Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Do you remember Alice? No, not the one that worked at Mel’s Diner. I’m talking about the little girl that fell into the rabbit hole in Lewis Carrols’ most famous story. Okay, if you’re like me then you probably don’t know much about it because we’re males and we don’t read stories like that. But maybe you saw the Disney movie. Either way, I have heard that somewhere in the story Alice has a short, although profound, dialogue with a large smiling cat. It went like this…

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?

The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.

Alice: I don't much care where.

The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.

The Cat is right, and is not just speaking to Alice but to you and I as well. As fathers, God has given to us the humbling privilege to lead our homes and our homeschools. He has placed in our hands the duty to direct and disciple our wives and our children.

So where am I going? Actually, the question is much more specific than that. It is Alice’s question. At the beginning of this new “school year” which way should I go? We must all ask ourselves this question. The answer is one of vision. It does indeed depend a good deal on where I want to get to but, more than that, it depends on where does God want my wife and children “to get to”? What is His vision for my family? Have I sought it out? I must ask all of these questions of myself, as must you. In the midst of asking and answering these questions I find many wonderful truths.

The first is that God does have a plan, a vision, for my family. I don’t have to make this stuff up and try to lead my family by my own wisdom and ingenuity. This truth is wonderfully reassuring for if it were up to me my family would be falling into large holes like that poor little girl!

Second, it is God’s vision for my family. In other words, God’s vision is different for every family. Every family is unique, each one has different needs. We do not all need to look alike. There is a wondrous beauty in this because then we do not have to judge ourselves by what other families are doing. Usually all that comparing ourselves with others will bring us is a lot of condemnation. But God’s vision for your family is different than His vision for my family and from the Johnsons down the street.

So how do we get this vision and begin to implement it in our homes? I have found a few steps helpful in my journey.

Begin by seeking God for a family vision statement. For what reason does your family exist? Your family was ordained from all eternity by the perfect and all-wise counsel of God. He had a purpose in creating it, so what is that purpose? A vision statement will help you to clarify what it is you are striving for. To give you an example, my family’s vision statement is, “The Churchill’s are a family striving together to live as the people of God, through the instruction of the Word of God, for many generations.” I have heard vision statements that are much briefer than this, and others that are much more detailed. Some families simply use a Bible verse that is very meaningful to them. Again, it is what works for you, and it is God’s vision for your family.

Next, seek out what your short term goals are for each member of your family in light of this vision. Ask yourself, “What are the spiritual goals I want my children to attain this school year?” “What are the academic goals?” Each answer will be unique to your child, but it gives you something to measure their growth by and helps you to know if they are growing in the way God wants them to. In my home the academics is merely one of many ways of developing the spiritual goals. We teach what we teach in order to develop their character and to help them to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

And most important, establish a time that the family gets together to worship God and learn from His Word. For my family we do a devotional and read from God’s Word at the dinner table. Then we discuss what we have read and attempt to apply it to what we learned throughout the day (whether during homeschool or at work). This seems to be what works best for us, yet I have been with many families as they worship God, and every one of them is different. The point though, is that each of them set aside a time to learn God’s truths together and to honor Him as a family unit.

These are three steps that have helped me in this great privilege of leading my family. I hope they are helpful to you. Just remember, God loves you and your family, and gave you everyone in your family out of His’ perfectly wise and loving counsel! Praise God!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Blog

If anyone has not caught my new blog, it is a dialogue with my great friend, a metaphysical naturalist. We are having some great discussions, so feel free to come visit and even comment! The site is www.dialogueontruth.blogspot.com.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Letters from a Skeptic

My father and I have had a few dialogues lately concerning our different faiths. I thought I would reproduce much of what was written just for different approaches in apologetics. So here is one such correspondence.

Bud; I sincerely appreciate your offer of dialogue and debate. Only problem is, old dogs don't learn new tricks easily. You see, I was born into the world of evolution. There was never any hint at any other alternative form of thinking until I was well into college years. And by then, I was finally, laughlingly, admitting that some quacks from the back woods . . . those unfortunate enough to be raised in the piney woods where formal education never quite reached, had derrived the opinion they called creationism.

It was like the early "priests" (those who called themselves priests for lack of any better title) started shouting that the thunder and lightening, earthquakes and wind storms were actually Gods. That everyone should fall down on their knees and worship. Don't stop to think that any of these were natural events, occurring as the earth turned. And, if you paid a few alms to one of these "priests" they would give you a name that you and you alone could use when praying to these Gods . . . getting you special favors, of course.

