Jul 082017
 

Creation versus Evolution

Evolution is taught as basic fact in schools. It is what all “scientists” believe. Only uneducated, brain-washed Christians believe that God created the universe and everything in it. Right?

It seems that there is a lot of division in the US and the world today. Creation versus evolution is just one of the issues dividing us. But is creation only for people who have “blind faith” in the Bible? Is evolution science, but creation religion?

Is Genesis History? seeks to show that a belief in creation does not require “blind faith” but is an entirely reasonable conclusion when viewing the evidence from a Biblical perspective. In the 101 minute film, Del Tackett visits 13 different PhD scholars in fields like geology, paleontology, microbiology, astronomy, archaeology, and Hebrew to discuss the Genesis account of creation and how the evidence that we find on earth is consistent with what we read in Genesis. In the discussions, they compare the ways that evolutionists and creationists look at the same data and come to different conclusions based on their starting assumptions. They also point out many of the inconsistencies in evolutionary theory.

The film is divided into the following sections with each one featuring a discussion with a different scientist.

creation versus evolution

  • Changing Our Perspective
  • What do the Rocks Tell Us?
  • A Question of Paradigms
  • What Does the Text Say?
  • How Do You Measure Time?
  • A Brief History of the World
  • The Origin of Fossils
  • When Dinosaurs Walked the Earth
  • Soft Tissue in Dinosaur Bones
  • The Genius of Design
  • The Potential of Created Kinds
  • The Purpose of the Stars
  • Where was Babel?
  • Genesis and Our Culture
  • A Changed Perspective

Our thoughts on Is Genesis History?

The film is well-made and interesting. It does a nice job of displaying beautiful scenery while explaining key concepts. I think the graphics are nicely done and are helpful. I like that the chapter divisions on the DVD  allow for a quick review of certain topics. The film flows well as a whole and does not seem a pasting together of individual chapters.

Our family is not new to the study of creation versus evolution. My husband and oldest son are especially educated on the topic. We have a relatively large home library of books and videos dealing with the topic of Biblical creation and evolution. So with that in mind, they had a couple of criticisms of the film.

First, neither my husband or son liked the conversational style of the video. Both of them felt it made it seem scripted, and somewhat disingenuous. I personally wasn’t particularly bothered by the conversational style, but it may grate on some. My son was particularly frustrated by the section on stars and the universe. He felt that in an attempt to keep things simple, they glossed over some very important ideas and current creationist hypotheses about how we can see starlight if the universe is only thousands of years old.

Considering that this film is intended as more of an introduction to the various topics discussed, I think that it fulfills that role nicely. It should inspire someone less familiar with creation versus evolution issues to do further research into areas that don’t seem as clear, and seek out resources that more fully address some of these difficult topics.

You can purchase a copy of the film in DVD or Blu-Ray format. A DVD/Blu-Ray combination package is also available. You can view the various options at Compass Classroom.

Are you interested in science curriculum from a Biblical creationist perspective? Try Apologia Science .

Disclosure: The links provided are affiliate links. If you purchase through the links on this post, I will receive a small commission. I received a free copy of Is Genesis History? in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Apr 202016
 

As a homeschool mom of 5 who works part-time from home, I have a lot to manage. Between working, keeping up with my teenagers’ schedules, teaching my younger children, and managing my home, free time is rare. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my lack of close friends. I’ve tried to analyze the reason. I realize I don’t often write personal posts here (OK, so I don’t often write at all), so bear with me as I share.

Why don’t I have close mom friends?

Part of my situation can be explained by moving. I had a couple of very close friends as a young wife and mother. I made those friends at a time when it’s easy to make friends. My husband and I were newly married, and we had no children. Our friends also had no children at the beginning of our friendships. We were free to do lots of things with our friends and spend many late nights, talking, laughing, and playing games. We continued to do so after we had babies. What are portacribs for, right?

Then we moved to a different state. We joined a church 30 minutes from our home. It was hard to invite people over. With young children it seemed harder to build friendships. Being new, everybody already had friends. But I tried, and in that season I made some pretty good friends. I went to women’s Bible study at church and developed some friends there. I was no one’s best friend, but I did have a few ladies that I could talk to. During this time I also had a neighbor that I used to chat with a lot.

