Monday, February 28, 2011

Last Two Reads

"Coming Back Stronger" is the autobiography of Superbowl winning, Saints Quarterback Drew Brees.  It a pretty good read as far as sports autobiographies go. I was impressed at Drew steady Christian witness through out the book.  In the Epilogue Drew gives his advise for living, points like: Don;t give up, find a mentor, etc.  even these were focused on God.  Its a quick read and encouraging.  It amazes me how many professional athletes claim to be Christians, this one appears to really back up the talk with his walk.  Still not a Saints fan though - Go Giants!


"Saving Leonardo" is written by the excellent writer Nancy Pearcey who wrote the book "Total Truth"  This is much in the same vine as Total Truth and the first few chapters read like a summary.  Especially with the upper/lower tier view of truth.  But the bulk of the book is an excellent critique and evaluation of the Arts and Media through a Christan World view.  It reads allot like a text book and would be an excellent resource in a college level class on the arts - certainly not for the faint in heart - but i know i will be using it in years t come as a valuable resource tool.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Get Low

Tammy and I saw this movie the other night and it was excellent.  Its a story of guilt and shame and the need for forgiveness and redemption.  Duvall plays Felix Woods a man who has punished himself by isolating himself from the world for 43 years.  He tries to pay for the guilt he feels but does not find forgiveness.  In one memorable seen with the local pastor he is asked if he has been forgiven and he replies that he has paid and the pastor tells him he cannot pay for forgiveness it is free but must be asked for from Jesus.  Later in the movie Felix says, "They keep talking about forgiveness. "Ask Jesus for forgiveness." I never did nothing to him." But at the end he does confess and ask.... pretty powerful stuff


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bono Interview

I have always been a huge fan of U2 and followed Bono's Christian musings for some time.  He has said some really amazing things about his faith and the power/beauty of grace.  Most of his most resent thoughts come from the book "Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas" i recently found some lengthy excerpts on line on http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2010/09/bono-interview-grace-over-karma.html
Notice the influence of CS Lewis especially the 'Liar, Lunatic, Lord' argument

Bono: My understanding of the Scriptures has been made simple by the person of Christ. Christ teaches that God is love. What does that mean? What it means for me: a study of the life of Christ. Love here describes itself as a child born in straw poverty, the most vulnerable situation of all, without honor. I don't let my religious world get too complicated. I just kind of go: Well, I think I know what God is. God is love, and as much as I respond [sighs] in allowing myself to be transformed by that love and acting in that love, that's my religion. Where things get complicated for me, is when I try to live this love. Now that's not so easy.


Assayas: What about the God of the Old Testament? He wasn't so "peace and love"?


Bono: There's nothing hippie about my picture of Christ. The Gospels paint a picture of a very demanding, sometimes divisive love, but love it is. I accept the Old Testament as more of an action movie: blood, car chases, evacuations, a lot of special effects, seas dividing, mass murder, adultery. The children of God are running amok, wayward. Maybe that's why they're so relatable. But the way we would see it, those of us who are trying to figure out our Christian conundrum, is that the God of the Old Testament is like the journey from stern father to friend. When you're a child, you need clear directions and some strict rules. But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross.


Assayas: Speaking of bloody action movies, we were talking about South and Central America last time. The Jesuit priests arrived there with the gospel in one hand and a rifle in the other.


Bono: I know, I know. Religion can be the enemy of God. It's often what happens when God, like Elvis, has left the building. [laughs] A list of instructions where there was once conviction; dogma where once people just did it; a congregation led by a man where once they were led by the Holy Spirit. Discipline replacing discipleship. Why are you chuckling?


Assayas: I was wondering if you said all of that to the Pope the day you met him.


Bono: Let's not get too hard on the Holy Roman Church here. The Church has its problems, but the older I get, the more comfort I find there. The physical experience of being in a crowd of largely humble people, heads bowed, murmuring prayers, stories told in stained-glass windows


Assayas: So you won't be critical.