At some point I learned that my own son, whose education I had obviously ignored . . . taking for granted that he would receive the same well grounded education (in evolution) I had, had somehow become a "Creationist." He was one of those who when faced with the fact that the Universe we know, and the multi-universes we imagine denies their existence. Who, when confronted by stacks of dinosaur bones, denies their existence. And all for the sake of being able to go to a "priest" to give him the name to call his God, to obtain special favors. Unthinkable!

That's why I won't debate or discuss Creationism vs Evolution with you. It is unimagin-able to me that anyone with any intelligence at all could deny the reality of the world we live in. It's no wonder you won't send your kiddos to public school, where they could possibly learn the reality of Evolution. Rather than kindle the flames of intolerance (which my attitude toward Creationism is), I'd rather set any such discussion aside . . . I do hope you can understand this. Your father is intolerant of very few things in this world. Possibly the only thing is STUPIDITY. And Creationism is, in my estimation, STUPIDITY!!

Thanks you so much for sharing both your journey and your belief with me. It helps me to much better know you and where you are coming from. I will share with you my journey and my beliefs so that you might know more about who and what I am, for I fear that many of the ideas you think creationists have do not reflect my beliefs. You may think more of me, you may think less of me, but at least you will know what I believe and how I came to believe it.

I, like yourself, grew up only knowing one belief, and that was evolution. From earliest grade school through college, the public school system achieved their goal, and that was that all of my schooling was purely evolutionary. Their indoctrination was complete. As you so well put it, "There was never any hint at any other alternative form of thinking." I grew up believing it not just because my teachers taught it but because you believed it and taught it to me also. It was all I knew and therefore what I believed.

Then in 1987 God saved me. To tell you the truth, when I became a Christian there wasn't a huge revolution in my thinking though. At that point I just believed that God was the cause of evolution, that there was a supernatural force behind the natural. In one sense this was a new thought, in another it wasn't, because you and I both believe in non-physical (aka supernatural) forces that direct nature such as the laws of nature and the laws of logic. These cannot be felt, touched, tasted, heard, or seen, yet we both know that they exist and govern the natural universe.
I held to theistic evolution well into college, yet in the college arena this was a bigger issue of discussion. I heard about it in several talks as well as radio programs, people challenging the theory of evolution. Somewhere in the midst of this I had a huge realization, and that was that the theory of evolution was not a scientific theory but a historical one. This was important because I had always thought that evolution was scientific and science has to do with the real world and it can be tested and proven. What my teachers in my younger years had failed to do was to point out the distinction between "evolution" as a theory of origins and "evolution" as adaptation. The latter is a scientifically observed phenomenon. This is what Darwin saw on his voyages. We see small changes within species, and can test and observe them. This is science and is fact. The former cannot be observed or tested scientifically and is therefore a historical theory. Evolution as a theory of the origin of different species is beyond the scope of the scientific method. It is in the same class as Creationism. Science is based on observation, on testing the natural phenomena around us. Well, since the theory of the origin of species is, by definition, something that happened a long time ago, it therefore cannot be tested in a laboratory and observed. It is not, therefore, a scientific theory but a historical one. All science can do, if we assume uniformitarianism, is show us whether evolution was possible, not whether or not it actually happened.

Now, being your son, I really got into all of the intellectual aspects of what I believed about science and religion. I always wanted to be like you in that way. And so I began to delve into all of the science books I could, books that gave the other side of the story. I still had all of my evolutionary things I was reading because I was in college Biology and Anthropology, my English class had it, as did my Sociology and Psychology classes. It was at this point that I came to realize that what the public schools were teaching was extremely biased information. I won't bore you with all the details, but I will give you one example in light of what you said in your letter. In public school I learned about scientists like Kepler, Francis and Roger Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, Robert Boyle, Pasteur, Maxwell, Faraday, Lord Kelvin, Joule, Mendel, Agassiz, Pascal, Linnaeus, and, of course, Isaac Newton. I am sure you also recognize most, if not all, of these names. All of them are considered some of the greatest scientists who ever lived and have given us science as we know it today. The problem? Well, my public school textbook (and obviously yours too) never mentioned that every one of these men were dogmatic Biblical Creationists, the ones you mentioned that were from the back woods. Biblical Creationism existed long before Darwin or Wallace ever posited their theory. It obviously existed long before you and I ever heard about it in our college years, but you and I never heard about it because of biased sources presenting what they wanted us to believe about science, not giving us the whole truth. And, by the way, lest we think that they were creationists simply because they were not yet acquainted with modern philosophies, many of them (Agassiz, Kelvin, Maxwell, Pasteur) were opponents of Darwinism. (This is one of the many reasons that we homeschool our children, they will learn a lot more information than the public schools will ever give them.)

