Category Archives: Faith and Culture
The post has generated a long discussion. I am posting redacted parts of it here now to make it easier to read. I welcome readers to add their thoughts to the discussion.
I apologise for the length of this article!
I listened to this episode here.
For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.
The Jonathan Park CDs are produced by Creation Works. Through these CDs, they hope to ‘provide children and adults with scientific evidence that is in harmony with the Word of God’. [Which raises the questions, ‘What does “in harmony” mean?’ and ‘What do they do with scientific evidence that is not in harmony with the Word of God?’]
Tagline: This is our Father’s world, God created it; we can explore it, so live the adventure!
NOTE: The producers of this series neglect to reference their information in any form. No references is ever given either on the CD or in the Study Guide for ANY information presented in the series. Even the voice actors of the series are not given any credit anywhere.
The Creation Response Team accepts a challenge to a competition with the Explorer’s Society, which pits their creation worldview against this evolutionary team at an undisclosed location. But will the CRT’s snap decision lead them to victory, or defeat, as they fight to stay alive on Snake Island? (Taken from here.)
Overall, the story is somewhat engaging. I think it really depends on one’s tolerance for such stories AND one’s predisposition to like/dislike anything produced by a YEC organisation. Yes, I freely admit prejudice comes into play here.
Kendall Park, Jim Brenan, and Jonathan Park are on Ilha da Queimada Grande, a snake-infested island off the coast of Brazil. They are competing against a “Evolution” team. The team that makes its case — and survives — wins. How and why these people agree to go on such life-threatening adventures again and again — and bring children along — is a matter of suspending belief. The women and girls do not go along this time (phew!… I think).
As always, it is good to remember the basic premise of the creators/producers of this series. There are two — and only TWO — worldviews: Creation and Evolution.
Creation: The universe and everything in it was created by God over a six-day period about 6000 years ago. Genesis 1-11 is to be interpreted literally. Science must be done with the Bible in mind. We know scientific findings are correct when they agree with the Bible. If they do not agree with the Bible, it means we are not interpreting the evidence correctly. Creationists are godly and GOOD.
Evolution: A man-made theory about how life, the universe, and everything came about through random, chance processes over millions of years in an attempt to disprove God. Anything and everything that does not agree with a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is lumped as “Evolution”. People who believe in evolution are called “Evolutionists” and are, at best, misguided, and at worst, EVIL.
It looks like the Modesty Police in Malaysia is hard at work making sure people comply with attire that is deemed appropriately modest.
On June 8, a guard at the Wangsa Maju Road Transport Department office asked a woman to put on a sarong before she could be served.
On June 16, another woman was denied entry into the Sungai Buloh Hospital for wearing shorts, but was allowed in after she wrapped her legs with a towel.
Barely a week later, two women were denied entry to the Selangor State Secretariat building as their attire did not cover their knees.
On June 24, a woman was denied entry into Penang’s Balik Pulau Court Complex for wearing a skirt deemed too short.
On May 7, a man was denied entry into Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s lost and found department because he was wearing shorts and sandals.
One of the blogs I enjoy reading is God of Evolution.
His latest post is entitled 10 Theological Questions No Young-Earth Creationist Can Answer. While I think the word “no” in the title might be slightly off — in his blogpost, he does mention some YECs attempts at some answers — the article is pretty spot-on. Perhaps a more accurate title would be: 10 Theological Questions No Young-Earth Creationists Can Answer Satisfactorily.
If you are not familiar with Tyler Franke’s style of writing, be prepared for some pithy humour which may, or may not, border on snarky depending on your tolerance level.
In summary, here are the questions:
1. What was the point of the tree of life?
2. If human sin is the reason animals die, why can’t they be saved?
3. If physical death is part of the punishment for sin, why do Christians still die?
4. Why was Eve named “mother of life”?
5. How did Adam and Eve know what death was?
6. If the punishment for eating from the tree was that Adam and Eve would physically die … why didn’t they physically die?
7. Can you name any other piece of literature in which the existence of a talking snake and trees with magical powers would suggest to you that it was meant to be taken literally?
8. Why do Genesis 1 and 2 contradict?
9. Why is incest wrong?
10. And finally, if it is so vitally important that Christians take Genesis literally, why did Jesus never once instruct us to take Genesis literally?
