Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Vanishing Word: Media Manipulation

There is a big difference between processing information on a printed page compared with processing data conveyed through a series of moving pictures. Images have a way of evoking an emotional response. Pictures have a way of pushing rational discourse-linear logic-into the background. The chief aim of television is to sell products and entertain audiences. Television seeks emotional gratification. As a visual medium, television programming is designed to be amusing. Substance gives way to sounds and sights. Hard facts are undermined by stirring feelings. Important issues are drowned out by dramatic images. Reason is replaced by emotion. The Vanishing Word: Arthur Hunt III

Hunt goes on to explain that we are possibly entering a "high-tech version of the Dark Ages". He states that the Judeo-Christian heritage which has characteristically been word-dependent is contrasted with paganism, which typically has been image dependent.

The Vanishing Word is a wonderful book that delves into the historical rise and fall of cultures, due to a word based culture versus a image based culture.

We have rapidly emerged into an image based, superficial media drenched culture and the Church itself is following suit. The Emergent and Seeker-friendly churches seem to embrace images over the written word, and emotional content overshadows objective truth. Much of the controversy surrounding the Church today is the claim that anyone who stands on the objective, concrete, unchanging Word of God, is at most a "pharisee".

Media manipulation is rampant in our culture. It shows up on the news, sitcoms, talk shows, and movies. Our country is becoming illiterate and unable to discern truth from manipulation. After all, if it is on network news, it must be true, right?

Lately there has been much controversy over the movie The End of the Spear. The controversy has mostly centered around a gay activist actor playing the part of a missionary. An undercurrent to the movie which is not covered as much, is the idea that the Gospel is not clearly presented. That may or may not be true, as I have not gone to see the movie. I have to confess that I don't go to many "Christian" movies. I find them somewhat contrived, and the search for emotional content to sway the viewer is too sappy in my opinion. I suggested on one forum, that folks go see Babette's Feast, or To End All Wars for excellent Christian themes. Incidentally, To End All Wars makes an excellent point of the importance of books. Books were a saving grace to enable the prisoners of war to have hope in the midst of a dismal, horrific situation. I digress. Where was I?...oh yeah...the Gospel presented in the movie. Some Christians believe that the Gospel should be presented in an emotional, palatable fashion in order to engage the unbeliever. Flash will flatter folks into the fold, seems to be the prevailing thought of the day. What a difference from the days of the Puritans when children were able to read through the Word of God by the time they were four years old! Thanks to Sesame Street, if the words don't dance and sing, they will not hold our attention. So it is with the media. Media lures, seduces, deceives, anathesizes ( and actually sometimes teaches, I concede) the populace. Hopefully, discerning Christians can make a stand for excellence and truth in the midst of media manipulation.

I hope to post some ideas that Hunt presents in his book. It is a fascinating read dealing with historical and cultural trends surrounding the written word and how words have affected society in general.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Texas Bidnez

Here are some comments I read about Texas today. Very funny. I lived in Ft. Worth TX for a couple of years. Texans are very proud of Texas. It is a country unto itself.

Some things you'll never hear a Texan say:

"I'll take Shakespeare for a thousand, Alex."
"Duct tape won't fix that!"
"Pass the arugula please."
"Wrasslin's fake!"
"No kids in the back of the pickup. That's dangerous!"

If a Texan ever says, "Hey, y'all, come watch this!" run for your life. They're likely the last words he'll ever speak.

Oh, and if you had an infinite number of Texans with an infinite number of shotguns and an infinite number of stop signs, could they reproduce the works of Shakespeare in Braille?

Y'all = singular
All y'alls = plural

Posted by tom

You can read a great article about Texas accents

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Askew Bible Essays by Students

The Revised Nonstandard Bible -- May 11, 1996
It is truly astonishing what happens to Bible stories when they are retold by young scholars around the world. Here is an excerpt from a chapter in Fractured English, by Richard Lederer, published by Pocket Books.

The Bible is full of many interesting caricatures. Michael Angelo painted them on the Sixteen Chapels.

The first five books of the Bible are Genesis, Exodus, Laxatives, Deuteronomy, and Numbers. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, "Am I my brother's son? My punishment is greater than I can bare."

Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. He built an ark, which the animals came on to in pears. Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night. Saddam and Gomorrah were twins.

Abraham begat Isaac and Isaac begat Jacob and Jacob begat 12 partridges. God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma. Abraham took Isaac up the mountain to be circumcised. Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother, Esau's birthmark. Esau was a man who wrote fables and sold his copyright for a mess of potash. Jacob was a patriarch who brought up his 12 sons to be patriarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.

The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals. Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the apostles. He slayed them by pulling down the pillows of the temple.

Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make beds without straw. Moses was an Egyptian who lived in a hark made of bullrushes. Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert.

Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Amendments. The First Commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple. The Fifth Commandment is humor thy father and mother. The Seventh Commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery. The Ninth Commandment is thou salt not bare faults witness.

Moses ate nothing but whales and manner for 40 years. He died before he ever reached Canada. Then, Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.

David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He wrote psalms. They are called psalms because he sang them while playing the harmonica. David also fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

Later came Job, who had one trouble after another. Eventually, he lost all his cattle and all his children and had to go live alone with his wife in the desert. Then came Shadrach, Meshach, and To Bed We Go, and then Salome, who was a wicked woman who wore very few clothes and took them off when she danced before Harrods.

When Mary heard that she was the Mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta. When the three wise guys from the East Side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager wrapped in waddling clothes. In the Gospel of Luke they named him Enamel. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption. St. John, the Blacksmith, dumped water on his head.

Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you. He wrote the "B" Attitudes and explained, "Man doth not live by sweat alone." Jesus was crucified on his way to Calgary. It was a miracle when he rose from the dead and managed to get the tomb stone off the entrance.

The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels. The epistles were the wives of the apostles. One of the opossums was St. Matthew, who was by profession a taximan.

St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage. A Christian should have only one wife. This is called monotony. The natives of Macedonia did not believe in Paul, so he got stoned.

