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Mar
17

Who was the real St. Patrick?

Who was the real St. Patrick? Who was the real St. Patrick? You might be surprised at what you learn about this early Christian evangelist from the 5th Century. He wasn’t Irish. He was never officially declared a “Saint” by the Roman Catholic church. He experienced life as a slave for six years. He never chased any snakes (because Ireland never had snakes!). He did, however, convert to Christianity and became one of the first believers to take the gospel to Ireland. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net.   “Kilbennan St. Benin’s Church Window St. Patrick Detail 2010 09 16” by Andreas F. Borchert. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia...
May
21

Common Core Standards — Building the Machine

Common Core Standards — Building the Machine Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve been hearing the debate regarding “Common Core” standards being implemented in government schools. What is Common Core, and should you support or oppose it? As a parent, grandparent, or concerned citizen, you need to be informed on this issue, and act appropriately to this new sweeping change that is taking place in government education. If you want all of the information in one place, download this PDF Document. Here is a synopsis from www.CommonCoreTheMovie.com: The Common Core is the largest systemic reform of American public education in recent history. What started as a collaboration between the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to reevaluate and nationalize America’s education standards has become one of the most controversial—and yet, unheard of—issues in the American public. In 2010, 45 states adopted the Common Core, but according to a May 2013 Gallup Poll, 62% of Americans said they had never heard of the Common Core. Prominent groups and public figures have broken traditional party lines over the issue, leaving many wondering where they should stand. From this website www.hslda.org/commoncore: The Common Core State Standards (“Common Core”) are two sets of K–12 academic standards that outline what students are expected to learn in English language arts and mathematics each year from kindergarten through high school. The goal of this academic checklist is not the acquisition of child-oriented skills such as literacy, proficiency, or increased graduation rates, nor does it embrace the more lofty goal of pursuing truth, knowledge, and wisdom. Rather the Common Core seeks to achieve the utilitarian purpose of making students “college- and career- ready.”1 “College and career readiness” has never been defined by the authors of the standards, notes Dr. Sandra Stotsky, a member of the Common Core Validation Committee who refused to sign off on the standards.2 The motivating force behind the Common Core is not the standards themselves, but the belief that a nationalized, uniform system is the best method of education. The Common Core was written by the National Governors Association (NGA)—an organization of governors, their head staff members, and policy makers—and the Council of Chief State School Officials (CCSSO). The Common Core should be understood as the culmination of a movement that has simmered in America for the past decade to adopt consistent national academic standards and assessments and build bigger student databases. Today, 45 states are committed to the Common Core: two sets of mediocre...
May
12

The Foundations – Ken Ham DVD set (A Review)

Ken Ham is the nation’s leading spokesperson for Young Earth Creationism (YEC). Ken has spoken at hundreds and hundreds of events all over the world, talking about how all of the major doctrines of the church, and issues we face in life, have their origins in the book of Genesis. While Answers in Genesis had previously released teaching videos from Mr. Ham on his key topics, they realized that they needed to revise and update those teachings with new state-of-the-art technology and graphics. So they released a newer series entitled, “The Foundations (Psalm 11:3)“. This set contains 12 sessions (30-minutes each) on 6 DVDs. The topics addressed are (each in two parts): Death the Enemy In Six Days Always Ready (Evangelism and Apologetics) One Blood, One Race (Racism) The Relevance of Genesis Revealing the Unknown God As a staunch YEC adherent myself, and as a parent, I want my children to have the opportunity to hear these teachings as a part of a well-rounded instruction on the topic of origins. I believe that a personal Creator God made everything that exists in six literal 24-hour days, but I also teach my children the theory of Evolution, and the Intelligent Design models as well. They need to be presented with all of the views while they are still in my home, so we can discuss them and they won’t be caught off guard later when they hear views that oppose my personal beliefs. I don’t want them to wonder, “Why didn’t Dad tell me about this view? I wonder what he is trying to hide?” I would challenge parents who believe in Intelligent Design (but not a personal Creator), or unguided Macro-Evolution, or other various Old-Earth views of origins, to do what I do and introduce your children to all of the competing theories. I believe you owe it to your children to allow them to hear the YEC model taught and defended, and no one is more famous for teaching that approach than Ken Ham. This is a video set that needs to be a part of your home, Christian school or church library. The DVD set also comes with a Leader Guide and a Participant Guide for group study. Recommended for ages 12-adult. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and the Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for...
May
8