Then we moved again, closer to the church. Ironically at the same time that we moved closer, we left that church and joined a much smaller church. I had begun homeschooling a couple of years earlier and it had gotten to the point where attending a weekly daytime women’s Bible study was difficult because we basically lost an entire day of school. Around that time I went through a very difficult time after being rejected by a friend whom I had been meeting with for prayer and fellowship. Desperate to feel like I belonged, I asked to join a group of ladies (from the former church) who had been meeting for a regular evening Bible study. They let me join, and for a while I felt like one of the group. However, after the birth of my 4th child, I needed to host the group in my home because my husband was working a second job in the evenings and I had no childcare. The leader rejected my request, so that was the end of my involvement in that group.

That was over 9 years ago. The sting of that rejection is still there. That group of women still meet and go on weekend getaways. I’ve fought against the sadness that rises up when their pictures show up in my Facebook feed. I’ve wondered for years, what is so wrong with me?

Better Together: Because You’re Not Meant to Mom Alone

Better Together Cover Mom Friends

I was recently given the opportunity to review the book Better Together: Because You’re Not Meant to Mom Alone. Since I had already been pondering the topic, I thought it might be a good read.

Jill Savage and her adult daughter, Anne McClane. do a great job analyzing the different levels of friendship and the various types of friends. The book has helpful tips for meeting new people and getting to know people. There is a mothering personality inventory and a variety of creative ideas for ways that friends can share each others’ burdens in the busy seasons of life. These include swapping baby sitting or having freezer cooking get togethers. One that I had never  thought of was working with a group of friends taking turns meeting at a different house to do a project with the friend that needs help.

Better Together is a useful resource, especially for those in women’s ministry leadership. It helped me to think through the hurts of my past and admit that one of the reasons that I haven’t made close friends is a fear of rejection and bitterness over past hurts. I also realized that another reason is that I am a bit selfish. I don’t often offer to help others and I’ve failed to invite people over because I’m too busy with my own family.

Important Reminders

Even though I can identify reasons in my own behavior to explain why I may have been in this season of lacking close friends, I  also remind myself that God is sovereign. He knows that I’ve been going through this, and He could have sent a close friend in spite of my friendship flaws. Instead, I have learned more about contentment. In my loneliness, God has been faithful to draw me closer to Himself.

I’m reminded of a quote by Elisabeth Elliot,

“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now.”

So while I agree that friends are good for moms, I can’t fully agree with the subtitle of this book. No, we’re not meant to mom alone, we’re meant to mom alongside a dad. Having close friends is a bonus.

Dec 102013
 

I have a confession.

I have trouble being consistent with studying the Bible.

I want to. I plan to. But all too often, I let things get in the way.

Like sleep.

Or the computer.

Or chores.

Honestly, the thing that worked the best and the longest was being in a weekly Bible study with other women. Due to various circumstances, that’s not something I can do at this time, and I miss it. I miss both the accountability and the fellowship.

#puttingonthespirit #busymomdevosI recently was given the opportunity to review a new devotional by Katie Hornor titled Putting on the Spirit.

I definitely need that. (Really, who doesn’t?)

The sub-title is also intriguing: Ten-minute Devotions for Busy Moms.

OK. I’m a mom.

I’m busy.

Surely I have 10 minutes, right?

When I downloaded my copy of Putting on the Spirit, I expected to find some devotional thoughts on the different fruit of the spirit. Maybe some mom anecdotes.

However that is not what I found at all. I would classify this as more of a Bible study than a devotional. Not a complicated, in-depth Bible study, but still more study, less devotional.

Maybe I have a different picture of devotional, but when I think of devotional, I think of something that I read and think about. Hopefully something speaks to me, and I’ll think of it again during the day. But not always. But a devotional is just a short scripture passage and a few thoughts on the passage. It does not involve looking up other scripture or answering questions.

