Worldview

This College Professor Has A Message For Liberal Arts Majors
Hunter Baker’s fed up with people denigrating liberal arts degrees. Based on the results of a study published in the Wall Street Journal, he says:

It turns that out that while students who major in a wide variety of professional fields out-earn their liberal arts peers at the outset, the liberal arts majors tend to pull ahead in later years.

How does he explain it?

The person who has mastered a particular market-driven skill of today is in a good position to profit in the short term, but given that we live in a highly dynamic society, the better long term investment is an education that equips the person to learn for the rest of his life.  The liberal arts, if taught well and approached with desire by the student, have the ability to unlock almost any subject the student wishes to learn for years to come.  If you understand how to think, how to draw lessons from past experience, how to write and speak, how to calculate, and how to put information through the kinds of tests which yield knowledge, then you have the tools you need.

Or to put it briefly: “You learn how to learn.”

The Cowardice of Wendy Davis
Jonah Goldberg writes:

Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics slammed Davis for being “too cowardly to give a straight answer, let alone a thoughtful one, to a straightforward question that goes to the heart of a matter she has made the signature issue of her political life.”

I agree. But Davis is merely at the forefront of the cowardice epidemic. On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade earlier this month, President Obama couldn’t bring himself to say the word “abortion,” preferring instead virtually every poll-tested buzzword. Indeed, in all of the “war on women” noise, abortion is almost always wrapped in the velvety euphemisms of “women’s health” and “reproductive choice.”

France’s Future at Risk From Unnatural Families, Say Protestors
This appeared in the UK’s premier left-leaning newspaper, which explains the left-leaning angle to the story, but good to see even the French rising up.

Amazon Plunges Into Christian Publishing
The data must look good for Christian books.

The Abortion Rate Hits 30-Year Low
The US abortion rate fell by 13 percent from 2008 to 2011, and reached the lowest rate since abortion was made legal in 1973.


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Four Things a Pastor Should Consider Before Engaging in Social Media
There are probably about a hundred things but here are four of the most important things.

Reflections on How Christians Make Decisions About Counseling
One of Bob Kellemen’s conclusion from recent debates about the effectiveness of biblical counseling: “Some Christians Don’t Seem to Have Much Confidence in One-Another Care and Biblical Counseling.” Here’s my conclusion, with differences in italics: “Most Christians Don’t Seem to Have Much Confidence in One-Another Care and Biblical Counseling As The Only Remedy Exclusive of All The Other Means God has Provided.” A conclusion I’m comfortable with.

5 Reasons You Should Smile More as a Leader
I’m not for Cheshire cats or Joel Osteens in the pulpit, but if I think about the people I’m drawn to, it’s definitely cheerful people.

Reforming Families Conference
Free Conference at the Creation Museum (July 31-August 2)  with speakers including Ken Ham, Al Martin, Jerry Bilkes, and others.

P&R Pastor’s Conference
And another enticing offering her on May 5-7 with Harry Reeder, Ed Welch, Timothy Witmer and Steve Estes.

Car Seat Success Story
Here’s a feel-gooder for you.


We Become What We Worship

“We become what we worship” is the basic insight of G K Beale’s book of the same name. Unfortunately it’s an “academic” book and, like most academic books, suffers from being twice as long and complicated as it ought to be (where have all the brave editors gone?). Part of the book’s complexity results from the author trying to prove his point from the wrong passage (Isaiah 6), when there are a number of others he does refer to that could have formed a much more obvious foundation for his thesis.

But that apart, the main point of the book is deeply insightful, and neatly summed up by Beale in this memorable statement: “What people revere, they resemble, either for ruin or restoration.” He argues that we were made to bear the image of another, and that we become the image of what we worship – either our Creator or something in the creation.

Psalm 115 is perhaps the clearest example of this. The focus of the psalm is on the deliberate construction of silver, gold, and other materials into a god to be worshiped (v. 4). The psalmist looks at the statues and sees what looks like a mouth, eyes, ears, nose, hands feet, and chests. But they have no functionality; none of these things are working (vv. 5-7). They don’t speak, see, hear, smell, handle, walk, or even breathe. They can’t speak truth to us, hear our prayers, see our situation, savor our worship, receive our gifts, come to our aid, or impart life.

The impact of this idol on those who worship them? “Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them” (v. 8).

It’s not that these idolators lose their physical senses of speech, sight, etc. Rather, it’s a description of the idolators’ souls and spirits – lifeless and senseless like the idols they worship. They are spiritually dumb, blind, deaf, powerless, and breathless. They’ve become what they worshipped.

“But I don’t worship pieces of metal, wood, or stone.”

No, maybe we’re not “traditional” idolators,” but we may have any number of “non-traditional” idols and the impact of them is exactly the same. We become what we worship:

  • If we worship supermodels, we’ll become vain and self-centered.
  • If we worship football players, we’ll become aggressive, bombastic, and women-demeaning.
  • If we worship actors and singers, we’ll become foul-mouthed, immoral, and sad.
  • If we worship corporate America, or the dollar, we’ll become greedy, oppressive, and materialistic
  • If we worship academia, the pursuit of degrees, letters, titles, etc., we’ll become proud, arrogant, condescending, and conceited.

