Saturday, August 30, 2008

Unrest Continues at Cedarville

In a post that I wrote in April, I noted that I had not received any communication from my old instructors at Cedarville who were a part of the Coalition of the Concerned. That has changed.

Unfortunately, the news is not good. Because I have not secured the faculty member's permission to reveal their identity, I will not divulge all of the details of our dialogue.

More of the conservative faculty have been pushed out of Cedarville and a lawsuit against President Brown has been filed in Dayton's courts. The Coalition members were placed under a gag order. Members of the Bible department were effectively shunned and were not included in university or departmental meetings.

The Cedarville administration appears to have used strong-arm tactics to squelch dissent in the name of preserving "academic freedom."

The Coalition has published an incipient website at http://cedarvillecoalition.com/home.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cedarville Rising from the Ashes?

I dare not imagine how difficult the situation at Cedarville must be for the faculty, staff and administration. They have all faced some withering scrutiny and some hard, but necessary questions.

President Brown has taken some tremendous steps to stabilizing Cedarville's reputation. At the website http://cedarville.edu/academics/avp/truth/, Brown has posted the university's responses to a number of the allegations that have surfaced.

There appear to be some deep divisions within Cedarville's faculty. It would be good to know that these rifts are beginning to heal. In particular, it would be strongly affirming to hear a member of the Coalition of the Concerned come forward to address the observations that they previously made concerning the university.

I've attempted to contact a number of my former instructors, but to date, none have responded.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cedarville Damage Control

Cedarville is trying to repair its damaged reputation. Alumni members recently received an e-mail from President Bill Brown with the strong assertion that Cedarville is unwavering in its committment to its theological history.

Brown will be speaking on the topic on April 14th during the regularly scheduled Cedarville chapel service.

http://cedarville.edu/academics/avp/truth/

http://www.thepath.fm/chapel/

I'm hoping that Brown will directly answer the allegations set forth by the Coalition of the Concerned.

http://cedarvillesituation.com/coalition.pdf

Monday, April 07, 2008

Trouble at Cedarville University

Source Websites
Statements from the Coalition of the Concerned, papers by David Mills, articles at http://cedarvillesituation.com as well as the now removed content from Hoffeditz's website (of which copies still circle the internet) paint an ugly picture of events at Cedarville whether taken as separate incidents or as a unified whole.

Word has been received that Cedarville University President Brown has seized documents pertaining to the firings in direct violation of rules created to maintain order and belay the fear of reprisal. Brown's seizure of the grievance committee's notes and testimonies breaks trust.

An administrator by the name of Milliman was secretly recorded by a student and has admitted that the firings were done to minimize their impact on the accreditation process. Milliman's direct comments show that there was a political bent to retaining Hoffeditz and Mappes until the accreditation process was complete. If they were worthy of termination, then it makes me even more embarrassed that the Cedarville administration did not take timely action.

Even more troubling is an extract from a letter from Charles Dolph asserting "This message is to notify all parties that the GIP (Grievance Investigation Panel) is no longer able to enforce its own rules or control the record of the hearing." Is this a doctored e-mail? By the way, despite Hoffeditz's apparent good will by removing the content per the university's instruction, portions of that content have been spread far and wide over the internet.

A Coalition of the Concerned has been formed from the ranks of Cedarville's past and present faculty. For faculty members like James Bjornstad, Richard Blumenstock or Jack Riggs to sign their names to a document (The Coalition of the Concerned) that states "There is fear that other theologically conservative faculty members within the Department and the general faculty may be terminated" demonstrates that matters are grave.

The issue of certainty and assurance does appear to be a problem at Cedarville. It does not seem far fetched to imagine (as has been supported by the claims of the faculty) that it is a true bone of contention within the Bible department.

The center of the controversy is David Mills who has embraced at least a portion of the ideas espoused by the notorious Emergent Brian McLaren. Mills' public document pertaining to Staley lectures given by D.A. Carson seems to largely ignore that Brian McLaren's starting point in uncertainty has led to his renunciation of a literal hell, a proposed moratorium on speaking on the homosexuality issue (to see if the culture will change its mind) and an assertion that one may be a good Buddhist Christian. Since McLaren believes that his spiritual dialogue is still unfolding, where do we imagine he will end up? Once one begins to unravel the string of infallibility, it is impossible to stop the ball of yarn from unrolling. David Mills is playing with that string.

