Sunday, November 22, 2009

Books > Tv

This is a poem by Roald Dahl that I just discovered... and love. I'm the bookworm in my family.

"Mike Teavee" (named after the character in Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", a boy obsessed with television.)

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Pocket Watch - (for Halloween)

I didn't intentionally write this for Halloween, but I thought I might as well put it up. I wrote this as an assignment for an American short story class last year. Try to guess what short story author I'm trying to imitate.

 The Pocket-watch

The Clock

I Hope.

I lay awake that night; as I did every night, sweat beading on my brow as I listened to the gold-gilded pocket-watch tick next to my ear. Tick Tock, Tick Tock. Every tick a boon. Every tock a gift of life. I breathed to its rhythm, in, out, in, out, tick, tock, tick, tock. I moaned as I tossed and turned in my bed, my mind at last traveling away from here and now, but not in the direction I wished.

I went back. The butler had disturbed my dance, saying there was someone at the door who wouldn’t leave until I came. Exasperated, I followed him. There she was, standing at the door of my mansion. If only I had let her in! “Would you give a poor old lady shelter from the storm?” she asked, pleadingly. If only I had said yes! But no, my memory would only tell the truth, no matter how long or hard I tried to change it. “No, why should I, hag?” I replied, turning away. “Very well,” she answered back, her voice suddenly harshly cruel and strong. “The pocket-watch,” she said.  I turned back to the witch.  I glanced down at it, then my prized possession.  It hung at my side every day, on my bedside table every night. Although I shall admit I got it by rather unscrupulous means, I was proud of how it glittered in the light, how it set off the vivid hues of my waistcoat. “What of it?” I had said, raising an eyebrow. Ah, how haughty I still sounded, how unworried, how proud! She gave me a silky sly smile, and then declared, “Yes, that beautiful golden-gilt watch, a testimony of your wealth, indeed that very watch shall be your death. The day that watch stops shall be the day you die.” Then, even then, I was arrogant as ever, that twinge of fear was ignored, “You silly crone, I shall merely wind it up again. In fact, I may not, for I do not believe in such superstitious nonsense,” I declared. Cunningly she smiled, and then turned around and hobbled off into the night, gone within the minute. I thought no further of it that evening, how merrily I danced with the girls, how loudly I sang, how ravenously I ate. But that very night, as I lay in bed, I could hear it. Tick… Tock… Tick… Tock… It lay on my bedside table, and after half an hour of listening I groaned, heaving out of bed, and took it into the parlor. After that I fell into an exhausted sleep, but that crone’s voice, cackling in my ear, followed my dreams mercilessly, mockingly saying, “Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, The Clock Never Stops.” Over and over again she chanted the phrase, until I awoke in a cold sweat. I couldn’t fall asleep again that night, tossing and turning restlessly, but still the ticking followed me. The pocket-watch in the other room echoed in the silence, even though I knew I couldn’t possibly hear it from all the way in the bedroom. At last I hauled myself out of bed and walked into the parlor and scooped up the watch. I fished around in my dresser and at last found the miniature key to the watch. I stuck it in the small hole and started slowly to wind it. Then I blanched. The key spun uselessly in the hole, it wouldn’t catch, wouldn’t wind.

Aye, five years, far too long to live under the curse of a pocket-watch! Every day pretending to be at ease, pretending to be happy.  Every night lying drenched in my own sweat, listening to the clock as if my very life clung on it. Indeed, it does! I cannot bear it, cannot bear listening to the clock, but cannot bear to be parted from it.

I hid it, once, in the depths of a closet, and for the rest of the day I gave barely a thought about it. But again, when night’s black cloak fell, I caught myself straining to hear it, worrying endlessly that perhaps it was slowing and I could not hear it. Rushing, I hurried down the hallway to the particular wardrobe, nightgown flapping against my legs in my haste. I dragged it from the depths of the wardrobe and gave a relieved sigh that it was still ticking steadily. Soon however, I turned pale again, realizing that I would not, could not, bear to be away from it.

 Ah, cruel one, cruel life you have doomed me to. It would be almost better to crush the vile thing, to stamp on it, to stop having to listen to the cruel ticking! Yes! To kill the clock! It could not be that I would die, could it? Superstitious. My imagination. Indeed, too long to live under the curse of my own mind! Kill that dreadful ticking, come what will. On my pillow, there it lies. So easy, so simple, just to smash the dreaded thing. The bed creaked as I crawled out of bed. I took the little silver hammer from the mantle, a memento of my father’s occupation. Snatching the still ticking clock, I held it on the desk and smashed the hammer down upon it. I looked away a second before the hammer crashed down, wincing as it flew downward. There was a dreadful crunching sound, and then… nothing. Not a tick, not a tock, not a sound. Silence. I slowly opened my eyes, and then looked at the pocket-watch. Its silver insides were spilt all over the floor and desk. The wood of the desk was horribly dented, but who cared of that? The ticking was gone. Forever, and I was fine! Bah, horrible witch, filling me with such horror for nothing. Just then a great, old grandfather clock down the hall started booming, Dong, Dong, Dong. I had hunched over warily when it began, but straightened as I listened, horror dawning on me. Dong. Each peal a mournful funeral bell, my funeral bell. The ticking was gone. Dear God what had I done! Dong. That ticking was my life! Every second of it! Gone forever! I got cold all over, and fear swept in a cold dark wave over me. I fell to the floor slowly, and everything faded to black, as the last ‘Dong’ filled my mind, echoing back and forth, never ending.

The next morning, a maid entered the room, and gave a scream of horror. Her master lay on the floor, and his face was white as the dead. A policeman showed up within the hour. “Nope, no foul play. It was a heart attack, I’m afraid. Strange for one so young.”

The End

 Well, did you guess? I was trying to imitate Edgar Allen Poe's writing style... particularly the Tell-Tale Heart. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Problems with The Circle Trilogy

I like Ted Dekker's books, especially the Circle "trilogy" (it's really a quartet). But I have noticed some flaws in his... what would you call it, theology?

1. In the book White, Thomas is urged, commanded, even, by "Elyon" (the fiction world's allegory for God) to woo a Horde princess. In this world, evil is seen, and manifests itself as a skin condition that fogs the mind. There are two parties, the Horde (those who don't follow Elyon) and the Circle (those who do). So Thomas, a leader of the Circle, is commanded by Elyon to show love and woo the Horde princess, Chelsie. Here's what I have wrong with it.

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" - 2 Cor. 6:14

Christians marrying unbelievers never works. Christians think "I can change him/her"... but usually it does just the opposite, pulling the Christian away from God. This, of course, does not mean that we shouldn't love unbelievers, in fact Christians (and the Circle in Dekker's book) are commanded to love their enemies, and pray for those who persecute them. But we're not supposed to love with Eros (romantic love), but Agape (unconditional love; as we love ourselves).


2. In Dekker's book Green (just out), there's a scene at the end where about half of the believing Circle turn away from Elyon and follow a false prophetess, so to say (not quite right, but I'm trying to explain if you've never read it before) and end up doing things against Elyon and his word. At the very end, Elyon rescues the other half of his people and they follow him to paradise. In order to do so they dive into a lake, and it mentions one person who had turned away diving into the waters. But there's nothing about all the other warriors, and Samuel (Thomas' son) can't go to paradise because he led the people astray and followed the prophetess.

