What We Know

Apologetics, Thoughts
Our last several posts highlighted some of the challenges with synthesizing our faith and our science.  The specific topic has been the process of creation.  When I said last post that Genesis is not a science textbook, it may have raised the hair on the back of your neck since for years that quote has been code for joining "the other side" in the creation/evolution debate.  With the baggage that comes with the term "evolution" and the contentious history of the debate, it behooves me to make sure some points are clear. I believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and everything recorded in it is true, including where it touches science and nature. I personally do not have a firm opinion on the length of God's creative process, but…
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Genesis Chapter One

Apologetics, Thoughts
Moving now to the biblical record of creation, many attempts to "fit" evolution into the Genesis record have led to the "gap" theory, the "day-age" theory, or other progressive creation theories.  These efforts, in my opinion, are unnecessary exegetical and scientific gymnastics.  Instead, we need to step back and recognize that Genesis chapter 1 does not give us an exhaustive record of God's creation of the world.  A common theme I was taught in my student days was, "Everything the Bible says about God is true, but when we know everything the Bible says about God, we still do not know everything about God."  It is an accepted theological principle that there is more to God than He has revealed. Similarly, it is not much of a jump to conclude that there could be more…
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Out of the Box

Apologetics, Thoughts
Last post, we left our college student and fledgling biologist at a crossroads of tension between the faith of his childhood and the science of his current study.  We have basically placed our student in a box of our own making.  A box that, in my opinion, is entirely unnecessary.  The box we create for young people, or inquirers of any age, is the "either or" approach to faith and science that we have constructed.  Will our college friend follow the scientific evidence wherever it leads or will he conclude that to keep the faith he must turn his back on the science?  Many students faced with this needless dilemma will jettison the faith. One of the ways we help our young people navigate their way out of the box…
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Science vs Faith

Apologetics, Thoughts
Imagine this scenario.  A young man raised in a Christian home and evangelical church heads off to college.  He has an interest in science.  In fact, he plans to major in biology.  His experience to this point with the theory of evolution has been a general antipathy.  He honestly doesn't know much about the specifics.  He just knows, based on his upbringing, that it is not true.  His biology teacher at his Christian high school more or less avoided the subject for obvious reasons.  He has a sense that if evolution is espoused by his college professors, it will be because they are avowed atheists and part of a grand scheme to hide the scientific evidence from biology, chemistry, and geology supporting creationism.  He is pretty sure the Bible teaches…
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Walking Away from Faith

Apologetics, Thoughts
When church leaders are asked about the growing trend of 20-somethings leaving the faith, their responses usually coalesce around lifestyle issues; that is, the lure of immorality has caused these young people to fall away.  I believe this is only a part of the story.  Yes, the Christian lifestyle can be difficult to maintain during the transition from the relative security of home to the new found freedom of college life, the workplace, and a new group of friends.  (As an aside, we often exacerbate this challenge when we have not trained our children thoroughly in the provisions of the new covenant for living the Christian life, but we will have to save that discussion for later.) When "young leavers" cite a theological or intellectual crisis as the reason for…
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Honest Questions, Honest Answers

Apologetics, Thoughts
Several posts ago I quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the need to celebrate the mystery of our faith and not become too attached to our theological systems.  One of the things "celebrating the mystery" does for us as parents is that it enables us to pour into our children a faith that is living, authentic, and inquiring.  Much has been made recently in both the Christian and secular press about the alarming trend of young people leaving the faith.  The level of concern varies greatly from authors Robert Putnam and David Campbell's American Grace:  How Religion Divides and Unites Us, "young Americans are dropping out of religion at an alarming rate of five to six times the historic rate" to Baylor sociologist Rodney Stark who writes, "young people have always been…
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We’re Back!

Thoughts
Greetings!  We are finally back in the saddle after a three-week hiatus.  Rhonda and I just returned from a whirlwind trip through France that was highlighted by a visit with our daughter's family, Matthew and Annie Dorin, Danielle, and Lily.  They are in language school in Chambery France in preparation for their future assignment in French-speaking West Africa with Wycliffe Associates. We also connected with my long time high-school friend who now lives in the Alsace region of northern France.  Tim, Katie, and Joanna gave us the royal tour of castles, cathedrals, vineyards, and German-influenced hillside villages.  All said, for a country that is slightly smaller than the state of Texas, they have us beat hands down when it comes to diversity, history, scenic vistas, and food. To summarize our trip,…
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