Bono: No, I can be critical, especially on the topic of contraception. But when I meet someone like Sister Benedicta and see her work with AIDS orphans in Addis Ababa, or Sister Ann doing the same in Malawi, or Father Jack Fenukan and his group Concern all over Africa, when I meet priests and nuns tending to the sick and the poor and giving up much easier lives to do so, I surrender a little easier.


Assayas: But you met the man himself. Was it a great experience?


Bono: [W]e all knew why we were there. The Pontiff was about to make an important statement about the inhumanity and injustice of poor countries spending so much of their national income paying back old loans to rich countries. Serious business. He was fighting hard against his Parkinson's. It was clearly an act of will for him to be there. I was oddly moved by his humility, and then by the incredible speech he made, even if it was in whispers. During the preamble, he seemed to be staring at me. I wondered. Was it the fact that I was wearing my blue fly-shades? So I took them off in case I was causing some offense. When I was introduced to him, he was still staring at them. He kept looking at them in my hand, so I offered them to him as a gift in return for the rosary he had just given me.

Assayas: Didn't he put them on?

Bono: Not only did he put them on, he smiled the wickedest grin you could ever imagine. He was a comedian. His sense of humor was completely intact. Flashbulbs popped, and I thought: "Wow! The Drop the Debt campaign will have the Pope in my glasses on the front page of every newspaper."

Assayas: I don't remember seeing that photograph anywhere, though.

Bono: Nor did we. It seems his courtiers did not have the same sense of humor. Fair enough. I guess they could see the T-shirts.
Later in the conversation:

Assayas: I think I am beginning to understand religion because I have started acting and thinking like a father. What do you make of that?

Bono: Yes, I think that's normal. It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma.

Assayas: I haven't heard you talk about that.

Bono: I really believe we've moved out of the realm of Karma into one of Grace.

Assayas: Well, that doesn't make it clearer for me.

Bono: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff.

Assayas: I'd be interested to hear that.

Bono: That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s---. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity.

Assayas: The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that.

Bono: But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there's a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let's face it, you're not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That's the point. It should keep us humbled . It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

Assayas: That's a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it's close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has his rank among the world's great thinkers. But Son of God, isn't that farfetched?

Bono: No, it's not farfetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn't allow you that. He doesn't let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I'm not saying I'm a teacher, don't call me teacher. I'm not saying I'm a prophet. I'm saying: "I'm the Messiah." I'm saying: "I am God incarnate." And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You're a bit eccentric. We've had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don't mention the "M" word! Because, you know, we're gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you're expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he's gonna keep saying this. So what you're left with is: either Christ was who He said He was the Messiah or a complete nutcase. I mean, we're talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we've been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had "King of the Jews" on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I'm not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that's farfetched

Bono later says it all comes down to how we regard Jesus:

Bono: If only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed. When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my s--- and everybody else's. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a religious nut? And there it is, and that's the question. And no one can talk you into it or out of it.

Advice to Billy Ray

Billy Ray Cyrus' interview with GQ (see older post) is creating quite a ruckus, he is understandably not getting much sympathy - i enjoyed this article in National Review http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/260122/billy-ray-knows-best-kathryn-jean-lopez
here is one of the quotes that really struck me:

Glenn Stanton, author of Secure Daughters, Confident Sons, offers advice, “Billy Ray needs to gather his courage — man up — and do what his heart is screaming at him to do. . . . He, like all dads, needs to saddle up, ride in and be the protector of his daughter from a predatory world. And I am not talking about being overprotective, that’s not helpful either. But as Billy Ray explains in the profile, he has only been riding in after the damage to mop up the mess. That won’t do and it hasn’t. His daughter needs him, even if it seems she’s sending the message that she doesn’t.”

Monday, February 21, 2011

Christian Divorce Rate

One of the stats that Preachers and Christan Writers LOVE to Quote is that Christians get divorced at the same rate as everyone else. I know i have quoted this before in my sermons (i wonder if it goes back to Barna or Gallup). This stat has become unquestioned by all in the evangelical world but i have to admit i always found it a bit suspicious. I always thought it was for people who may have said they believed in God but not truly born again Christians. Well its good news that someone is actually researching this stat and the findings might surprise you.

