Tonight's topic at VERiTAS was Creationism, specifically, debunking the "religious myth" of evolution. The night was essentially a rebuttal of the recent "Evolution Sunday" event that was started by Butler's own Dr. Zimmerman, Dean of LAS. On "Evolution Sunday" in January, 617 churches participated in a declaration that Darwin evolution and religion can co-exist. Dr. Mortenson from Answers In Genesis spoke tonight to clarify that it's not "religion" that can't coexist with evolution, it's Christianity. Evolution and Biblical Christianity are, in fact, at war.

That wasn't the only thing at war tonight. Talk about feeling effects of the presence of truth in hostility! It proved to be the most hotly debated and well-attended evening in VERiTAS history. Unfortunately, it was also the most disgusting, illogical and emotionally driven. Not from the speaker, who was admirable in his self-defense, but rather the mud-slinging participants. One Butler professor managed to raise completely unrelated slander and walked out in huff after insulting the speaker's academics and intelligence. Another attendee had the gall to address our speaker as being "a despicable sham for a human being." I was appalled and utterly embarrassed with the lack of respect from the dissenters and with the discussion's lack of control. I finally packed up the refreshments at 10:45 and went home, leaving Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. Mortenson at debate with a number of onlookers. I wonder how it ended...
On a lighter note, here are my silly questions from the discussion. No, I did not voice them at the meeting, although maybe I should have to break the mood...

1) What sort of serpent was Satan when he tempted Eve in the garden? If his belly crawling was a result of the fall's curse, then what was he before the fall? A dinosaur? A lizard?

2) Why wasn't Eve disturbed when this serpent spoke to her? Did animals talk before the fall? Do animals have the ability and intelligence to communicate verbally, but the fall has them tongue-tied?

3) What about Balaam's donkey? Does the fact that he spoke demonstrate that animals can talk, but in this instance, God allowed the effects of the fall to be momentarily suspended to work his purpose for Balaam?
As a side note, in spite of my "stand up for truth" drive and ministry, I am merely a weak female who doesn't understand male debates. I'm not strong enough to get involved and put an end to discussions like tonight, and deep down am uncomfortable with controversy. I cannot function without male leadership! But since I make the coffee and bring the goodies, they need me. :)



Someday, I'll write something real

...I'm such a dork. I bought a commemorative Sweet Sixteen T-shirt today. I didn't buy one the last time Butler played in the NCAA, so I figured why not. I read in the paper this morning that the shirts were selling out within an hour, so I stopped by the bookstore and stood in line for over 1/2 hour. Like I said, I'm such a dork. But hey - been there got the Tshirt!

...Mom and I switched places on Tuesday and she should be coming home from Minnesota tomorrow. It's been a stressful two weeks, but thankfully Grandpa made it okay and is on his way home.

...I'm behind on my thesis work. YUCK. I was supposed to get a lot of papers written last week, but with all the complications with Grandpa and getting sick myself, I got nearly nothing accomplished. Again. YUCK. I just want this whole schooling thing to be over!

...However, I did get several books read while I was gone. Getting Serious about Getting Married by Debbie Maken, Housekeeping by Marilynn Robinson, When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, and I got started on Snow Flower and the Secret Fan for the upcoming book club. I also started a book called Eyes Wide Open which is a Christian critique of popular culture. I need to finish it because so far, I'm not sure I agree with where the author is going. From what I can tell he has an "only Christian art counts" bias (like the CCM), which is disappointing but perhaps I'm mistaken.

...A quote to end this post:

"When you painted on earth...it was because you caught glimpses of Heaven in the earthly landscape. The success of your painting was that it enabled others to see the glimpses too."

- the Ghost to the Painter, The Great Divorce


Go Blue


ps. I hope Purdue wins tomorrow, so it'll be me and dad against each other. :)


More from MN

Other than coming down with a flu/head cold, not much is going on in Rochester. Grandpa is still in the hospital but is improving. Grandma and I are hanging out in the hotel watching TV. And I'm trying to get some school work done, although when your head is pounding, reading is the last activity on the list... Still no sightings of cute/single med students, we're were on the watchout. :)


[enter singing. yes, of course from memory!]

We'll sing the Butler war song
We'll give the fighting cry (HEY HEY HEY)
We'll fight the Butler battle
Bulldogs ever do or die
And in the glow of the victory firelight,
Hist'ry cannot deny
To add a page or two
For Butler's fighting crew
Beneath the Hoosier sky!


Updated Opinion

Well, I take that back. The tunnels and some buildings are drab. The actual Mayo buildings are beautiful - lots of marble, many windows, interesting sculpture, and collections from years of donations. Also, there's a beautiful Bosendorfer grand which is proving to be a strong temptation to touch it each time I pass...


An Alternative Spring Break

I'm writing from my hotel room in the not-so-sunny Rochester, MN, where I'm staying with my grandparents at the Mayo Clinic. So far, my impression is that the emphasis around here is on academics and not aesthetics. The buildings are drab and the weather is dreary. I think they could improve their patients health simply by adding more cheery colors! It has a sad atmosphere as all the people in staying at the hotel, sitting in restaurants, and walking on the streets are here because of illness. Their faces are downcast, hopeless, and hurting. At the same time, there is a sense of community care. A place where bystanders don't stare and wheelchairs are pushed shamelessly because everyone here is on equal ground. Knowing you need help brings humility and an awareness of other people's needs too. In other news, I've got my stack of books staring at me above the tv. I put them there on purpose so I'll have an internal battle: Tv? Study? Tv? Study? Also, the treadmill is literally right outside my door, so I have no excuse not to exercise this week.