First there was defrauding,
now, apparently, a woman can cause a man to ‘freak out’ and be ‘damaged spiritually’ simply by staring at him through the TV screen with her large eyes.
I first heard of the Duggars when they appeared on a television special. There they stood all in a row in age order, smartly and modestly dressed, saying their names one by one for the camera. The youngest one or two at the time were too young to say their names, so one of the parents spoke for them and Michelle ended the lineup by putting an affectionate hand on her belly and said, “…and this is Jackson!”
They looked like such a sweet, adorable, Christian family! And they home schooled!!
What was there not to like?
Quite a bit, as it turns out.
At first I thought they looked so nice. A bit weird in the fashion department, but okay.
Later, I learned that they home schooled with Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute materials. Warning bells. And that they subscribed to Christian Patriarchy and all that entails. Huge warning bells. And then the television show that put them in the limelight. You know the tune.
“They’re a clean, wholesome family,” people said.
“The Duggars are upholding good, conservative, Christian values,” people said.
“I’d rather watch the Duggars than all that other junk that is on TV,” people said.
“The children are modest, well-behaved, role models,” people said.
Let’s talk about that. (Cue the “Good Mythical Morning” music. Or the “Twilight Zone” theme. Take your pick. I recommend the latter.)
Today, I came across an article from the BioLogos website about a former young-Earth Creationist.
The following reminded me a lot of several conversations between you and me:
I remember arguing with a well-meaning guy in High School youth group because he thought that accepting evolution could be a potential option for a Christian. I was so sure in what I believed I couldn’t even attempt to hear him out, which makes it hard to respectfully engage with anyone –especially another believer. Saying God could have created with evolution was denying a part of the Bible, I told him, and if you believe in evolution you may as well toss out the rest of the Bible along the way! After all, scientists endorsing evolution all have ulterior motives, and science and Christianity are surely in conflict (or so I thought). Biblical truth is to be elevated above observations of the natural world in the end, I believed, so the Bible gets the final say.
Does this resonate with you? Well, except for the part where it says, “…science and Christianity are surely in conflict…”, because I think YECs would say that science and Christianity are in perfect harmony with each other. If there are any perceived conflicts, it is our interpretation of the scientific evidence that must be reevaluated. We know our interpretation is correct when it matches what the Bible says. Right?
If the truth of the natural world is no less true than the truth we see in the Bible, the way to deal with apparent discrepancies is not to throw one out or elevate one above the other. The error must be on our part; the interpretation is flawed, missing a piece. For me this meant just a brief moment of “maybe.” Maybe God could have used evolution to create the world if there truly is evidence for it extrapolated by good science. Just maybe. In the context of my story, “maybe” was a big thing to finally say.
I know for people like Ken Ham, there is no “maybe” about it. For such people, entertaining such thoughts puts one on a slippery slope to rejecting the Creation message and ultimately the Good News. The Institute for Creation Research lists as one of the Tenets of Biblical Creationism, “The creation record is factual, historical and perspicuous; thus all theories of origins or development which involve evolution in any form are false.”
How about you? Is there room for “maybe”?
This movie came out almost a year ago. I did not watch it then, and really had no intention of watching it at all. Christian movies, generally speaking, are poorly made and/or are too preachy. There is one film in particular that many have lauded, but I have yet to be Courageous enough to watch.
When my church said that it was going to show God’s Not Dead at the evening service a couple of weeks ago, I wrestled with whether I should go along to watch it or not. I was somewhat disturbed that the pastor would ‘allow’ this. After the morning service, I went up to him and asked him if he had seen it. He said that he had not (!) but that he’s heard good things about it. (For one thing, a fellow parishioner had gone up to the pulpit some time last year to encourage everyone to go see it.) I told the pastor that the movie has had mixed reviews.
“Well, I don’t expect non-Christians to give positive feedback,” he replied.
“Actually, the negative reviews came from Christians.”
So, to go or not to go? On the plus side, it wasn’t going to cost anything money-wise. On the other hand, the movie is nearly two hours long, and that is two hours I would never get back. In the end, the plus side won and, armed with notebook and pen, oldest son and I went.
An article on Homeschoolers Anonymous that I caught my eye:
It contains excerpts of his books and sermons on fatherhood, patriarchy, children, etc.
Many people outside of Conservative, Christian, Homeschooling circles would most probably never heard of the guy. But within those circles, he is a Big Man — both figuratively and physically.
I’m still working through the article.