Here is the article from http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34656


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP)--"Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world!" It's one of the most quoted stats by Christian leaders today. And it's perhaps one of the most inaccurate.

Based on the best data available, the divorce rate among Christians is significantly lower than the general population.


Here's the truth....


Many people who seriously practice a traditional religious faith -- be it Christian or other -- have a divorce rate markedly lower than the general population.



The factor making the most difference is religious commitment and practice. Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes -- attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together; generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples, but serious disciples -- enjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public and unbelievers.


Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis of people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, that 60 percent of these have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced [1].


Other data from additional sociologists of family and religion suggest a significant marital stability divide between those who take their faith seriously and those who do not.


W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading sociologist at the University of Virginia and director of the National Marriage Project, finds from his own analysis that "active conservative Protestants" who regularly attend church are 35 percent less likely to divorce compared to those who have no affiliation. Nominally attending conservative Protestants are 20 percent more likely to divorce, compared to secular Americans [2].


Professor Scott Stanley from the University of Denver, working with an absolute all-star team of leading sociologists on the Oklahoma Marriage Study, explains that couples with a vibrant religious faith had more and higher levels of the qualities couples need to avoid divorce:


"Whether young or old, male or female, low-income or not, those who said that they were more religious reported higher average levels of commitment to their partners, higher levels of marital satisfaction, less thinking and talking about divorce and lower levels of negative interaction. These patterns held true when controlling for such important variables as income, education, and age at first marriage."


These positive factors translated into actual lowered risk of divorce among active believers.


"Those who say they are more religious are less likely, not more, to have already experienced divorce. Likewise, those who report more frequent attendance at religious services were significantly less likely to have been divorced [3]."


THE TAKE-AWAY


The divorce rates of Christian believers are not identical to the general population -- not even close. Being a committed, faithful believer makes a measurable difference in marriage.


Saying you believe something or merely belonging to a church, unsurprisingly, does little for marriage. But the more you are involved in the actual practice of your faith in real ways -- through submitting yourself to a serious body of believers, learning regularly from Scripture, being in communion with God though prayer individually and with your spouse and children, and having friends and family around you who challenge you to take you marriage's seriously -- the greater difference this makes in strengthening both the quality and longevity of our marriages. Faith does matter and the leading sociologists of family and religion tell us so.
--30--
Glenn T. Stanton is the director for family formation studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colo., and is the author of the new book, "Secure Daughters Confident Sons: How Parents Guide Their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity" (Multnomah, 2011).


1 Bradley R.E. Wright, "Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites …and Other Lies You've Been Told," (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2010), p. 133.


2 W. Bradford Wilcox and Elizabeth Williamson, "The Cultural Contradictions of Mainline Family Ideology and Practice," in American Religions and the Family, edited by Don S. Browning and David A. Clairmont (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007) p. 50.


3. C.A. Johnson, S. M. Stanley, N.D. Glenn, P.A. Amato, S.L. Nock, H.J. Markman and M .R. Dion "Marriage in Oklahoma: 2001 Baseline Statewide Survey on Marriage and Divorce" (Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma Department of Human Services 2002) p. 25,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tim Keller on Morning Joe this morning

I thought this was very good
Keller on Idols

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Letter from a Christian in Afghanistan

From: http://www.barnabasfund.org/Said-Musas-handwritten-letter.html
HT: Bob H

Some spelling, punctuation and grammar has been corrected to aid understanding, and some names removed for legal and security reasons.


"To the international church of world and to the President Brother Barak Obama President of the United States and to the head of ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] in Afghanistan!

"My name is Said Musa 45 years old. I have been working since 15 years as a Physiotherapist in I-C-R-C [International Committee of the Red Cross] orthopaedic centre in Kabul, Afghanistan. About four and a half months before by security force of Afghanistan I [was] captured, due to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world. One person ____ he is spy of ____ [a] leader in Afghanistan. He told about me [to] the Government's officials, 'He's believer, He's head of church in ____'. He showed my house to the security force. Since that time I am in jail. The authority and prisoners in jail did many bad behaviour with me about my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, they did sexual things with me, beat me by wood, by hands, by legs, put some things on my head, mocked me ‘He's Jesus Christ', spat on me, nobody let me for sleep night and day. Every person spat on me and beat me. Also the prosecutor wrote something wrong against me. He told from himself something wrong against me on my file.