Putting on the Spirit does involve me. It’s a study. A lighter Bible study. (Don’t imagine doing multiple word stories and pages of cross references.) But there are cross references. And questions to answer. The author even provides a free workbook on her website. ( http://paradisepraises.com/putting-on-the-spirit/)

I am impressed with this study. It’s simple, yet deep. It’s short, but meaningful. It’s all of these things because it’s not much of the author’s own thoughts, but instead  her guiding you through the Bible for yourself.

Has this book provided the miraculous end of my struggle with consistency? Well, no. But should I expect any study to do that? No. That comes from being consistent. (I know that seems crazy, but it’s really true. The more time you spend with God in study and prayer, the easier it becomes because then you recognize your need even more.) But it’s a start.

This week Putting on the Spirit is only $0.99 on Amazon.com (Kindle version). And today (Tuesday) it’s free! There is also a Spanish version coming soon.

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Feb 122013
 

Since my last post was the post where I admit I was wrong, maybe this one should be the post where I admit I am late! I hope I’m not the only one that has let something go far too long. I’m really good with deadlines. But when there isn’t an exact deadline, then sometimes I procrastinate.

And procrastinate I have with this book. I don’t even know how long ago I received it. I don’t even want to think about it. But I do want to keep my commitments regardless of the late hour.

how-do-we-know-the-bible-is-trueHow Do We Know the Bible is True? is a compilation of treatises on difficult topics by various authors. It was edited by Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge and published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group.

When I ordered the book, I thought it was going to be a whole book that focused on proving the truth of the Bible. It is in a broad sense, but delves into a variety of different subtopics. Some of the chapter titles include:

  • Is the Old Testment Reliable?
  • Did the Physical Resurrection of Christ Really Happen?
  • Did Moses Write Genesis?
  • Did Miracles Really Happen?

All of those topics do deal with the broad subject of the authority of Scripture, but explore the arguments for and against the each of the questions.

I found the book interesting, but it wasn’t the type of book I can read straight though. (That’s part of the reason for the LONG delay in this review.) I think it is particularly helpful in pointing out the reasons someone might disagree with the Bible’s authority. I have a rather conservative upcoming and still hold to a literal interpretation of scriptures. (For those that are supposed to be literal anyway. Some of the Bible is obviously figurative language. The question for the ages is which is which.) I do think this book helped me to see some of the arguments for different interpretations and also why I do not agree with them.

I do not think this would be a good book to hand to a non-Christian to prove to them the Bible is true. I’m not sure that actually exists, but this book is definitely written with a believer in mind. It’s meant to strengthen existing faith and provide information to help a Christian to defend his faith.

I would recommend this book to others and plan to have my 9th grade son read it. He is always asking difficult questions and I think this book will help to answer some of them.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Master Books in order to complete this review. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Sep 062011
 

What is the first book of the Bible a new believer should read?

I’ve always heard you should start with the Gospel of John. But in Begin, a new book from New Leaf Publishing Group, Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge suggest starting somewhere else: Genesis.

I agree with their logic.

In Genesis we learn the origin of the world. Genesis is where we learn how sin entered the world. We see in Genesis why we need a Savior!

But rather than starting in Genesis and reading straight through the Bible, Begin suggests a different Bible reading plan. After laying the foundation in Genesis 1-11 and Exodus 20 (the Ten Commandments), it then moves on to the entire Gospel of John, Romans, and finally Revelation 21-22. Included in the book is the English Standard Version (ESV) translation of the above scriptures. On each page there is also a fact or a cross reference or two. There is room along the edge of the pages for taking notes, and there are also thinking questions throughout the book.

In between the different sections of scripture are short summaries of what happened historically between the two portions of scripture. For example, between Genesis 11 and Exodus 20 there is “A Brief Review of History from Abram to Moses and the Ten Commandments”. These summaries are brief, but would be especially helpful to someone who does not have much prior knowledge of the Bible.

At the end of the book are 2 additional sections that are very informative:

What Does It Mean to Be Saved?

