Showing posts from June, 2008

Good Reading

Over the years one of my favorite family pastimes has been reading aloud to our children. We’ve read some really good books by some really good authors—some well known (e.g., Tolkien, Lewis), others…not so much. Last night we finished 100 Cupboards by the not so well known (yet) Nathan Wilson, which left us eagerly awaiting the release of book two in the trilogy Dandelion Fire , which I just learned has been delayed until February of 2009. 100 Cupboards is the story of 12 year old Henry York, whose parents were kidnapped while bicycling across South America. But that’s not where the action is. The action is in little Henry, Kansas. (Hey, whatyaknow, another great story takes place in Kansas! Think, Wizard of Oz and Little House on the Prairie , and don’t forget that Marianne on "Gilligan’s Island" was a Kansas farm girl!) Henry York is actually from Boston, but after his parents turn up missing, he’s shipped off to Kansas to live with his aunt and uncle. He’s given a bedr

The Problem (As I See It)

This is a follow up to my previous post on the controversy surrounding “The Louisiana Science Education Act.” As a Christian, the problem is not the fact that evolution is being taught to school children. That must be done. I realize that my saying this may be a bit of a surprise, especially to those of you who know me to be an unapologetic young earth six day creationist. Still, it’s true. I insist that evolution must be taught to school children. Because I think it’s true? No, but because it’s the reigning theory. We simply cannot ignore what the vast majority of the scientific community believes (not to mention a significant minority of the general population). That’s why during the next school year my students and I will read On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life . . . Yeah, that book—the one by Charles Darwin. It’s a vitally important read. It’s without question the most influential book written

There’s Trouble a-brewin’ in Louisiana

Earlier this week, the Louisiana State Senate voted 36-0 to approve a bill that passed the House by a vote of 94-3. The bill would allow science teachers to use supplemental materials, in addition to state-issued textbooks, on issues like evolution, global warming, and human cloning. The purpose of the supplemental materials, the bill explains, is to encourage “critical thinking skills, logical analysis and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied.” The bill is particularly aimed at giving teachers the assurance of academic freedom to actually teach that there is such a thing as a controversy over these subjects (especially evolution), instead of simply being intimidated into silence. Governor Bobby Jindal is expected to sign the bill. As you can imagine the secular fundamentalists are in a tizzy. The bill—titled “The Louisiana Science Education Act”—allows the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to act upon complaints and toss out any suppleme

War of the Water Balloons

It came out of nowhere. I never saw it. But believe me…I felt it. Smack! Splash! I’d been hit, and hit good with a water balloon right upside the head, launched by my son from at least 40 feet away . The reason I never saw it coming was because I had my back turned and was running away. I had just made my sortie into hostile territory, unloaded my supply of water balloons, taking out both James and Suzanna, and was making good my escape. I was just about ready to break out into a victory dance as I proudly carried the enemy flag back to our home base. And then it happened. James didn’t even know he got me. He said it was a desperation throw. He didn’t even aim. He just let it fly. But it found its mark—my left temple. The force of it snapped by head sideways. I was drenched. It was by far the best throw of the night. Nevertheless, Melinda, Elizabeth, and I, won the best of three capture the flag water balloon wars over James, Suzanna, and Hannah. What a way to celebrate Father’

In Praise of Daughters

This has been an especially good eating week. One of the blessings of having so many daughters is that they are being trained to be wives and mothers, which makes yours truly the beneficiary of their still developing—but already amazingly honed—culinary skills. This week Melinda had three of our girls each take a turn at preparing supper. On Tuesday Suzanna (15) made homemade pizza. On Wednesday Elizabeth (13) made spaghetti and garlic bread. And Thursday Hannah (11) made Mexican food…just the way I like it—with fried flour tortillas shells. All this was after Melinda made smothered steak and mashed potatoes on Monday night. As I said, it’s been an especially good eating week. The Chronicler says that Obed-edom’s eight sons were a blessing from God (1 Chron. 26:4-5). No doubt they were. But if Obed-edom could have eaten what I’ve eaten this week, he might envy me for my five daughters!

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

While we’re on the subject of atheism, I should mention the “conversion” of Anthony Flew. He is a renowned philosopher who for the second half of the 20 th century was perhaps the world’s leading atheist. He first came to prominence as a philosopher when he presented a paper at the Oxford University Socratic Club in 1950, chaired at the time by C. S. Lewis, himself a former atheist. The Socratic Club was formed for the purpose of providing “an open forum for the discussion of the intellectual difficulties connected with religion and with Christianity in particular.” Flew’s paper was entitled “Theology and Falsification,” and became the one of the most widely reprinted philosophical publications of the 20 th century. He went on to write more than thirty books, including God and Philosophy , The Presumption of Atheism , and How to Think Straight . Several years ago I showed a televised debate between Flew and Dr. Gary Habermas on the subject of Christ’s resurrection to a small Bible

What's New About the New Atheism?

I’ve been reading a number of books by and about the New Atheists: Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens. What makes the New Atheism new is not its arguments so much as its hysterics. For the new atheists, everything that’s wrong with the world is traceable to the presence of so many people who believe in God. The new atheists are not content to simply give reasoned arguments for their position, they feel compelled to mock and vilify their opponents. It’s not simply a matter of, “I don’t believe God exists,” but rather, “The God portrayed in the Bible is wicked and those who believe in him are fools.” Richard Dawkins, for instance, in The God Delusion , says, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochis

Here Goes

I'm taking the plunge. I'm finally entering the blog world, and I am probably getting in way over my head. But hopefully I'll be able to tread water and keep afloat. I hope to make two or three posts a week on a variety of topics including: the Bible, current events, church and family life, art, history, philosophy, economics, politics, education, food, friendship, laughter, a word: LIFE.