Now, perhaps it's just the denomination Dekker's in, I don't know, but I personally believe that once you have your salvation and have accepted Christ's sacrifice (as Samuel did) you cannot lose your salvation. My pastor actually just taught a message on it. He pointed out (and this is mostly all I remember, I'm certain there were better reasons) that if we could loose our salvation, we would have lost it a long time ago. He also pointed out it was against God's character, and, um, other reasons too. (Comment if you need scriptures on this or anything... I'm not going to bother go finding my notes unless you do.)

3. Dekker got his information on bats from Calvin... ;)

Also, I have a problem with Dekker's book "Boneman's Daughter". It was awful. It could hardly be labeled "Christian"; it was violent, morbid and made me feel physically sick. Honestly. I mean, some of his books have been a bit bad, but this was just awful. Don't bother reading it. Dekker's writing has gotten steadily worse as his books become more violent and morbid, and this is probably the worst. Even Green has some moments in it that are a bit like Boneman's Daughter... I hope his writing will improve, but it seems to be going in the opposite direction.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Here are some things that amused/scared me out West....

1. Hidden meanings?
2. A sign on a box on the shuttle bus to the car rental place said...
"Bloodbourne pathogens - infection prevention kit"
I guess they're ready for the zombie invasion.

3. Technical climbers start young here, I guess.

4. At first it looks like an innocent Popeyes poster... then you read the bottom right hand corner.
5. How do you get in that door again?

6. What happened to the person wearing it is what I want to know...

7. Um, ok, I get it. Don't go near the squirrel, don't go near the squirrel, don't go near the squirrel..."

8. Look! They make miniature pueblos at the hotels! (Yeah, it's my dad's lame joke...)

9. Wait a second...

10. They don't believe in Daylight savings time here. 

11. Now I can say it in 7 different lanuguages! (this is at the Lake Powell visitor's center, by the way)

12. If you really need this sign you're already off the edge.

13. Interrogation

14. This is how I feel when I get in the shower.

15. Pwease, can I have jwest a widdle bit? :(

16. Not a good sign. 

17. Honestly, is that the best you can come up with?

18. Denver, home of... "Cape Cod potato chips!" Yay! Hey... wait a second...

19. The tornado shelter doubles as a women's room. 

20. Sunrise at the Grand Canyon... and the little boy is playing with rocks or a bug or something. 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ariadne... NOT Arachne

Ariadne is actually my "pen" name. Although my real name is pretty interesting too. Anyways, Ariadne was a princess in Greek mythology. Here are my awful versions of the stories of the Minotaur, and the story of Arachne.

The Minotaur
It all started when The King of Crete's wife got on the wrong side of the god Posideon. She didn't sacrifice a cow he sent to them or something. Anyway, Posideon cursed her, and she had a child. The Minotaur, which was half-man, half-bull, and had a nasty hankering for human flesh. The King of Crete, Minos, for some strange reason, felt like keeping the monster. He had his architect, Daedalus, build an impossible maze for the beast, the Labyrinth. Crete somehow managed to threatened Athens into sending seven young men and seven young maidens every seven years to be sacrificed to the Minotaur.

Theseus, a young prince of Athens, took a place of one of the other young men, planning to kill the Minotaur. His father, the king of Athens, was distraught, and made Theseus promise to change the ship's black sails to white if he returned safely.

When Theseus arrived, he immediately caught the eye of the Princess Ariadne, who fell in love with him. Not wanting such good looks to go to waste, she asked Daedalus to help Theseus defeat the Minotaur and escape the impossible Labyrinth safely. He gave her a magic string to help Theseus navigate the maze. The night before they were to be sacrificed, Ariadne led Theseus to the Labyrinth. He tied the string to the doorway and followed the thread into the heart of the Labyrinth, where he slew the Minotaur. He then quickly escaped the maze, grabbed his fellow Athenians and the girl, and they sailed off.

Well, as it so happens, Theseus was a jerk and didn't even like Ariadne. On the way home he dumped the sleeping princess on a deserted island and sailed off. I guess he got his just deserts in the end; he forgot to switch his black sails for white and his ole' dad committed suicide when he saw the black sails coming in.

Ariadne had it a bit better off. Turns out the god of wine, Dionysus, fell in love with her. Unlike many of the Greek myths, where the gods spend a night a princess and leave her to raise a demigod baby; Dionysus actually married Ariadne. She lived with him in Olympus, lived a long, happy life, and had several children. When she died, Dionysus either took her back from Hades or made her a constellation, depending on what version of the myth you read.

Plus, she has a really cool name.

"Ariadne" is not to be confused with "Arachne", as my father did.

As the story goes, Arachne was a famous weaver, one of the best weavers in the land. She had the audacity to proclaim that she was better at it than Athena, the goddess of arts and crafts (and wisdom). Athena was a bit pissed-off, but being a nice lady, decided to give Arachne a break. She took on the guise of an old lady and warned Arachne to be careful and to not offend the gods. Arachne rudely said she wished she could have a weaving contest with the goddess to prove her point. Athena revealed herself and let Arachne have her contest.

At the end, Athena admitted that Arachne's weaving was flawless, but was horribly offended at her subject matter. Arachne had woven all pictures of the gods committing infidelity and such with mortals. Athena cursed Arachne and turned her into a spider.

And now "Arachnid" is a word for "spider" today. Isn't that neat?

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Perfect Behavior"

This is a really funny old book, published in 1922 I believe. (My nana was 11! ... and she's 98 now!) Anyways, a day or so ago we went over to a friend's house for my little brothers' art class. While they were doing their art thingy, I sat with the grownups and took pictures of the family's parakeets (got some cool photos of them, too!). It was the first time I had been to the L.'s house, so Mrs. L. showed me around. It's really old and cool, and you have to go through bathrooms and other people's bedrooms to get to your own, it's sort of amusing. She then showed me a history book of the particular town they lived in; it had a list of all the past owners of the house. Well, one thing led to another and she showed me this book. I guess they found it in the house when they moved in. It got a plus with me immediately, cause it looked like it'd be awesome in a photograph. She read a little bit of it, it's hilarious! It's a satire of old-fashioned manners and rules... very funny. She didn't even realize it was a parody until I told her later on. We were about to leave and at the last moment I ran back inside and asked if I could borrow it. It has all sorts of funny things in it, what the etiquette is if you get run over by a car, how to get introduced to a lady if you don't have any of the same friends (burn down her house and help her up when she trips over the rope you put across her walkway when she flees the burning building), how to take care of a baby, etc. It's VERY amusing... I haven't finished it yet.

Here's an excerpt, I already typed it down on facebook, may as well copy and paste.

The Automobile one:

"It is never correct for young people of either sex to push older ladies in front of swiftly approaching motor vehicles or street cars.

A young man, if run over by an automobile driven by a strange lady, should lie perfectly still (unless dead) until an introduction can be arranged; the person driving the car usually speaks first."

The Engagement one:

"After you have secured the girl's permission, it is next nessicary to notify her father of the engagement. In this particular case, as he happens to be your employer, the notification can take place in his office. First of all, however, it would be advisable to prepare some sort of speech inadvance. Aim to put him as far as possible at ease, lead up to the subject gradually and tactfully. Abruptness is never "good for". The following is suggested as a possible model.

"Good morning, Mr. Doe, say, I heard a good story from a traveling salesman last night. It seems there was a young married couple - (here insert a good story about a young married couple). Wasn't that rich? Yes, sir, marriage is a great thing - a great institution. Every young man ought to get married, don't you think? You do? Well, Mr. Doe, I have a surprise for you, (here move toward the door). I'm going to (here open the door) marry (step out of theroom) your daughter."(close the door quickly)."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Worldview Academy


This was originally for my own benefit, to help me remember the week, but then I made the fatal mistake of saying I was writing it as a facebook post. Then several people wanted to see it, and I made the mistake of telling them they could read it… so hopefully it’s too long for them to bother reading all the way through. It is really unedited, because I’m lazy and it’s taken too long already.


