Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Math Evangelism: Why Does Math Work and Why Does it Matter? Video

Below is a great video using math as a tool in evangelism. It was put together by Katherine Loop, who has a ministry helping people to think Biblically about math. Here blog is located here: http://www.christianperspective.net/ The video interviews people about math and leads to a discussion of the ten commandments and need for a Savior. Please share this with others and try this yourself!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Science, Faith, and the Scholar's use of the Scriptues

Herman Dooyeweerd
I was studying the influence of the Dooyeweerdian philosphy in Christian thought and ran across a great article on how the Bible applies to science in the second appendix of a small book titled, "The Dooyeweerdian Concept of the Word of God."  For background, Herman Dooyeweerd lived from 1894 to 1977 and was a Dutch philosopher and founded of the cosmonomic (bad) idea. He followed Abraham Kuyper with the result of reducing the application of God's word to "devotional exercises of personal piety." In other words his complicated view of God's Word resulted in Christians not seeing that God's Word is instructive and authoritative with regards to economics, politics, education, psychology, science, math and more.  To some extent this is why it is uncommon for Christians to send their Children to Christian schools, to use Jethro's advice to Moses when for voting, or use Biblical law to guide lawmaking.

Here are some helpful insights, that Dooyeweerdian's would not like,  on Science from Gerald O'Donnell in an article titled, "Science, Faith, and the Scholar's Use of the Scriptures" from the mentioned appendix.  I don't see it available on the web to link, so here are a few key points.

  • Scientific knowledge is inseparably bound up with the underlying religious presuppositions of the scientists.
  • It is only through the constant reformulation and reformation of his thinking, in the light of the Scriptures, that the regenerate man comes more and more to hold the beliefs which are a consistent expression of his basic heart commitment to Jesus Christ. And thus the regenerate scientist, living out of a regenerate heart and directed by Biblically grounded presuppositions, is more adequately qualified to carry out his scientific task and to reflect more truthfully in his scientific knowledge that part of reality which is his concern.
  • For by faith he ought to recognize that the universe was created by the Word of God. By Faith he ought to confess that the earth is the Lord's and that all things cohere in Christ. And by faith he ought to recognize his own creatureliness and his obligation to bring all of his thinking activity into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Such faith presuppositions will affect the Christian scientist's observation, interpretation, and evaluation of the writings of men on various aspects of creation.
  • ..the natural man's knowledge is characterized by a denial and distortion of the true character of the cosmos.
  • The primary requirement for a successful implementation of the scientific task is that the individuals engaged in the scientific task be reconciled to God through Christ.
Ref. Hebrews 11:3, Psalm 24:1, Colossians 1:17 

In other words, only a Christian can think and work like a Christian, and the results will be different from the results of a non-Christian involved in science, or at least the results should be different.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

What do you think about this?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Answered Prayer to Legislation and Efforts of Many

The above picture is from a video clip of two legislators on a radio show discussing raw milk where Bartlett Farm is mentioned as one source of raw milk in North Dakota. To see this video, go to THIS LINK and look for "The Legislature Today 04-22-13 Seg 2."
The North Dakota House of Representatives and Senate have now passed SB2072 which doubly protects shared animal ownership (i.e., cow-share dairies). The amended bill defines shared animal ownership agreements and then specifically limits the ability of the ND Ag Commissioner from regulating it.  The three page relevant amendment is HERE.

The key sentences are these:  

"It is not a violation of this chapter to transfer or obtain raw milk under a shared animal
ownership agreement."
"..the commissioner may not adopt any rule that restricts, limits, or imposes additional requirements on any individual transferring or obtaining raw milk in accordance with the terms of a shared animal ownership agreement."
Here is what we wrote to the Representatives and Senators just prior to the recent vote:
Please vote DO PASS on the SB 2072 Amendment and bill.
1. The latest SB 2072 Amendment version 13.8013.04000 April 23 is acceptable to us, because it prevents the Ag commissioner from interfering with the private property and individual liberty of shared animal ownership agreements.