"He is stimulating every day the prisoners against me, ‘He is also in jail due to spy for Iran country', to reveal the church in Kabul. I'm in a very and very bad condition in the jail.


"I agree with long imprisonment about my faith even for long life. Because I'm the sinnest person in the world. Because sometimes they treated for died I refuse my faith due to died. Sometimes I tolerate the persecution but immediately I acknowledge my sin before Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Don't refuse me before your holy angels and before your Father.' Because I am very very weak and sinful man.


"Nobody could accept my defender before the court. If I say I am a Christian man he immediately spat on me and abuse me and mock me! I am alone between 400 handlers of terrible values in the jail like a sheep. Please, please, for the sake of Lord Jesus Christ help me. Please send a person who should supervise my document and my file, what I said in it. My prosecutor has told something wrong to the judge because he asked [for] money but I refused his request. Please, please you should transfer me from this jail to a jail that supervises the believers. I also agree with died on cross of my pride. I also agree with the sacrifice [of] my life in public, I will tell the faith in Lord Jesus Christ son of God and other believers will take courage and be strong in their faith. Hundred percent I am stable to my word. I have family of seven - one wife, three daughters and three sons. My big son [is] about eight years old. One of my daughters can't speak, she has some mental problems.


"This is a request from me to all over the world, people please help me. I could not have any person to help. For [the] sake [of] Lord Jesus Christ please pray and immediately help me and rescue me from this jail. Otherwise, they will kill me, because I know they're very very very cruel and hard hearted!


"Your destitute brother in the world.
"Please my English writing is not enough good. If I did some mistake please forgive me! From Kabul Provincial jail."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

5 Best Toys of all Time

The Best 5 Toys of all time. 
From Wired.com (http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/01/the-5-best-toys-of-all-time/all/1)

1. Stick
2. Cardboard box
3. String
4. Cardboard tube
5. Dirt

HT: http://www.culture-making.com/

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting for Superman

WOW! This is one of the most powerful documentaries i have ever seen.  I always knew that our public education system was broken but i had no idea it was this bad.  Out of 30 developed nations America ranks 25 in math and 21 in science and is dropping fast YET we rand number one in self-esteem and confidence!  This is a heartbreaking movie that cronicles 5 families trying to get into charter schools.  the lottery for these schools is like 735 applicants for 26 spots, but this is their only hope.  It would be interesting to get a teachers take on this movie because it is very negative toward the unions.  Maybe Chris Christie is on to something...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Billy Ray Cyrus on Parenting

This article is unbelievable.  Notice how he blames the show, or Miley's handlers, even refers to himself as being 'nailed to the cross' He is the victim!! Its really profoundly sad.

"Country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus blames Disney's "Hannah Montana" for his daughter Miley Cyrus' issues, angrily saying "the damn show destroyed my family." "Blaming publicists and Miley's handlers, Billy Ray gives an anguished interview in GQ's March issue, where he adds he wishes "Hannah Montana" never happened. "I hate to say it, but yes, I do. I'd take it back in a second," said Billy Ray, who is divorcing Miley's mother, Tish.


Reflecting on Miley's controversial moments -- including seductive photos on the Internet, pole-dancing at the Teen Choice Awards, and posing for Vanity Fair draped in a sheet -- Cyrus says he should have been more strict, and accuses her handlers for going too far to promote her, and then using him as the fall guy.  He tells GQ, "Every time the train went off the track . . . her people, or as they say in today's news, her handlers, every time they'd put [the blame on] me . . . I took it because I'm her daddy . . . OK, nail me to the cross.


"I'm scared for her. She's got a lot of people around her that's putting her in a great deal of danger. I want to get her sheltered from the storm." Talking about Miley's 18th birthday party at LA bar Trousdale, he says, "You know why I didn't go? Because they were having it in a bar. It was wrong. It was for 21 years old and up . . . all them people, they all wanted me to fly out so that then when all the bad press came they could say, 'Daddy endorsed this stuff.' I started realizing I'm being used."