Wow. Um, yes. Lots to write. Lots and lots. Ok. Here I go.

First of all, Worldview Academy is a camp for Christian teens, and as to what we do... well, that is what this blog post is all about. … I’m just going to put down my garbled notes for each lecture, and other things.

We drove up on Sunday afternoon after church, my friends Amanda, Emily, Allie and Lydia. We got there, um, I don't know when. The staffers were jumping up and down and waved us into the right place to park, and then took our bags in for us, which was really nice. We got settled in, girls on 2nd floor, boys on 3rd.

5:00 - Roundup
Then we had roundup, which was kind of weird, we all got in 4 different circles, we each had a wristband of either red, yellow, blue or green, and they had us do a "race" against the other color teams; we stood in a circle and were first supposed to clap, in order, all the way around like a ripple, then move our heads in the opposite direction, and, um, two other things as well, and whichever team rippled around the fastest won. Then we all got in a big circle and they told us we couldn't have dinner till we got it down to 15 sec. "With that I'll be lucky to have Friday lunch!" the guy would say when we did it really slow. Finally we got it down, and then we were separated into our small groups by age, and we went around the circle telling our age, where we lived, and something odd about ourself, before we actually went to dinner.

5:30 - Dinner
The food at Keene College is awesome! And unhealthy. They also have a cool swirl frozen yogurt machine... it tastes just like ice cream.

6:15 – Orientation – Brandon Booth
Then there was Orientation, where the camp director, Brandon Booth, told us all the rules in a way that had us almost rolling on the floor laughing.
There was a rule that the guys could never go into the girls’ dorm, or the girls in the guys… the only problem was that we were both in the same dorm, so they said, “floors” instead of dorms. He said boys couldn’t go on the girls floor because, “You’ll go on that floor and won’t know what hit you! All of a sudden you’ll be drinking imaginary tea with imaginary stuffed animals!!! When you come out everybody will laugh at you because your toenails will be painted pink!!!” and apparently the boys couldn’t go on the boy’s floor because, “As soon as a dorm is designated to be a boy’s dorm it releases odor and will stink. If you step on the boy’s floor you might not make it out conscious because of the fumes.” Then there was the “five minute rule” where he got a boy and a girl volunteer to come forward and demonstrate. Basically you always have to be five minutes apart. He had them stand on opposite sides of the stage and had the guy walk REALLLY slowly towards the girl. His point was that you can be as close as you want as long as you aren’t touching and you will always be five minutes away, if you are moving unperceivably. He also had a funny demonstration as to why we couldn’t have cell phones, cause you could call because you were upset, and then the issue would be resolved but your mother wouldn’t know that and would drive all the way up on the warpath. We also had a strict lights out (11:30) so that everybody could sleep because, “As soon as a building is turned into a dorm it develops the strange quality that makes it echo really loud.” And he told the boys, who were upstairs, “It sounds like a Tyrannosaurus Rex walking across the floor” (he demonstrated) “and don’t think tiptoeing will work, because that just sounds like a Tyrannosaurus Rex tiptoeing!” He kind of got off on a tangent about how hard it would be for a Tyrannosaurus Rex to turn a doorknob with it’s stubby little arms and had everybody in fits. And he also talked about how we were supposed to have labeled everything, and how our moms had labeled even our underwear with our name, phone number and address and how embarrassing it would be if they had to mail our tighty-whities home to us. That was also why we couldn’t have a drug factory in our rooms, because our name and address would be all over everything.

7:30 - Worship
Then we had worship… and I can’t remember when but we learned this really cool old hymn put to a new tune.

8:00 – The Deadliest Monster Lecture.
This one was “What Kind of Monster are You? or, “What is the Nature of Man?” I forget which lecturer did this lecture, but he used two different monsters as examples. Frankenstein and Jekyll&Hyde. Basically any worldview can have one of two answers to the question, “What is the nature of man?” In Frankenstein the answer is men are basically good and it’s society’s fault for our evil. In Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde the answer is that man is inherently sinful. Every religion except Christianity goes with the former, and he explained how even some religions that say that man is sinful don’t really mean it, because they all say man can save himself, etc.

9:00 – Intro to Worldviews – Jeff Baldwin
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
1. Your worldview is your framework for understanding evidence.
2. Everyone has a worldview whether they know it or not
3. It’s ok to have the answers, but make sure you are seeing clearly
4. Everything comes at us from a worldview
5. Actions flow from worldviews
6. Ideas have consequences
7. Worldviews fall into one of 4 categories;
a. Theism (One God)
b. Atheism (No god(s))
c. Polytheism (many gods)
d. Pantheism (everything is god)
8. The Truth bears inspection – don’t be afraid to examine it.
9. God expects us to think in terms of worldview

A well-rounded worldview answers these questions;
What is real? What is human? What happens at death? How do we know right and wrong? What is the meaning of human history? Etc.

10:15 – Hall meeting
Basically just separating the genders and going over the rules of courtesy to the opposite sex. The boys opened doors for the girls, let them go first in line, and put dishes away for us. Girls had to be thankful and, um, other stuff. :D Anyways, thank you, guys. It was kind of funny because a few times the boys would charge ahead to open to doors for us and we had to jump out of the way. Also, the college had a cool dishwasher thingy, and sometimes us girls snuck over so we could put our dishes in it away before the boys could ask.

10:45 – T-time
Our small groups got together and talked over what we had done, played some games and got to know each other. This inevitably always went over and left us five minutes to get ready for bed at 11:30. My group included the leaders, Anne and Amelia, and students, Nicole, Mikalea, Sasha, Jo, Laurel, Maggie, Esther, Tatiana, Andrea, Me, and I-feel-so-guilty-for-forgetting-her-name. Sasha, by the way, was from Russia. I guess her family comes to CT every summer for 3 months. It was really funny; one of the lecturers was trying to figure out who came the farthest. It was SOOOOO funny the expression on his face when she said she was from Russia. Perhaps “flabbergasted”.

7:30 (around) – Wake up & clean up
I have a feeling the boys just sort of rolled out of bed 5 minutes before 8 and rushed downstairs, but the girls got up early and showered and put on makeup and did their hair, etc. We always had a hair-braiding party in one of the suites. Well, not me personally, I just watched. I had my hair done once but I pulled it out by breakfast.

8:00 – Quiet time
The part of the day when you pray & read God’s word & just spend time with him.

8:30 – Breakfast
Um… what can I say? Pancakes… and awesome chocolate milk.

9:15 – Camp picture.
This was SOOOOOO funny. They had the girls all line up in rows neatly, “move over a bit, shift, bend down, next row, I need a taller girl right there, etc.” Then the boys, “fill in behind.” Brandon Booth was taking the picture and standing precipitously on top of a soccer goal, (with the sun behind him so we all had to squint.)

9:45 – Reliability of Scripture
My garbled, notes. Please note that we mostly had to fill in the blanks in our notebooks for this one.

What is the most profound question one could ever ask?
How do we know anything?
“Did God really say…?” – Gen 3:1

Christianity: a revealed religion
- Nature – Rom 1:19-20, Psalm 19:1-2
- The Bible – Deut. 6:4-8, Psalm 119, Hebrews 1:1
- Christ – The God/man – Hebrews 1:2-3, John 1:14

The Bible is the revealed Word of God? How do you know?