2. While acceptable, we view the amendment as technically unnecessary because shared animal agreements are already legal. On April 22, 2013 Attorney Pete Kennedy, President of Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/ informed us that the present legality of shared ownership agreements can be defended from NDCC 35-17, the Agister's Lien law (http://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t35c17.pdf?20130422151410 ). By implication from 35-17, a person can board their animal on another's property. It would then be unreasonable to bar someone from obtaining their own milk or for a dairy regulator to define shared ownership as selling milk, and thereby increase regulation.

Therefore we encourage you to vote DO PASS on the SB 2072 Amendment and bill.


Jim, Peter and Jonathan for Bartlett Farm


Thursday, April 4, 2013

What do you think of fining dairies for non-compliance?

What does Jim Bartlett of Bartlett Farm (www.BartlettFarm.us) think of the ND House of Representatives passing SB 2072 (62 to 29) on April 3, 2013 which fines a dairy-animal share dairy $500 for each non-compliance?  Each cow share dairy, including two neighbors sharing one cow are the required to do the following:

(1)    Register with the state. This seems benign until one ponders the history of state registration. In recent agricultural history, states have used their registration role to sign up small farms for the National Animal Identification Program (NAIS) without the farm owner’s approval. This, when fully implemented will require that all livestock animal movements be tracked, logged and reported to the government at an estimated cost of an additional $15 per animal, effectively handing over control of each farm and animal to the federal government. Refer to www.noNAIS.org for details. Gun registration in Great Britain led to confiscation of guns. Jewish registration led to the holocaust.

(2)    May not resell raw milk or raw milk products. This doesn’t affect cow sharing directly, but indirectly.  It undermines free market and private property rights, both of which derive from Biblical ethics.  Both free market or  laissez-faire ( "let do") capitalism and private property rights are rooted in the Eighth Commandment, “Thou Shall Not Steal” which has been the fountain of American prosperity based on stewardship since the 1600s.  On the other hand, the economic philosophy of secular humanism is interventionism and the economic philosophy of Marxism is socialism. Refer to www.summit.org/resources/worldview-chart/ for details.

(3)    Milk is to be transferred at the farm or delivered in accordance with the agreement. Besides interfering with the free market and individual liberty, this is a good example of the positive law philosophy of secular humanism. Instead of specifying what can’t be done in alignment with Biblical truth (“Thou Shall not steal raw milk”), what can be done is specified reflective of a view that the state sovereign and not God.

(4)    The individual receiving the milk has a shared animal ownership agreement and receiving on own behalf or for another with an agreement. Again, secular humanist interference with the free market and individual liberty. Keep in mind, to actually enforce each point will require a raw milk police force or a tattling system reminiscent of the Stasi.

(5)    The shared animal agreement contains warning. Besides the above, this reflects a bias toward pasteurized milk, and the support of that industry, which by comparison should be labeled as a health hazard before raw milk from pastured cows.

(6)    Annually, the owner of the diary farm provides standards and test results. In the free market, people ask and the dairy provides answers anytime and customers hold the dairy to their expectations by voting with their dollars.  Codifying common sense dumbs down the consumer and minimizes the dairy expectations.  People put their faith in the government regulator to maintain quality, which he really doesn’t and can’t do or take liability for.

(7)    A person may not publish a statement that implies the state endorses shared-animal agreements. If this gets signed into law, the legislature has endorsed shared animal agreements with a statement that it does not endorse shared-animal agreements. Apparently, logic is not required in making laws.

The Solution

To reverse this type of legislation takes a long term perspective. As explained above, this bill reflects and implements the formal religion of secular humanism. Secular humanism is the only religion given full voice in the North Dakota public schools (Clergy in the Classroom by David Noebel), which most legislators attended.  Therefore, the solution for the next generation is to return to Biblical education as reflected in the most popular book of 1776, the New England Primer. The Biblical influence of the New England Primer is through its use of the Shorter Catechism (www.reformed.org/documents/fisher).