Monday, January 31, 2011
Creationism is still being advocated in public schools in America.
Some of the creationism advocates insisted that they, rather than scientists, were practicing proper science, with a Minnesota teacher commenting, "I don't teach the theory of evolution in my life science classes, nor do I teach the Big Bang Theory in my [E]arth [S]cience classes.... We do not have time to do something that is at best poor science."
Others rejected the scientific method as valid for shedding light on the origin of species, with an Illinois teacher responding, "I am always amazed at how evolution and creationism are treated as if they are right or wrong. They are both belief systems that can never be truly or fully proved or discredited."
Friday, January 28, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Paul Copan, in his new book Is God a Moral Monster? writes:
If we'd stop to ask, "Would Jesus approve of the Inquisition or persecuting Jews?" the question answers itself. As a counterillustration, what about serial murderer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer? Dahmer reasoned, "If it all happens naturalistically, what's the need for a God? Can't I set my own rules? Who owns me? I own myself." He wondered, if there's no God and we all just came "from the slime," then "what's the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep within acceptable ranges?" (p. 18)
Loving people or killing people: These are the logical and natural outworkings of the two worldviews, whether one follows through with them or not.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I find the link between belief in evolution and in the acceptability of abortion
among professing believers in Christ to be very interesting:
"On evolution, six out of 10 evangelicals believe evolution and Christianity are compatible while 18 percent agreed strongly that you cannot believe in both.
Regarding abortion, the differences were also considerable, with 20 percent strongly agreeing that abortion can never be justified and nearly as many strongly disagreeing with the statement (17 percent)."
As you may know, in Japan, where there is no real debate over evolution and creation, there are also virtually no pro-life citizens or politicians.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The key problem with the abortion debates today seems to be that we are arguing from different worldviews.
From a purely evolutionary standpoint, "Since man is just a more highly evolved life form, human life is nothing special. A person does not have any more inherent value than the life of his alleged ape-like ancestor. Therefore, abortion is just a fact of life regardless of the consequences for the developing life inside... If humans evolved from [other] animals, their existence is derived from the survival of the fittest. From an evolutionary perspective, abortion seems to be a brilliant method to aid natural selection. Why not end the lives of those with genetic defects or disabilities before they can be a drain on society? Might abortion even be saving these weak ones from lives of suffering?" (Abortion & The Origins Debate)
In contrast, biblical creationists believe mankind is distinct from the animal kingdom. Our belief is based on the Creator’s testimony in the Bible. After creating the universe and filling the earth with plant and animal life, God created human life on Day Six of the Creation Week. God personally formed man after His image (Genesis 1:27). He gave people unique linguistic, aesthetic, rational, moral, and spiritual faculties not given to animals.
Download this excellent free video Fearfully & Wonderfully Made by Dr. David Menton to find out more.
Friday, January 07, 2011
This homeless guy has a voice like butter, and he’s getting a second chance because of this viral YouTube video (see above). He has already received offers from the NFL and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Just today he appeared on “The Today Show” (see below), and it’s a fascinating interview. I share the concerns of Meredith and Matt, but I wish him all the best.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
If I Had to Do it Again
One father said, “My family’s all grown, and the kids are all gone. But if I had to do it all over again, this is what I’d do.
1. I would love my wife more in front of my children.
2. I would laugh with my children more—at our mistakes and our joys.
3. I would listen more, even to the littlest child.
4. I would be more honest about my own weaknesses, never pretending perfection.
5. I would pray differently for my family—instead of focusing on them, I’d focus on me.
6. I would do more things together with my children.
7. I would encourage them more and bestow more praise.
8. I would pay more attention to little things, like deeds and words of thoughtfulness.
9. And then, finally, if I had to do it all over again, I would share God more intimately with my family; every ordinary thing that happened in every ordinary day I would use to direct them to God.”
Sunday, January 02, 2011
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Great stuff from Justin Taylor:
There are lots of ways to read the Bible in a year, and I won’t try to capture all of them. But here are numerous options, in no particular order. You may want to look through it and see what you think would work best for you.
First off, if you’re not persuaded that having a plan is necessary and biblical in some sense, then here’s a helpful piece from John Piper, written in 1984.
George Guthrie has a very helpful Read the Bible for Life Chronological Bible Reading Plan. (I’ll have more to say later about Guthrie’s new book, Read the Bible for Life, and the church-wide campaign to promote biblical literacy. It’s really worth picking up.)
The Gospel Coalition’s For the Love of God Blog takes you through the M’Cheyne reading plan, with a meditation each day by D. A. Carson related to one of the readings.
Before I mention some of the ESV plans, here are a few other options that aren’t one-year-plans per se:
Don Whitney has a simple but surprisingly effective tool: A Bible Reading Record. It’s a list of every chapter in the Bible, and you can check them off as you read them at whatever pace you want.
For the highly motivated and disciplined, Grant Horner’s plan has you reading each day a chapter from ten different places in the Bible. (Bob Kauflin read the whole Bible this way in five and a half months and explains why he likes this system a lot.)
Joe Carter and Fred Sanders explain James Gray’s method of “How to Master the English Bible.” My pastor, David Sunday, told me that “the plan they recommend is, from my vantage point, the most productive way to read and to master the Bible’s contents (or more importantly, to let the Bible master you!).”