Other Christians were condemned to death in large groups. They entered the arena to face wild lions singing hymns of praise in the name of the Father, the Son, and In-the-Hole-He-Goes. The Romans went to the coliseum to watch the Christians die for the fun of it. But, as Mel Brooks says, "The meek shall inherit the earth."

© Richard Lederer

Odds and Ends.

Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy:Jack Handy :

To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kind of scary. I've wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.

A good way to threaten somebody is to light a stick of dynamite. Then you call the guy and hold the burning fuse up to the phone. "Hear that?" you say. "That's dynamite, baby."

Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: "Mankind". Basically, it's made up of two separate words - "mank" and "ind". What do these words mean ? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.

I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they chose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas.

Probably the earliest flyswatters were nothing more than some sort of striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.

If you ever teach a yodeling class, probably the hardest thing is to keep the students from just trying to yodel right off. You see, we build to that

The memories of my family outings are still a source of strength to me. I remember we'd all pile into the car - I forget what kind it was - and drive and drive. I'm not sure where we'd go, but I think there were some trees there. The smell of something was strong in the air as we played whatever sport we played. I remember a bigger, older guy we called "Dad." We'd eat some stuff, or not, and then I think we went home. I guess some things never leave you.

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."

If you go parachuting, and your parachute doesn't open, and you friends are all watching you fall, I think a funny gag would be to pretend you were swimming.

Very funny video! cat herders

HT:Evangelical Outpost

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Sovereignty of God

Jonathan Edwards once stated, "From my childhood up, my mind had been full of objections against the doctrine of God's Sovereignty. It used to appear like a horrible doctrine to me. But I remember the time very well, when I seemed to be convinced, and fully satisfied, as to this Sovereignty of God, and His justice in thus eternally dealing with men, according to His Sovereign pleasure. My mind rested in it; and it put an end to all those quibbles and objections. And there has been a wonderful alteration in my mind, with respect to the doctrine of God's Sovereignty, from that day to this. God's absolute Sovereignty…is what my mind seems to rest assured of, as much as of any thing that I see with my eyes. But I have often, since that first conviction, had quite another kind of sense of God's Sovereignty than I had then. I have often since had not only a conviction, but a delightful conviction. The doctrine has appeared exceedingly pleasant, bright, and sweet. Absolute Sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God. But my first conviction was not so."

Man naturally resists the idea of God's Sovereignty. J. C. Ryle once commented that "Of all the doctrines of the Bible, none is so offensive to human nature as the doctrine of God’s Sovereignty." Yet, though many in our day strongly resist the idea and the implications of God's Sovereignty in all things; for the Christian, the doctrine continues to be an amazing source of strength, even in the midst of severe difficulty and trial.

You can read the rest of the article on the Sovereignty of God over at Reformation Theology Blog here

Friday, January 20, 2006

What Katey Did Today

Katey in -40 degrees F

I received an email from a dear comrade in arms so to speak. Katey and my daughters grew up together while her mother and I enjoyed countless hikes and conversations....over 25 years worth!! Katey lives in Alaska and is an amazing woman. I would love for Katey to share some of her stories with you. She has lived in Russia and has traveled extensively. Her life has been quite the journey, and along the way, she has wakened to the glories of God and his mercy and grace. Here is a tiny excerpt of her day today.

Jogging on skis at lunch behind campus today. We have
-40 deg F! The snow is like sand paper. Eyelashes frozen together.

I toppled over into a powdery snow bank for a few moments to lay and
watch the sky. A huge, wide, flat, segmented cloud swam across the blue
expanse overhead, and I wondered what it would be like to be staring down a
microscope at a flatworm swimming in a petri dish stuck in some lab
somewhere in Florida.

Love Katey

Reflections of Elisabeth Elliot, Widow of Slain Missionary, Jim Elliot

“I think back to the five men themselves, remembering Pete’s agony of indecision as to whether he should join the others in the venture, Ed’s eagerness to go even though Marilou was eight months pregnant, his strong assurance that all would be well, Roj’s depression and deep sense of failure as a missionary, Nate’s extreme caution and determination, Jim’s nearly reckless exuberance.

“I think of the tensions that developed after the men died among those who had to try to ‘pick up the pieces’ of the work they had left behind. There was misunderstanding between some of the mission boards as to what part each was to play in continuing efforts to reach the Aucas.

“I think of how, when Rachel and I finally arrived in the Aucas’ jungle clearing, we found that what she and Dayuma had been using as the Auca language was not readily understood. Dayuma had forgotten a large part of it, and had unwittingly jumbled up Auca, Quinchua, a smattering of Spanish, and a little English intonation for good measure. Then gradually I saw, to my dismay, that Rachel’s approach to linguistic work, her interpretation of what the Indians did and said, and the resulting reports she sent out were often radically different from my own.

“I think of the Indians themselves—what bewilderment, what inconvenience, what disorientation, what uprooting, what actual diseases (polio, for example) they suffered because we missionaries got to them at last! The skeptic points with glee to such woeful facts and we dodge them nimbly, fearing any assessment of the work which may cast suspicion at least on the level of spirituality if not the validity of our faith.

“But we are sinners. And we are buffoons. I am reminded of an occasion in Bible school when I nearly laughed aloud in the middle of a prayer. Following a long session in which one student after another had confessed his sins, real and imaginary, our principal, L. E. Maxwell, stood up and boomed out, ‘O Lord, deliver us from our sad, sweet, stinking selves!’

“It is not the level of our spirituality that we can depend on. It is God and nothing less than God, for the work is God’s and the call is God’s and everything is summoned by Him and to His purposes, the whole scene, the whole mess, the whole package—our bravery and our cowardice, our love and our selfishness, our strengths and our weaknesses. The God who could take a murderer like Moses and an adulterer like David and a traitor like Peter and make of them strong servants of His is a God who can also redeem savage Indians, using as the instruments of His peace a conglomeration of sinners who sometimes look like heroes and sometimes like villains, for ‘we are not better than pots of earthenware to contain this treasure [the revelation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ], and this proves that such transcendent power does not come from us, but is God’s alone.’ (II Cor. 4:7, NEB)

“We are not always sure where the horizon is. We would not know ‘which end is up’ were it not for the shimmering pathway of light falling on the white sea. The One who laid earth’s foundations and settled its dimensions knows where the lines are drawn. He gives all the light we need for trust and for obedience.”
Today, as a bright light, Waodani missionary, Mincaye (Steve Saint’s adopted father) is an encouragement to me. He preaches to all that Itota, the Son of Waengongi, is able to cleanse the vilest heart of wenae cae.

