Introducing … The Introducing Series!

A few years ago when I was in grad school, I was talking with friends at the Christian Student Center about some now long forgotten philosopher, and a studious friend remarked that I should read an “Introducing” book about the person.  He explained that they were a series of well written short introductions (something like the “For Dummies” series) that were illustrated.  Yes, a comic book of a sort.  So, my curiosity was piqued and I decided to check one out.  I have recently been diving into these books again, and felt it was worth a detailed post. 

I have found my friend’s advice to be right on target.  For the most part (there are a few lemons out there), these books are an indispensable guide to get an appreciation of many subjects.  In particular the religious guides, philosopher biographies and the mathematics and science books are very good.  (more…)

Published in: on May 7, 2008 at 2:08 am  Leave a Comment  

A Familiar Voice

I’ve been pretty negative about the state of the world lately.   In fact, I found myself so distraught that I needed to speak with a familiar voice.  I decided to call a mentor from my days at Tennessee Tech; he’s not a faculty member there, although I suppose he could be, if there were a Christian Studies department.  My mentor, Paul, has a calm, reasoned way of looking at any issue that I have ever brought to his attention.  For example, after 9/11, I felt compelled to call him in order to get some perspective (particularly about Islam) in order to make sense of that situation.  I think that we all seek a source of some familiar comfort when we are troubled. 

Anyhow, I called Paul (and wife Barbara — a lovely person, I might add) to just visit and find out how they are doing.  (more…)

Published in: on May 2, 2007 at 4:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Homeschoolers Beware … Democracies in the West

Well, the world has finally turned on its head.  I’ve been loosely following a story of a homeschooling family in Germany on WorldNetDaily.  The latest story (see the unfolding story using links at the bottom of the article) shows that Germany is returning to its post WWI, pre WWII roots:  the destruction of unwanted minority groups in their country.  How sad that this should happen in the “progressive” West.  And, oh by the way, since when have individual Christian families been a threat to anyone?  Hopefully Germany will come to its senses.  Or, perhaps the well behaved Christian homeschooling families (in this case, who also want to be good German citizens) will be the baby thrown out with the bathwater of reigning in separating Muslim subcultures in Germany and other western European countries.

Published in: on April 15, 2007 at 12:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Christian Man … and a Coach

(Note: for a MUCH more concise article that expresses my views, please see Kim’s Blog!) I haven’t cared much about the National Football League (NFL) the past few years.  However, I always kept at least a distant glance on the Indianapolis Colts.  Peyton Manning, who was a quarterback for the University of Tennessee for 4 years, is their quarterback.  I suppose that this has made its way into the culture so much that no explanation like that is necessary.  Anyhow, I began keeping up with NFL a lot more last year when I got into fantasy league football. 

Now, of the NFL teams, the Colts are my favorite.  The Tennessee Titans came to Memphis around ’96 and moved to Nashville in ’98 (if memory serves).  However, I’ve never been much of a fan.  When Manning went to the Colts, I picked them to follow.  That was a LONG intro for what I really want to talk about:  Tony Dungy.  (more…)

Published in: on February 6, 2007 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Evolve This!

I am pretty fired up right now.  I just read an article on The Evangelical Outpost website that was fantastic!  It was a three part post entitled 10 Ways Darwinists Help Intelligent Design.  I was particularly amused by a letter between two hard-core Darwinists that the author provided a link to.  This link was on William Dembski’s (well known Intelligent Design thinker and Darwinist critic) weblog, “Uncommon Descent” — yet another great site to visit.

The letter from Dennett to Ruse that I linked to showed the true face of the Darwinist.  The best thing about it was the honesty of Ruse.  I commend him being so straight up.  No, we don’t agree; but, his demeanor allows for honest debate.  In fact, he and Phillip Johnson are actually friends! 

One other amusing thing from the 3 part post was Joe Carter’s (the author) comments regarding Peter Singer (emphasis mine): ”

On occasion I’ve been known to gently mock those with whom I disagree (except for Dawkins and Peter Singer, who I despise). But to dismiss them entirely, even when, like Mr. Scalzi, they hold anti-rational opinions, would stifle genuine debate.