How are we supposed to interpret the words of Amy Hope Guisleman?
I was teaching on this issue (certainty) this morning in class when one of my students expressed the fact that he was blown away by a course he took here at Cedarville in which students were asked if they knew that the Bible is true. Most responded 'yes' and the professor proceeded to demonstrate to them that they did not in fact know it. They were left with the instruction that though we cannot know that the Bible is true, we must accept its truth on faith.
One may glibly say that everyone agrees with the doctrinal statement at Cedarville, but what if there is a hole in the doctrinal statement that is being exploited? Do we merely call that exploitation "academic freedom"? As I was taught by my Cedarville instructors, a doctrinal statement should not be assessed by what it says as much as what it does not say.

This whole mess is either one of the worst bunglings to ever be perpetrated by a university administration or it is as it appears to be...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Dignity of Man

I have been reminded recently of how we use words to dehumanize people. I recently read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Schirer. It chronicles the heinous crimes committed by Hitler and how he held an entire nation in his sway. It always amazes me how he used the power of words to form people's perceptions.

In the business world, there is much talk about "creating efficiencies within FTEs" (Full Time Equivalents). In the common parlance, this simply means that a company will be firing people.
In the world of abortion, a decapitated baby is known as a fetus. In the world of war, a slaughtered and broken human being is known as collateral damage. In the world of politics, the mentally ill are known as liberals. In the world of project management, a bright young person is reduced to being called a mere resource (an expendable item).

While some of these terms may not seem insidious at first, all of these words represent a movement away from recognizing the personhood of an indvidual. It is much easier to reduce FTE, than to throw Bob on the street with no way to provide for his family. It is much easier to perform dilation and curettage, than to murder a small, helpless child.

All of these words are the words of the furnace. The words that paved the road to Auschwitz and Treblinka. They slowly steal our humanity and allow human beings to act with rapacious cruelty. Once the dignity of man is lost, anything is possible.

This is why the Christian worldview most adequately preserves the proper notion of humanity. Man is created in the image of God and therefore has immense dignity and profound purpose. On the other hand, mankind is also fallen and prone to despicable acts. The dignity of mankind insures that I treat every human being with respect and honor, but the fallen nature in everyone curbs unfounded trust.

Fairness Doctrine - Socialist Doubletalk

One of the most preposterous pieces of legislation to be birthed out of a socialist mindset is the Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine endeavors to force radio broadcasters to provide equal time for different points of view. Since the federal government owns the airwaves, the proponents of this argument believe that the government has the right to strong arm broadcasters into avoiding "viewpoint discrimination".

First, one must ask who determines what viewpoints to broadcast? Who should determine when a different vantage point is needed? The government somehow believes that a group of individuals will be able to fairly arbitrate this matter. No doubt that conservative and Christian voices will have to be juxtaposed with other points of view. How about National Public Radio (NPR)? I'm sure that the newly appointed thought police will deign that NPR already presents a balanced slate of viewpoints.

How many viewpoints are enough viewpoints? No one can say for certain. On any given topic, there must be millions of possible positions. We could waste a century of air time just discussing whether or not one should use paper or plastic at the grocery store.

There is little doubt that the Fairness Doctrine will destroy talk radio as we currently know it. Broadcasting is fueled by marketing dollars. When people can no longer listen to the voices that they resonate with, they will no doubt find a different medium. Marketing dollars will dry up and the liberals will have their day of triumph over Rush Limbaugh and Shawn Hannity.

Who truly owns the airwaves? Is it not the American people? Don't we already vote our values by making conservative and Christian radio profitable? It may have never occurred to the Fairness Doctrine ilk, but maybe there is a reason why liberal radio cannot get any legs under it.

I can't help to think that the liberals also want to silence Christian broadcasting such as James Dobson and the legion of radio pastors who bring God's word to America's airwaves.

When proponents of free speech will champion pornography and the likes of Howard Stern, but try to silence conservatives and Christians, I think we have truly forgotten which hand is our right hand and which is our left. By the way, both Clinton and Obama have lent their support to the Fairness Doctrine.