On to lighter matters...


Instead of spending the day productively slaving away at my thesis, I went shopping at the outlet mall with my favorite SIL Amy. And I had a marvelous time!

A few $$$ poorer, but spring will be so much the richer. :)


Holidays, Holy Days?

What do you think we should do about celebrating religious holidays? Since we're currently in the season of Lent, I've been revisting the question of celebrations. What call do you think the New Testament church has to such observances? I have always been fascinated by Jewish holidays and secretly wish Christians celebrated the Passover plus Easter. If we are truly Covenantal Christians, should we observe Old Testament holidays? I realize that Christ fulfills the promises that were symbolized in holidays and festivals, and that scripturally we're called to baptism and communion, but what did Christ himself do, either before or after the Resurrection? What did the people of the New Testament church do? The Psalms are full of remembering what God has done in the lives of his people. Do we ignore it? It seems that setting aside time to remember what God has done, presently and historically, is not such a bad idea. One thought is that some Christian observances, such as Lent, focus on what man can offer to God, rather than focusing on what God has done for man, such as Purim or Passover. Do you think observing more holidays would be a distraction from the work of Christ, or would it be an enrichment to our understanding?


Sin: A Haunting Portrait



A Quick Survey of Some Single Books

The Book: Lady in Waiting, by Debby Jones and Jackie Kendall.
The Grade: C-
The One-Liner: Waiting? Waiting for what?

The title alone is a turn-off. Waiting for life to start? Waiting for permission to be a woman? The book tries too hard to be godly. It's purpose is to enourage girls to wait for Mr. Right, which of course is excellent in comparison to the alternative, but it is still misleading. Shouldn't we be encouraging girls to become God's best because that's what being an excellent woman is about?

To quote from Lauren Winner's Real Sex,
They [books on singleness] seem designed for people who get married right out of college. They seem theologically vacuous. Above all, they seem dishonest. They seem dishonest because they make chastity sound easy. That make it sound instantly rewarding. They make it sounds sweet and obvious. "True love waits" is not that compelling when you're twenty-nine and have been waiting, and wonder what, really, you're waiting for.
The Book: Knight in Shining Armor, by P.B. Wilson
The Grade: B-
The One-Liner: There's a reason it only costs $0.95 at Amazon!

An amusing read, if anything. "Knight" is incorporated into every chapter title. One good thing about this book is how the author encourages the reader to take a six-month break from dating to devote her time and focus on her relationship with Christ. This obviously doesn't apply to every reader, but it's a good idea and some of her activities for the inbetween are creative. The bad thing about this book is that by enouraging the six-month leave of absence, it creates a Prayer of Jabez dilemma. What happens afterwards when our hopes still go unfulfilled on the six-month time schedule? Do we lose faith?

The Book: Fine China is for Single Women, Too, by Lydia Brownback
The Grade: B
The One-Liner: There's nothing on the back of the box that said anything about marital status. Tea simply tastes better out of fine china. It's prettier too.

This book hits closer to the mark, although I take personal offense at the title. I've been an avid collector of kitchen items, pottery, and fine china since I was a preteen. I didn't know I had to wait until I was married to enjoy it! The book is published by P&R Publishing and the author is a member of Tenth Pres. in Philly, so that gives its theological grounding a better basis. But it still has a hint of being content in singleness only because Mr. Right is just around the corner which leaves a bad taste in the mouth. An artistic side note: The pages are tinted pink and have pictures of tea cups throughout the book which are not only irritating, they also bring down the book and author's potential seriousness. The book has some good thoughts, but still sounds too much like a pity-party, with an emphasis on not being left out.

The Book: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?, by Carolyn McCulley
The Grade: A+
The One-Liner: Now, there's a question I can relate to!

Written by a real single with real struggles. And her conclusion: First, we're Christians. Second, we're women. Third, we happen to be single right now. McCulley takes a fresh look at the Proverbs 31 woman and paints a portrait of the single woman, not the married one, and gives real life application in living single. Her thesis is that single women are called to be Christian women, embracing biblical femininity first and foremost. Marriage, it if happens, is no guarantee that you wouldn't be single again. Get your life in order, not because then you'll be ready for marriage, but because then you're pursuing a life of holiness that God requires of you. Then you can enjoy Him forever!

An excellent talk by McCulley can be downloaded here. If you're a single woman and you listen to the last ten minutes with dry eyes, I suggest you try again. Her take on Ruth and Naomi is incredible.

Here is a sampling of McCulley's realistic advice for the single:

Our most important identity is in the fact that we’re saved, not that we’re single. God has done something far more important for us. Your greatest need is not for a spouse. Your greatest need is for a savior and that’s already been accomplished through the death of Jesus Christ. So why doubt that God will provide a much lesser need?

“You’re not going to get married until you are content in your singleness.” It’s not really accurate theology, because God doesn’t require us to attain any state before he gives us a gift; it’s all of grace, it’s all unmerited. We should work to be contented women; we just shouldn’t attach to it the expectation of blessing.

When we’re tempted to wonder, “Can I trust God with my hopes?,” we need to remember that what we can see of our circumstances is not all that’s there. God’s silences are not his rejections; they are simply preparations for a greater revelation of Him.