Monthly Archives: August 2005

Hi i just accepted my mommas invitation, nothing really to say right now, umm im 16 yrs old and early enrolled into community college, i just got my first job. Umm, i have my nose pierced, i think its cute, i asked to get my lip pieced but momma said no because she thinks it looks ugly, so i didnt do that, oh well. But anyways i was planning on going to sleep like an hour ago and never did so, umm, bye.

(Guest blogger, Amanda)

We knew this was coming, but it is still frightening.

The Speech Code of the Month "Award" goes to Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Richard Stockton's anti-harassment policy not only infringes on protected speech - it explicitly infringes on the free exchange of ideas in the classroom setting.

Here is the policy: "All forms of unlawful discrimination based upon race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, familial status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical herededitary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or disability are prohibited and will not be tolerated."

The policy also prohibits "Displaying or distributing material in the academic setting that contains language or images that are derogatory or demeaning, based on any of the foregoing classifications." The policy also notes:“harassment or the creation of a hostile work environment can occur even if there was no intent on the part of an individual to harass or demean another” (emphasis added).

FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) notes: Since “derogatory” and “demeaning” are not defined, students are left to guess at what a fellow student or professor might find “derogatory” or “demeaning.” This is made worse by the fact that the policy does not require intent on the part of the “harasser,” and explicitly applies to classroom speech. In other words, students who express an opinion in the classroom that someone else interprets as derogatory or demeaning may be punished. One can imagine many legitimate classroom discussions in which this might happen, such as: a student in an American politics class who opposes affirmative action or gay marriage; a student in a women’s studies class who suggests that men are responsible for society’s ills; or a student in a religion class who expresses the opinion that religion is fantasy or escapism. The result of a policy like this is a terrible chilling effect on student speech in the classroom, stifling the free exchange of ideas that is so crucial to a liberal arts education.

This policy "applies to conduct which occurs in the workplace/educational environment and also extends to conduct which occurs at any location that can be reasonably regarded as an extension of the college, such as any field location, any off-site camput-related social function, or any facility where Richard Stockton College of New Jersey business is being conducted or discussed."

Extend this out a couple of years...a young person at a football game who turns down a date (on campus) because the person asking is gay (or straight), or for religious reasons could reasonably have a complaint filed against them...

Tim Challies is reviewing "The Radical Reformission". I really liked the book and Mark Driscoll has a lot of good things to say. One of my biggest problems (there are two) is his use of denigrating language toward groups of people. Not theology - people.

In the book (copyright 2004) Driscoll gives his list of people that "I used to not like". In that list, he admits that he was prejudiced against (among others) most of the deep south and that he has had to repent of sinful attitudes against these groups of people.

Since that time, I've listened to a lot of Driscoll's sermons (available on line). They are good sermons, yet (for me at least) they were lowered a notch by the use of certain terms that refer to a general group of people in a negative way.

My flesh says that it's fun to make fun of people - God says not.

The bottom line is - it's easy to get sucked into things that make us look good at the expense of others. If I wouldn't want my kids to use (insert term here) in a negative way, I shouldn't use it - and if I shouldn't use it - well, I want to be able to point to this man as a good example - even as a good example of how to respect other groups of people.

Words mean things... the words you use and how you use them...


A couple of posts ago I made a statement about a "senseless and meaningless debate". Yes - those words mean something and I meant them then and I mean them now. Take the situation - two women who are convinced that their position is correct - and one has stated so publically; for the record, I believe that my many hours, weeks, month and even years of study of this issue have led me to a "verdict" that no person will sway me from. God - yes. He's done it before and I'm sure that on other issues, He'll do it again.

Back to my "senseless and meaningless debate" (or we could call them "strife and disputes") statement.

Two people convinced that they are right, going over the same material for a third time, without much real hope of either side changing their mind. If this is not a fine example of "senseless", I could find a better one, but...(Remember the "definition" of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.)

I stand by that statement - the debate is (for these two people, at this time) senseless. Are either of the debaters senseless? I never said that. Was it implied? I didn't mean that - I am weary of this debate. Did I name the person that wished for me to address the points? Absolutely!