To watch a video series on the silencing Christians in America, go to http://silencingchristians.com/.

To read an article concerning the Fairness Doctrine, visit statesman.com.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Void Filled by Reading

Between business trips to Manhattan and Jersey City, family illness and acclimating to a new job, I had not blogged much the last few weeks. I've been busy reading. Here is my current incomplete tally:

The Trilogy of Francis Schaeffer's works
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Schirer
Portrait of Obedience - Biography of Robert Ketcham
The Life of John Wesley
The Life of Johann Kepler
The Life God Blesses by Jim Cymbala
Genesis, Exodus, Matthew
Teaching to Change Lives by Howard Hendrix
Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family by Steven Maxwell
Volume 1 - Spurgeon Sermons by C.H. Spurgeon
The Future of Justification by John Piper

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Creation Stories

Hinduism - Brahma (God) had a dream and from that dream came everything that appears to exist. Brahma has no characteristics, no feelings, no essence. It is indescribably nothing. Everything in the world is actually maya or illusion. It does not really exist. Man will eventually be dissolved back into Brahma and all of the things that make him unique will disappear back into Brahma.

Islam - Allah was in the beginning totally separate from man. He is utterly transcendent and unknowable. The greatest sin in Islam is to claim any similarity with Allah. This is known as shirk. Jesus is revered as a prophet, but to call him the Son of God is blasphemous. There is no idea of a compassionate God to be found within the Koran.

Atheism - There is no god. God is a creation of the strong to hold the weak in their thrall. God is a concept used to control people. Evolution was an invention by atheists to create a world were a creator was not needed. If pushed to its logic conclusions, atheism concludes that man is nothing more than a cosmic accident. Why not termites as Lords of the universe? Man won the cosmic evolutionary lottery. As a result, atheism ultimately devalues human life. Pol Pot, Stalin, Lenin and Hitler were men who took atheism to its ultimate conclusions. Man simply happened and will disappear once again. He came from no where and is going no where.

Buddhism - They can be either atheists (miniyana) or theists (mahayana). God is either not definable or doesn't exist.

These are creation stories... The myriad creation accounts all stem from the original, unembellished account of Biblical creation.

Literal Genesis

Why should I trust Genesis 1 as a literal account?

· Counters racism.
· Provides meaning for man’s existence.
· Provides a basis for man’s community.
· Provides an understanding of the way things should be and lays the framework of why I even ask the question, ‘How should things be?’.... People who believe the world is an accident or that everything is an illusion have no real reason to call one thing good or another bad.
· If we discount the creation story as mythical or allegorical, where do we stop? There are no indications in the Genesis story that it is meant to be taken as allegorical or mythical. If I can’t trust the story of creation, why should I trust the story of the resurrection?

God’s creation story in the Bible makes the death, burial and resurrection make sense. Otherwise, there is no need!

God's Wrath

Is God right in killing a generation of Egyptians? How could God kill children? This question often comes up in a similar form concerning the conquest of Palestine and other judgments by God.
  • It is a matter of timing. God could judge them then and there, or He could wait to do it in the next life. God will invariably end the world in the book of Revelation when there are still children upon the earth.
  • The Egyptians were a bloody people. They had slaughtered Israelite children.
  • The Egyptians had enslaved Israel.
  • God had blessed Egypt because of Israel. Joseph stored up grain that fed the nations. During the famine, people sold Pharoah all of their property and their very lives. As a result, Pharoah and Egypt became extraordinarily wealthy. Pharoah owned all of what had once been private property.
  • Notice that God had given them an opportunity to give in to His demands. The Egyptians consistently rejected God's offer. As a result the plagues escalated.
  • The biggest issue would seem to be that Egypt stood between God and the Abrahamic promises. God was going to fulfill what He had promised Abraham.
  • For us today, the Egyptians stood between us and God. They were messing with the advent of the Messiah!
  • What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:22-25).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Atheist, Why Does Christianity Matter?

I visited Ray Comfort's blog and came upon his article entitled "Atheists Evolved from Chickens". At the time that I visited there were 74 comments. Most of the comments were from angered atheists who are militantly trying to stomp out Christianity.