There are 10 Reading Plans for ESV Editions, and the nice things is the way in which Crossway has made them accessible in multiple formats:
- web (a new reading each day appears online at the same link)
- RSS (subscribe to receive by RSS)
- podcast (subscribe to get your daily reading in audio)
- iCal (download an iCalendar file)
- mobile (view a new reading each day on your mobile device)
- print (download a PDF of the whole plan)
|Daily Reading Bible |
Daily Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms
|Outreach Bible |
Daily Old Testament, Psalms, and New Testament
|Outreach Bible New Testament |
Daily New Testament. Read through the New Testament in 6 months
|M’Cheyne One-Year Reading Plan |
Daily Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms or Gospels
|ESV Study Bible |
Daily Psalms or Wisdom Literature; Pentateuch or the History of Israel; Chronicles or Prophets; and Gospels or Epistles
|Literary Study Bible |
Daily Psalms or Wisdom Literature; Pentateuch or the History of Israel; Chronicles or Prophets; and Gospels or Epistles
|Every Day in the Word |
Daily Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs
|Through the Bible |
Daily Old Testament and New Testament
Through the Bible chronologically (from Back to the Bible)
|Book of Common Prayer Daily Office |
Daily Psalms, Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospels
You can also access each of these Reading Plans as podcasts:
- Right-click (Ctrl-click on a Mac) the “RSS” link of the feed you want from the above list.
- Choose “Copy Link Location” or “Copy Shortcut.”
- Start iTunes.
- Choose Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast.
- Paste the URL from step three into the box.
- Click OK.
The entire Bible on audio is usually about 75 hours (or 4500 minutes). If you commute to work 5 days a week, that’s about 260 days a year. And if it takes you, say, 17 minutes to commute each way to work—and if you listen to the Bible on audio during your drive each way—you’ll get through the entire Bible twice in a year. This probably isn’t the only way to do Bible intake—but it’s one most of us should take advantage of more.
Here’s some more detail on these plans (some from Crossway, some from elsewhere).
ESV Study Bible (The ESV Literary Study Bible contains the same plan)
With this plan there are four readings each day, divided into four main sections:
- Psalms and Wisdom Literature
- Pentateuch and the History of Israel
- Chronicles and Prophets
- Gospels and Epistles
The introduction explains:
In order to make the readings come out evenly, four major books of the Bible are included twice in the schedule: the Psalms (the Bible’s hymnal), Isaiah (the grandest of the OT prophets), Luke (one of the four biblical Gospels), and Romans (the heart of the Bible’s theology of salvation).The list of readings from the Psalms and the Wisdom Literature begins and ends with special readings that are especially appropriate for the opening and closing of the year. The list of readings from the Pentateuch and the History of Israel proceeds canonically through the five books of Moses and then chronologically through the history of the OT, before closing the year with the sufferings of Job. The list of readings from the Chronicles and the Prophets begins with the Chronicler’s history of the people of God from Adam through the exile, followed by the Major and Minor Prophets, which are organized chronologically rather than canonically.
You can print out this PDF, which is designed to be cut into four bookmarks that can be placed at the appropriate place in your Bible reading. There are boxes to check off each reading as you complete it.
With this plan you read through:
- the NT twice
- the Psalms twice
- the rest of the OT once
The plan begins with the four great beginnings or “births” of Scripture: Genesis 1 (beginning of the world), Ezra 1 (rebirth of Israel after her return from Babylonian exile), Matthew 1 (birth of the Messiah), Acts 1 (birth of the body of Christ). John Stott says of this reading schedule: “Nothing has helped me more to gain an overview of the Bible, and so of God’s redemptive plan.”
If you go with this route, I’d recommend D.A. Carson’s For the Love of God (vol. 1 and vol. 2 are available–vols. 3 and 4 are forthcoming). Carson’s introduction and preface—which includes a layout of the calendar—are available for free online.
Since there are four readings each day, it’s easy to modify this one so that you read through the Bible once in two years, by reading just the first two readings each day for the first year and the second two readings each day for the second year.
Here’s a plan from NavPress, which is used each year at Bethlehem Baptist Church:
With this plan you read through the entire Bible once.
With this plan there are “catch-up” days:
- To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only 25 readings. Since you’ll have several “free days” each month, you could set aside Sunday to either not read at all or to catch up on any readings you may have missed in the past week.
- If you finish the month’s readings by the twenty-fifth, you could use the final days of the month to study passages that challenged or intrigued you.
Bethlehem makes available bookmarks that you can place in the relevant parts of your Bible:
The Journey Engage Scripture Reading Plan
The Journey, an Acts 29 church in St. Louis pastored by Darrin Patrick, is doing a church-wide reading plan this year.
This plan has you read whole chapters (a feature I like):
- one New Testament chapter
- two Old Testament chapters
They also have a couple of features designed to help those of us who have trouble persevering through a schedule like this: (1) there are lots of reflection/catch-up days; (2) they have pulled from the daily plan some of the slower-paced, harder-to-understand books. These then become “Monthly Scripture Snapshots” that are to be speed-read, along with online videos and overviews to put these books in context. See their website for more resources related to this plan.