But - words do mean things - what I did say (although my intent was to express my weariness at covering the same ground again) is that Elena has no desire to listen, only to argue. Elena is convinced in her own mind that she is right. So am I. I might as well be cutting and pasting the same thing over and over - as might she. If Elena made that statement about me on her blog, it would be a true statement. That is what makes the debate senseless.

What this does mean is that I should be more careful of how my words are used. Even though I stand convinced that my words were true - my wording left an impression of disrespect. For that I am sorry.

Not much.

Reading other blogs has inspired some thoughts - again on infant baptism, Mark Driscoll/the way we use our words, legalism vs. legal issues.

But, for this day - I have committed to parking my car and walking on all my errands. I've got my "not so trusty" pedometer - I think it catches about 1 of every 3 steps - my bottled water, my cell phone and my walking shoes.



Here's how it goes - The first five people that reply gets to answer 5 questions (asked by me) on their own blog and then the whole process gets repeated there!

Here are the questions Shrode asked me over at Thinklings.

How did you meet Tom? Who is he?
I had him...Tom is my son, oldest child - according to a five year old we know, "The pokey haired dude"

2. How many children do you have? What is special about each one of them?
Two, both of them brilliant, if somewhat unmotivated.

The boy is 18 - starting college for some kind of (TBA) computer science thing. Tom, for the first time this year, was able to verbalize that good came out of his dad's death - We had a kid living with us in a very bad situation that felt that "everything is random". Tom would reply, "nothing is random, we belong to a God who is in control of the universe." He went on to list the good things that have happened since Art died, that would not have happened if Art had lived. To me, that is special - not many kids could lose their dad at age 14 and be able to see good in it.

The girl-child is younger and just got her first job! She doesn't like pink - in fact she appears to have some kind of pathalogical thing against the color. It's unfortunate that her first job is in a very pink store. She's adventurous. She just pulled herself out of public school and is homeschooling for the first time as a junior, dual-enrolled at 16 in our local community college. She also has her nose pierced...

3. How and when did you first become a teacher? What's the best part about being a teacher? The worst? Why are you in between jobs right now? How's the job hunt going?

Well...I'm not exactly a teacher, but not a para-pro either. The district that I work for has a rather unique position about half-way inbetween (child care worker or non-certified teacher). We work with severely impaired students, physically or mentally - and child care workers are the "second" staff in classrooms for students with autism. That's what I've been doing for almost 8 years.

I first started subbing because I wanted a job where could pick and choose what days I worked and right after I started I was put into a long-term position with a first-grader in a wheelchair (spina bifida). After that, I was offered another long term position (they liked me) in a room with students with autism. Having watched "Rainman", I was a little nervous, but I ended up really liking these special people. When the job was offered to be permentantly, I took it.

The best part of my job are the "breakthroughs"; getting a student to learn his colors in sign language, etc. The job I'm leaving now, the focus for most of the students was life skills - so I went on a lot of job sites - restaurants, grocery stores, retailers. I also got to play floor hockey.

The job I'm leaving now - I think maybe the worst part is having people not see the value in what I do. For some people, severe mental impairments are scary and they don't see the value in getting these kids out into the community - and the extra expense for the district is not worth it (I've heard, "spend the money on somebody who will make something of themselves"). I also have a very hard time when I see impaired students targetted because they can't defend themselves.

I'm not exactly in-between jobs - I'm bidding out of one job in my district and bidding on another one - so my job will be the same, but in a different school with different kids (and a different age group). I have teenagers at home, teenagers at church and teenagers at work - I want to be with little kids...and may be making a switch from students with autism to students with severe emotional impairments. If I could put my finger on why I feel the desire to do that, I'd be able to verbalize it, but I can't. A very dear friend reminds me that kids like we're talking about need Christian teachers.