Ten Basics to Boldly Proclaim a Biblical Worldview

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I think this book provides an excellent start to studying the Bible. I appreciate the fact that this Bible Study is in fact studying the Bible. So many Bible studies contain very little Scripture, and have in its place man’s opinions of Scripture. Begin would make a great gift for new believers, seekers, or anyone who wants to gain an understanding of the Gospel.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Jun 272011
 

Not every homeschooler chooses to homeschool for religious reasons. However, a great many homeschoolers do choose to homeschool so that they can teach their children from a Christian worldview. But after finishing high school, where should a young Christian continue his education if he chooses to do so?

State University?

Community College?

Christian College?

There are plenty of options available. Many Christian parents choose to send their children to secular universities, believing their children have been trained in the faith and are ready to face the worldly influences found there. But others feel that a Christian college is a better choice for their child.  At a Christian college their student will be surrounded by other believers. He will have Christian professors who believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God and who will help to strengthen his faith.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. In fact, it’s probably less often the case than you think.

What do you think of when you think of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton? Elite private schools? Does anyone still remember that these Ivy League schools were founded on Christian principles? Already Compromised begins with a description of the compromise that led to the secularization of these schools. Are today’s Christian colleges going down the same path?

Ken Ham and Greg Hall with Britt Beemer of America’s Research Group sent surveys to presidents, vice-presidents, religion and science department chairmen at Christian colleges nationwide. These surveys contained a variety of questions like:

Do you believe in the inspiration of Scripture?

Do you believe in the inerrancy of Scripture?


What does your institution teach about the Bible?


Do you believe in God creating the earth in six literal 24-hour days?


The answers, found in Already Compromised, may surprise you.

I cannot say that I was surprised at the percentages of those surveyed who do not believe in a six literal 24-hour days of creation. What was surprising to me was the inconsistency in the survey answers. There were people who answered that they believed the Bible was literally true, but did not believe in a literal interpretation of creation. The book contains many other examples of these inconsistencies.

The book is more than the results of a survey however. It is a call to action. How did we get to this point? What should the church be doing? What questions should we ask before we send our sons and daughters to a Christian college? How should we teach them before they leave? There is even a chapter written directly to the student.

This book has forced me to start thinking about some of the tough decisions we’ll be facing in a few years. Our oldest son is going into the 8th grade. It doesn’t seem like college is that close, but I know that the next 5 years will pass quickly. We’ve spent more of our time worrying about how we’re going to pay for college than thinking about where he should attend. I’ve also got a renewed vision to make sure that my children understand what we believe and why we believe it. This book is a must read if you’re considering Christian colleges for your children.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review from New Leaf Publishing . I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

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Apr 262011
 

Who was John Knox? He was a leader (if not THE leader) of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland. That is about the extent of what I knew about him. I also had a sort of vague idea that most of the modern history books aren’t too kind to him.

That was before I read the recently republished book, Life of John Knox, originally published in 1833 by the American Sunday School Union. Now I know more about the life of the tireless preacher of the Gospel. This short book gives biographical details of the events of his life and is sprinkled with quotes from his sermons. He was unbending in his zeal. He spent much of his adult life in direct conflict with Mary Queen of Scots, a devout Catholic, and had to flee the country several times to avoid imprisonment. His commitment to the cause of the Reformation was unwavering.

I appreciated several things about this book. First, I was glad to read about John Knox from the perspective of Protestant Christians of almost 200 years ago. I enjoy the old-fashioned writing style, and it was untainted by the revisionist history of today. Was the book unbiased? Certainly not, but is any book ever truly unbiased? I also liked that the book was short. It covered the major events of John Knox’s life without much extra. I personally need more background information on Scotland at that time, but this served as a good introduction and can serve as a springboard for more study on the Reformers. Finally, I liked the physical size of the book. It’s a lightweight hardback book that I could read in bed. That might sound silly, but I don’t have a lot of time to read right now and a heavy book that is uncomfortable to read in bed just isn’t going to be read right now.

The book is available at New Leaf Publishing, Amazon.com, and CBD.

Disclosure: I received this book from New Leaf Publishing for review. The opinions expressed are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

 

Dec 132010
 

A few weeks ago, I posted my review of The Way Home, a DVD about the day 2 year-old Joe Simpkins got lost. Very shortly afterwards, I was contacted by Randy Simpkins, the real-life father of Joe Simpkins. He liked my review, but offered me the opportunity to read the book to help clear up a few misconceptions I may have had. Not being one to turn down books, I agreed.