God’s Not Dead

In the movie, God’s Not Dead, college freshman Josh Harper has his sights set on a future law degree. In order to acquire the necessary credits to achieve his academic goals. Harper signs up for a Philosophy class that is taught by a professor who is notoriously hostile to Christianity. The professor offers an assignment to his class asking them each to affirm the statement, “God is dead,” so that they can move on with their future coursework without being burdened with pesky notions of theism (belief in God) creeping into their future discussions. This causes a test for Harper. Does he go along with the assignment (and the rest of the class) just to get a good grade and pass the class, or does he end up attempting to defend his Christian views against a hostile professor and non-supportive classmates? He chooses the latter. His grade ends up being determined by what the class (not the professor) decides about the merits of his arguments. He faces conflict from his girlfriend who wants him to just do what it takes to get his grade and not rock the boat. It is a real ethical dilemma for Harper. On the storytelling, on thing I enjoyed about this film is how all of the main characters (10 or so) were all intricately connected to each other relationally, even though they weren’t necessarily aware of it. There was, in some cases, one degree of separation for each person, but their lives were all rather intertwined in a very cool labyrinth. I thought it demonstrated well how our lives effect people even indirectly, through a kind of ripple effect, and the choices we make will impact people we have not even met. Regarding the Apologetics of the film, it is proposed by Harper that both he, and the professor, begin with certain presuppositions and assumptions, and that neither can ultimately prove or disprove the existence of God. So he says they need to look to the evidence. At this point, the viewer assumes that the main approach will be Evidentialist Apologetics. It is not. Harper utilizes Classical Apologetics, with the Cosmological and Moral Arguments for the existence of God being primary. It is unrealistic to think that a typical college class will contain all of the elements reflected in this film (a rabid atheist who rails against Christianity, a class that is completely skeptical of Christianity,  a student who can hold his own...
May
6

Irreplaceable

Focus on the Family (FOTF) has introduced a new documentary on the family entitled, Irreplaceable. Tim Sisarich, Executive Director of Focus on the Family – New Zealand hosts the program and he travels around the world to interview Christian leaders, researchers, parents, inmates, and random individuals. His goal is to discover, “What went wrong with the family?” This film features interviews with Christian leaders like Nancy Pearcey, Eric Metaxas, John Stonestreet and others. The loss of the sacredness of sexuality has led to the loss of the value of marriage, which led to loss of the value of children, which has led to a loss of the value of unborn children. Fathers have been notably absent in our culture, which leads to all sorts of anti-social behavior and a sense of disconnectedness and loss in the lives of young adults. This film is compelling and challenging without offering simplistic solutions. It does not shy away from hard questions, but neither does it cast vague and harsh dispersions against distant enemies of straw. It focuses the solutions at our own human hearts. In mid-May of 2014, FOTF will role out a curriculum entitled, “The Family Project,” of which this film is an introduction. Irreplaceable will be aired in theaters on one day, May 6, 2014, but will be released on DVD in the Summer of 2014. Because of the mature themes of sexuality discussed in the film, I suggest that viewers stick with FOTF’s recommendation of ages 15 and above, but I highly recommend this as a date night film to watch together and discuss as a married couple. As the family goes, so goes the nation. I’m really pleased to see FOTF releasing such a well-produced and effective effort. Please check it out! Israel Wayne is an Author and  Conference Speaker. He is the Director of Family Renewal, LLC and Site Editor for...

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