HT: Sharper Iron. Read the rest of the article on the five missionaries to the Auca Indians. Excellent article.

Al Mohler Commentary on the End of the Spear Movie

Al Mohler presents a thoughtful and provocative article on the controversial movie The End of the Spear. You can read it here

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Together for the Gospel Blog! I'm Excited

I am very excited that Al Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Ligon Duncan, and Mark Dever have started a blog. You can check it out here

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Al Mohler on Larry King: Gay Marriage, Gay Actors Playing Missionaries, etc.

It is wonderful to have someone like Al Mohler on the Larry King Show. Al Mohler is articulate, intelligent, and respectful. The buzz on the God blogosphere is the fact that an openly gay activist, Chad Allen, plays a missionary in a movie called The End of the Spear. Al Mohler joins Chad Allen, and other panelists for a provocative conversation regarding that movie, Brokeback Mountain movie, and gay marriage in general. The transcript from the show can be read here

Saturday, January 14, 2006

John Piper on Spiritual Gifts

Steve Camp has posted a sermon by John Piper on the use of spiritual gifts. Great article. The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed" (1 Corinthians 12:1). I assume that applies to us also: we ought not to be uninformed about the nature and purpose of spiritual gifts.... The rest of the article can be read here

Friday, January 13, 2006

He's Back!

Marc over at Purgatorio took a short break but he is back!

Spurgeon on Prayer

inking times are praying times with the Lord's servants. Peter neglected prayer at starting upon his venturous journey, but, when he began to sink, his danger made him a suppplicant, and his cry, though late, was not too late. In our hours of bodily pain and mental anquish, we find ourselves as naturally driven to prayer as the wreck is driven upon the shore by the waves. The fox hurries to its hole for protection; the bird flies to the wood for shelter; and evn so the tried believer hastens to the mercy seat for safety. Heaven's great harbor of refuge is All-prayer; thousands of weather-beaten vessels have found a haven there, and the moement a storm comes on, it is wise for us to make for it with full sail.

Short prayers are long enough. There were only three words in the petition which Peter gasped out, but they were sufficient for his purpose. Not length but strength is desirable. A sense of need is a mighty teacher of brevity. If our prayers had less of the tail feathers of pride and more wing they would be all the better. Verbiage is to devotion as chaff to the wheat. Precious things lie in small compass, and all that is real prayer in many long addresses could be uttered in a petition as short as Peter's.

Why Homeschool? by Nancy Pearcey

Why homeschool? How do we explain our decision to family and friends - and, frankly, even to ourselves on tough days? One homeschooling father put his finger on what, for many parents, is the key motivation: "The problem with our education system is not just that it omits God and the Bible from curriculum," writes Tom Parsons. "It is that our public education system embraces a worldview that places no value on the absolute truth of the Bible." [1]

In other words, the problem is not just that schools teach individual ideas or moral principles that may be objectionable. Far more dangerous to a growing young mind is the secular, postmodernist worldview that underlies those ideas, because it permeates the entire curriculum as an unquestioned assumption. And precisely because it is unspoken, it easily bypasses any critical grid your children may have, and is simply absorbed.

Parsons kindly attributes this insight to reading my book Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. What I discovered in doing research for the book is that putting your children in Christian schools does not necessarily solve the problem, because most do not teach a comprehensive Christian worldview. The majority of Christian schools adopt a sacred/secular dualism, where religion is relegated to chapel and Bible classes, while the subject matter taught in the classroom is virtually identical to what is taught in public schools. This pattern is dominant even at the university level. In a recent survey at a major Christian university, more than half of the faculty said they did not feel capable of giving a biblical perspective on the subject they teach......

Read the rest of the article: Putting your children in Christian schools does not necessarily solve the

Check out Duologos

Thanks to Daniel over at Duologos
for taking up the baton that Marc over at Purgatorio relinquished. Contribute to You Supply the Caption. Great fun.

Why Can't I Be Clever Like Alito

Great brief quotes from the Alito hearings:

Shumer: Does the Constitution protect free speech?
Alito: Yes, Senator, the First Amendment protects free speech.

Shumer: Well, why can you give me a straight answer on that issue but not give me a straight answer on abortion?

Alito: Because the text of the Constitution explicitly includes the term "free speech".

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Dominion Theology in Africa

Here is a VERY interesting article from the Herescope blog concerning Dominionism.

Discernment Ministries has been following the development of a global "dominionist" agenda and recently posted an article at the website entitled "Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism." Today's Herescope post is an update and expansion on several topics that were brought out in this article.
You can read the rest of the

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Together for the Gospel Discussion

Al Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Ligon Duncan, and Mark Dever participate in a conversation about cooperating for the Gospel. This is a diverse group of Reformed Christian teachers and leaders committed to standing for orthodox Christianity and demonstrating unity even though there are some distinctive differences among them. You can listen here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Outcome Based Education: Hegelian Dialectics, Part 3 by Denise Hohnholz

Outcome Based Education
Our Generation is lost to the truth of God, to the reality of divine revelation, to the content of God’s will, to the power of His redemption, and to the authority of His Word. For this loss is paying dearly in a swift relapse to paganism. The savages are stirring again; one can hear them rumbling and rustling in the tempo of our times. Carl F. H. Henry Twilight of a Great Civilization: The Drift to Neo-Paganism

The goal of any schooling is to indoctrinate a child with the values and understanding he needs to live life. For the Christian, this means teaching him to love the Lord with all his heart, mind and soul; to read and write so he can read the Word of God; and equip him with the skills that will enable him to support his family and be a good citizen. The humanist has a very different agenda concerning the equipping of children. To the humanist, a child is like human hardware, to be manipulated according to the needs of the government or culture. And it is to this end that government public schools in the United States were instituted.