Manuscripts – “Copies of copies” – Bible (NT) has the most copies (5656) of all ancient documents, with an extremely low year gap between the original and copy (50-225 yrs). The witnesses were still alive when the copies were created.

“To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.” – John Warwick Montgomery

Archeology - “It may be stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference. – Nelson Glueck

((Paraphrase version of a story the lecturer told us… please note my failing memory) The Assyrians and Hittites were long believed to be proof of the bible’s flaws; no records/ archeological evidence of them were found until fairly recently. A man brought an Assyrian tablet to an archeologist meeting (something like that), and they all claimed it was a fake because “Assyria didn’t exist”. The guy had the audacity to go back and dig up the whole Assyrian library. Now every history book has Assyria in it.)

Prophecy – 333 prophecies about Christ, Jesus fulfilled ALL of them. The chance of that happening is: 1 in 10 to the 17th power to fulfill a mere 8 messianic prophecies, or 1 in 10 to the 157th power to fulfill 48.

“I am God… declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done…” – Isaiah 46: 9-10

Same theme all the way through –

The redemption of a sinful human race by God’s grace through faith in the shed blood of a redeemer. + common experience of Christians:
“Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.” – John Newton

How do we know anything? Go to the SOURCE (God’s Word):
Karl Barth, one of the 20th century’s most famous theologians, while visiting the University of Chicago was asked the most important thing he had ever learned. He replied: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

11:00 – Servant Leadership – Brandon Booth
(Microsoft works – an oxymoron)
1 Sam 13:14, Jer 5:1, Ezk 22:30 – Christ is searching for young leaders to stand in the Gap, who know the truth.
Leadership is the ability to influence others. Leadership is manifested, not bestowed.

Pillars of Leadership
1. “Meekness”- controlled power (self-control – something humble people do. Jesus should be in control of our power, we need to have His worldview; we don’t have to think for ourselves, we have to think like Christ.

2. “Integrity” – The quality of condition of being whole and undivided. Integrity is living consistently with what you believe/your worldview. “What you see is what you get”. Be what you claim to be ALL the time. Brandon Booth mentioned that even a jerk could have integrity, if he’s a jerk at work, at home, with his kids, at the park, and is consistently a jerk.

3. “Vision” – The ability to see God’s presence, power and plan in spite of the obstacles.

4. “Attitude” is infectious, even if only perceived attitude. Your attitude reflects on those around you. To change your attitude.... “Just do!” Think about something or someone else, focus on Christ.

5. “Empowerment” – Giving away your responsibilities, training others to do your job. Risking yourself and your reputation on, or for, somebody else. Everybody has somebody else who wants to be like them.

Christ served to the point of death.

12:25 – Dinner
Um, see last dinner. Cool swirly ice cream machine and pizza all the time. My little bro’d LOVE it. I also have the sneaking suspicion that halfway through the week the boys realized they didn’t HAVE to eat lunch first; they could just go straight to the dessert. In fact, I just asked yesterday and had my suspicion confirmed.

1:30 – Leadership Practicum
I don’t remember what this was! If you do, please help!

2:45 – Sports/ Free Time
This was awesome; they had all sorts of games, ultimate Frisbee, Basketball, etc. I always went with the indoor Mafia. I love mafia. And sometimes the animal game. Ugh, now I have to explain.

1. Every body sits in a circle, you need at least four people, but it’s better with a lot more. We had about 30.
2. One person is the narrator, he tells everybody to put their heads down so they can’t see. Everybody except the selected should have their heads down so they can’t see all through the game until they are told to put them up.
3. Then he pokes one person on the back, to be the mafia. The murder chooses one person to kill, by pointing at them. Then the mafia is told to put his head back down.
4. The narrator then chooses the doctor, who picks someone to save. He then puts his head back down.
5. The narrator picks two people to be detectives, the detectives choose whoever they think is the murderer and point at him. The detectives must agree.
6. Then everybody looks up and the narrator says, “Last night ‘Peter’ was murdered.” Then the narrator says whether or not the doctor managed to save the right person. Peter can tell how he was (or almost was) murdered. Then the narrator tells if the detectives choose the right person. If the detectives did, then the game is over. Or the narrator can tell how ‘Peter’ died.
7. If not, everybody, except the person who was murdered, vote on who the murderer is. If it is a tie everybody votes again between the tied people. The person who was picked is executed and is also dead.
8. The narrator tells whether or not they killed the right person, if they didn’t kill the mafia then everybody except the dead people bow their heads again.
9. The mafia kills another people, the detectives choose another person, and the doctor tries to save the murdered. Then you repeat steps 6, 7, and 8.
10. If the mafia is still not dead repeat.
11. The doctor can save himself, but the mafia cannot commit suicide.
There are tons of variations of this game. In some games the narrator hands out cards, King = mafia, Queen = Doctor, Jack = detective, etc. Also, depending on how many people there are you can have several mafia. There are other characters who can be added too, Gestapo, who are the “bad” good guys, they are half Mafia, with the ability to kill people, and half detective/police, with the ability to point at people and ask whether or not they are mafia. You can also add a “sniper” who has one shot through the whole game that the doctor cannot save you from.

The Animal game
1. Everybody chooses a different animal to be and sits in a circle.
2. One person stands in the middle and is “it”.
3. One person starts off by saying whatever his/her animal “eats” another person’s animal… for instance, “Cat eats bull”
4. Then that person has to quickly say, “Bull eats Dog (or whatever)” before the person in the middle hits him/her with a pillow or other soft object.
5. If “It” gets somebody, that person gets in the middle, and the person who was “it” has to say whom he/she eats before sitting down. If the person sits down than the person in the middle can turn right around and hit him/her and they will immediately be “It” again.
6. Also, if the person says she/he eats whatever animal “It” is, he/she can still be hit and “it”.

5:30 – Dinner

6:30 – Charting Worldviews


Man… Is Inherently sinful

God… Is infinitely gracious… and 3 in 1
Is transcendent and imminent
Is perfectly holy

The Universe…Genesis and John accurately describe creation

Truth…is in the Bible, nothing is over the Bible. When the Bible seems to contradict science, reason, etc, go with the Bible

Morality… Follow Christ: Selflessness and humility

Family… Family matters

Politics…. God defines Justice

The World

Man… Is basically good

God… No he’s not
Koran “says” Allah is gracious, but there are no examples of him actually being gracious.

Truth… Is in man.
Truth Changes
4000+ changes in the book of Mormon, Muslim’s Allah has 6 prophets, truth changes, and Muhammad seals end.

Morality… Follow man: selfishness and pride

Family… Self is all that matters

Politics… The state defines Justice

7:30 - Worship

8:00 - Image of the Logos (being a word-eater) – Jeff Baldwin

Key Verse: “Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” – Matt 4:4/ Deut 8:3

1. The God of the Word in an age of images
What was the most significant event of the 20th century?
The decline of the age of Typography
The ascent of the age of television (images)
(What has happened? Attention span shortened, used to read books & talk. Focus on images, not words.)

He also demonstrated by showing a picture of himself and asking “what six letter sentence am I thinking of at that moment to caption the picture?” Some people said some, but none of them were right, and he pointed out that there could be hundreds of them and nobody’d get the right one.

2. The importance of words

- March 3, 1887 – “That was my soul’s birthday.” – Helen Keller, the day she discovered words. Until that point it was almost as if she didn’t have a soul, she could not feel remorse, love, etc, until she had WORDS for it. She couldn’t think of things until she had a word for them.

