Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Can You Love the Man While Questioning His Church?

August 23, 2007

I read Mike Adams’ column on Townhall.com.  Here is a guy who knows how to use satire while speaking to those in authority.  His biting criticism of the American university system, with its hard left politics and its humanist, feminist, anti-life, anti-real education agenda, hits its target with laser guided precision.  I highly recommend him to you. 

In this weeks column Mike addressed the emotional damage caused by casual physical relationships.  In the column he provides a link to his church.  Mike is a Christian and possesses a thoroughly Christian worldview, which is why I am so surprised by his church’s statement of faith.  Specifically, I am surprised by the last paragraph and more specifically by the last sentence of the last paragraph.  Here is that paragraph:

“Scripture is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she is ultimately responsible. We believe the Statement of Faith to be an accurate summary of what Scripture teaches. All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not included in the Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissension.”

Their statement of faith totals a little over 1000 words in eight headings (this paragraph makes up one of the eight headings).  So, they believe their eight paragraphs are an accurate statement of what scripture teaches and when you become a member you must refrain from advocating any doctrine that is not included in this document.  

I don’t know what they mean by the phrase “in such a way as to cause dissension”  but I am guessing that the threshold is pretty low.  Just a bit of observation from a guy who pastors a much smaller church 🙂

al sends

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My Wife’s Brain Is Safe And Sound

August 11, 2007

CoffeeFound this here story by following a link from Mark Horne’s blog…  I like Mark’s blog a lot.  If you have not checked it out please do.

My lovely wife is a coffee drinker.  No, really… she is a COFFEE DRINKER!  When she sleeps her right hand maintains a backward “C” shape.  If her adrenal glan quit working, we would not know it for a week.  I mean… she loves her coffee.

Well, apparently this does wonders for her cerebrum:

Women who drink three cups of coffee a day show less cognitive decline than women who drink a cup or less, report French neuroscientists

This is how my wife is able to teach 5th grade math to pre-calculus in the same school year. 

In case you are wondering the study said the coffee does not hold the same promise for men.  I wonder how sweet tea would stack up in such a study? hmmm…

al sends

Establish the Work of Our Hands

June 8, 2007

The following is the commencement address I was privileged to deliver at Trinitas Christian School on June 7, 2007. I praise the Lord for the fine work that goes on through this institution and also for the families who recognize the high calling of a Christ-centered education. — DB

Board of Governors, Mr. Trotter, faculty, parents, school family, and Trinitas Christian School class of 2007: I greet you. I am deeply honored to address you on this momentous occasion. It is an honor that has special significance for me. I have been with these three graduates for 7 of their 8 years at Trinitas, and 6 of those in the classroom day in and day out. So for better or for worse, Katie, Kaleb and Rob have had me as their teacher for half of their school years. (Parents, please feel free to send me your children’s psychologist bills!). It sounds trite, but it’s true, graduates: you mean more to me than you could ever know.

You are a thinking audience attending the graduation ceremony for an institution that is serious about education, and you three graduates are thinking Christians committed to intellectual integrity. So you deserve respect, and I intend to give it to you tonight.

One of the great failings of education in our day (more…)

Generic God

May 15, 2007

Frank Turk has an interesting post on the dangers of a church that is seeking cultural relevance. Culture is important. Christians are commanded to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. But you know, every thought really means every thought. So, when the “Christian Right” subsumes its Christian identity to its conservative politics, the Church is in trouble.

One area this has proved true is in education. It mystifies me that the Church of Jesus Christ would push to have prayer “returned” to the government school system. It is not so much prayer that I object too (though in principle the government should not be writing our prayers) rather it is the form of prayer the Church whole-heartedly supports… that bothers me.

The Christian Right would like to see us return to a form of godliness, while denying their powerful Head.

I said this elsewhere:

There is only one true God, revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ and His greatness is unsearchable. However, the church is not trying to get Jesus back into school. The prayer we are trying to get past the plurality police is a prayer to a generic God of questionable power and finite greatness. Like generic beer, this God will do what the heathen wants but it leaves those who are capable of tasting the difference between gall and hops strangely dissatisfied.

Ps 145:1-5

I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
5 I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
And on Your wondrous works.

Al sends

Lovers of Science – Valentines Day Special

February 14, 2007

Materialists and humanists love math. (Personal note here. My wife is a wonderful math teacher at The Best Christian School in Pensacola, Florida. So don’t take this where I don’t.) They do not love it as an expression Trinitarian order in the universe of course. They are enamored with the subject because they believe it gives them an objective basis for science. Science is knowledge and knowledge rocks the world in their “worldview.”

Now, somewhere in the 19th century (maybe earlier) the word science took on mystical powers. The word science now works ex opere operato, giving mathematic viability to dubious conclusions.

Note how Engels, of Communist Manifesto fame, describes his social theory:

“The Manifesto has had a history of its own. Greeted with enthusiasm, at the time of its appearance, by the not at all numerous vanguard of scientific socialism (as is proved by the translations mentioned in the first place…)” 1890 Forward to the German edition of the Communist Manifesto – Engels (e.d the rest of the sentence is overly long and difficult – much like the manifesto itself.)

Scientific Socialism? Huh?

The Albert & Vera Weisbord Archives contain what amounts to a definition of scientific socialism, sort of:

“In the works of Karl Marx and of Frederick Engels the interests of the working class found their best expression. In their life activities they symbolize the best of German philosophy, French politics, and British economics, synthesizing all three elements to bring forth ‘Scientific Socialism.'”