Modern educational programs like Goals 2000, Mastery Learning, Out-come Based Education, Lifelong Learning, and many other programs, are not fashioned to develop moral, deep thinking people prepared to logically discern the truth. They are instead, designed to transform students into bored, easily manipulated people, whose overwhelming goal is to seek personal pleasure (Gatto, 2000 p. 42, 223).
The full program is incredibly complex and outside the scope of this presentation but the reader will be able to grasp the big picture of the program after reading through the full text of this section.

The student must be brought into the system and separated from adult (read parents) life as young as possible to successfully clean the child’s mental slate.
Schools must lower expectations of student ability to insure the child will not be well educated.
Teachers must use classroom control techniques based on behavior modification.
Teachers must teach affectively (emotion based as opposed to fact based) in order to confuse student values.
To be sure the indoctrination is successful the student must be assessed, remediated, and then reassessed.

Everyone when he is fully taught will be like his teacher (Luke 6:2)

Step 1. The student must be brought into the system and separated from adult life as young as possible.

One segregates children from adult life because one wishes to do something special with them – to effect some kind of social change or adaptation to one. Such segregation insulates the children from social patterns of the present and makes him more receptive to some envisioned future.
Warren Bennis, The Temporary Society

To indoctrinate a child into a socialist paradigm he must first have all prior knowledge, beliefs, and values that he comes to school with purged from his mind in order to introduce the new values he is to receive. This indoctrination is a form of brainwashing. Brainwashing is most effective when administered to a young child; the earlier a child can be indoctrinated, the easier it becomes to transform his mind. This is why the educational establishment is pushing for students to start school at an early age and promoting programs like Head Start and other early education programs. The more time a child spends in school the more time can be spent to change his thought patterns. Public schools are slowly increasing the length of the school day with the knowledge that the more time a student is in school the more complete and ingrained the new social mind set will be.
Early Americans, one of the most literate peoples in the history of the post flood world, would often teach fundamentals to their children at home and then send children to a tutor or church school at 9 or 10 years of age. Colonial parents educated their children so, when he was grown, he would become an adult who would understand the Word of God, think clearly using logic, and would be capable of supporting himself. The goals of modern education are not the same as they were for our forefathers. The goals for modern school are to teach students the new culturally correct social skills and attitudes that both industry and government demand.
Goal of today’s education is to clean a child’s mind of the kinds of thinking that will hinder socialistic human progress, and then, create in him habits of mind that will readily compliment the needs of industry and state.

Then he saith, I will return to my house from whence I came out; and when he is come he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Matthew 12:43-44

Throughout their educational experience, students are often made to go through mandatory meditation-like sets of programs. Meditation, relaxation, visualization, attention control, group therapy and visualization techniques are introduced early in education process to facilitate, in the mind of the child, a blank slate. (I have personally seen this in operation in public school,, in Graduate school courses, and in Christian schools.) Jeannie Georges in her pamphlet Dialectic Education says:

“The move is toward daydreams, visualization, using pictures, and indeed, towards clearing the mind for the programmer to reprogram through stimulus/response. Parents play into the hands of the psychologists or facilitators by allowing their children to space out watching T.V. The child who sits in front of the T.V. with glazed eyes, mouth half open, tongue in the roof of his mouth, and doesn’t respond when he is spoken to, is practicing altering his consciousness. As the child practices this behavior it becomes easier for the behaviorist to train him to alter his state consciousness.”

These programs are disguised as innocent activities by simply changing the actual name of the activity to a title that sounds like something familiar. For instance, group therapy techniques might be called a discussion group or meditation might be called quiet time relaxation. These practices are designed to leave the mind blank and open to suggestion. Parents, also be aware that mindless T.V. watching produces the same mind numbing effect and leaves children open to suggestion; particularly advertising suggestions.

In their defense, today’s teachers are overburdened with requirements of the continuous new curriculum demands, special programs, overcrowded classrooms, fewer parents to help, and classrooms full of kids from divorced homes etc. Teachers often do not have the luxury of time to really study and understand the curricula they are to use, let alone master it and its implications. I believe teachers are overloaded intentionally: An overworked teacher will not have the time or energy to research the actual precepts and philosophies contained in the curriculum they are mandated to teach. However, those who choose to work with children are brought to a higher accountability. Be aware.

It were better for him that a millstone were hung about his
neck, and he cast into the sea. Luke 17:2

Step Two: Schools must lower expectations of student ability to insure the child will not be well educated.

The purpose of education and the school is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students. Benjamin Bloom

Children are purposefully and literally being dumbed down through long school days, block schedules and the use of the, so called, Best Educational Practices of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences and Whole Word Language instruction. The natural conclusion one would come to is that the longer a student is in the classroom the more he would learn. But this is not the case in dialectic education. Dialectic education is a process; and the process takes a long, long time. It takes a long time because first, it must be taught with out the knowledge of the participants and it is learned only through repetition. Add to this all the extra programs and activities a teacher is required to implement during the school day and not much factual learning takes place.

In conjunction with long school days, schools are switching to block schedules in Junior High and High School. Block schedules are not effective if a school is teaching to facts. Students retain knowledge better when they are taught daily, and most people can pay close attention to a subject only 40 to 60 minutes at a time. Block schedules were developed as an effective method in promoting dialectic thinking in students. Large blocks of time facilitates dialectic process by allowing plenty of time for students to get into small groups of two to six students and practice consensus over an issue. In a science classroom, the process might look like this: The teacher assembles small groups of three to five students to work on a genetics presentation. First the students discuss, as a group, what they are to present and how it will be presented. Once the students reach a consensus of how they will present the topic, they gather the materials they will need and each student will work on his part of the presentation. Finally, the group will present their work before the class. The group then gets a group grade, regardless of the effort, or lack of effort, of the individual participants. Most of the class time has been taken up with “process” and not authentic learning.

These students have just practiced dialectic process. The students came together in a facilitated meeting (the teacher is the trained facilitator) and they dialogue to a consensus over the project...right in the classroom. This process takes quite a bit of time. The students are taking more time to learn less, because the lesson is not about factual learning but, it is instead, about learning to do the “process”.

