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Archive for January, 2007

Do we, as evangelicals, play fast and loose with statistics?

Sometimes we do, and it’s not a good (or godly) thing according to Christian Smith, a sociology professor at Baylor University. In an article in Books & Culture called “Evangelicals Behaving Badly with Statistics,” he takes particular aim at the recent claim that only four percent of todays teenagers will be evangelical believers by the time they reach adulthood.

He says, “The point is that not all evangelical leaders need an M.A. in statistics, or that all evangelical organizations need to hire statisticians. Indeed, let me be entirely clear here. I am not finally pushing for the authority of experts. The last thing the world needs is more worship in the cult of expertise. I am actually arguing for the opposite: for ordinary evangleical leaders, pastors, and organizational staff-people to better exercise their God-given minds on pretty basic matters of percentages, averages, trends, and logical inferences so as not to say indefensible and embarassing things in public.”

You can read Smith’s article here.

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American Idol

American Idol began it’s sixth television season earlier tonight and I can hardly wait to see it (I’ll watch it on tape later).

I don’t know why I (or so many Americans) are so interested in a televised talent contest, but we are. Maybe it’s the theological angle: Simon Cowell personifies law; Paula Abdul grace; and Randy Jackson a mixture of the two. Maybe it’s the “car wreck” angle (the first several episodes are far better than anything else in the season mainly because you see so many of the “singers” who didn’t make it). Whatever the reason, American Idol is captivating.

Here’s to season number 6!

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Examine Yourself

A good quiz on the content of the Bible can be found here. Take the test and see how you do.

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You’ve probably noticed the spate of recently published books by atheists (Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins to name two of the authors).

Sam Schulman, writing in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, says that modern atheists don’t have any new arguments and they don’t have the charm of atheists of past generations, either.

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Back in the Saddle

Happy New Year!

After a somewhat extended break (as far as blogging is concerned), I’m back in the saddle so to speak. The Christmas break was very good for us. We needed the time off, even from blogging.

Now we start 2007 with a mixture of feelings. Uncertainty as to what God has for us (I resigned as pastor of Heritage Church on October 17th which will be effective January 22nd). I’m looking for another church to pastor and have several possibilities, but nothing definite yet. Anticipation because we know God has something new and different for us (whatever it may be). Finally, a sense of sadness because a chapter in our lives is coming to a close. These last three weeks are going to be emotional for Karen and me. Pray for us, if you will, on our future (which is in His hands).

I’m listening to a CD I bought with a gift certificate – U2 18: Singles. So far, it’s fantastic!

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