Needless to say, I soon became a Creationist. I found the arguments and interpretations of evidence from the Creationists far more convincing, but I do suppose that this is because I was predisposed to that position (just like everyone else who has ever lived). Just as creationists believe in creationism because their beliefs predispose them to, so evolutionists believe in evolution because their religious beliefs predispose them to. Just as creationism is the story of origins for Christianity, so evolution is the story of origins for secular humanism/naturalism/atheism. So I do understand why you believe what you do and also why you despise creationism so much.

So I guess that is my story. There is, of course, much much more that could be said. A few more thoughts that I wanted to clarify before leaving you: 1)I do believe in the physical universe, I do not deny its existence.2)I do believe in Dinosaurs, and so does every creationist I know of. In fact the Bible taught about dinosaurs thousands of years before the first dinosaur fossil was ever discovered.
So again, I hope that no matter what your feelings are, that at least you understand a little more clearly what I believe and how I came to believe it. I hope you don't think this is me trying to teach you new tricks but just explaining to you more about me and my life.
Thanks again for sharing your story. I'm sorry mine was so much longer.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Another Display of Religious Scientists

Once again I was having a discussion with my evolutionary coworker, this time about the moon. I appealed to him about several different facts about the moon that would lead us to believe that the moon and earth are only about 6,000 years old.

The next day he told me he had looked up stuff on the moon the previous evening. He told me that there were six theories about how we got our moon and the age of the moon. So I asked him if any of the six theories was that God created the moon and that it was young. None of the six theories posited the possibility of divine intervention.

This once again demonstrates the religious bias of "scientists". They are able to form theories, taking this data to substantiate their theory, yet all of the theories are atheistic theories. There is one place they cannot go in the interpretation of the data, and that is to God and a creation. Why? Because their religious presuppositions rule out this possibility. They are obligated by their religious beliefs to not even acknowledge the possibility of one theory (creation) while not having enough data to substantiate any of their own theories. Yet if a creationist took all of the evidence I bet all of it would fit perfectly into a young creation model. But thats not allowed. Why? Is it science or religion that prevents it? Well, science would allow all theories and then the theory which best explains all of the evidence would be "the most scientific". Yet to disallow a theory because it is not a naturalistic theory, because it appeals to something beyond what your religious beliefs will allow, well that isn't science, its religious intolerance. And such intolerance is vibrantly displayed on "scintific" websites such as the one my coworker visited.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Religious Rock Dating

I have much enjoyed a new found way of approaching the religious tenets of evolutionary thinking this week. The approach came from a simple chart that I saw last week. It simply showed that both evolutionists and creationists had a piece of data (fact), an unchanging assumption, and then a variable conclusion.

Now when I first looked at this it really didn’t impact me, but when I began to really think about its implications and how it could be used to illustrate presuppositions it was great. I have since used it several times in illustrating to evolutionists that their evolutionism is just as religious as creationism and Christianity. Let me explain.

First, we see that there is an observed fact, something both camps and scientists see. In this case it is a rock with an observed amount of an isotope in it. We agree about how mush of the isotope is in the rock. This is the fact. But it is at this point that we part ways, because now our religious presuppositions enter into the equation.

The next part of the chart is labeled the “unchanging assumption”. For creationists the unchanging assumption is the age of the earth. We believe the earth to be about 6,000 years old, based upon the Bible. This is an assumption that we bring to the table, and this is static, it doesn’t change. This is what we assume to be true, and therefore we examine the rock with the isotope in light of this assumption. Doing the math we then come to the conclusion about the rate of decay and starting isotope level within this rock.

Now the evolutionist uses exactly the same method but changes the assumption and conclusion. He believes that the rate of decay and the amount of isotopes that the rock began with are unchanging and then dates the rock according to the math.
What we need to see here is that both camps use unprovable assumptions. These are presuppositions that they believe to be true but cannot prove to be true. Take the evolutionists assumption about the unchanging rate of decay. Now lets say that he has found from scientific research that it takes 10 years to create .0001 milligrams of this particular isotope. This is then his rate of decay. So then he finds that the rock contains 100 milligrams of the isotope. Well, doing the math, this means that the rock is 1,000,000 years old. Pretty simple and straight forward. Or is it? Do you see all of the assumptions that have taken place? Here are a few.

1) The scientist has assumed that the rate of decay is the same now as it was a thousand years ago. Does he know it is the same? No! He wasn’t there and there weren’t scientists back then that studied the rate of decay. It is an assumption that he cannot prove.

2) The scientist has also assumed that there was none of this isotope existing in the rock when it was formed. He has assumed that there was 0 of this particular isotope and now there is 100 milligrams. How does he know there wasn’t 10 milligrams when it was created? 20? 99? He doesn’t. It is also an assumption.