Then photos surfaced of Miley smoking the legal herb salvia from a bong. Billy Ray, who gave the interview to GQ's Chris Heath five days after the photos emerged, says he hadn't spoken to Miley since, but confronted one of her handlers: "They told me it was none of my business."  But he admits, "I should have said, 'Enough is enough -- it's getting dangerous and somebody's going to get hurt' . . . Honestly, I didn't know the ball was out of bounds until it was way up in the stands somewhere."  Cyrus described his communication with Miley as "good enough to know it could be a lot better." Her rep didn't get back to us."

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/miley_dad_regrets_hannah_eaD8G2RwZpK4bWC630RE0H#ixzz1E354hIix

Friday, February 11, 2011

No Design MUST lead to No Moral Values

I began teaching my Worldview Class again last night at Somerset Christian College and i was reviewing some of my notes and came across this article from Nancy Pearcey (Total Truth & Saving Leonardo) in which she powerfully draws the necessary line from Naturalism to Nihilism.


You can read the whole thing here: http://www.4truth.net/fourtruthpbscience.aspx?pageid=8589952919

here is an excerpt


No Design, No Values


Historian Edward Purcell explores the implications of Darwinism in a book subtitled Scientific Naturalism and the Problem of Value. The worldview of scientific naturalism or materialism asserts that nature or matter is all that exists; there are no spiritual or transcendent realities. As this worldview became accepted, it created a "problem of value" because good and evil, right and wrong, are not part of the material world known by science. The result was a split view of truth, where the natural sciences were elevated to the only objective knowledge, while religion and morality were demoted to the level of mere symbol. As Purcell puts it, in scientific naturalism, "theological dogmas and philosophical absolutes were at worst totally fraudulent and at best merely symbolic of deep human aspirations."

Another historian, Julie Reuben, tells a similar story of how the concept of truth was split. In a book aptly subtitled The Marginalization of Morality, she explains how questions of value were removed from the college curriculum. After Darwin, the only form of religion considered acceptable was one that consisted solely of "sentiment, experiences, ritual, and ethical living"–in short, a religion that "had no intellectual content." By the 1930s, Reuben writes, American universities had largely given up the ideal of "the unity of truth" and had relegated religion and science to separate spheres of life–"science to the intellectual and religion to the inspirational" sphere. Objective knowledge was defined as "value free" because values had become a form of subjective bias that threatened to distort research.

Today this division of truth is often referred to as the fact/value dichotomy. The assumption is that on one hand there is a realm of facts, which are scientific, objective, and value free. On the other hand there is a separate realm of values, which are merely private preferences. The split can be diagramed like this:


VALUE
Private Preference; Subjective
________________________________________
FACT
Public Truth; Objective

This division has now become embedded in most college textbooks as an unquestioned assumption. "Facts are objective, that is, they can be measured, and their truth tested," says a typical textbook. "Value judgments, on the other hand, are subjective, being matters of personal preference. . . . Such preferences are based on personal likes and feelings, rather than on facts and reasons" (Economics for Decision Making). The impact of Darwinism is not limited to science but has permeated the entire curriculum.

Not Even Wrong

This is why the evolution controversy continues to grow, as it draws in a broad range of people concerned about the fact/value split. According to Richard John Neuhaus in First Things, not just conservative Protestants but also "Catholics and everyone else have an enormous stake in defending the unity of truth." A BBC correspondent recently asked why many Americans "are spending more energy fighting Charles Darwin than cutting taxes," but the reason is clear: At stake is not just a scientific theory but a divided concept of truth that reduces religion and morality to the level of myth.

Moreover, propagandists for evolution are growing ever bolder. Not long ago, the New York Times published a piece by Daniel Dennett, author of Darwin's Dangerous Idea, saying, "We don't believe in ghosts or elves or the Easter Bunny–or God." This dismissive attitude explains why the University of Kansas would hire as chair of its religious studies department a professor who expresses contempt for religion–and for scientific concepts such as ID that support a religious worldview. A second KU professor has now announced that he will add the study of ID to an existing course called "Archaeological Myths and Realities." John W. Hoopes , an associate professor of anthropology, told a reporter that ID is "pseudoscience" because "it is based on hypotheses that are not falsifiable." In other words, the starting assumption of the course is that ID does not even qualify as something that can be true or false, but is merely myth.

