Noah, A Wordless Book

When my youngest daughter was 3 or 4 years old, she took a couple pages of white typing paper folded them in half and then drew some stick figured people on each half sheet.  She announced that she was making a “story book.”

After helping her put the pages together in a “book,” I asked her, “What shall we call the story?”

“The Snowman,” she replied.

There were no words in the book.  It was “a wordless book.”  In fact, there were many, many words hidden in those pages.  Often when we sat together on the sofa or the floor, she would turn the pages of her wordless book and tell me the story of the snowman.  The story was always the same, but the words she used to tell the story would change.  That little wordless book she made was the door to a magic world that only a child, or an adult guided by a child’s imagination, can inhabit.  I still have that little wordless book, both the original and photo copies.

I thought of THE SNOWMAN after receiving a review copy of Mark Ludy’s NOAH:  A WORDLESS PICTURE BOOK (New York:  Plough Publishing House, 2014).  Ludy’s NOAH is a beautifully illustrated book.  Every page is filled with colorful, detailed pictures.  The faces of Noah, Mrs. Noah, the other people, and even the animals have expressions that invite the “reader” to feel the emotions and enter into the story.

I have difficulty finding the words to express my delight with Mr. Ludy’s illustrations.  One feature I noticed that I feel enhances the book’s value is that the character’s are always very human, but generic.  By “generic” I mean they are not racial stereotypes.  After all, we have no idea what people of Noah’s day looked like, except that they were as human as we are today.  A child can believe this is Noah, without unconsciously identifying him as Euro, Afro, or whatever.

I enjoyed the book, but what about a small child, the obvious target audience?  To find out, I asked my wife to share it with a four year old friend of ours, Kingsley.   Setting together on the sofa, my wife began to turn the pages and tell the story of Noah, pointing to various details in the illustrations as she did so.  After finishing, Kingsley ask her to “read” the book again, and again, and again, until they she read it four times.  Kingsley told his mother to tell Mrs. Waibel that when she came to visit again she should bring the “Noah book” with me.

There are many good children’s books; some become classics.  I feel confident that Mark Ludy’s Noah is one that will enjoy a very long and fruitful life.

Of Time Travel, Beat Poets, and Boobies

It was not a good night.  An aching lower back and right hip, sleep apnea, a late night slice of pepperoni pizza followed by a dish of organic vanilla bean ice cream with pure maple syrup poured over it, topped off with real whipped cream, and a guilty conscience for all of the above fulfilled the promise of a restless night.

My “slumber” was disturbed, as usual, by the repeated beeping of my digital alarm clock with its blinking red numbers that matched the blood veins in my tired eyes announcing it was 4:30 a.m., time to rise, shine, and head for the local Baptist Healthplex to perform my daily ritual aimed at delaying my admission to paradise by extending my time in purgatory.

This morning was different.  Instead of grabbing a bottle of pure spring water on my way out the door, I chose to brew a cup of extra strong coffee on my way to my laptop computer, where I would waste an indeterminate amount of time feeding my brain cells, grey like the remaining hair that circles the bald top of my head, allowing only desirable sounds to enter through the two holes, artistically placed, one on each side.

Ignoring the news and thereby staving off the usual daily dose of depression until later, I directed my attention to the veritable feast of internet blogs waiting to be devoured, each one filled with opinions and insights as valuable as my own.

My dream of someday escaping reality by time travel was shattered when I read “Why time travel will remain a sci-fi fantasy.”  “Scientists have proved that a single photon obeys Einstein’s theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light and that time travel is therefore impossible” (1).

With that avenue of escape blocked, I turned to Leslea Newman’s memoir of being a student of Allen Ginsberg during the summer of 1979 at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.  Prior to that summer her image of “Ginzy” was a picture of the great poet “naked with love beads draped around his neck.”  What she encountered after knocking on his door, was a bearded old gentleman “in gray baggy pants, white cotton dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up and striped maroon tie.”  Was she shocked, disillusioned, or disappointed?  She does not say, but she later found out that Ginsberg was once told by his guru that if he wanted to be taken seriously as a poet, he would have to wear a suit.  And so he did for the rest of his life.  (2)

There is good news for the new mother enjoying her cup of coffee while breastfeeding her newborn infant.  According to the blog, “Science of Mom,” the latte she is sharing with her newborn is far more milk than coffee.  In fact, the infant’s intake of caffeine is less than 10% of the mother’s.  So, mothers go ahead and enjoy that cup of coffee.  (3)

While on the subject of fresh, organic, booby milk for newborns, “OneGoodDad” posted a picture of three children eating bowls of Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese with their heads covered with blankets.  Why?  In order that they could relive the early days when their mother would take them out to lunch in public.  That blog received numerous comments.