3. The imago dei (image of God) – What is it?

We share with animals… sort of.
- Intelligence –
- Personality – we have a unique personality
- Gregariousness (sociability)
Unique to humans
- Morality – we have an innate sense of right and wrong.
- Creativity – enjoy things simply because they give us joy and pleasure (art, music, etc.)

4. I’m a Verbivore!

John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Hebrews 12:4 - For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

58% of Americans never read a book after HS… 42% after college

The 1st public school law… you had to learn to read and write (To protect yourself from the attacks of the devil, no less! The Federal papers written by our founding fathers, which students groan over today, were written for the average farmer!)

Mass Literacy rate – 1640 – 1670
95% of men
62% of women

1772 – “Almost every man is a reader” – Jacob Duche

(An afterword note on this lecture… after I got home from Worldview I started reading 1984, which scared me because the appendix sounded quite a bit like what we were talking about, and how important words really are. You can’t think of something unless you have a word for it.)

Usually we had a ten-minute break between sessions, I usually don’t put it in but I just wanted to say something about Jeff Baldwin’s kids. They’re cute, maybe 12, 9, 7 or so. He was going to let us out of the lecture when he noticed his kids standing in the back, and told us they were “shameless capitalists”. They sold candy to the teens during break. SMART kids. I asked them how much they made each place and the eldest said, “about a hundred dollars”.

9:00 – Image of the Logos II – Jeff Baldwin

Discourse – Latin for “running about” (capacity of orderly thought, exchange of ideas)

Key Verse: “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” – Acts 17:11

1. Question –asking: Learning how to Learn

Language acquisition – “the number of words heard as a baby may be the greatest predictor of later life.

Oral Discourse – learn things by talking with people.

Literary Discourse – reading books & discussing them, reading above your level.
(It was really funny, at this point he put up a slide of a bunch of children’s books, like “Goodnight moon” and “One fish, Two fish,” and “Harold and the Purple Crayon” and all at once everybody started whispering and talking. He said it happened every single time he put it up.)

2. A Generation Raised by Appliances

Are the messages true? – NO. Commercials claim their product will give satisfaction.

Are Questions allowed? – You can’t ask the TV questions, it teaches us not to ask questions. That is why a child can’t learn from the television.

3. The Differences Between Words and Images:

Communicate through abstraction and analysis

Are precise and exact

Are read in linear, logical fashion

Can be judged as true or false

Communicate immediately and intuitively

Are impressionistic

Are scanned subjectively

Cannot be judged as true or false
TV isn’t bad; it’s merely ineffective for communicating all forms of information.

4. God’s Plan: Frodo Baggins and Jars of Clay

“… at last with an effort he spoke, and wondered to hear his own words, as if some other will was using his small voice, “I will take the Ring,” he said, “though I do not know the way.” – Frodo Baggins, LOTR (He pointed out that none of the great and powerful people tried to take the ring, or volunteered to do so, or said that Frodo was not strong enough.)

“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”. – 2 Cor 12:9-10

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. – 2 Cor 4:7

One of the reasons we are commanded not to have an image of God is because it could not do Him justice.

- T-time, bedtime, wakeup, QT, breakfast

Tuesday -

9:30 – Staff Skit

This time there were kind of two skits.
A guy went up, the lights dimmed and he told us very convincingly about a “reward” that had been fought and died for, since the dawn of time… the Spamley cup. All 4 color teams were competing for it, yellow, red, blue and green. They had trivia every once in a while that you got points if you answered correctly.

Then they had the 3-headed leprechaun.
These guys were SOOOOOO hilarious. I can’t remember when we had the different skits, but I’ll tell about one I remember at each. Once there were three guys all dressed up in a huge robe so an arm stuck out on each side and they looked like a guy with three heads. They were called “The Three-headed Leprechaun”, and everyone asked them questions and each would say one word of the answer. “The” “Answer” “Is” – inevitably the same guy always said, “Is” and made a funny face. They had everybody in stitches. I asked my friends and they managed to remember some of the questions. “How do you go to the bathroom?” “The. Answer. Is. Confidential.” “If you’re a leprechaun, why aren’t you green?” “Because. Green. STINKS.” That one had everyone in stitches because a head or two was on the green team, I think. And the last one was, “What is the meaning of life?” The first head yelled, “42!” (A reference to hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, a weird book in which scientists make a supercomputer and ask it the question “what is the meaning to life, the universe and everything?” It takes about 7 1/2 million years to figure out the answer and the answer is…. “42”. )

9:45 – The Path to Wisdom (Wisdom = discerning truth) – Mark Bertrand
Mark strolled out on stage talking about how he was a budding Jedi and had been flown in from the planet Degoba where he was taking lessons from Yoda, just to give us a lecture about wisdom. He also compared another of the Jeff Baldwin, another lecturer, to Yoda, remarking on the similarity of their faces.

Anyways, here are my notes:
If you follow God’s wisdom, you have to be willing to be rejected by the world.
Wisdom is not what YOU think – Truth is NOT inside you. Wisdom = discerning truth, Foolishness = inventing truth.
Wisdom is not what you THINK – Thinking is not wisdom, wisdom is not a cerebral exercise, it is measured in deeds not thoughts. Wisdom is about obedience, not intellect. It’s not enough to WANT to do something, you have to DO it. You are wise when you obey and do what is right.

Wisdom is the consistent outworking of belief, action and discernment from worldview.
There are 2 paths of wisdom –
1. The path of pleasure – Solomon (Ecc. 2:10-11) Solomon tried to find life’s meaning through pleasure and wealth and found meaninglessness. “Seeing beyond pleasure leads to an understanding of the vanity of life under the sun. You can’t make a meaningful life out of wealth, only obedience to God.
2. The path of pain – Job (Job 42:1-6) (Elihu – Job 23 – Job’s job was to stick up for God, not himself) We should worship and obey God despite our ignorance.
Man’s wisdom: Avoid pain, pursue pleasure. God’s wisdom: believe Truth, do good.
1 Peter 3:14b-17 “Better to suffer for doing good, if that is God’s will, than for doing evil.”

Then Mark asked the boys why Wisdom was personified as a female. THAT was amusing, for the girls at least. Mark told the boys to be Veeerrrry careful because girls have loooooonnng memories. One boy said, “Because Wisdom must be pursued and won, like a woman”…. And then he ruined it by giving his second answer, “Because if you aren’t nice to her she won’t be nice to you.” Another boy said, “Because she is to be cherished like a woman.” Then he opened it up to the girls; somebody said because the noun in Hebrew was feminine, like a ship. I forget the rest of the answers, but then Mark pointed out to one girl, “If you were in a room full of all males and asked the same question, somebody might have pointed out that there is another “attribute” personified as female in proverbs – folly.” He seemed a bit disappointed that the boys in the room hadn’t mentioned it when he was asking earlier. At the end of his lecture he told us about another time he had given the same lecture. “At the end of my lecture, there was a boy in the front who STILL had his hand up. I knew, I KNEW, not to call on him. I knew that I shouldn’t… but I called on him. He said, “Wisdom is female because she’s HOT!””

11:00 - Blind Faith
Here are my notes:
Everyone has faith. This is quite obvious with regard to Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, and New Agers, but it is less obvious in regard to Atheists.
Here is a list of things an atheist must believe on faith.
1. There is no God
2. There are no absolutes
3. There is no afterlife
4. There are no angels or demons
5. Life has no purpose (why are they trying to hard to persuade us if life has no purpose and that life has no purpose?)
6. Miracles can’t happen
7. Souls do not exist
8. Emotions are chemical (he did a very funny demonstration of how an atheist should propose to his wife according to his worldview.)
9. Conscience doesn’t exist
10. Mind and Thought are not real
11. Free will and dignity do not exist
An atheist has to go to
A. Himself
B. Society (Majority)
C. Nature
…to get morality. All of these choices are obviously dangerous. Atheists must doubt EVERYTHING, even that words have meaning, etc. But they assume and take things for granted. What Christians need to do is help atheists be consistent atheists. Atheists cannot live in the real world with their faith.