Many teachers foil the original purpose of the block schedule and split the time up to make several small lessons. The point is, however, that the block schedules were designed for the purpose of dialectic process, which takes a lot of time to accomplish.
Bloom’s Taxonomy uses Hegelian dialectic methods which are designed to encourage students to think in terms of opinion rather than facts.

Bloom’s Taxonomy
Evaluation Higher order thinking skills
Application _______________________
Knowledge Lower order thinking skills

God’s word is fact. The Bible is a book of facts. Bible believing Christians are fact oriented. God is fact based and we emulate Him so we are fact based also. But Bloom says that people who are fact based are lower order thinkers. Bloom’s theory encourages teachers to focus on subjective knowledge and trivialize factual knowledge. When one bases his thinking on subjective knowledge he gives way to subjective thinking; that is, without truth being foundational to good opinions; opinions are given the importance of factual truth. Thousands of well meaning teachers around the United States are teaching to “higher order thinking skills” believing they are doing the best for their students.

...a large part of what we call “good teaching” is the teacher’s ability to attain effective objectives through challenging the students fixed believes and get them to discuss issues. Benjamin Bloom, Handbook II: Affective Domain

Hundreds of teaching programs are based on Bloom’s destructive theory and are also imbedded in all of the state’s standards (You can find your states educational standards on line). Be aware that the names of these programs change regularly: Here are a few examples: Delphi Technique, Cooperative Learning, Consensus Building, Common Ground, Values Clarification, Critical Thinking Strategies, thematic instruction, “Earth” programs are based on Bloom, OutCome Based Education, Mastery Learning, School to Work, Goals 2000, Life Long Learning, and hundreds of other programs,.

Howard Gardner, a Harvard University professor of Cognition and Education and an adjunct professor of Psychology, is known for the Theory of Multiple Intelligences as presented in his acclaimed book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (M.I. schema). This theory, developed in the 1980’s, is a powerfully influential theory in progressive education.

I read his research data and the experimental context for his theory and found it so pitifully researched it could not hold Jell-O; yet it is taught in almost every education college, both secular and Christian, in the nation. This destructive theory has a deceptive purpose; it defines a person in a narrow individual profile so he or she may be typed, or pigeon holed, to easier meet the requirements of industry. Howard Gardner, in his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences says:

Ultimately, the educational plans that are pursued need to be orchestrated across various interest groups of society to achieve its greater goals. Individual profiles must be considered in the light of goals perused by wider society; and sometimes, in fact, individuals with gifts in certain directions must be none the less be guided along other, less favorable paths, simply because the needs of the culture are particularly urgent in that realm at the time.

If God’s modes operandi was the same as those coming out of Gardener’s theory we would not have many of the great men and women of the Bible. Gideon would have been pigeon holed as a frightened menial agrarian not worthy for great tasks; but God did not typecast him, but instead, saw past his outward demeanor and lead him to great victories for the kingdom. Ruth, the Moabitess, was a penniless heathen when she walked into Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, but, because of her Godliness and faithfulness, became a progenitor to the line of David and eventually to the Christ. Moses, who could not speak well, saved a nation...and on and on.

Whole Language: John Dewey, the developer of the first Whole Language primer in the United States, believed that a literate population who knows the facts and exercises individual judgment was the greatest threat to his envisioned utopian socialist state. To ensure a population becomes undereducated and, thereby, unable to exercise individual judgment, he developed a three pronged attack against literacy:

1. Emphasis on a Whole Language approach to reading
2. Use of some phonics to cause cognitive dissidence when taught concurrently with Whole Language
3. Rapid introduction of new word to readers

Dewey was a major contributor toward the developed Dick and Jane “Look-Say” reading curriculum so even the most intelligent children would be confused about the reading process. (Today the Look-Say method is usually called the Whole Word method; but it also has many other aliases.) He replaced learning to read through knowledge of the sounds and combinations of sounds the letters represented, to a whole word as a picture. The student must memorize a word by shape and then associate a meaning with that shape. Look-Say is primarily based on sight recognition of a word as a whole rather than breaking up the word into its primary alphabetic sound components. Children are to look at an alphabetic word as if it was a hieroglyphic picture. To learn a new word in this style children are asked to trace with their finger or draw around the word to be learned and then to look at its shape. They are then instructed to say the word that the shape represents.
Whole Language teaching also offers a small amount of phonetic training for students. When Whole Language is introduced to children they learn to think about language in a particular way. When children are introduced to an opposing style of learning, that has mutually exclusive rules, the student becomes confused and a kind of grid-lock takes over in the brain. This grid-lock is called cognitive dissidence by behavioral psychologists. Dewey knew cognitive dissidence would be the outcome of whole word language learning because of his studies of behaviorist experimentation that was taking place in socialist Russia. Dewey studied the work of Pavlov and his soviet associates, concerning experiments which attempted to induce behavioral disorganization in animals. Pavlov found that each time opposing conditioned reflexes were confronted by the subject; the subject was not able to react to the exclusion of one of the variables. It means that when a child is hit with phonics and whole-word concepts at the same time, they freeze-up. By bringing together Whole Language techniques and alphabetic writing systems, one can artificially induce the behavioral disorganization that today is called dyslexia.

The third aspect of Dewey’s overall plan was to further confuse young readers by presenting new words at such a rapid pace, that even the most intelligent children would be confused and show symptoms of behavioral disorganization. The Look- Say primers presented a new word around every 15 running words. This is an overwhelming rate for almost all new readers. Most first graders do well when they are given 200 to 300 running words before they are introduced to another new word.
Dewey devised this program to ensure that people would not read well and thereby become more easily manipulated.
John Goodman is the modern educator who took up the flame of Whole Word learning in the United States. He is mandatory reading in most teacher Colleges.

Step 3: Teachers must use classroom control techniques based on behavior modification.

There is a battle going on in the classroom over the definition of the word person. Is a person just another animal that may be manipulated, as is needed by the culture, like any other natural resource; or is he divinely created to live in fellowship with a loving Father? This is the quandary faced by teachers as they approach the question of how to discipline in the classroom or any other venue where correction of behavior is necessary. Children are deeply influenced by the type of discipline they receive. While most teachers, both secular and Christian, use a form of behaviorism to discipline students in their classrooms the Bible is explicit that a person’s behavior is to be conformed, through the shepherding of his heart, into the likeness of Christ.

