By Duane | January 25, 2010
As you may have noticed there has not been a lot of new content published here over the last six months - quite a contrast from the early days when Adam and I were publishing new material almost daily. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which has been a reassessment of my responsibilities and commitments, causing me to reconsider the destiny of this blog which began in October 2006.
Then in November 2009 I got an unexpected call from Mathew Hamilton to see if I’d be interested in joining him and another Christian thinker and writer to initiate a collaborative blog; something that Mathew had been reflecting on for quite some time prior. In the meantime, David Smart had recently created a new site with the ambition to co-author it with like-minded Christians who would be able to provide insights on a variety topics that expound and defend a Christian worldview. When Mathew also contacted David to ask him what he thought of the idea, it turned out to be a fulfilment of his vision - not to sound prophetic or anything.
And so it has been that over the last 2-3 months, Mathew, David and I have been busily preparing a new blog which we plan to launch with our first co-authored post on 1st February 2010. The name of the site is called The Aristophrenium (Aristo). The details behind the name of the site and more information on the writers will be available once the site has launched. Having three writers I hope will take the pressure off all of us to produce regular fresh content and our special interest topics just happen to be dissimilar enough to make the content extremely broad.
What will become of this site?
As most of you will be aware I have not blogged alone here for the past 3½ years. Adam’s contributions have been a vital part of the content, partnering with me to give you our perspective on the world through the lens of a Christian worldview. And it is in part for this reason that I have not yet made up my mind on what to do with the site after Feb 1. I also know that Adam still has some ideas for new posts and this site provides one outlet where those thoughts can be heard, (although he is quite welcome on Aristo also). But after well over 400 posts and nearly 2400 comments from believers, skeptics and atheists alike on a vast range of topics, I am seriously considering putting this site into cryo. If it does remain, it will likely serve only to provide a place to post teasers to articles already published on Aristo.
Regardless of what happens to this site, I suggest that anyone currently receiving my feed or linking here, redirect their readers and/or links to the new site as soon as possible. This site may shut down at short notice.
Setting up this site has been very beneficial. I discovered, thanks especially to the comments by informed intelligent non-Christians, that the Christian worldview is able to provide the best answers to the toughest challenges anyone can pose. And it is my testimony that the experience of dealing with these challenges, while not always easy, has been extremely faith building. We can trust in Christ and we can trust in the Bible as the inerrant authoritative God-breathed source on which to build all our thinking about the world.
Another benefit to come from having this site has been the opportunity to write and improve my thinking skills. And while these skills are still far from the standard I expect of myself, I really do believe that the experience has contributed to making me a better writer and thinker. And for that I am thankful to all who have contributed.
I wish I had something more profound to say in closing, but the truth is this is not the end. I am really excited about the launch of Aristo, where - as the opportunity presents itself - I will continue to post on the same kinds of topics with like-minded others, defending a Christian worldview and demolishing arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. I also hope to continue there in the same vein that I began here in giving you a piece of my mind and I hope that you will give me a piece of yours. I can’t wait.
By Duane | January 4, 2010
Peer review has become both an idol and a safe haven for all who are committed to scientism. If a particular view has not undergone the materialistic gauntlet of peer review then it is said to be unscientific and therefore without merit and without the prestige afforded to such ideas expressed in peer reviewed journals. Except of course when such ideas do make it through peer review, in which case, the argument goes, such ideas should never have been published in the first place because they are unscientific. And round it goes. It’s a neat and tidy little system to protect ones paradigm and avoid having to answer legitimate challenges to it. A case in point, the furore over Richard Sternberg’s publication of Stephen Meyer’s paper on the origin of biological information.
In Andrew Kulikovsky’s book, “Creation, Fall, Restoration”, he discusses the changing philosophy among most modern day interpreters of Scripture, that has resulted not from “… conclusive contradictory exegetical evidence, but [is the] result of accepting the truth claims of scientists over the propositional revelation of Scripture.” He continues, “Many interpreters have uncritically accepted scientists’ claims of superior knowledge, precision, and objectivity, and naively placed their faith in the verification and peer review process.” (p 162)
I was privileged and very thankful for Andrew’s contributions to this blog about this time last year, where he addressed the issue of peer review (among other things) with a skeptic, pointing out that peer review worship is “totally misplaced”.