One reader recalled when 37 years earlier while shopping in Gimbels Department Store, “I conveniently sat down in an easy chair in the furniture department and proceeded to nurse my son.”  When confronted by another, more sophisticated lady who informed her that the ladies room was a more appropriate venue, she replied that her son was not going to eat in les toilettes des dames.

One reader, “Anna,” noted that “some of the best supporters of breast feeding women are the men who love them.”  That should come as no surprise.  As any happily married woman can testify, boys never get over the pleasure of well-formed boob. (4)

Well, it’s time to stop wasting time reading blogs.  There are important things to be done before the curtain falls on another exciting day in the life of yours truly.  But first I need to check my Facebook page, and I want to see if I can find on YouTube the song I heard last night on PBS’s program, Independent Lens.  Then there’s Twitter, email, etc., etc., etc.

Have a good day, and remember to be good to all God’s creation and always walk under the mercy.

(1)  http://physicsforme.com/2011/07/25/why-time-travel-will-remain-a-sci-fi-fantasy/

(2)  http://flavorwire.com/378744/former-students-recollections-of-classes-taught-by-famous-authors/6

(3)  http://scienceofmom.com/2014/08/08/caffeine-and-breastfeeding/

(4)  http://thejasongreene.com/2014/08/06/my-kids-eating-lunch-under-a-blanket-in-honor-of-national-breastfeeding-month/

 

Historian’s Almanac for July 12, 2014

Benjamin D. Maxham - Henry David Thoreau - Restored.jpg Today is the birthday of Henry David Thoreau, born in Concord, Massachusetts on July 12, 1817.  That would make him 197 years old, if he were still with us.  Being a figure in American history rather than biblical history, he died at age forty-five, two years shy of what a male born in 1817 could expect to live.   If he was born in1917, he might have lived a little longer, but only a little.  Life expectancy in 1910 was just 48.4 for a male, not much improvement since 1817.  By 1920, it rose to 53.6.  There was more gained between 1910 and 1920, just ten years, than the eighty-three years between 1817 and 1910.

I think my first introduction to Thoreau was as a college freshman when my English Lit professor put WALDEN, OR LIFE IN THE WOODS, on her required reading list.  She has long since gone on to that great library in heaven where I hope to go one day, so I can now confess that I did not actually read the book.  I suspect she knew that at the time.

When I was assigned such an exciting book in a high school English class, I was always able to find it in a Classic Comic Book edition.  Remember those?  They saved many a high school student of my time from the painful task of reading such great classics as SILAS MARNER.  I have checked the complete list of Classic Comics and found that Thoreau’s WALDEN was never published in that format.  Since the internet was more than 30 years in the future, I am not sure how I ever wrote the required paper on WALDEN.  But I did.

I do not recall how much of WALDEN I managed to read, but I have never forgotten the opening sentence and often find myself contemplating it.  “I went out to the woods,” Thoreau begins, “because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

It is that last bit, “and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived,” that has forever haunted me.  The individual’s ongoing search to find meaning and purpose in his or her life has always interested me.  My favorite books are those written in the first person, whether fiction or nonfiction, where the main character is trying to convince himself that at the end of life’s journey he will not discover that he missed it, that he wasted the brief time allotted to him in a meaningless quest for pleasure and for treasures that in the end will rot away like a fallen tree in the forest.

“Vanity of vanities,
says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities!
All is vanity” (Eccles. 1:1; ESV).

How many people have been born and died through all the ages? The multitude has come and gone without ever being noticed by anyone except God.  They spent their whole lives in daily toil trying to avoid confronting the question of whether or not it would have been best if they had never existed.  This, I believe, is what WALDEN is really about.