Behaviorism, since the 1930’s, is the hands-down choice of discipline for both Christian and secular schools. This is because anyone who has been to a Teacher’s College is indoctrinated into the behaviorist paradigm of classroom management. The Association of Christian Schools International, a Christian educational group, teach behaviorist methods during their conventions and touts the different styles of behaviorism in their publications; as do most Christian educators.

Christian teachers who have attended secular universities, Teacher’s Colleges or educational enrichment classes, either secular or Christian, have been duped into thinking the new and improved methods of classroom discipline are devoid of moral intent; that they are neutral. This is a wrong assumption.

The only psychological force producing these perversions (The “perversions” are of thinking in terms of absolutes.) is morality and the concept of right and wrong. The reinterpretation and eventual eradication of the concept of right and wrong are the belted objectives of nearly all psychology.
The people who have been taught to believe what ever they were told by their parents or their teacher are the people who are a menace to the world. It is up to you teachers to make all these sick children well by creating the international child of the future. G. Broch Chisolm first head of the World Federation of Mental Health

Mental health is, by definition of the World Federation of Mental health and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (U.N.E.S.C.O.) is appropriate sustainable thought patterns. These “thought patterns” are not in any way, the type of thoughts the LORD tells us to think but are dialectical patterns of thought based on rebellion against God. The psychological tool to insure these thought patterns are formed in the minds of children is a process seated in Transformational Psychology. Psychological transformation is an emotional and psychological process that encompasses change through increments. The stated goal of this psychotherapy is the irradiation of the Biblical concepts of “right” and “wrong” and the implementation of a process based in the “felt needs” of people and whatever is necessary for worldly cultural progress.

All discipline programs for public schools and most Christian schools are based on the implementation of behaviorist/transformational psychology. One of the most successful discipline programs based on behaviorist/transformational psychology is Assertive Discipline developed by Lee and Marlene Canter in 1976, based on the Control Theory (a behaviorist theory) of William Glasser. The system requires the teacher be assertive in correcting behavior and is devised to help children to make good choices by giving positive rewards to students who are behaving correctly and negative penalties to students who make improper choices. To implement this in the classroom, a teacher may put a child’s name on the corner of the board if he is engaging in improper behavior, and if his behavior continues to be troubling, he will be given other check marks. These marks incur negative consequences like standing at the “wall” during recess or not being able to participate in an upcoming party: Good students who do not have check marks then receive some rewards that the “bad” students will not enjoy. There are hundreds of ways of implementing Assertive Discipline, from check marks on the board to elaborate systems touting colored Popsicle sticks and special folders taped to the student’s desk; it is all based on reward and punishment.

There are hundreds other styles of classroom discipline, but they are all, with few exceptions, based on psychological behaviorism. Assertive Discipline is based on Glasser, and Glasser was based on the work of Skinner, whose work was based on Pavlov. The basic philosophy behind behaviorism is that people are animals, and they are animals that can be manipulated to conform to certain standards through a process of rewards and punishments. The world manipulates but the Lord does not. His way of discipline is to teach to the heart of a person.
Heart has two meanings in scripture. It defines the physical heart that sends to the rest of the body the nourishment it needs to build and grow strong and it also refers to the seat of the intellect and emotions.

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of Your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:23

Behaviorism creates people who are able to maintain an image of being good. This type of behavior is hypocritical, like a white washed tomb: It looks good on the outside but on the inside it is full of dead men’s bones. The LORD wants the motivation of a person to reflect Him.

As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your Father and serve him with a whole heart and a willing mind for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek him, He will let you find Him, but, if you forsake Him he will reject you forever. 1Chronicals 28:9

The idea of “high self esteem” is part of the same hypocrisy. Behaviorism elevates people who are successful at following the rules; and these people start to think they are better than other people and, as a consequence, they become prideful. Their behavior is simply a performance that does not reflect the condition of their heart.

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. The rod of discipline will remove it far from him. Proverbs 22:15

This crucial verse concerning the discipline of a child is taken out of context by liberals and most Christians. First let me point out that the rod spoken of in this verse is not a 4x4 board; it is what we would call a wand today. It is a flexible shoot that would sting if a child were hit by it. The term discipline does not mean “beat him until he screams for mercy”; discipline is a rich word containing within it the sense of warning, instruction, and doctrine. The idea is that you get the child’s attention with a swat of the wand and then you sit down and have a conversation, not a lecture, directed to the heart of the child. The swat part is not the main player in this example. The important part is the conversation in which the child becomes aware of his own motives and the condition of his own heart. This is the process that leads a child to understand, with joy, the concepts of mercy and forgiveness given to us through the LORD.

I have only come across one Christian classroom management curriculum that is based fully on the word of God and not on secular psychology: Shepherding a Childs Heart in the Classroom presented by Immanuel Christian School in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. It is filled with scripture and examples explaining the biblical way to help children to understand the gentle love Christ has for them: I highly recommend it.

Step 4: Teachers must teach affectively (emotion based as opposed to fact based; also called dialectic thought) in order to confuse the values of students.

Teachers are trained in universities and Education Colleges to teach affectively, meaning a teacher is taught to teach to feelings and opinions rather than facts. This is the cornerstone of American dialectic educational methods. Through the processing of countless teachers over several decades, graduating from state and private college’s dialectic thought has been so inculcated into American culture that even Christian organizations are practicing it. It is ubiquitous in the U.S.A. as well as in most developed countries; but almost no one has ever heard of it. This is because the system can only work if it remains hidden. The people who implement dialectic process, whether in school, government, or business, hide its nature from common people in a barrage of technical terms that change regularly. An example of this change of terms in education is Mastery Learning which was renamed Outcome-based Education and is closely associated with Life Long Learning.

Dialectic process is hidden from the common people because if they knew they were being manipulated by a process they never heard of they might be angry and refuse to participate.