Atheist, why does my belief in Christ matter to you? In a universe without an objective center, why does it matter if I and the rest of the American Christians are suffering under our God-delusion? Why not leave us alone to welter in our irrationality?

After all, our delusion must be just as good as your delusion. In your delusion, there is no absolute truth, no reason to cultivate a moral compass, no reason to believe in human significance in such a vast universe, no reason to expect more than a meaningless death at the hands of merciless nature. While Christians deify a Creator God, you deify forces of nature, chance, matter, science and your own intelligence. In your epic, there is no hero. The universe ends not with a bang, but a whimper.

In a world without a center, who is to say that my delusion is more evil than your construct called evolution? The pages of the evolutionary text book need reprinted daily and are obsolete the moment they come off the press. You prize facts and scientific truth, but these "truths" that you hold most dear are ever evolving (and in some cases, pass into extinction). Your journey never ends, your quest is never satiated.

Why does our Christian delusion matter? It matters because God does exist. It matters because you claim to be fighting a shadow, a mistruth, a figment -- but you are actually fighting God Himself. You are a fallen creature, fighting the battle started by your fore bearers when they too tried to win their emancipation.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Modern Creationist Scientists

Having grown weary of hearing that there are no serious scientists that believe in creationism (although I could name Henry Morris, Robert Gentry, John Silvius, David Bowman, etc. off the top of my head), I have decided to post a partial list which may be found more fully at Answers In Genesis:

Dr. Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
Dr. E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics
Dr. James Allan, Geneticist
Dr. Steve Austin, Geologist
Dr. S.E. Aw, Biochemist
Dr. Thomas Barnes, Physicist
Dr. Geoff Barnard, Immunologist
Dr. Don Batten, Plant physiologist, tropical fruit expert
Dr. John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics
Dr. Jerry Bergman, Psychologist
Dr. Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology
Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology
Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin, Biologist
Dr. Andrew Bosanquet, Biology, Microbiology
Edward A. Boudreaux, Theoretical Chemistry
Dr. David R. Boylan, Chemical Engineer
Prof. Linn E. Carothers, Associate Professor of Statistics
Dr. David Catchpoole, Plant Physiologist (read his testimony)
Prof. Sung-Do Cha, Physics
Dr. Eugene F. Chaffin, Professor of Physics
Dr. Choong-Kuk Chang, Genetic Engineering
Prof. Jeun-Sik Chang, Aeronautical Engineering
Dr. Donald Chittick, Physical Chemist (interview)
Prof. Chung-Il Cho, Biology Education
Dr. John M. Cimbala, Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Harold Coffin, Palaeontologist
Dr. Bob Compton, DVM
Dr. Ken Cumming, Biologist
Dr. Jack W. Cuozzo, Dentist
Dr. William M. Curtis III, Th.D., Th.M., M.S., Aeronautics & Nuclear Physics
Dr. Malcolm Cutchins, Aerospace Engineering
Dr. Lionel Dahmer, Analytical Chemist
Dr. Raymond V. Damadian, M.D., Pioneer of magnetic resonance imaging
Dr. Chris Darnbrough, Biochemist
Dr. Nancy M. Darrall, Botany
Dr. Bryan Dawson, Mathematics
Dr. Douglas Dean, Biological Chemistry
Prof. Stephen W. Deckard, Assistant Professor of Education
Dr. David A. DeWitt, Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience
Dr. Don DeYoung, Astronomy, atmospheric physics, M.Div
Dr. David Down, Field Archaeologist
Dr. Geoff Downes, Creationist Plant Physiologist
Dr. Ted Driggers, Operations research
Robert H. Eckel, Medical Research
Dr. André Eggen, Geneticist
Dr. Dudley Eirich, Molecular Biologist
Prof. Dennis L. Englin, Professor of Geophysics
Prof. Danny Faulkner, Astronomy
Prof. Carl B. Fliermans, Professor of Biology
Prof. Dwain L. Ford, Organic Chemistry
Prof. Robert H. Franks, Associate Professor of Biology
Dr. Alan Galbraith, Watershed Science
Dr. Paul Giem, Medical Research
Dr. Maciej Giertych, Geneticist
Dr. Duane Gish, Biochemist
Dr. Werner Gitt, Information Scientist
Dr. Warwick Glover, General Surgeon
Dr. D.B. Gower, Biochemistry
Dr. Robin Greer, Chemist, History
Dr. Dianne Grocott, Psychiatrist
Dr. Stephen Grocott, Industrial Chemist
Dr. Donald Hamann, Food Scientist
Dr. Barry Harker, Philosopher
Dr. Charles W. Harrison, Applied Physicist, Electromagnetics
Dr. John Hartnett, Physicist and Cosmologist
Dr. Mark Harwood, Satellite Communications
ad nausuem...