Thoreau separated himself from all the distractions around him in order to learn from nature what it had to teach about the real meaning and purpose of life.  He was a romantic who took seriously William Wordsworth’s admonition to find the answers in communion with nature.

“One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Thoreau spent much of his time observing and experiencing all the wonder and beauty of nature.  He did not find evidence of God’s handiwork in nature.  As a transcendentalist, he saw nature as divine.  And since man is a part of nature, he is divine.  In his retreat to Walden Pound Thoreau found what the hippies of the 1970s searched for but never found.

Strangely, Thoreau did not remain in his Garden of Eden around Walden Pound.  After two years, two months, and two days of meditation he returned to civilization, to Concord, Massachusetts, where he lived until his death in 1862.

In the conclusion to WALDEN, Thoreau wrote:  “I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Until next time, be good to all God’s creation and always walk under the mercy.

 

Historian’s Almanac for July 9, 2014

Product DetailsOn the evening of July 8, 1893, James Cornish was stabbed in the chest during a barroom brawl on Chicago’s South side.   He was rushed to Provident Hospital, founded in 1891 by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams (1856-1931).

Dr. Williams was one of only four African American physicians in Chicago at the time.  A former barber and son of a barber, he decided to give up the barber’s trade and follow his growing interest in medicine.  He enrolled in Chicago Medical College, known today as Northwestern University Medical School, in 1880.  After graduating in 1883, Dr. Williams open his own practice.

At the time African American doctors were not allowed to practice in white hospitals.  So, in 1891 Dr. Williams opened America’s first interracial hospital, Provident Hospital, with a total of only twelve beds.

James Cornish was in a desperate state when he was admitted.  He was bleeding internally and sure to die.  Dr. Williams decided to act.  Without the benefit of adequate anesthesia, x-rays, antibiotics, penicillin, or blood transfusion, Dr. Williams opened Cornish’s chest.  The patient’s heart was beating 130 times per minute.  Carefully, Dr. Williams repaired a severed blood vessel and stitched up a one inch cut in the pericardium surrounding the heart.

James Cornish survived the operation.  Fifty-five days later, he left Provident Hospital to live another twenty years.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open heart surgery in medical history.  It was not until World War II that heart surgery became an accepted part of medical practice.

Until next time, be good to all God’s creation and always walk under the mercy.

Historian’s Almanac for July 4, 2014

 

  July 4 being a holiday, I find myself with a little free time to think about why so many of my fellow citizens get excited.  July 4 is for many like all other holidays, an excuse to take a day off from their daily, and often boring, routine, to laugh, play, and eat without worrying about tomorrow.  For others, another holiday is but another opportunity to make money off the former.

Let us not forget that other group of our fellow citizens who are denied the enjoyment of leisure, because they must labor for “Ole Masssa,” helping him separate the more fortunate from their hard-earned money.  Holidays are for many just one more day in the daily struggle for survival.  An elderly gentleman who grew up in rural Mississippi during the first half of the 20th century told me that for him July 4 was just another day in the cotton field.

July 4 is an important day of remembrance in the life of American civil religion.  It is a day to celebrate and relive patriotic myths.  Much of what most Americans believe happened on July 4, 1776 is just that, myth.  It just didn’t happen the way our parents said it did.

The Continental Congress did not sign the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.  Yes, I know that seeing is believing and you have seen the painting by John Trumbull depicting the members of the Continental Congress signing the Declaration of Independence, but that is just an example of “putting a spin on the news,” 18th century style.  As historian David McCullough states in his Pulitzer Prize winning biography of John Adams, “No such scene, with all the delegates present, ever occurred at Philadelphia.”

The historical truth is that the Continental Congress voted on the colonies’ independence on July 2.  For those who want further proof, the PENNSYLVANIA EVENING POST reported:  “This day the Continental Congress declared the United Colonies Free and Independent States.”  History contradicts Jefferson and Adams, both of whom said the signing took place on July 4.  But we are not surprised to learn that those two honorable politicians were capable of telling a lie, or should I say, “correcting” the historical record?

