Life and Musings of Ed

Archive for December, 2008|Monthly archive page

Open Letter – Voice of The Martyrs

In Christian Education, Life and living on 19 December 08 at 2:42 pm

Dear Ones —

I have been involved with the Voice of the Martyrs for a few years now.  I don’t always send the letters of encouragement [see below], but try to do so.  It is eye opening to read about the plight and strength of other Christians around the world and certainly sheds a new light on any trials though which I face.
Encourage all Christians to support the Voice of the Martyrs, to support the Martyrs, to support one another in love and strength.
http://www.prisoneralert.com/

Have a Blessed Christmas — Schools Out  🙂

Peace,
Ed

VoM E-mail

VoM E-mail

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Mathematica

In Ed Does Math, Math Tutor on 12 December 08 at 5:08 pm

The A side and the B side of discovering new tools:

Side A–

I feel like an old man who is running out of time to learn.  Having been involved in math education for a number of years in rather small town settings,  I have been respected as a math tutor and have had quite solid success teaching K-12 mathematics [through AP Calculus].  My pedagogical knowledge is pretty solid as well as my grasp of K-12 content, especially since I can draw upon a number of applications from physics and business background/experience.  In school settings, I have always felt comfortable with available technology.  I am fluent with the TI calculators, I can write programs, graph and calculate and display results with the best K-12 teachers around.  Today, however,  I was able to clearly see how little I really know and how far I have to go in order to grab a hold of some self respect again.  Experimenting with Mathematica felt like drowning in information.  There is just so much cool mathematics, I have not even scratched the surface! The graphical and interactive features in Mathematica are astounding.   Here is a simple graphic of a  Knot, which is so easy to generate, it is just ridiculous.  And I have never had any opportunity to study these .  I have no idea whatsoever, how to describe this mathematically, what it’s significance is, what applications it has, … you get the idea.  I feel ignorant.

Knot

Knot

Side B —

This is one of the most exciting days of my life.  I am like a kid in a candy store.  I happen to love mathematics and I have struggled to learn LaTeX in order to typeset math symbolically over the last few years.  I have struggled to display three dimensional graphs and surfaces encountered when teaching about functions and solids of revolution in calculus, for example.  But today, I began learning with a new (for me), amazing tool.  Mathematica has opened a world which was previously veiled, scales have dropped away from my crusted mind’s eye, and I am intellectually alive and stimulated.  I just don’t know why it has taken me so long to jump on the technology band wagon and embrace this tool  warmly and fully, but I am excited that I have seen the light today.  How long before I am productive with this and am sharing new discoveries, time will tell.

So when is the last time you discovered a new tool that opened up seemingly limitless potential for learning?

Christian Focus Magazine Subscription Drive

In Christian Focus Magazine on 9 December 08 at 3:44 pm
Christian Focus Subscriptions

Please consider subscribing to this great magazine and pass the Word    😉

Rejecting the Bible

In Christian Education, Life and living on 8 December 08 at 12:06 pm

As one who is wholeheartedly sold out to Jesus and who spiritually and  intellectually believes the Bible is the inspired word of God, I am troubled by the growing rejection of Scripture as Truth, as relevant to our culture, and as worthy of study.  It seems that many in the mainstream are even blaming problems in society on “fundamentalist’s” use of the Bible to address the culture, as evidenced in a Newsweek article which Albert Mohler referenced in a recent blog.

Disappointingly, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham offers an editorial note that broadens Newsweek’s responsibility for this atrocity of an article and reveals even more of the agenda:  “No matter what one thinks about gay rights—for, against or somewhere in between —this conservative resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism,” Meacham writes.  “Given the history of the making of the Scriptures and the millennia of critical attention scholars and others have given to the stories and injunctions that come to us in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament, to argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt—it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition.”

Well, that statement sets the issue clearly before us.  He insists that “to argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt.”  No serious student of the Bible can deny the challenge of responsible biblical interpretation, but the purpose of legitimate biblical interpretation is to determine, as faithfully as possible, what the Bible actually teaches — and then to accept, teach, apply, and obey.

As a Christian, who does not consider himself intellectually bankrupt, it is not possible for me to remain silent in the face of attacks which strike at the very heart of my faith and worldview.  I stand by my conviction that true education and wisdom is not possible outside a Christian worldview.   I acknowledge that Scripture has been misused and misrepresented, that Christians are often their own worst public relations enemies, diplaying an overly judgemental and angry persona.  However, the accumulated works of faithful Christians [ Saints — past and present], provides ample support for an intellectual, historical, spiritual, …  arguement for accepting the Christian Bible as the authoritative Word of God.  I suppose this must be a starting point in defending “the faith” to this culture.

Look for future posts which outline my reasons for accepting Scripture as authoritative and divinely inspired.

For now — I appeal to historical evidence —

The Holy Bible is the best documented, best selling, most read, most quoted,  most life changing, most translated, most cherished, … book ever known —  in the entire history of mankind.  For anyone to reject it lightly, because it contradicts some lifestyle or behavior or opinion, well — that would be intellectually negligent.   So, when a rigorous study of the Bible is really performed, what do we see?   More on this later 🙂   Perhaps — the reader would like to provide some comments based on their experience with the Bible.  I would love to hear how you relate to the Scriptures.

Bible

Bible