3) He has also assumed that there was no contamination. This means that there was not some outer force that contributed some more of the isotope into the rock apart from the decay within the rock. Was he there a thousand years ago to know that there wasn’t something that contaminated this rock? Has he been able to observe the rock every moment the last thousand years to make sure there is no contamination? No. His belief that the rock has not been altered by contamination is also an assumption.

All of this is to say that both evolutionists and creationists base their interpretation of data upon assumptions, assumptions that are determined by their preexisting beliefs about the world (aka worldview).
Using this I simply ask my evolutionary friends how their assumption is scientific. Why is one set of assumptions scientific while another is not. There is, of course, no answer. And so once again we have another demonstration of the fact that evolutionists operate as much upon their religious assumptions as creationists do.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Some May Trust in Horses...

Some may trust in horses, some may trust in chariots but we will trust… in homeschooling. “Okay, so that’s not how the verse goes. It really ends with “but we will trust in our curriculums.” No? How about, “But we will trust in our formulas”? Hmmm. “Rules?”
What exactly do we trust in? If you are anything like me then you (or I) am always looking for the silver bullet. You know, that thing that will guarantee my desired outcome for my children, my marriage, my relationship with God, my job, my (put whatever you want here). I want the quick fix, the ‘this is how you do it’ formula that, if I carry it out to the letter, assures me of the result I want. We do it in almost everything, don’t we? If I can only find the right history curriculum (I think we’re on our third now, and looking for a fourth) then my children will have a biblical view of the world. If only there were a certain type of math, literature, science, or Bible curriculum. We just want something we know will give our children a biblical worldview. No, let me rephrase that. We all want something we know will make our children Christians.
This isn’t limited to just curriculum. It’s in everything we do. If I only keep them from this TV program or from watching certain kinds of movies, or playing video games or certain types of music. Maybe if we go to a certain kind of church or keep them from certain kinds of kids, then my kids will come out the way I want them to be.
You see, we are all legalists at heart. Just like the Israelites, we acquire a set of laws or rules and then think that we can do it ourselves. We think we can attain godliness or at least achieve it in our children through certain prescribed methods or practices. Israel thought the same way. Though the law was never given to them so that they could earn salvation, they took certain practices and Scriptures and turned them into the formula for “godliness” and salvation. But the law could not save then, nor can tradition or a particular lifestyle save our children today. The truth is that there is no Christian panacea. There is only One that can save our children and give them correct worldviews and morals and Christian virtues: Jesus Christ.
We must trust and depend on Him to do this. We must trust and depend on Him to open their eyes and give them understanding. We must trust and depend on Him because it is what we are supposed to do. Anything else is idolatry. The point of the law was for the Israelites to trust and depend on God, not themselves! The Christian life is all about this one thing: trusting and depending on God in Jesus Christ. We must trust Him for our salvation and our children’s. We must trust Him for our daily food and for our intellect and for the sun. When we disciple (school) our children both the goal and the means to the goal are the same, and that is to trust in God.
I write this because I know my own propensity to lock myself into trusting just about everything but God, especially as a homeschooler. I have to realize that just because something worked one day that it doesn’t mean that I then trust it instead of God. We should not homeschool because it’s “the proven method”, but because we trust in God. Homeschooling works not because it is homeschooling but because of the sheer grace and power of God. “Some may trust in horses, some may trust in chariots, but we will trust in the name of the LORD our God!”

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why No One Really Believes in Evolution pt1

Have you heard of the madman that stood at the busy street corner announcing through his bull-horn, “I have discovered the truth that no one can know truth!”? Or the professor that proclaimed in his philosophy class, “I have logically proven that there is no logic.” Or the university lecturer that said, “All words are meaningless.” What do these three have in common? None of them really believed what they were professing to believe. The one who believed that words have no meaning was using “meaningful words” to attempt to communicate his belief. The madman believed that he knew the “truth” that he was teaching. And the professor was dependent upon the logic which he was trying to destroy. Each of these men might have thought that what they were saying was true, but they really didn’t believe it. Like so many others across the face of this vast planet, these men suffered from a sort of “intellectual schizophrenia”. Though they professed to believe one thing, their deeds acted contrary to their profession.

We are no strangers to this idea. One of the favorite mudslingers of our day is to call someone a “hypocrite”. When this charge is leveled, it is because people are seen acting contrary to their professed belief. We yearn for peoples actions to be consistent with their words. Now you may have noticed the usage of the term “words” and “professed beliefs”. This is intentional, because there is often a vast difference between a profession of belief and true belief. The profession is what someone thinks they believe, but true belief is in how they act. In others words, what you do is what you believe, not what you say. The professors words said, “There is no logic!” while his actions proclaimed “I believe in logic!” This disparity between profession and belief is also found in modern evolutionary thought, for though evolutionists proclaim one belief they deny that very belief in the way they think. Why??? See the next blog.