John Adams expected July 2 would become the day for celebrating America’s independence.  In a letter to his wife Abigail, he expressed his belief that July 2, 1776 would be celebrated as the greatest moment in American history.  “It ought to be commemorated,” he wrote, “as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty.  It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

As for Thomas Jefferson being the author of the Declaration of Independence, there is both truth and falsehood.  Jefferson received the commission only after both George Washington and John Adams refused it.  Jefferson was a great admirer of the English philosopher John Locke and “borrowed” much of what he wrote from Locke.  In fact, Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence sounded so much like Locke that James Madison commented “The object was to assert, not to discover truths.”

Pointing out that much of our traditions associated with July 4 are patriotic myths is not meant to in any way diminish the importance of our ancestors’ struggle for independence or their accomplishments.  The United States is not all that we would like for it to be, but we need only watch the evening news to be grateful that we live here rather than most parts of the world.

In closing, I wish to note a few other events that occurred on July 4 in past years.  Both Jefferson and Adams died on July 4, 1826, and James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.  The deaths of both Jefferson and Adams on July 4, 1826 were taken by many as a sign of God’s providence in the founding of the United States.  If that be true, then the fall of Vicksburg to Union forces on July 4, 1863 was a sign of God’s judgment on the Confederate States of America.

Until next time, be good to all God’s creation and always walk under the mercy.

Product DetailsThis being the 100th anniversary of World War I, or the Great War as it was known until a second great war in the middle of the century made it necessary to refer to it as World War I and the second as World War II.  Many historians point out that the two wars were really one great world war with a twenty year ceasefire separating them.  Indeed one of the best known, the late Oxford University historian A.J.P. Taylor, spoke of the two wars as the First and Second German Wars.

The 100th anniversary of what was the most significant event since the fall of the Roman Empire in the West at the end of the fifth century A.D. has caused a frenzy among book publishers.  Numerous books on every aspect of the Great War, from its causes to the failed peace that ended it, have already appeared.  We can look for many, many more to come as we relive the war over the next five years.

As one who has taught university level courses on modern European history, including specific courses on the Great War, I am not surprised by the sudden interest.  Of all the many wars in history the Great War is considered the prime example of the foolishness, the madness, and the absurdity of all wars.

There was no reason for the war.  None of the powers who at one point or the other became involved in it had any reason for going to war, except perhaps the United States.  A victory for the Central Powers would have been a financial disaster for America.  Then too, one must add the naïve bungling of an overly idealistic president with virtually no knowledge of foreign affairs, one who ignored the informed advice of his Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, to stay out of the war.  President Wilson thought he could lead the world into a future where everyone loved everyone and no one was either prideful or greedy.  The experienced and more realistic British Prime Minister David Lloyd George likened Wilson to Jesus Christ.

From the beginning of the war, historians have debated who was responsible for starting it.  It is a favorite subject of academic and popular historians alike.  Every year several books appear arguing for this or that one’s responsibility.  The consensus tends to be in line with what David Lloyd George said in his memoirs:  “The nations slithered over the brink into the boiling cauldron of war without a trace of apprehension or dismay.”  Put another way, the European great powers found themselves in a war no one wanted, with victory as the only way out.

Many individuals are seeking a book of some sort that will provide a very readable summation of all the varied aspects of the war.  I can think of no better volume than R. G. Grant’s WORLD WAR I:  THE DEFINITIVE VISUAL HISTORY FROM SARAJEVO TO VERSAILLES (New York:  DK Publishing, 2014).

As with all of DK’s publications, WORLD WAR I is a visual feast, a museum between book covers.  I can best convey my own enthusiasm for this book by quoting Publishers Weekly:  “He [Grant] presents information in an accessible manner and makes it easy to peruse a rich array of articles, detailed maps, and images. The selection of images builds a remarkable portrait of the war. This is a broad, moving, informative account of the war that’s perfect for both the young, budding historian and the well-versed WWI reader” (March 24, 2014).

Until next time, be good to all God’s creatures and always walk under the mercy.

 

 

C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life

Whenever I pick up a book by Alister McGrath, I expect it to be interesting, informative, and a delight to read.  His most recent, If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life, meets all of my expectations.

