It has been a while time since my last “Around the web” post, and I have bookmarked more articles than I can reasonably make brief comments on. Here are a few…
THE DEATH OF GOOGLE READER — Since the untimely demise of Google Reader a couple weeks ago, I haven’t been keeping up on the fifty or so blogs I followed somewhat regularly. Somehow I have survived. I will have to choose a new RSS agreggator. Any suggestions for one that works somewhat like Google Reader did?
SEASONED WITH SALT — A few months ago I blogged about the latest failed young-Earth creationist attempt to explain evaporite deposits (such as halite, or rock salt): A young-Earth creationist magmatic model for the origin of evaporites. This “salt magma” hypothesis was being promoted on Tas Walker’s Biblical Geology Blog. I was hoping for some sort of response from the YECs, so I placed a comment on Walker’s blog post:
It has been almost two months, so either my critique was devastating and unanswerable, or not even worthy of a response. Or Tas might just have gotten behind on his blog responses, which I have been guilty of far too often.
NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER — Anyone who cares about the environment should be concerned about what author Richard Louv called the “nature-deficit disorder” in his 2008 book Last Child in the Woods. Al Mohler has a good summary of the book: Nature Deficit Disorder — Is Your Child at Risk? Mohler concludes with:
Last Child in the Woods is a fascinating book, though at times, Louv leans toward a form of nature mysticism. Nevertheless, Christians will read this book to great profit, remembering that the biblical worldview presents an affirmation of the goodness of creation. After all, Christians know that every atom and molecule of creation testifies of the glory of God.
This is our Father’s world, and we would do well to receive this world and enjoy it, while giving praise and glory to God for the beauty and bounty it contains. We understand that nature is not an end to itself, and we affirm that the creation exists as the theater of God’s glory for the drama of redemption. All this should help Christians to remember that we honor God most faithfully when we receive His good gifts most gratefully.
Christians should take the lead in reconnecting with nature and disconnecting from machines. Taking the kids for a long walk in the woods would be a great start.
KEN HAM AND SONLIGHT CURRICULUM — We homeschooled our children in their early elementary years, and used a lot of material from the excellent company Sonlight Curriculum. A co-founder of Sonlight had the nerve to criticize Answers in Genesis president Ken Ham for his if-you-don’t-agree-with-Ham-you-are-a-compromiser approach to Christian ministry. I guess he didn’t know that Thou Shalt Not Criticize Ken Ham.
John Holzmann of Sonlight: The conservative (evangelical/fundamentalist) Christian homeschool pope
Ken Ham: Cofounder of Sonlight Calls me “Pope Ham”
John Holzman has apologized to Ken Ham for using the phrase “Pope Ham.” I would like to see Ken Ham apologize for his divisive my-way-or-the-highway attitude that causes many of his followers to look at old-Earth Christians as compromisers at best and not Christians at all at the worst.
Even young-Earth Creationists who disagree with Ham incur his anger. See Ken Ham’s Christian Leader Criticizes Creation Museum and Jay Wile’s Upset Creationist.
CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE ENVIRONMENTALISTS — Matthew Tuininga at the Christian in America blog asks the question: Should Christians Be Environmentalists? The answer, of course, is “yes.” But you would never know it from the anti-environmental political positions taken by many Christians and the politicians they support. Tuininga writes:
If there is any area in which a rapprochement would be for the benefit of all, this is it. Eliminating the left’s grip on the environmental movement, and especially on government bureaucracies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would give it more credibility among the American public, and broaden its influence. It would mitigate the statist impulse that so often informs its political campaigns by encouraging the sort of market oriented strategies that often work best. It would curb conservatives’ tendency to oppose environmental regulation in the name of free enterprise no matter how necessary that regulation in a particular case might be. In short, it would help liberals and conservatives alike to see that Christianity, care for the environment, and commitment to a free market economy need not be, and never should have been, rivals in a zero-sum game.
ZOOMING IN ON PLUTO — The New Horizons probe is still 550 million miles from Pluto, which it will fly by two years from tomorrow (on July 14, 2015), but its cameras are already aimed at the dwarf planet and its moons: NASA Spacecraft Photographs Pluto’s Largest Moon Charon. I have been excited about this mission since it was launched in 2006, back when Pluto was still a planet.
A NATIONAL PARK ON THE MOON? — There is a proposal in Congress to create a National Historical Park on the moon to commemorate and protect the six Apollo landing sites: Moon Bill Would Create National Park to Protect Apollo Landing Sites. Given the historical significance of these sites, I think this is a good idea, even though the sites are not in the sovereign territories of the United States. However, given human nature, I predict that artifacts at these sites will be disturbed and/or stolen by the end of this century.
THE RAT ON MARS — In case you missed it, this may have been a bigger cover-up than the Face on Mars. NASA has completely ignored clear evidence of mammalian life on Mars: Curiosity Rover leaving ‘Mars rat’ behind.
NOT A GOOD TIME TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN THE MIDDLE EAST — For obvious reasons, Christians in countries such as Egypt and Syria tend to be wary of “Islamist” governments. The Islamist response tends to be rather harsh: Egypt’s Christians face backlash for Morsi ouster.
Grace and Peace
8 thoughts on “Around the web 7/13/2013 — No response on salt magma hypothesis, nature deficit disorder, thou shalt not criticize Ken Ham, and more”
Try Feedly at cloud.feedly.com as a replacement for Google Reader. It works just as well, if not better
I went to the blog where you posted your comment, and can’t find it. I used your link above. Was it removed?
RSS – I scratched around, and settled on Feedly. You can set some permissions to turn off the shiny parts and get it down to a reasonable reader…. It is pretty good.
“Christian environmentalism” – I tend to shy away from “environmentalist” as a label because it comes with all of the baggage of the environmentalist movement. I tend to try to use less contaminated terms like “stewardship,” or “responsibility.” “Environmentalism” leads to disasters like “green energy” which is killing half a billion protected birds every year with impunity, and greatly increased oil spills from train derailments after the Keystone pipeline construction was blocked.
“Environmentalism” has become synonymous with “destroy capitalism,” and mystical panentheism.
Lisa — I see that I was a bit ambiguous. My point was supposed to be that my comment never got posted; it is still “awaiting moderation.”
Gotcha. Happens at the DI too. I can’t decide which is more dishonest-inviting comments and keeping them in moderation, or not allowing them in the first place.
imhavoc — I agree that there are potential pitfalls with the phrase “Christian environmentalism.” There are Christians who uncritically accept some of the unbiblical assertions of non-Christian environmentalists, whether secular or mystical. When used properly, the adjective “Christian” should imply a thorough biblical worldview, and this unfortunately isn’t always the case.
There is baggage associated with other terms as well. Some Christians present “stewardship” as a biblical alternative, and that sounds rather innocuous. But many stewardship models advocated by Christians or conservatives end up being overly human-centered. You are concerned about anti-capitalism within the environmentalist movement, and I am too. But the stewardship (sometimes referred to as “wise use”) movement can go to the opposite extreme, in which capitalism rules over all. This is as unbalanced and unbiblical as what is found in the environmental left, but it is the dominant perspective among American conservatives today, including Christians.
I’ll stick with “Christian environmentalist” even though the phrase has potential problems. I like the phrase “creation care” too, but it doesn’t make for a good adjective: “creation care-ist?”
Christians should be teaching the bible is true about origins.
Environmental stuff is trivial and a humbug. There is no problem today and global warming fad is declining finally.
There are more important things to do and North America is better then ever.