Gregor Hegel describes dialectic as thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Here is how it works: First step, thesis, is to bring a group of people together who have diverse opinions and backgrounds to talk about a social problem. The second step is called antithesis. The group goal is to come to a group conclusion. This means one must compromise ones beliefs (if ever so slightly) in order to come to a group conclusion. The group now strives together toward a common goal. This blending of ideas is called synthesis because it is a melding of the opinions of all the participants. For the process to be effective the participants must continue to practice the process in a never ending cycle of small group interactions in which one continually compromise to some degree. The designers of this modern dialectic process call it an evolutionary process, because change occurs as the process is practiced over and over from childhood to death (Life Long Learning is the outcome of the never ending process of group encounters in which a person accepts [learns] new ways of thinking). The process has no goal other than mindless, ungodly, change that will bind up the minds of people so tightly that they will not be capable of truth based thought. This type of mind set is perfect for industrialists who want minimally educated people who do not have an original thought in their heads. These people will be easily manipulated to become unquestioning workers and mindless consumers open to commercial suggestions. This type of mind set is perfect for a socialist government who also desire malleable, docile workers. Do not think this is some future doom: We are already socialist...we just don’t know it yet.

Benjamin Bloom and his taxonomy, who was discussed previously, is instrumental in leading students to believe facts are for “lower order” thinkers and opinions are the basis for “higher order” thinkers. If one looks closely at the scope and sequence for public schools across the country one finds the language of Bloom’s taxonomy deeply embedded. The higher the grade level, the more a student is asked to learn through his opinion rather than through facts.

Schools are now being built with a tendency for school districts to choose to build larger schools. There are several reasons. First schools with 240 students and under tend to keep a patriarchal mind set (Dean Gotcher: 2004 lecture). This means the students will base their interaction with others and their language based on truth and facts; as if they were in a family environment. A school with more than 240 students tends to fall into dialectic thinking realm where decisions are based on how they think and feel rather than on what is right and wrong. Administrators who make school decisions do not want students to retain a patriarchal mind set, and they build large schools which encourage a dialectic frame of mind. Second, cultural diversity is necessary for the dialectic process to function. The system must have a large number of ethnic groups from different economic levels to work effectively. Dialectic can only work if there are people who come to the table with different views that can be blended. If a group of people who have the same principles come together to discuss a problem, they will end up agreeing on how to solve the problem without compromising critical areas. Large schools ensure that the student body will be diverse and better suited to processing.

Former president Clinton was and is an advocate of bringing computers into classrooms. He knew that computers were the vehicles to speed a paradigm shift toward socialism. His desire was for every student to be linked to interactive computer programs to encourage each student toward “right” beliefs and values. These programs can test the rates students are changing; they can monitor compliance and remediate students who are lagging behind. The program can tailor the curriculum to accommodate an individual student’s progress and if he cooperates or resists the pressure of the program.

Journaling is the low tech. method for changing beliefs in school children. Now, I keep a journal in which I write about my feelings, Bible verses, stories, poems etc. The journal I write is to allow me to express or remember my thoughts and ideas. This is good thing. Journaling in the classroom is a dialectic tool designed to identify a child’s felt needs through his writings and to use those felt needs to manipulate him into dialectic thinking. Most teachers have been trained to use journaling in their classroom but believe it to be just a good way to get kids to write. This is O.K. with change agents because their desire is to get children used to the idea of journaling for the rest of their life. Through journaling, a change agent can ascertain your wants and needs and manipulate you accordingly. The process is associated with what was called “brainwashing” during W.W. II.

Step 5: To be sure the indoctrination is successful the student must be
assessed, remediated and then reassessed.

Now that we know how positive reinforcement works...we can be more deliberate and hence more successful, in our cultural design. We can achieve a sort of control under which the controlled, though they are following a code much more scrupulously than was ever the case under the old system never the less feel free. They are doing what they want to do, not what they are forced to do. That’s the source of the tremendous power of positive reinforcement—there’s no restraint and no revolt. By a careful cultural design, we control not the final behavior, but the inclination to behave—the motives, the desires, the wishes. The curious thing is...that the question of freedom never arises. Walden II, B.F. Skinner

Outcome Based Education is behaviorist driven. Students become like a performing chicken I once saw at a carnival. The chicken successfully pecked out Yankee Doodle Went to Town on some amputated piano keys and then received some corn that came down a shoot into the cage. No higher thought process are involved in behaviorist training—just ring the bell or answer the question right or just control your squirmy body to someone else’s specifications and you get a star or a cupcake party.

Behaviorist modus operandi is to teach a student some specific behavior or state of mind: say, for instance, that social changers want Christian children to accept Islam as “just a different way at looking at things”. The child is first taught the objective that Islam is just another way of thinking. After the lessons on Islam the child is tested to see if he has mastered the objective given him. If the student is tested and he is seen to be convinced that Islam is just another way of looking at things then this information is documented and he will go on with his studies. If he is found to not have been convinced that Islam is acceptable, then this information is documented and the student is given the lessons over again and will then be tested again. This process repeats itself until the student passes the test with the desired outcome.

This process of monitoring and documenting every student’s progress is difficult and time consuming for a teacher in the classroom; and in fact it would be impossible to run a behaviorist classroom without the computer. The eventual goal of Outcome Based Education is for every child and every teacher have a computer. The computer then becomes the facilitator and the teacher becomes a type of administrator. New schools built today are equipped for this eventuality. (I taught in a huge new school that was built with computer stations for every student as well as teacher computers for both classroom and the teacher’s office. Within the first year students destroyed most of the classroom computers and the district was financially not able to replace them. The teachers are now overloaded with work because they must do much of the documentation that the student computers were supposed to do, plus the regular teacher daily logs.)

The student computer stores the student class work, journal entries, tests and quizzes and other information about the student. When the class is over, the student accesses the computer and chooses his favorite and best work and compiles it into a portfolio. This portfolio will eventually take the place of letter grades. All the other information the student entered into the computer is data banked along with his personal and medical records, family information and any problems he has had in school. These records include information about the way he thinks and feels, how quickly he adapts to the objectives of the course, his grades and activities. It is through this data banking that the school will determine if the students needs remediation or if he will go on. This information is not available to the student or his family, but is available to the state and prospective employers also. Ron Sunseri in his book Outcome Based Education says, “The computer becomes a tool of control for the state.”