Professor McGrath previously published a biography of C. S. Lewis, C. S. Lewis—A Life (2013), that added little more than another Lewis biography to the already long list of such.  We do not need any more biographies.

What McGrath provides for us in If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewisis an understanding of the role of a Christian worldview in answering those perennial questions of the meaning and purpose of the existence the universe and our role in it.  In brief, this is an apologetic for Christianity.  It is an argument for the relevance of Christian faith as discovered by C. S. Lewis and revealed in his writings.

As with many thinking Christians through the ages, Lewis confronted head on the limitations of using reason alone to find the meaning of life.  Reason alone must fail, because reason cannot alone prove its own reliability, or as Lewis put it in an essay titled, “The Poison of Subjectivism”:  “Unless the measuring rod is independent of the things measured, we can do no measuring.”

The answer to the dilemma, as Lewis discovered, is to find truth and meaning in “a world beyond the frontiers of reason.”  Clues to this insight are found in our interaction with the world around us, what some refer to as “general revelation.”  Meaning is found in understanding that the history of creation is a story, a metanarrative.  God’s self-revelation as found in the Bible is a story in three parts—creation, fall, and redemption.  It is not a make-believe story that begins with “Once upon a time.”  Rather it is the true myth that begins with “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (ESV).

Lewis, himself, said it best:  “Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth:  a myth working on us the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened:  and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God’s myth where the others are men’s myths:  i.e., the Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call ‘real things’.”

If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewisis not only a good introduction to C. S. Lewis and his Christian apologetic writings but also a good introduction to Christianity.  It would be an ideal gift for those nonbelievers who have read and enjoyed The Narnia Chronicles, and who might, just might, come to know the real Aslan.

I have only one criticism.  If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis is a poor title for a very fine book.  It leads the prospective reader to expect some sort of fictional dialog between Lewis and the author.  The subtitle, Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis, would have been a better choice.

Until next time, be good to all God’s creatures, and always walk under the mercy.

Remembering Robert “Bobby” Kennedy

 

Forty-six years ago I was awarded a B.A. degree in history after five, not the usual four, years of reading books and writing papers.  I was somewhat burned out and in need of a rest before receiving that letter of impending doom from General Hershey, Director of the Selective Service Administration.

Shortly after graduation a letter would arrive from the Selective Service informing me that my 2-S draft status was changed to 1-A, meaning that my deferment was over and I would shortly receive a second letter from Gen. Hershey that began with “Greetings.”  The letter was, of course not an invitation to join the army and become a hero, but a notice that I was selected to become one of Uncle Sam’s mighty warriors.  In all likelihood I would be sent to Vietnam, like other college graduates in 1968, as a fit sacrifice to the god of war.

The summer of 1968 was not a good time for vacationing in Vietnam.  Not too many years ago I had the honor of getting to know a true hero who served as a marine captain in Vietnam.  He told me that the need for new bodies to send out into the jungle on “search and destroy” missions was so great that they were sending over new draftees with very little training.  Yes, at that time they were drafting men into both the army and the marines.  The number of men who were drafted into the marines during the Vietnam War was 42,633.

I felt that I might be able survive through the summer before being drafted.  I always dreamed of going to Europe, and now, before facing death in the rice paddies of Vietnam, perhaps I could fulfill that dream.

I was encouraged to go to Germany for the summer by my German language professor.  She was a native German who married an American officer at the end of World War II.  She introduced me to a foreign language major, who also wanted to go to Germany for the summer.  With encouragement from Frau Helga Leftwich, Jim Sturgis and I made plans to spend the summer studying German and bumming around Germany.

Since I would no longer enjoy the benefits of a student deferment, it was necessary to obtain permission from my draft board to leave the country.  I have to admit that the thought of going to Canada did enter my mind.  As a child I saw one of those Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald movies set in Canada with those red-coated Mounties romancing beautiful girls.  Who would not want to move to Canada after watching Rose Marie (1936)?  Canada?  Perhaps.  The Canadians  speak English, as well as French.  But go to Sweden, the other option?  No way.  Sweden is lovely, and the Swedish girls are beautiful, but how would I ever be able to talk to them?  The draft board proved to be merciful and allowed me to leave the country, so long as I was back by a certain date in September.