What this means is that the challenge to any religion-based worldview is much more radical than it used to be. In the past, secularists would argue that Christianity is false–which meant the two sides could engage one another with questions such as, What is true and false? How we know? What is the evidence? What are the arguments? Today, however, secularists are much more likely to argue that Christianity is not a valid truth claim at all. It may be personally meaningful to certain people; it may be part of their cultural tradition; but it is not taken seriously as a candidate for truth in public discourse.

A well-known physicist, Wolfgang Pauli, is famous for having told one of his colleagues, Your theory is so bad, it's not even wrong. That is, it's not even in the ballpark of possible answers. This is how Christianity is treated in the public arena today: It is not that people reject it as wrong so much as that they do not even consider it a possible answer to the question of truth.

All Truth Is God's Truth

Before the dominance of Darwinism, most people simply assumed the unity of truth. Western culture was thoroughly imbued with the biblical conviction that all of creation comes from the hand of God, and therefore all its parts fit within a single ordered plan. "Knowledge was unified because it rested on Christian claims to universal truth," write Catholic historians Jon Roberts and James Turner (The Sacred and the Secular University). Even though scholars specialized in various fields of expertise, they assumed that each specialty was part of an overall system of truth, like an old-fashioned quilting bee where each embroiderer works on one part of the overall pattern.

The conviction of a unitary truth rested ultimately on the biblical teaching of creation. "Christianity posited a single reality, with some kind of rational coherence integrating it," Roberts and Turner explain, because it all originated from a single Mind. Christianity taught that "a single omnipotent and all-wise God had created the universe, including human beings, who shared to some extent in the rationality behind creation. Given this creation story, it followed that knowledge, too, comprised a single whole."

In short, the biblical creation story leads to a unified concept of truth, in which the moral and the material orders fit into a single whole. By contrast, the Darwinian creation story has bequeathed a divided conception of truth, where the material order is all the exists or can be known, while moral and spiritual truthslonger truths at all but merely private fantasies. That's why the debate over Darwinism has implications far beyond the bounds of science. At stake is the definition of truth itself.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rejected Superbowl Commercial

I read today that this commercial about John 3:16 was rejected by Fox to play during the Superbowl

Footrprints in the Sand

For those of you who grew up in the church you probably know the famous Footprints in the Sand poem - I though this was very funny

Two More Books

Over my vacation break last week i read two books, neither met my expectations
The first book was "The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle"  I know basically nothing about Mickey Mantle but have always wanted to read a book about this legendary Yankee.  I grew up a Mets fan, 1986 world series was the greatest baseball i have ever watched, then for about 10 years watched absolutely no baseball, but the older i get the more i am drawn back to the sport and now i am a Yankee fan.  But anyway, the book got great reviews so i picked it up BUT i only read about half because in the book Mantle comes across as a total JERK.  I think the book is for those that already know the 'legends' of Mickey and now want the true story but i guess i just wanted the romanticised version.  Plus the writer bounces around the timeline and does not explain basic connections in Mantle;'s life so i found her writing confusing


The other book i read was "What good is God?" by Philip Yancy.  Now i have read just about everything Yancey has written and i really enjoy him as a writer but he has definitely fallen into a major rout in his writing.  He has two basic themes: 1. The church stinks, and 2. Where is God when things are bad?  I have always found his writing very challenging and courageous, he tackles the question no other Christians writers dare to go near.  I don't always agree with his conclusions but he always makes me think.  However i am so tired of his issues with the church and especially his traumatized college experience.  I really just want to give him a hug and tell him to get over it and move on.  The funny thing is that he and i went to the same college, although we were decades apart.  And yes Columbia certainly leaned into legalistic Christianity without a doubt but really its time to get over it Philip!

Monday, February 7, 2011