Lead us, Evolution, lead us
Up the future’s endless stair;
Chop us, change us, prod us, weed us.
For stagnation is despair:
Groping, guessing, yet progressing,
Lead us nobody knows where.
Wrong or justice, joy or sorrow,
In the present what are they
while there’s always jam-tomorrow,
While we tread the onward way?
Never knowing where we’re going,
We can never go astray.
To whatever variation
Our posterity may turn
Hairy, squashy, or crustacean,
Bulbous-eyed or square of stern,
Tusked or toothless, mild or ruthless,
Towards that unknown god we yearn.
Ask not if it’s god or devil,
Brethren, lest your words imply
Static norms of good and evil
(As in Plato) throned on high;
Such scholastic, inelastic,
Abstract yardsticks we deny.
Far too long have sages vainly
Glossed great Nature’s simple text;
He who runs can read it plainly,
‘Goodness = what comes next.’
By evolving, Life is solving
All the questions we perplexed.
Oh then! Value means survival-
Value. If our progeny
Spreads and spawns and licks each rival,
That will prove its deity
(Far from pleasant, by our present,
Standards, though it may well be).
A friend e-mailed after my post yesterday recommending Tim Keller’s The Reason for God . He suggested I provide a link to Keller MP3s on the Internet.
I have not listened to even the majority of these recently collected Keller resources, but if you want to start somewhere I suggest listening to a few talks on “defeater beliefs,” evangelistic material which made it into his book.
Or try these two stimulating lectures I just listened to in the last two days, delivered at the Highland Theological College in Scotland. Remember that he ties some of his advice to his specific situation in NYC. And these lectures will mean more to you if you have a well-formed philosophy of expository preaching.
Pick up some free cultural and religious enrichment at Amazon׃ a traditional Hanukah song which is more than reminiscent of the biblical Psalms.
While listening, try to follow along in the Hebrew. (Please try, if only to justify the time I spent typing it out!)
מָעוֹז צוּרִ יְשׁוּעָתִי לְךָ נָאֶה לְשַׁבֵּחַ
תִּכּוֹן בִֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי וְשָׁם תּוֹדָה נְזַבֵּהַ
לְעֵת תָּכִִין מַטְבֵּהַ מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּהַ
אָז אֶגְמוֹר בְּשִׁיר מִזְמוֹר הֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּהַ
O mighty stronghold of my salvation,
To praise You is a delight.
Restore my House of Prayer
And there we will bring a thanksgiving offering.
When You will have prepared the slaughter
For the blaspheming foe,
Then I shall complete with a song of hymn
The dedication of the Altar.
Ma-oz Tzur Y’shu-a-ti Le-cha Na-eh L’sha-bei-ach
Ti-kon Beit T’fi-la-ti V’sham To-da N’za-bei-ach
L’eit Ta-chin Mat-bei-ach Mi-tzar Ha-mi-ga-bei-ach
Az Eg-mor B’shir Miz-mor Cha-nu-kat Ha-miz-bei-ach
Literacy in the U.S. is embarrassingly low.
Nearly 50% of the adult US population reads at a 7th grade level or lower. Nearly 25% has reading proficiency so low they cannot read instructions on medication bottles, the manual that comes with a piece of machinery, or a newspaper. This means roughly 40 million Americans cannot do something as simple and critical as read the handout a pharmacist gives them that warns them of lethal drug interactions.
What does this say about the continued use of the King James Version in American churches?
The kids I have tried to evangelize over the past 10 years can’t even read the New American Standard. I’ve explained the theme verse at my one long-time weekly ministry—”Keep sound wisdom and discretion, so they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck”—to countless low-income junior highers, and I’m not sure any of them ever understood it.
God used the common language of the day in the New Testament, Koine Greek. Koine (Κοινη), in fact, simply means “common.” We should not fear to do the same. The Bible contains some passages and truths that are difficult to understand (2 Pet. 3:16). Some are impossible to grasp without divine enablement (1 Cor. 2:14). But why make understanding impossible by using a language no one in this world speaks?
I’ve already posted a list of a few verses in the KJV that are unintelligible. I just found a new one, Joshua 17:18. “It is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine.”
I applaud Bob Jones University, my alma mater, for stating this clearly in a statement released today:
Bob Jones University has existed since 1927 as a private Christian institution of higher learning for the purpose of helping young men and women cultivate a biblical worldview, represent Christ and His Gospel to others, and glorify God in every dimension of life. BJU’s history has been chiefly characterized by striving to achieve those goals; but like any human institution, we have failures as well.
For almost two centuries American Christianity, including BJU in its early stages, was characterized by the segregationist ethos of American culture. Consequently, for far too long, we allowed institutional policies regarding race to be shaped more directly by that ethos than by the principles and precepts of the Scriptures. We conformed to the culture rather than provide a clear Christian counterpoint to it.
Praise the Lord for the humility and wisdom of BJU President Stephen Jones. I have prayed for him and the University in the past to do the right thing with regard to this issue, and I prayed for him during the small (Facebook) controversy which gave rise to this statement. My prayers were answered beyond what I expected, and I rejoice.