Our Way Home is written by both Randy and Christal Simpkins. While the movie focuses only on 1 day, with a few flashbacks, the book gives a lot more background of the events leading up to that day. It’s fairly short and quick to read. While reading it, I felt like I was hearing Randy and Christal speak. The chapters even alternate between their two perspectives.

So did I have misperceptions? Well, not exactly, but the book did bring some additional facts to my attention. First, Randy wasn’t just your everyday, average work-a-holic. He really wasn’t home for much of his kids’ early years. Some was unavoidable (like time spent in the Navy), but most was driven by his desire for success. And Christal wasn’t just a little bit tired from “holding down the fort” for years. There is more to the story to that, but I will let you hear it from them.

In addition to giving more background about their lives, Our Way Home also provides a deeper look into the Simpkins’ faith, both before and after that fateful day. I got to see into their hearts and how God led them to make the movie. Reading the book was definitely worth it for me, but be sure to watch The Way Home first!

Our Way Home is available on Amazon.com. (This is NOT an affiliate link.)

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the authors to review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Nov 292010
 

I remember a friend of mine trying to explain The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to me when I was around 9 or 10. At that point, I had never heard of the books, and they really didn’t sound that interesting to me. But several years later, my parents bought them for me to read. (They read them too!) I remember reading the whole series very quickly and enjoying them. But don’t ask me if I understood the symbolism. I was never very good at recognizing symbolism.

I have read the series several times again as an adult. I am now able to recognize much of the Christian imagery found in the books, but that’s mainly because I’ve been told what it is. So when Tyndale House offered The Narnia Code to members of the Tyndale Blog Network for review, I knew it was something I needed to read. Here’s their description:

Millions of readers have been captivated by C. S. Lewis?s famed Chronicles of Narnia, but why? What is it about these seven books that makes them so appealing? For more than half a century, scholars have attempted to find the organizing key?the ?secret code??to the beloved series, but it has remained a mystery. Until now.

In The Narnia Code, Michael Ward takes the reader through each of the seven Narnia books and reveals how each story embodies and expresses the characteristics of one of the seven planets of medieval cosmology?Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus and Saturn?planets which Lewis described as ?spiritual symbols of permanent value.?

How does medieval cosmology relate to the Christian underpinnings of the series? How did it impact Lewis?s depiction of Aslan, the Christlike character at the heart of the books? And why did Lewis keep this planetary inspiration a secret? Originally a ground-breaking scholarly work called Planet Narnia, this more accessible adaptation will answer all the questions.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I can’t remember the last time I’ve read through a non-fiction book in 2 days, but I had trouble putting this one down. Michael Ward makes an excellent case for his theory about the underlying theme of the series in an easy-to-read, anecdotal style. The theory is very intriguing. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has read the Chronicles of Narnia and is interested in learning more about them.

I Review For The Tyndale Blog Network I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House as a member of the Tyndale Blog Network.

Nov 032010
 

When I saw the title of this book, it immediately sounded like something I needed to read. I want to have people over, but something always seems to get in my way.

  • We’re too busy.
  • We don’t have enough room.
  • We can’t afford it.
  • My house isn’t nice enough.

You may have used some of the same excuses yourself.

In The Reluctant Entertainer, Sandy Coughlin discusses each of these objections and others, showing how these “problems” can be overcome. Not only does she give Biblical reasons for showing hospitality, but the book is filled with her personal experiences showing hospitality and being shown hospitality. Also sprinkled throughout the beautiful, hard-cover book, are delicious looking recipes.

Although the book is filled beautiful ideas, it is not overwhelming. It encourages perfectionists (like me) to  let go of unreasonable expectations and enjoy inviting people into your home. Reading this book, I was both inspired and convicted. Inspired that I could actually have people over, and convicted that I’ve spent so many years rarely opening my home to others.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book to review from Bethany House. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
This is the 40th book I have read in the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. I am 4 books behind, but I’m gaining ground.