The “outcomes” that we have been discussing are also called “standards”. You can go online and find out what the standards are for your school district. These standards are the centerpiece for dialectic change. Standards are mandated to all schools, both public and private in Washoe County (as are most counties in most states). Christian Schools are often mandated by their state to follow the state standards. By forcing Christian schools to use the state standards, the state is better able to manipulate the curriculum the school can use. It is surprising how many Christian schools follow, lock-step, what public schools are doing, thinking they are being up to date.

There is another type of powerful testing called “high stakes” tests. Steve Rea in his booklet Science Falsely So-Called describes National Tests, like the Ohio Proficiency Test, as inaccurate, but still used to “attain personal information about the student’s opinions, values, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings, and then proceed to prescribe a state approved, socially and politically correct answer, to this psychology matter.”

Let me conclude with the same quote from Charles Spurgeon that Steve Rea used to conclude Science Falsely So-Called:

I believe science, but not in what is called “science”. No proven fact in nature is opposed to revelation. The petty speculations of the pretentious we cannot reconcile with the Bible, and would not if we could. I feel like the man who said, “I can understand in some degree how these great men have found out the weight of the stars, and their distances from one another, and even how, by the spectroscope, they have discovered the materials of which they are composed: but” said he “I can not guess how they found out their names.” Just so, the fanciful part of science, so dear to many, is what we do not accept. That is the important part of science to many—that part which is a mere guess, for which the guesser fight tooth and nail. The mythology of science is as false as the mythology of the heathen; but this is the thing which is made a god of. I say again, as far as its facts are concerned, science is never in conflict with the truths of the Holy Scripture, but the hurried deductions drawn from those facts, and the inventions classed as facts, are opposed to Scripture, and necessarily so, because falsehood agrees not with truth.

You can read Part one and two here and here

spurgeon: I Shall See God

Sometimes the onslaught of news is overwhelming. It is good to meditate on what we have to look forward to. Here is an encouraging word from Spurgeon from his book of Devotionals.


Consider the subject of Job's devout anticipation: "I shall see God." He does not say, "I shall see the saints"--though doubtless that will be untold happiness--but "I shall see God." It is not "I shall see the pearly gates, I shall behold the walls of jasper, I shall gaze upon the crowns of gold," but "I shall see God." This is the sum and substance of heaven; this is the joyful hope of all believers. It is their delight to see Him now in the ordinances by faith. They love to behold Him in communion and in prayer; but there in heaven they shall have an open and unclouded vision, and thus seeing "him as he is,"1 shall be made completely like Him. Likeness to God--what more can we wish for? And a sight of God--what can we desire better? Some read the passage, "Yet I shall see God in my flesh" and find here an allusion to Christ as the Word made flesh, and that glorious beholding of Him that shall be the splendor of the latter days. Whether so or not, it is certain that Christ shall be the object of our eternal vision; nor shall we ever want any joy beyond that of seeing Him. Do not think that this will be a narrow sphere for the mind to dwell in. It is but one source of delight, but that source is infinite. All His attributes shall be subjects for contemplation, and as He is infinite under each aspect, there is no fear of exhaustion. His works, His gifts, His love to us, and His glory in all His purposes and in all His actions, these shall make a theme that will be ever new. The patriarch looked forward to this sight of God as a personal enjoyment. "Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another."2 Take realizing views of heaven's bliss; think what it will be to you. "Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty."3 All earthly brightness fades and darkens as we gaze upon it, but here is a brightness that can never dim, a glory that can never fade--"I shall see God."
1 1 John 3:2 2 Job 19:27 3 Isaiah 33:17

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Starting the Day Right in Iraq

Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force

Public Education Has An Agenda. Ya Think?

The Wall Street Journal posts an interesting article about the NEA. If you want to get a glimpse of some of the agendas that our public education system supports you can read it here

Friday, January 06, 2006

Blogging to worship God

I read some posts on Blogging that worships God by Bob Kauflin. The articles are valuable because many blogs get caught up in contentious issues in the name of standing up for truth, or "how snide can I be to show I am intellectual", or whatever else comes to mind.

Kauflin states: While there are countless reasons people blog, ultimately it comes down to two – am I blogging to bring glory to God or myself? Here are some tell tale signs that I’m pursuing the latter:

• I’m crushed by criticism
• I’m harsh in my disagreements with others
• I enjoy seeing my name in print, especially on someone else’s blog
• I check Sitemeter every hour to see who’s on my site
• I like to hear myself talk/write
• I Google my name every 30 minutes.
• I’m flippant in criticizing others
• I experience an emotional high when more people visit my site one day

You can read parts 1,2,and 3 here

Thursday, January 05, 2006

And the Answer to the Riddle is?

I was catching up on some articles and came across this one from Justin Taylor on some observations by G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton states, "The sages, it is often said, can see no answer to the riddle of religion. But the trouble with our sages is not that they cannot see the answer; it is that they cannot even see the riddle."

This quote is a sad commentary on the state of religion in our society. Romans 1:21-22 states that.... because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.

Home Again

I am back home after spending two weeks in New Hampshire. It was wonderful to spend time with family and meet a new granddaughter, all of seven months old. We encountered all kinds of weather, from sunny to foggy. We came back with my husband's son who is wanting a fresh start in life. It is such a shock to go from a heavily wooded state to high desert. The eye travels greater distances here in Nevada, and it seems very barren. I will have to take Nathan up to Tahoe to get a tree fix for his eyes. Lots of trees that will hopefully remind him of back home.

I sat on the couch at my husband's parents house and watched the news that stated my hometown was in the midst of flooding. Here in Reno, we call it the 100 year flood. It is interesting to note that the last flood of this magnitude was in 1997, almost to the day! I wanted to be home to witness our humble Truckee River overflow its banks, for it is a sight to see!

We visited a Sovereign Grace church and a Newfrontiers church while we were in New Hampshire. One thing we noted, is that churches in New England struggle with numbers. A 50 person congregation is considered large by New Hampshire standards. There are large, more ecumenical churches, but they are the exception.

It is good to be back home and now we must search for a larger dwelling place, to house our new guest. God bless us all in the coming year.