You see socialism by itself has no power in the material world. But a science of socialism can recreate life as we know it. We can reengineer it. Interesting that the term social engineering was coined (at least as far as I can tell) in the same century that brought us Marx and Engels. Social engineering has a math ring to it and sounds much more “scientific” than say, “screwing up the God pleasing order of things.”

What does the Bible say about knowledge? Plenty it turns out. Knowledge is not an end in and of itself. Just knowing stuff does not make you wise any more than adding the word ‘scientific’ to your pet theory makes it divisible by pi. The end of knowledge ought to be the glory of God. Knowledge for its own sake or to prove man’s inviolability is foolishness.
One of the more interesting things I have come across in my Bible reading of late has to do with a conversation Jesus had with the lawyers of His day. In Luke 11 Jesus ends with some strong words to the scribes:

Luke 11:45One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” 46And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. 47Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. 48So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 52Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” ESV

Hoarding and twisting knowledge prevents people from entering into the sanctuary of their God. That is what Engel’s science (and the accompanying liberalism of 19th century Christianity) does; it keeps people away from the rest of God. It has them doing “new math” in their head, figuring ways count up their own righteousness.

Real knowledge does not puff up. Real knowledge humbles and points the possessor of that knowledge to the Creator of all things. Including pi.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

EXTRA EXTRA As I was finishing this up I read Frank Turk’s blog. He is answering some blog-o-questions about Karl Barth, a theologian who came on the scene after the theology of liberalism and the philosophy of Marx worked itself out into two world wars. Check it out and send him your love for Valentine’s Day.

al sends

Pick A School, Any School

February 13, 2007

I just just read this article in World Magazine.  The Utah house has passed the nation’s first statewide school voucher program.  Utah’s Senate is expected to pass it, the Governor has said he will sign it and “state PTA president Carmen Snow informed reporters, “I just want to cry.'” 

If the PTA were still selling cupcakes and organizing playground clean ups I would feel bad for Ms. Snow. But she is crying for all the wrong reasons. In November of 2000 the Utah PTA passed a resolution that said int part It is the opinion of the Utah PTA that vouchers and similar systems would undermine public education and weaken a very effective system providing quality education for all Utah children.”  The PTA exists to support the public (read government) education system, becoming just another lobby for the status quo in Utah children’s education.

1. Your tax dollars are already going to support the religious indoctrination of children in your state. The religion is humanism and its alters still accept sacrificial victims.

2. This would save money while not short-changing the government schools. The way Utah’s bill works is that students receive a voucher for $500.00 – $3000.00. This money attaches to the student and where ever he or she decided to go the money follows. If the local, state and federal governments were spending $10,000 per student that would mean at least a $7,000 net gain, per student, for the school. At least initially.

3. It would encourage charity, helping to ensure the poor students receive as excellent an education as the wealthy. Under the government education system the poorer students perform far below the wealthier students. When it really becomes a community school the community will care.

4. It opens up a veritable smorgasbord of educational choices to the public. Does your child display an exceptional aptitude for math? Enroll her in the Classical School of Mathematics. Looking for a liberal arts education?  Enroll in the Classical School for the Exceptionally Well Read.

5. Lastly, It will may help the PTA get back to baking cupcakes instead of lobbying for a state funded Pre-K program.  Mmmmm… cupcakes. I will soon post why Christians should be wary of voucher programs…

 Update:  The Governor signed it, using real quiet pen… 

al sends

Payola

February 3, 2007

Dave M. sent me the following link from the Wall Street Journal. $34.06 an Hour

My wife is a teacher at Just the Greatest Christian School in Pensacola, FL. I don’t know of another profession that has more impact on a society than that of teacher. They deserve to be well paid. But let me ask you this…

If you have a government that is officially agnostic and that government runs the schools whom will they naturally hire? Any organization hires with its worldview in mind. It hires to further its goals and objectives. So, if you are, at your core, an organization that believes only in the material it would be foolish to hire those who might actively teach against this view.

Now, I know that there are great teachers in the government school system who would teach even if their pay were cut to that of a private school teacher. But if you are a materialist at heart I think you could easily find a home in the government schools. It would be much more difficult to live out a Trinitarian worldview in that environment. Wouldn’t it?

UPDATE: Here is the link to the original report at the Manhatten Institute for Policy Research. Here is an excerpt:

Among the key findings of this report:

  • According to the BLS, the average public school teacher in the United States earned $34.06 per hour in 2005.
  • The average public school teacher was paid 36% more per hour than the average non-sales white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty and technical worker.
  • Full-time public school teachers work on average 36.5 hours per week during weeks that they are working. By comparison, white-collar workers (excluding sales) work 39.4 hours, and professional specialty and technical workers work 39.0 hours per week. Private school teachers work 38.3 hours per week.
  • Compared with public school teachers, editors and reporters earn 24% less; architects, 11% less; psychologists, 9% less; chemists, 5% less; mechanical engineers, 6% less; and economists, 1% less.
  • Compared with public school teachers, airplane pilots earn 186% more; physicians, 80% more; lawyers, 49% more; nuclear engineers, 17% more; actuaries, 9% more; and physicists, 3% more.
  • Public school teachers are paid 61% more per hour than private school teachers, on average nationwide.
  • The Detroit metropolitan area has the highest average public school teacher pay among metropolitan areas for which data are available, at $47.28 per hour, followed by the San Francisco metropolitan area at $46.70 per hour, and the New York metropolitan area at $45.79 per hour.
  • We find no evidence that average teacher pay relative to that of other white-collar or professional specialty workers is related to high school graduation rates in the metropolitan area.

Al sends