1:30 – Small group –
This was when we learned the Hippo song, courtesy of Amelia. It goes something like this and has hand motions:

In the beginning God made me
And the forest and the trees
He made the mountain up so high
And at the top he placed the sky
God's fingerprints are everywhere
Just to show how much he cares
And in the middle he had lots of fun
When he made the hippo that weighs a ton
Hip-hip hurray God made all of us
Hip-hip hurray God made all of us!

We sang it every time before we prayed, which was basically every mealtime. By the end of the week everyone was sick of it and it was stuck in everybody’s head. It was really funny because everybody wanted to learn it, and sometimes even a few very brave boys would come over and learn it. A lot of the boys thought it was funny and laughed and watched and cheered after we did it. Oh… and we did the song and then Amelia asked who would pray for us. Laurel, bless her wit, said, out of breath from singing that ridiculous song, “Oh, I think EVERYBODY will.”

6:30 – Abuse of Power by Mark Bertrand (I think)
This lecture was about “applying biblical concepts and influences to areas of life the bible does not address, either directly or indirectly.
1. Gather your starting points, Bible verses that may apply
2. Pursue implications, what the Bible suggests and implies
3. Apply the result [ing ethos]
4. Check against scripture

7:30 – Worship

8:00 – Critical Thinking (Being a Truth-Seeker) – Jay Winslow
(There are not a lot of notes to go along with this, just what was in the notebook, which is actually a lot. I’ll try to write it down as it appears.)

Key Verse: "In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

Key Idea: Human beings can know about God and the world because they have been created with the capacity to do so, and because God has actively communicated with them.

1. To understand a culture, you must understand its dominant form of discourse – its most significant shared “reality.” For Americans, this is television.

Communicate through abstraction and analysis

Are precise and exact

Are read in linear, logical fashion

Can be judged as true or false

Communicate immediately and intuitively

Are impressionistic

Are scanned subjectively

Cannot be judged as true or false
Images transmit feelings, not facts. We should always go, “Fact, faith feelings”, in that order.

2. A generation socialized by images is more likely to have a worldview that is conditioned be feelings and emotions rather than by facts and logic.

The law of non-contradiction – a statement (proposition) cannot be both true and not true at the same time and in the same respect.

Something cannot be both X and not X at the same time and in the same respect.
“Abortion cannot be both wrong and not wrong. / I cannot be both a human being and a chicken at the same time.”

“A culture that is rooted more in images than in words will find it increasingly difficult to sustain any broad commitment to any truth, since truth is an abstraction requiring language. “ – Ken Myers

“We live in what may be the most anti-intellectual period in the history of Western civilization…. We must have passion – indeed hearts on fire for the things of God. But that passion must resist with intensity the anti-intellectual spirit of the world.” –R.C. Sproul

“We live in the golden age of apologetics at the very moment the devil has made everyone incapable of hearing apologetics. – John Mark Reynolds.

Jay Winslow also showed us a video of a poetry slam, Taylor Mali’s “Lack of Conviction” – very funny and sadly true.

3. As Christians, we must know what we think and why we think it, understanding that a biblical worldview is consistent with the truth of reality.
(Can you effectively answer the five worldview questions?)
What is real?
What is a human being?
What happens at death?
What are the basics of ethics?
What is the meaning of history?

4. We must gently and respectfully help non-Christians understand that their worldviews are inconsistent with the truth of reality.

(Simple Tools for Brain Surgery)

What do you mean by -----------? (Def. Of terms)

How do you know? (Basis for authority)

What difference does it make? (Application)

What if you’re wrong?

9:00 – Night at the Movies
No notes for this, we watched clips from movies and talked about how two different movies can lead you to two totally different conclusions about an idea.

Now I’ll start majorly skipping things….

Wednesday –

9:30 – Staff Skit
They got up and did a “movie” skit, with the director directing (with a funny accent, naturally). It was something like, “How I cut my finger and died,” I can’t remember exactly, but something ridiculous about death by finger cut. They did it in a bunch of different ways, regular, in a western, ninja, and a ship (pirate). And every time the “daughter” cut her finger and fell over dead and her “father” called the “doctor”. Except the ninja one… everyone died in that one, I think. And in the pirate one it was the cabin boy. And they did everything in funny accents with ridiculous actions.

9:45 – Evolution – Jay Winslow
1. Science blossoms under a proper understanding of reality, the Christian worldview
- God is transcendent (above and independent of his physical creation).
- God’s creation is ordered, rational, and knowable.

2. Charles Darwin’s radical idea redefines science with philosophical presuppositions.
3. Evolution causes a radical shift in worldview (That was then, this is now)
4. Focus on the facts, the wedge of truth, and don’t accept the false dichotomy of facts vs. faith
F – Fossil evidence – no transitional forms.
A – Ape-man mistakes – All “ape-men” have been disproved; hoaxes
C – Chance – too many things have to be EXACTLY right to create life, and the perimeters to create life increase all the time. Everything’s exactly right.
T – Textbook errors – Debunked “evidence” still appears in textbooks
5. Understand the power of images in popular culture and question them.
“We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented; it’s as simple as that,” –Christof, the Truman Show.

- Adaptation within species
- Limited, reversible change
- No disagreement

- “Molecules to man”
- Unlimited, directional changes
- Much disagreement

Christian Scientists
- Isaac Newton
- Johannes Kepler “Science is thinking God’s thoughts after him” - Astronomy
- Robert Boyle – Chemistry
- Carolus Linnaeus - Taxonomy
- Michael Faraday – Physist
- Louis Pasteur – Medicine

Evolutionist’s Faith
1. Nothing produces everything
2. Non-life produces life
3. Randomness produces fine-tuning
4. Chaos produces information
5. Unconsciousness produces consciousness
6. Non-reason produces reason

11:00 – Lawbreakers - Brandon Booth
(I LOVED THIS LECTURE! Probably my favorite one.)

This lecture was basically a reading of Galatians as a letter. Here are my garbled notes.

I have “WE CAN’T MAKE IT UP TO GOD!” in capital letters on the top of my page.

“Do I please God?” “NO!”

We must be very certain of the gospel that we preach (Gal. 1:6-9), if we preach the wrong gospel Christ died for nothing.

Man pleasing gospel = man can save himself
God pleasing gospel = Christ saved us

Brandon Booth made an interesting point, “Abraham [old testament figures] believed in Christ, he looked forward to the promise, just as we look back.

Gal 3:19 – “Why the law if the gospel already came?”.... “God gives us the law because he loves us, it makes us see our failure, that we can’t save ourselves. The law is one of the most loving things God has done for us, making us realize that we need Him.

How do we know we accepted God’s promise? It is not “I believe”, but “Christ died for me.” Faith doesn’t get us to heaven, Jesus does. The first word shouldn’t be “I”, but “Christ”. Brandon Booth said the best answer he ever heard to the question, “When were you saved?” was “2000 years ago on a cross.”

Sin is murder to yourself. Christ has set us free from sin. Sin leads to death! We don’t have to go back and sin. Why would we want to? It’s not an obligation; it’s a privilege to not have to sin anymore. You don’t HAVE to be kind to people, you GET to. You get to do good things, not because you have to, but because it’s GOOD. Why would you not want to do good?