Religion as Child Abuse

There is a very disturbing trend growing within atheist apologetics. In the new paradigm, atheists desire to remove all religious influences from the upbringing of children. More and more atheist voices assert that Christians are the worst of child abusers; forcing their irrational religious dogma on young minds of mush. Destroying all potential for scientific inquiry, Christians are the worst of the lot.

How quickly do the atheists forget the forefathers of science. The forefathers of science were the strongest of Christians. Among them, you may find Johannes Keppler, Isaac Newton, the Wright brothers, George Washington Carver, Samuel F.B. Morse and a host of others.

Science was once enlivened by men and women who searched an ordered universe for the handiwork of God. The reason why they even searched to begin with was because they began with the premise that there was order to be found since an intelligent Designer had made all things. Science was the discovery of the wonders of God and was an act of worship.

Without these men and women, science would never have fluorished, yet today, pious atheists can speak of religious education as "child abuse". What rubbish.

Atheism Delusion

Dinesh D'Souza is rapidly becoming a new voice to rival C.S. Lewis in the apologetic landscape. His debates with reputable atheists are producing new apologetic material.

One of his debate partners publishes Skeptic magazine. In one of the current issues, atheist David Sloan Wilson critiques fellow atheist Richard Dawkins.

Wilson begins, "Richard Dawkins and I share much in common. We are both biologists by training who have written widely about evolutionary theory." Moreover, "We are both atheists in our personal convictions." Then Wilson gets to his point. "When Dawkins' The God Delusion was published, I naturally assumed he was basing his critique of religion on the scientific study of religion from an evolutionary perspective. I regret to report otherwise. He has not done any original work on the subject and he has not fairly represented the work of his colleagues." Rather, Dawkins has subjected his atheist readers to "sleights of hand." He has produced a "diatribe against religion" that is "deeply misinformed." Indeed he is "just another angry atheist trading on his reputation as an evolutionst and spokesperson for science to vent his personal opinions about religion."

Devastating stuff. Wilson examines Dawkins' central claim that religion is an obvious "delusion." On the contrary, Wilson writes, religion is in general more adaptive for human communities than atheism. "On average, religious believers are more prosocial than non-believers, feel better about themselves, use their time more constructively, and engage in long-term planning, rather than gratifying their impulsive desires...They report being more happy, active, sociable, involved and excited."

D'Souza's full article may be found at Townhall.com.




Tuesday, January 01, 2008

K.P. Yohannan on American Christianity

K.P. Yohannan hits hard concerning American greed and materialism. This presentation hurts...

Part 1



Part 2

Persecution Complex

For many years, Christian leaders have anticipated the advent of persecution in the United States. Gospel for Asia founder K.P. Yohannan reflected on the potential for persecution and has stated that he doubts that the coming conflict will find America prepared.

K.P. Yohannan is one of the few men that can make me cry in just a few seconds of reading his books. His committment to the the spread of the Gospel by native missionaries has involved personally casting aside the privileges of this world to pursue the passions of Christ. I trust his words.

"The great falling-away from faith could be worst here in [America] because people are absolutely not prepared to face suffering or persecution -- because we cannot imagine a gospel with the cross and the suffering in it," says Yohannan. "Yet the Bible teaches very strong about it. So as the Word of God says: He who has ears, let him hear

"These are warning signs," he exclaims. "God is telling us [that] we need to prepare our lives. And preachers going around saying that revival is coming, and everything is okay, and all these things? I think that people are [being] set up for huge disaster and denying their faith when they face problems." (OneNewsNow,
12/31/2007
)."

Yohannan's group regularly trains indigenous missionaries in Asia. Their training involves the certainty of persecution and the possibility of death.