Book Review: Francis S. Collins, The Language of God

With my school and work schedule being what it is, I have not had a lot of time for non-school-related reading lately. But I was able to find time to devote to this book by one of the foremost scientific minds of our day.

This book is a must-read for anyone with any interest in the creation/evolution debate-or, for that matter, anyone who has ever struggled with the question of whether or not science and belief in God can coexist. Francis S. Collins, head of the Human Genome Project and a devout Christian, takes us through his own spiritual journey and sets out a framework by which we can reconcile science and faith. Collins does a good job of presenting scientific ideas in a manner that does not require a wealth of scientific background knowledge to understand (although at times it gets decidedly cheesy and sentimental–especially the songs that he wrote at various stages in the completion of the Human Genome Project, which appear in the chapter on the human genome). At 234 pages (not including the appendix and notes), this is not a very time-consuming read. Continue reading “Book Review: Francis S. Collins, The Language of God”

The Bulldog Tooth Bonus Feature: Is Ookie Coming Back?

With Michael Vick pleading guilty to dogfighting charges, it seems like a good time to break out the old bulldog tooth and turn it toward the question of whether or not he will play football again.

I don’t think so.

Even if the NFL declares Michael Vick eligible to play after he serves his sentence, there is a huge PR hit that the Cons (or any other NFL team that would dare to consider having him) would have to be willing to take for his sake.  I don’t see that happening.

There’s always Arena Football, but most of the Arena Football League teams are owned by NFL owners and the same PR concerns apply.  Also, in Arena Football the game is sped up considerably, so quarterbacks have to be able to throw quick, accurate passes in a very short time.  This is so not Michael Vick.

There’s always Canada, but does anyone see Michael Vick going up there?

Message to Michael Vick:  Should you ever decide to grace this little neck of the blogosphere with your presence, here’s some free advice for you.  If the best nickname that your peeps can come up with for you is “Ookie”, that’s not a good sign.  You would do very well to dump those peeps and get new peeps; otherwise you are almost certainly headed for trouble.

Fight Club 11: The Heart of It All–Who and What Are Forming You?

I think it is about time to start making a move toward shutting down the Fight Club series.  (Won’t Michael Vick be disappointed?  Oh wait.  We don’t do dogfighting here at the Fight Club, so what does he care?)

This time I would like to address the issue of spiritual formation.

I waited until the end of the series to address this because I believe that spiritual formation is the most fundamental of all the issues that I wanted to address.  An awful lot of the trouble that I see in the world of evangelical Protestant-dom has to do with the kind of believers and disciples that we are, and the forces and influences within our evangelical culture that make us into the kind of disciples that we are.

So what is spiritual formation?  Spiritual formation is the process by which we develop as believers and disciples over the course of our Christian lives.  Now, a lot of this is the work of God inside of us as He directs our lives and experiences in order to transform us into the image of Christ.  As you read the Bible, you will see quite clearly that there are certain things which God has promised to do for us in order to affect this transformation inside of us.

But there is a human component to the process of spiritual formation as well.  This is clear when you see that different believers progress spiritually at different rates.  Some will show incredible growth in a short amount of time, while others will go for long stretches of time with no apparent signs of growth at all.

This is also clear to see when you look at how different believers respond to similar situations in life.  Notice, for instance, the difference in how a Catholic and a Baptist would react to the prospect of a night at the theater with dinner and drinks beforehand.  Or the difference in how a charismatic of the health-and-wealth variety and a hard-core Calvinist would react if a close family member were to become critically ill. Continue reading “Fight Club 11: The Heart of It All–Who and What Are Forming You?”

The Road Trip: A Positively Indispensible Part of the College Experience

This summer I had the opportunity to engage in an activity which is an absolutely, positively indispensible part of the college experience.  No, I’m not talking about Spring Break.  I’m not talking about having gobs of people over to my place for wild parties where everyone gets wasted and the cops get called.

I’m talking about the road trip.

It has been a while since I’ve gone anywhere outside of the southeastern U. S.  And this summer I wanted to do something that at least had some resemblance to a road trip.  So on my most recent visit to Louisiana I traveled the full length of the Natchez Trace Parkway on my way home. Continue reading “The Road Trip: A Positively Indispensible Part of the College Experience”