1:30 - Evangelism Training…
First they gave us the rules, we weren’t supposed to wear hats/sunglasses, because they obscured the face. We also couldn’t bring a large bible and all had to stand off to one side, to give whoever we were evangelizing to space, they gave an amusing demonstration of what people would think if we brought them. Three of them mobbed their friend who was playing the average Joe and pretended to hit him with their bible. They basically pounced on him, their overacting was hilarious. We also couldn’t bring our lanyards because if we all had them we’d look like a cult. It was really amusing later on, though. At the end of the week everybody got a blue worldview t-shirt… and almost everybody wore it for the last day, so we really DID look like a cult.

… & Practicum
They split us into two different groups by small groups, first one would go out and then another. I was in the first group; we all got out and discovered it was raining so we waited another 15min until the rain let up. Meanwhile we watched part of a movie with the second group… a Bill Jack evangelism video. Basically he debated with this girl for about a half-hour/45 minutes. I didn’t get to watch the end but some of the kids in the other group informed me that at the end she didn’t take the tract, but I guess her boyfriend, who was just listening, pounced on it.

So we all walked out into downtown Keene, NH. Once we were down their we all divided into groups of three, there was at least one of each gender in each group, and there was supposed to be an Alumni in each group too, but my friend informs me her group didn’t have one. Anyways, I was in a group of four, two boys and another girl, who were all (enthusiastic) alumni’s. I didn’t talk very much… at all. I’m not saying I minded…at all. Anyways, we talked to a dude with a bike for a long time, he was a “Christian” who believed that anyone who “wanted” to go to heaven would, whether they believed in Christ or not. My fellows debated with him for quite a while. Then it started raining… then it started raining harder. It was raining really hard by the time our group leader pulled us out of conversation with the guy; everybody got totally soaked. They brought a big huge van and picked up some of the girls, I got in, but now wished I had walked. All the boys and girls who had walked came back soaked; it probably would have been more fun to slog through the rain.

6:30 – (False) Pseudo-Christian Cults (The Marks of a Cult) - Brandon Booth
We studied in depth only two cults this time, as a sort of sample, Latter-day Saints and Jehovah’s witnesses

“Pseudo-Christian” – Say they are Christians but aren’t
“Cult” – Believe a faith with great passion & ardor
(Technically Christians are a “cult”, what matters is which cult is right.)

+ They add to the Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Latter Day Saints deny the reliability, clarity and finality of Scripture.
Jehovah’s Witness deny the clarity of Scripture.

- They subtract from the deity of Jesus Christ. (John 10:30 –31)
J.W. don’t believe that Jesus is God; they think he is a creation.
L.D.S. believe God and Christ weren’t always God, and believe that you can become God too.

The Doctrine of the Trinity
(You can’t be a Christian and doubt the Trinity)
“Three persons of the same substance – co-equal, co-eternal, co-existent.
Common Heresies:
Tritheism – 3 distinct, separate Gods.
Sabellianism – Three parts to God, and ranking.
Unitarianism – Just one God, not three.
Modalism – God reveals himself in 3 forms.

Mormons are polytheistic, they believe there are three distinct and separate gods, and that the Holy Spirit is an “it” not a “he”.
(Is the Holy Spirit God? – Acts 5:3-4 – YES)(Is the Holy Spirit a He? – Acts 13:2 (he used that as an example, I think other passages are more clear) – YES)

X They multiply the terms of salvation. (Eph 2:6-10)
J.W. – You have to be perfect for God to accept you (works).
L.D.S. – You need to follow all the rules.

÷ They divide their followers’ loyalties between God and the group. (Rom 3:4)
(We didn’t really get to this one, the other parts went on to long.)

8:00 – Learning to Read
Everybody, every author, every artist, is influenced by their worldview, it will come out in their story, etc. A hero you write about will tend to have your worldview; everything in a book is part of the message, the deeper you look the more you find.
Art argues not with logic, but with emotion. A character embodies an idea, over the course of the book the “idea” is tested, and how the “idea” comes out in the end reveals a truth. But the author is the one who decides whether or not the “idea” will stand true, the biased author. Two different authors can have the same type of “idea” and come to vastly different conclusions. Emotional arguments are very slippery, and convince you in the wrong way.

9:00 – The New Age Worldview – Jeff Baldwin
In this lecture Jeff Baldwin pretended to be a New Age believer, and everybody could ask him questions to try to persuade him. It was pretty amusing… but I don’t remember any of the questions we asked. Here are some general notes.

Show the Truth in Love! Don’t be a hypocrite. It’s not a Christian’s job to speak the truth, but to speak the truth in love.

New Agers focus on feelings, not reason. They think we are all “god”, that is, we’re all “cupfuls of the ocean of godhood”. They believe all the books on religion, and say that Christ was just “more in touch with his godhood” than we are. They think that we need to balance our good/bad, love/hate, etc. Americans need to get more in touch with “their feminine side”, even the females. Their children shouldn’t have to obey them because they are “becoming in touch with their godhood” and following their feelings. I managed to ask a question here, “Does that mean your children should obey you?” … and he said “Heavens, no!” Later after the lecture I asked him if I should tell his children that, he laughed and said, “No, they are bad enough as it is!” Anyways, according to the New Age worldview we shouldn’t obey anyone but our feelings. One boy wasn’t getting his question answered so he stood up; when Jeff Baldwin told him to sit down he said he didn’t have to obey anyone. Jeff Baldwin tried not to laugh and the kid did sit down again. New Agers go by what “feels” true, not what sounds true.

Here are some tips he gave us after for dealing with New Agers.
1. Your best apologetics shouldn’t be words, but your life and actions. 1 John 3:18. Shut up and live the truth after failing to reason with them.
2. Show them where their worldview contradicts their feelings.
3. Talk about morality as much as possible; show how their worldview contradicts their morality.

We were let out before the Alumni, who had a different class. They were learning about the Mormons, I guess usually the lecturer just pretends to be a Mormon, but this time they had actually managed to acquire two young 19 year old Mormons and their Elder. I guess one of the lecturers had been talking to them somewhere and asked if they wanted to come and talk to the kids. I thought that was really fun and snuck in to listen to the tail end of their conversation. It’s sort of weird to have someone trying to convert you and you trying to convert them. It’s interesting, on the surface Mormons almost sound like Christians, but then you get in deep and realize it’s wrong.

(On a side note, my dad told us a story yesterday. I guess there was a little old lady widow who went to their church. She was a bit of a shut-in and didn’t get to talk to many people… she was the prayer-warrior. Anyways, when the Mormons came she would say, “Oh, I’ve been waiting for you all day!” and ask them in for cookies and tea or whatever. She had her bible all highlighted in the right places. Poor Mormons. )


9:30 - Staff Skit
I can’t remember what this skit was, but I’ll tell you about Lost&found. Whenever somebody lost something they had to go up on stage and perform to get the item back. One poor guy lost something like day one and had to go up and rap, “I’m a Little Teapot” with the hand motions. The next day we had to go up and do Riverdance. I lost a little slip of paper with my room number and code on it, I had memorized it and didn’t think I needed it, but she said I had to pass it in! So I went up with a bunch of people who had lost other stuff, thankfully I didn’t have to do it all alone, and Riverdanced…. Riverdunce? Well, it turns out that nearly EVERYBODY lost their paper and we didn’t really need them. At all. I was slightly annoyed at that. It was really funny, on Friday some of my friends lost things on purpose so they could go up and dance together… and we ran out of time and they didn’t have to dance!