A friendly banker who just happened to be from the little German village next door to the village where I wanted to study German agreed to give me a student loan for $1,200 to finance my adventure.  Strange as it may seem today, that was enough money to pay for air transportation to and from France, pay for the two months at the Goethe Institute in Ebersberg, and spend the rest of the time bumming around.  It was also sufficient for me to spend several days in Paris before departing for home at the beginning of September.

Jim and I made reservations on a student charter flight to Paris.  Because Paris was experiencing one of those great romantic moments in her history, our flight was diverted to Brussels, Belgium.  The students from the Sorbonne with the support of members of the trade unions were rioting in Paris in hopes of toppling the government of Charles de Gaulle.  They failed, but when we went to Paris at the end of the summer to catch our return flight, we saw lingering evidence of the riots everywhere in the area around the Sorbonne.

After arriving in Brussels, we and a couple other students, also trying to briefly escape reality, or perhaps as they often said in those days “find themselves,” went to a small café.  While sipping a glass of wine and soaking in the atmosphere, a man ran into the café all excited and tapped the front page of a newspaper on the wall.  You didn’t have to be able to read French to decipher the bold headlines above Robert Kennedy’s picture.  We heard on the news before leaving New York that Robert Kennedy had been shot in California.  We did not know until then, however, that he had died.

Bobby Kennedy was our only hope for ending the madness in Vietnam.  Eugene McCarthy proved in early primaries that a “peace candidate” did have a chance to win the Democratic Party nomination for President in 1968.  Whether he could win the general election was another matter.  Once Robert Kennedy entered the race, there was little doubt that he would be nominated, and if nominated, he would win.

All was lost when Robert Kennedy was gunned down in that Los Angeles ballroom.  Although we could not know it then, we had six more years of killing in Vietnam and six more years of unrest at home ahead of us.  1968 was the high tide of sixties revolution here at home and abroad.  As Bob Dylan said, “the times they are [were] a-changin’.”  Changing they were, but not as we hoped.

With the rise of Richard Nixon, the insecure former carnival barker, onetime champion of McCarthyism, and self-righteous Cold Warrior, America took a sharp turn to the right.  The idealism of the sixties drowned in despair.  Personal peace and affluence became the new mantra.  Students no longer went on to the universities and colleges to obtain an education and discover the meaning and purpose of life.  Instead of education, they sought training so that they could compete for success in a new franchised America.

For just a brief period America’s youth rebelled against the materialism that so characterized life in postwar America.  But they failed, and they embraced materialism with a passion that would have embarrassed their parents.  A lack of critical thinking and an expertise in the Social Darwinist struggle for survival are the desired skills for success in today’s world.

“Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.”

(“Little Boxes,” words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1962 Schroder Music Company.)

Would it all have happened differently, if Robert Kennedy had lived, and not been shot by a deranged busboy 46 years ago?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  We historians can only record the past.  We cannot predict the future.

Until next time, be good to all God’s creatures, and always walk under the mercy.

 

A Short Sequence of Thoughts on Creationism

paulrwaibel:

I recently read this blog essay and found it very interesting and thought provoking. Hence, I want to pass it along to my readers.

Originally posted on Sanctum In Heremis:

I’ll admit first that I haven’t watched the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate, whose hype induced me to write this essay, and I probably won’t. I have also invested very little of the past five or six years into investigating the specifics of the creationism controversy, which I am aware still smolders in Evangelical circles.

Some autobiographical information may account for my present general apathy. Defending young earth creationism (YEC) was a major church-culture thing when I was a kid, and the typical centerpiece of apologetics ministry. I traveled to an Answers in Genesis conference with a church group when I was about eleven, and met Ken Ham there. Ham also taught adult Sunday School once in my little Baptist church. (My father, who has no particular leaning on YEC, personally found him evasive.)

My parents did their best to supply me with apologetics materials as my intellect budded. Some, for…

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Guest Post: Depression, and the Science Behind Positive Affirmations

Guest Post: Depression, and the Science Behind Positive Affirmations.