing in the choir, run PowerPoint during services, and occasionally teach Sunday school to the college-age class.

Theologically I label myself as a Reformed Baptist - I am in general agreement with the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. The Reformed Baptist faith is the faith of John Gill, Charles Spurgeon, Benjamin Keach, and James P. Boyce, just to name four. The most notable influences on my theology, in addition to the teaching and preaching at my own church, are Spurgeon, Francis A. Schaeffer, C. S. Lewis, Martin Luther, and John Calvin; more recent stalwarts include John Piper and James R. White.

Amongst the books I have recently enjoyed are Peter J. Leithart’s Brightest Heaven of Invention, a Christian critique of some of Shakespeare’s major plays (written as a high-school textbook but enjoyable by any fan of Shakespeare); Douglas Wilson and Douglas Jones’ Angels in the Architecture, about the pre-modern Christian worldview; and John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, the story of his conversion. I have recently begun an intensive reading program of Bunyan’s works and hope to have read about ten of them by the end of the year.

I am presently working on an analysis of the argumentation employed by those Fundamentalist Christians who regard the 1611 King James Version of the Bible as the only true English translation of the Word of God. This is still very much a work in progress. Additions are posted as they are completed. My next project will hopefully be a history of the English Bible from the Anglo-Saxons to the KJV.

Music

My parents sat me down in front of a piano and made me take lessons from Grade 5 onwards. By the end of high school I had attained the goal I had set for myself of completing the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Grade 8 examination. I also played trumpet in my high school band, which won a Gold award at Musicfest Canada in my last year.

Since starting university I have found my time too limited for any serious playing. However, I have been singing bass in my church choir since moving to Ottawa. I own a keyboard, a Korg N5, and woodshedding on it has an unfortunate tendency to turn into sessions of fiddling with the sound effects. Recently I started learning to play guitar; I play a Norman B20 - just barely.

I also enjoy listening to music of practically all genres. In classical music I especially like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Handel, and Vivaldi. On the Jazz side I have a particular soft spot for Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Krall, and Wayne Shorter. Recently I began to put together a comprehensive collection of Herbie Hancock albums. Finally, I also like popular "alternative" (which is to say, mainstream) artists such as the Indigo Girls, Dire Straits, Jars of Clay, Fleming and John, Mark Heard, Steve Taylor, Enya, Larry Norman, Pink Floyd, Rush, and Led Zeppelin.

Books

Reading is my favourite hobby.

Several years ago, while at school, I got sick of a steady diet of "required" reading. So I committed myself to reading one novel per week in addition. Although my recreational reading used to be strictly popular fiction, a "forced" exposure to literary fiction (thanks to paying thousands of dollars for an education in English) gave me a greater appreciation for literature, especially Shakespeare, whom I could hardly tolerate in high school. Other "literary" authors I enjoy include Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, G. K. Chesterton, Ernest Hemingway, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Dorothy L. Sayers. Popular favourites include Stephen King, Ian Fleming, and Tom Clancy.

My favourite genre, however, is science fiction (and to a lesser extent fantasy). In particular I enjoy Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, particularly his robot and Foundation stories, C. S. Lewis’ Space trilogy, Douglas Adams, Robert Silverberg, Frederik Pohl, and Larry Niven. Not long ago I finished reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy for the third time. Currently I am on my way through Frank Herbert’s Dune books and the Otherland series by Tad Williams, a current author whom I recently discovered and whose Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy I enjoyed greatly.

I’m a very bad English major. I don’t like poetry. (A professor once quipped that I had no business in the English program.) However, I do have some interest in T. S. Eliot, John Donne, John Milton, and Margaret Avison.

Philosophy

When I switched from engineering into the humanities, I toyed with the idea of a philosophy minor. Unfortunately, it was impossible to fit the required number of courses into my timetable. However, the seven courses I did manage sparked my interest in the subject, particularly ethics and critical thinking.

I enjoy reading Plato more, but in my estimation the greatest philosopher of all time was his student Aristotle, whose upending of Platonic philosophy laid the foundation for all Western thought.

More recently I have become interested in distinctly Christian philosophy, particularly St. Augustine, the aforementioned Francis Schaeffer (really a theologian) and my favourite philosopher of all, Blaise Pascal. One important book that I heartily recommend is Philosophers Who Believe, edited by Kelly James Clark, an excellent collection of spiritual biographies by contemporary minds such as Alvin Plantinga and the late Mortimer Adler about why they believe in the truth of Christianity against the current intellectual atmosphere.

Some recent talks around church have also stirred my interest in the eighteenth-century American preacher Jonathan Edwards, one of the finest speculative minds the New World has produced. It’s too bad he is known primarily for one hellfire-and-brimstone sermon, as important as that was.

Computers

I admit it: I’m an addict. I began my wired life by staying after hours at school to write silly BASIC programs on Commodore PETs. My first home computer was the ubiquitous Commodore 64 that my family purchased in 1984, on which I wroe all sorts of high-school papers and spent entirely too much time playing games. (Those were the days.)

My first PC dates from 1991, a 386/25DX running MS-DOS and sometimes Windows 3.1, and was updated incrementally and continuously until early 2003, at which point it had become an AMD-K6/266 running Windows 98 and OS/2 Warp 4.

Finally, however, incremental upgrades were no longer possible due to changes in technology. At present I am running a 2 GHz Athlon PC on my desktop, and an Apple iBook.

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