4. Why did you decide to have a tatoo? What does your family think about it? What is it?

My tattoo is a week old today! I recently took stock of where I am, what I've done and how I've changed and/or grown. And something that might seem out of character underscores the change. This tattoo is a celtic-style cross, only instead of knot work on the crossbar, there are Greek letters, Christos - Christ on the cross. For me, in my Reformation from Arminianism, Christ alone on the cross means that there is no room there for my works, my filthy rags (righteousness). It's all Christ on there. My son designed it (so it's not exactly professional, but I'll probably end up going back to have it shaded later) and the letters are in Greek because Manda and I are taking a Greek class together. So both my kids are "in" the design.

My family...both my kids watched while I was getting it - Tom will likely end up getting one similar (he's already designed it) and Manda wants a tattoo, but a "cute" one - she's looking at a lily (Christ's "lilies of the field")

My "big family" will probably give me "the look" but be okay with it - except my mom...she doesn't know yet...but we have a big family wedding next weekend, so I'll show and tell then.

5. What's the worst movie you ever saw? The worst song you ever heard? The worst book you ever read? The worst meal you ever ate?
Movie: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Song: Muskrat Love
Book: There have been a few that I just put away - the last one that I hated was my Spanish textbook, but that was me, not the book.
Meal: I cooked it - it ended up being "scrambled pancakes" when camping - something bad happened...

6. What one quality of Jesus's do you wish you had more of?
(these all go together) The courage to speak when I should and the wisdom to shut up when I should. The ability to know when to "shake the dust off my feet" and move on.


This is at the request of a commenter, Elena.

Elena (for reference, Elena is a member of the Roman Church) posted an article with “problems” with the doctrine of “Sola Scriptura”. Quite frankly, I am on vacation and I have no desire to continue a senseless argument with somebody who has no desire to listen, only to argue. I’m going to close comments on the original post, so as to keep this on track.

Because I have no desire to drag this out into senseless and meaningless debate (again), I am placing limits on the debate. Each person entering into the debate will have a limit of 5 posts in which to put forth their arguments/rebuttals. This includes me (but not posts regarding administrative stuff). There is a limit of 40 posts in this thread, at which point comments will be turned off. (I don’t expect to have that many, since this is a new blog and I don’t think I have that many visitors, but it seems like enough time for whoever might pass by to get their word in). You may defend the doctrine, the problems, the reasons, the reasons for suppressing. As long as it pertains to “sola Scriptura”, it is not off topic in this thread.

Here is the doctrine: Scripture is the only infallible rule for deciding issues of faith and practices that involve doctrines.

That’s it. That’s the doctrine that seems to be the most hated by Rome.

As far as I know, these “problems” have never been considered problems by the officers of the Roman church or the bishop of Rome. The article was written by James Akin, a Roman Catholic, but I could not find where it was endorsed in any way by the Vatican. The teachers of the Roman church have always read Scripture out loud and have still considered it “Scripture”.

  1. Requires ability to [print!)

This “problem” says that in order for a person to have complete faith in the Bible for infallible rule, a person cannot have it read to them, they must be able to read it for themselves. This is silly. The Bible (God’s Word set down in writing) is God’s Word, whether it is read by the person receiving it, or read out loud. It is infallible, whereas man and tradition are not.

From the time Scripture was written on sheepskin, it was infallible and it remains infallible, and the method by which it is received is not relevant – it is still Scripture, just as Shakespeare is Shakespeare, whether silently read, or acted out on stage.
2. Requires mass distribution of bibles!
This “problem” says that in order for a person to be able to say, “that’s what the Bible says and that’s my final authority”, that person has to have his or her own personal copy. From the time that Scripture was written on sheepskin, nobody ever said that it wasn’t infallible because it was read out loud.

Scripture needs to be distributed, but not everybody has to have their own copy – even the Jews read the Torah and still considered it Torah.
3. Requires Christians be able to read! (this one I will address one of the comments)
…but also because the person needs to be able to go over the passage multiple times
I trust that God’s Word will not return unto Him void. Where the Spirit moves, there will be understanding. Besides, anywhere there is somebody who can read, there is probably somebody who can be asked, “what about…?”

4. Must have scholarly materials available.This “problem” is saying that if you want to depend fully on God’s Word, you have to also depend on the works of man.