I laughed out loud at that, because Peter Singer is one of the most destructive forces on the planet when it comes to preserving human dignity.  Richard Dawkins is equally destructive and condescending when it comes to promoting Darwinism and condeming religious belief. 

Oh well, the culture war (in this case, the battle for the right to tell the story of our origins) will go on.  Too bad, that scientific dogma (read: religious faith) is still repressing the truth; however, maybe the truth debit is actually coming due.  What a refreshing thought that is!!

Published in: on August 14, 2006 at 2:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Who is the Biggest Bigot?

It seems today that a strange hypocrisy is allowed: certain bigotries are mercilessly shoved into the light, while others are hurriedly covered up and excused.  Take the latest celeb news about Mel Gibson.  Now I didn’t hear what he said while he was drunk, but apparently he uttered something that would be offensive to a Jewish person.  Jesus said that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks, so Gibson probably had some type of anti-Semitism in his heart.  But, as a contrast, take the case of the man, a Muslim, who drove three hours from a mosque into Seattle then went to a Jewish center of some sort and proceeded to shoot six unarmed women, one of whom was killed.  (more…)

Published in: on August 3, 2006 at 3:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Da Vinci Ignorance

The Da Vinci Code phenomenon is sort of irritating and puzzling at the same time.  The film comes out tomorrow on the heels of a long best seller run for the hardcover by Dan Browne.  As usual, the popular culture accepts it with open arms.  Especially since it attacks (under the surface) many things held sacred by Christians.  Try to put out a movie that is favorable to Christ (remember The Passion), and all you get from Hollywood is ridicule, hateful statements, and contempt.  Don't try to do that to Mohammed; I don't watch South Park, but, in a recent ep, Viacom put the nix on any images — degrading or otherwise — of Mohammed; this ep apparently spared no pain in denigrating Jesus, though.  Anyhow, The Da Vinci Code is somehow just "entertainment", while The Passion was "very controversial." (more…)

Published in: on May 19, 2006 at 2:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Getting to know the neighborhood kids … and their religions!

Well, the other day a young man showed up on the doorstep wondering if Isaac could come out and play.  Yessin (pronounced Yez-in) had met Isaac once at the neighbors across the street.  Three children there have recently become friends with our children.  So, Yessin came in and, subsequently, he and Isaac and Bailey all went out to play.  Shortly after that, Yessin wanted to know if Isaac could come to his house.  We agreed to a short visit.  At Yessin's house, I decided to ask him a few questions.  He said that his family had a different religion (Islam).   (more…)

Published in: on May 3, 2006 at 2:36 am  Leave a Comment  

At least the cat is out of the bag …

One of the most frustrating things to me in the evolution / creation debate is the rare admission of ideological and philosophical biases behind the so-called, unbiased scientists.  I read an article from the 2002 June / July issue of the journal First Things that had a couple of quotes that I found refreshing in their honesty.  The article, "The Second Tablet Project" was written by J. Budziszewski (Buda-chef-ski), associate professor of Government and Philosophy at the Univ. of Texas-Austin; in the article he argued that finding a basis for ethics and morals without God is futile and a self-deception.  In other words, living by or justifying behavior by the 2nd tablet of the Ten Commandments is hopeless without God.  In the article, he quotes two non-theists: Richard Lewontin, a Harvard biologist, and Thomas Nagel, a philosopher.  Bear with me, the quotes are a bit long …

The article cites Lewontin from the New York Review of Books from January 9, 1997, as saying, "Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism." … "Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door." The citation from Nagel is from his book, The Last Word, "I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and, naturally, hope that I'm right in my belief. It's that I hope there is no God! I don't want the universe to be like that." … "My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time …. Darwin enabled modern secular culture to heave a great collective sign of relief, by apparently providing a way to eliminate purpose, meaning, and design as fundamental features of the world."

Budziszewski observes: "If Nagel is right, then those who say that theism is a crutch have got it backwards. For our contemporary intellectual culture, it is atheism that serves as a crutch. It couldn't have been easy to admit that."  Amen … but at least it is refreshingly honest.

Published in: on April 22, 2006 at 3:53 am  Leave a Comment