From the footnote (also on page 162 of Andrew’s book) I was reminded again of his article in the peer reviewed publication, Journal of Creation, and have provided the link for any who are interested in becoming more informed about the realities of peer review.
Money Quote from the article: “As I have always counseled young people whose work was rejected, seemingly on improper or insufficient grounds, the system [of peer review] is a crap shoot.” - Robert Higgs.
By Duane | December 22, 2009
I’m just gonna lay it right out … I suck at prayer. No, really! For one thing it’s something that I really have to force myself to do, like God has to twist my arm to get me to talk to Him at all, whether for forgiveness, thanks, petition or praise. In fact, no matter how much trouble I might be in, asking God for help is one of the last things that come to mind. Second, my prayers often seem to me to be quite incoherent. On many occasions, what seems like a good and meaningful thing to pray about ends up sounding very much like a psychotic rant, interrupted with barely related distracting thoughts that can last up to ten minutes. Then when I finally do return to prayer, it’s usually to apologise for being distracted and then I just give up praying altogether. And this is also why I usually do not volunteer to pray in groups. It’s enough that God knows my struggles without anyone else being exposed to my embarrassing ramblings.
One saving grace has been the children that God has blessed me with. Although I find prayer quite a chore, as a Christian I understand its importance. So I have made every attempt since my children were very young to pray with them and for them, in the hope that I might begin in them the fondness for prayer that I apparently lack. The result so far is a five year old that is very much into the habit of prayer and will every evening without fail ask me if I can pray for him. When I am finished, he will then ask me to stay as he prays for me. My four year old also will often willingly pray at meal times and my one year old will sometimes hold her hands together and say “Amen” when the prayers are done.
By Duane | December 18, 2009
I only just discovered this magazine a couple of weeks ago and thought the content was pretty good - at least in the issue I’ve been reading.
The November/December 2009 edition of The Good News magazine has some great articles. An interview with Jonathan Wells - author of ‘Icons of Evolution’ and ‘The Politically Correct Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design’ - on the Evolution v ID debate. A review of Richard Weikart’s 2004 book ‘From Hitler to Darwin’, demonstrating “…the gradual change in thinking that took place from Darwin to Hitler - a degeneration in appreciating the value of human life that continues to this day.” Another article considers “10 Ways Darwin Got It Wrong”, looking at the things such as the complexity of the cell, the Cambrian explosion, homology and the fossil record. And there is also some guidance on how we ought to talk with our children about evolution.
All of these articles and more are available at the magazine’s website: www.GNmagazine.org
And here is a link to the pdf version of the current issue.
By Duane | November 29, 2009
For those that may be struggling with the complex web of arguments that is the Same-Sex Marriage debate, check out the SSM debate made easy - a clear and easy to follow pictogram by Urban Cartography.
So consider yourself well-informed … that is of course if by “well-informed”, you mean up to speed on the best straw man arguments that a SSM advocate can fit into a pictogram.
Click here for larger image.
By Duane | November 24, 2009
The submissions received by the Senate Standing Committee’s “Inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009″ have now been published.
Recent related article by Mathew Hamilton:
Record high submissions received by Senate Inquiry indicate 67% oppose the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill
By Duane | November 11, 2009
Whenever I update the rss feed, links or blogroll in the right sidebar, I don’t usually point it out. It’s just one of those areas on the page that I hope people find useful, but at the end of the day probably serves my own purposes more than anyone else.
But today I just wanted to draw your attention to a new addition on the blogroll. It’s called A Better Possession and is administered by one of the Ministers at my church, Craig Hamilton, whose conversation on a range of theological topics I value.
By Duane | November 6, 2009
You have to be impressed by the apparent clout that Islam has over the content of a typical apocalyptic-type and suspiciously Illuminati-like film such as 2012.
In an interview with SciFiWire, the Director of the upcoming film “2012″, Roland Emmerich, was quite frank about why he had no problem destroying Christian symbols but couldn’t bring himself to destroy a revered Islamic landmark - namely the Kaaba, a cube-shaped building at the heart of Mecca which is the focus of prayers and believed to be built by Abraham and his son Ishmael.
“Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit,” Emmerich says. “But my co-writer Harald said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right. … We have to all … in the Western world … think about this. You can actually … let … Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have … a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is. So it’s just something which I kind of didn’t [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out.”
Related links: Filmmaker admits intimidation by Islam - WorldNetDaily.
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