BUT, and here’s the huge encouragement from Beale’s book, if we worship Jesus, we’ll become like Him. Worship is the main “tool” God uses to change us into the image of His Son.


Worldview

Evolution, You’re Drunk
Recent DNA studies have turned the world of evolution upside down. One of the most basic tenets of this theory is that life evolved from simple to complex and therefore simple organisms are much older than complex forms. Enter the amoeba to spoil the evolutionists’ day:

Amoebas are puny, stupid blobs, so scientists were surprised to learn that they contain 200 times more DNA than Einstein did. Because amoebas are made of just one cell, researchers assumed they would be simpler than humans genetically. Plus, amoebas date back farther in time than humans, and simplicity is considered an attribute of primitive beings. It just didn’t make sense.

This article goes on to explain:

Before the advent of rapid, accurate, and inexpensive DNA sequencing technology in the early 2000s, biologists guessed that genes would provide more evidence for increasing complexity in evolution. Simple, early organisms would have fewer genes than complex ones, they predicted, just as a blueprint of Dorothy’s cottage in Kansas would be less complicated than one for the Emerald City. Instead, their assumptions of increasing complexity began to fall apart. First to go was an easy definition of how complexity manifested itself. After all, amoebas had huge genomes. Now, DNA analyses are rearranging evolutionary trees, suggesting that the arrow scientists envisioned between simplicity and complexity actually spins like a weather vane caught in a tornado.

So, no hope of the sinking theory being abandoned, of course. But the deck chairs are certainly being rearranged.

What Every Christian Should Know About Income Inequality
The Income inequality argument is not easy to oppose. It seems so plausible and “fair.” Joe Carter comes to our aid with ten points that every Christian should arm themselves with:

  1. Incomes are measured in money — and money is not wealth.
  2. The existence of income inequality is generally a sign of a fair distribution of incomes.
  3. Both low and high rates of income inequality can be signs of unfairness.
  4. Income inequality is not the same as economic inequality
  5. Measures of income inequality are meaningless because incomes are not zero-sum
  6. Income inequality and poverty are separate issues.
  7. No one in America is really concerned about absolute income inequality.
  8. Discussions of income inequality are almost always about redistribution of income.
  9. The only real threat caused by income inequality are problems caused by envy
  10. The focus on income inequality is at best, useless, and, at worst, immoral.

No Women Don’t Make Less Money Than Men
Here’s a fascinating article exposing the spurious gender wage gap statistic that President Obama used in his State of the Union address. “Today,” he said, “women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”

What is wrong and embarrassing is the President of the United States reciting a massively discredited factoid. The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents. And no one knows if the five cents is a result of discrimination or some other subtle, hard-to-measure difference between male and female workers.

This article demonstrates that much of the difference can be explained by the choice of majors at college:

Here is a list of the ten most remunerative majors compiled by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Men overwhelmingly outnumber women in all but one of them:

1.   Petroleum Engineering: 87% male
2.   Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration: 48% male
3.   Mathematics and Computer Science: 67% male
4.   Aerospace Engineering: 88% male
5.   Chemical Engineering: 72% male
6.   Electrical Engineering: 89% male
7.   Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering: 97% male
8.   Mechanical Engineering: 90% male
9.   Metallurgical Engineering: 83% male
10. Mining and Mineral Engineering: 90% male

And here are the 10 least remunerative majors—where women prevail in nine out of ten:

1.  Counseling Psychology: 74% female
2.  Early Childhood Education: 97% female
3.  Theology and Religious Vocations: 34% female
4.  Human Services and Community Organization: 81% female
5.  Social Work: 88% female
6.  Drama and Theater Arts: 60% female
7.   Studio Arts: 66% female
8.   Communication Disorders Sciences and Services: 94% female
9.   Visual and Performing Arts: 77% female
10. Health and Medical Preparatory Programs: 55% female


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Depression and the Pastor’s Wife: Suffering in Silence
Transparent post from Cara Croft that will help many.

Short-term Family Resolutions
Steve McCoy explains how his family has made progress by developing smaller and shorter-term resolutions, especially in fasting from technology.

Simple Evangelism in the Church
How an atheist was won by Christians loving one another.

Taking Back Sunday
Daniel Montgomery tackles the subject of exhaustion and argues that most people are living a sub-human life. ON same topic, Jonathan Parnell gives us Three Reasons to Get Some Sleep.

Ecclesiastes and the New Testament
Paul Helm looks at how Ecclesiastes influenced the New Testament writers.

Calvin The Liturgist
How Calvinist is your church’s liturgy?


Children’s Bible Reading Plan

Here’s this week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first year of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf. And this is the second year in Word and pdf.

The first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Here’s an explanation of the plan.

And here are the daily Bible Studies gathered into individual Bible books with Genesis and Matthew now complete (explanatory note).

Old Testament

New Testament