Why? If the Bible is the final authority, why depend on the works of man? That’s the whole point.

5.Need time to study! ..."If he is working in the fields or a home (or, later, in the factory) for ten, twelve, fifteen, or eighteen hours a day, he obviously doesn't have time to do this, especially not in addition to the care and raising of his family and his own need to eat and sleep and recreate.

I recently watched “The Magdalene Sisters” – these imprisoned young women didn’t have time to recreate and barely had time to eat and sleep. But there was somebody reading the Bible while they ate. Possibly the only thing that was right.

In Old Testament times very few families could afford their own scrolls, yet even when all that was written was the law, Scripture exhorted them to that “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.” Jews were to “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

These were people who were under the working conditions described above. Thus, since the Bible expected it, I believe it is possible.

6.Sola scriptura pre supposes universal adequate nutrition
What this “problem” is saying is that God in not powerful enough to work without the hearer having proper nutrition, but Rome is.

Personally, I have more faith in the power of God than that. In other parts of the world, people are starving and Christianity is flourishing – it’s because of the power of God, not the power of food.

7.Must be skilled in evaluating arguments
What this “problem” appears to be saying is that accepting only Scripture as your authority is not enough, you have to be able to think for yourself. While thinking is helpful in arguing, I know many people with a simple faith that need not turn to arguments. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” means just that. They can (and do) fall on Scripture (God said it and I believe it).

The question that popped up in my mind: What do people who cannot think embrace, if not Scripture? Is that why people follow those who think for them?

Part 2
The hatred of “sola Scriptura” by Roman Catholics begs the question, “why?”

Why is “Scripture alone” so heavily condemned by the Roman church?

(History lesson) By 500 AD the Bible had been translated into over 500 languages. Around that time Rome decided that only Latin was a suitable language for the Bible (and how many people knew Latin?) and that anybody found in possession of a Bible not in Latin would be executed.

Why was it so important to Rome that the church control Scripture, that they were willing to kill those who wanted to read it?

Why were Bibles not in Latin burned?

There were many abuses and persecutions – I am speaking strictly of the attempts by the Roman church to so subdue the population as to keep them from the Scripture.

Why? What was the Roman church so afraid of?


I put in bids on two jobs today - my first choice is (probably) a lower-elementary room in a "center-based" program for severely emotionally impaired children. These are the hardest of cases, the ones that were not able to succeed even in self-contained rooms in their home districts.

My second choice is also in a center-based program with (probably) middle or upper elemtary aged severely impaired autistic children.

My dear friend reminds me that children like these need Christian teachers.

I am very much at peace with either one of these positions - I talked to the principal at the first school and she said that there is another bid that is at about the same level of seniority, so I may not get that. There are three positions open at the second school, so I am pretty much guaranteed a position there, if I don't get the first.

If I get the first one, great, that's God. If I don't, great, that's God.

Sola Scriptura
Solus Christus
Sola Gratia
Sola Fide
Soli Deo Gloria

God alone be Glorified.

I saved this one for last, because the other four are truly summed up here.

Sola Scriptura: in Scripture alone is our only ultimate and infallible source of authority. The proper roles of tradition or the officers of the church are equal - in submission to Scripture. Through Scripture, God alone is glorified.

Solus Christus: the second person of the Trinity, it is to Christ that the prophets and Scripture point. There is no other mediator, no other redeemer, no other sacrifice. In Christ's finished work on the cross, God alone is glorified.

Sola Gratia: it is only by God's grace that we stand before Him blamless, Christ's righteousness imputed to us. Through His grace, God alone is glorified.

Sola Fide: it is through faith that God's grace has its effect. If it were not faith, it would not be grace. Even this faith is a gift of God. By grace, through faith, only God is glorified.

Whenever we cease to put God first, to give God alone the glory, it falls apart. When we glorify the church, we find abusive clergy. When we glorify a man, we find a cult. When we glorify the culture, we find all kinds of bad things. When we glorify the family, we find good things, but in the wrong order. When we glorify freedom, we find unsubmission.

When we glorify God alone, everything else falls into place more easily.

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.