9:45 – Driven Leader – Brandon Booth
This was about the difference between a Charisma driven leader and a Character driven leader. Here’s a list, Charisma on left, Character on right.
Influenced by the sphere [arrows point in] ---- Influences the sphere
Saul ----- David
[Seeks] recognition ---- [seeks] righteousness
Realities [more than one truth, truth is relative] ------ reality [believes One Truth]
Rights ------ responsibilities
[Takes] resources --------- [gives] rewards
[“Contacts”, people you know to get stuff out of] relations ------ [friendship] relationships

The Character leader does what is right, not what is popular. Charisma is ok, but we should not be driven by it. It’s ok to have gifts and talents; the question is how we use them.

11:00 – Christianity and the Arts – Jeff Baldwin
(Yet again garbled notes all over the paper, bear with me)
Romans 1:18-20

The Christian definition of art:
Skilled human creativity that reflects God’s truth and God’s beauty. – Order and Harmony

It IS possible for non-representational are to demonstrate order and harmony, but it doesn’t very often.

Truth and Beauty are inextricably linked.

What’s wrong with this definition?

2 levels of art
1. Art that is worthy of a Christian’s mediation (Philippians 4:8_
2. And art that is not.

Christians sometimes care more about the message of something than the beauty; God cares just as much about the beauty as of the message, Christians should too. Gen 2:9: God made trees because they were “pleasing to the eye”. God made us to delight in beauty. God is a God of Beauty.

Cubism, etc., isn’t art unless it demonstrates order and harmony, if it fits the definition. A good photographer can do art with photos. ANYTHING can be art if it fits the definition.

Christians shouldn’t publish their art/writing until it’s good, until it’s worthy of the Philippians 4:8 standard. Christian artists need to do better.

Take EVERY thought captive. Think about everything, is it biblical? What worldview? Don’t let anyone think for you, even your pastor. Be guided by scripture, not the law. Legalism is the lazy way out; you just follow it and never think about it. God gave you a brain and expects you to use it!

And here’s a diagram.

... or not.

2:40 – Evangelism (again)
This time the second group went out first, and then we went out. I don’t really remember whom we talked to this time… one hostileish atheist. And another person at the same place as the day before.

Then we had the competition for the Spamley cup, aside from the trivia we had done all week. The first competition was for the best cheer. Cheers were judged on creativity and the sheer amount of noise produced. If you made any noise at all while another team was going it was counted towards “their” noise.
First to go in the cheer competition was green, four guys got in a cluster in the middle and put a little girl (Jeff Baldwin’s daughter was apparently on the green team) on their shoulders. The rest of them strung out in lines and ran around a bit like Snap-The-Whip, and further out they went in opposite directions. I can’t remember if they had a cheer or just yelled. Then went red (I think). All I can remember of theirs is that they had a bunch of cool girls who had done gymnastics doing flips and cartwheels all over the place. Then went blue (I think). Theirs was the closest to ours, but they were sort of confused, I guess they couldn’t decide what to do and got all mixed up. They had a person for each of the other teams and then mobbed them and lifted their own team player on their backs or something. Then it was yellow’s turn. J

We totally owe our great cheer to Edward and another girl who had probably been planning weeks in advance. Three big guys, who happened to be wearing the other team’s colors (red, blue, green), and a smaller guy (yellow), lined up in a line like they were going to race. The rest of team yellow stood at the side like spectators. Edward went up and a line of his cheer, and then the rest yelled after him.
“Red and blue and even green,”
“Red and blue and even green,”
“We’ve got something you’ve NEVER seen!”
“We’ve got something you’ve NEVER seen!”
“You sit there and feel all mellow…”
“You sit there and feel all mellow…”
“But watch out, ‘cause here comes YELLOW”
“But watch out, ‘cause here comes YELLOW”
Then he stepped back in and another girl stepped out and said something like, “Green, are you ready? Blue, are you ready? Red, are you ready? Yellow, are you ready?” and after they said yes she said, “on your mark, get set, GO!” And they all started out pretending to run reeeeeaaallly slow, with yellow way behind. Please note that the guy who played “yellow” went to nationals for public speaking. He tripped and fell flat on his face quite dramatically, then got up and ran again. Then red, blue and green started fighting and all fell down, yellow tripped over them and fell over the finish line. It was hilarious. Meanwhile the rest of the team had been humming a tune to some movie (I don’t know what it was), and when yellow past the finish line we all screamed as loud as we could, picked up “yellow” and carried him around. Then we all started singing, “We are ye-llow, all my brothers, sisters and me, we are ye-llow, and we’re the best that we can be.” (We are family).

Then we had the relay, it involved crab walking to make a pyramid of paper cups, leap frog, and transporting eggs with chopsticks. Then a runner had to run back to the beginning and he would be asked a trivia question; if he couldn’t answer it he could run back and ask the team and then go answer it. It was something like “who won the Olympics in running”. I think red won the actual relay; I know yellow got second.

Then we just played games; we had a leaders vs. students Ultimate Frisbee game. Because there were more people who wanted to play then the amount in a team we had several groups who switched out every time a goal was won. Half were boys, half girls. A hand to Ben and Abby, who made sure everybody went where they were supposed to when they were supposed to. Poor Ben had broken his collarbone the week before and couldn’t play, but he made a great coach. As always, the leaders once again won the annual Worldview students vs. leaders Ultimate Frisbee game. Ah well. I personally didn’t play, since I throw like a drunken rabbit. (Don’t you love awkward analogies?)

6:30 – Humility – Mark Bertrand
After showing us several slides comparing Jeff Baldwin to Yoda (there was even one with Yoda’s ears Photoshopped onto Jeff’s head), we started learning about humility from Luke 18: 9 – 14, that is, the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Mark talked about the paradox of Matt. 16:25 “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.” The two reasons we aren’t humble is A. We forget what we are. And B., We forget who God is. He also spoke about how God is humble, and lowered himself to our position. “God did not ask us to sacrifice our children, like Molech, but, paradoxically, sacrificed HIS son for is.” He also said that it is easier to be humble when you are serving others, it is hard to be proud and forget what we are and who God is. My notes are all ajumble so I cannot put it half as well as he did, by the way.

He also said something else that I thought was so funny and so true, when we read the verses about Jesus washing his disciples feet. “Peter [the disciple] is the guy who asks the questions everybody else knows not to ask.”

8:00 – Seven Sweet Lies You Already Believe (and a bonus truth) – Brandon Booth
(Another favorite lecture of mine)
(All lies start with a grain of truth)
This was so funny! The staffers got up and lip-synced the songs that demonstrated the lies. They got up and darkened the stage and all dressed up for the first song... All You Need is Love by the Beatles. I can’t remember what any of the other songs were but it was hilarious watching them get up and sing. Anyways, these are the lies that are prevalent in our culture, that everybody believes

Lie #1. “All you need is love”
Theme: 1 needy person + 1 needy person = 1 complete person. Human love is the answer to all my problems.
The Truth: 1 needy person + 1 needy person = 2 needy people. Ephesians 2:4 – 10. All we need is God’s love. Christ’s love completes us.

Lie #2. “Can’t we all just get along?” – Tolerance
Theme: There really is no truth/standard. There are only opinions. Your opinion is no better than mine. Accept us as we are.
The Truth: John 14:6 – The standard is outside of our opinion, truth is a matter of measuring our opinions against Christ’s character. Yes, we should be tolerant, but what is our definition of “tolerant”? Tolerance – Bearing each other’s burdens – Gal 6:1-5, gently guiding those who sin into the truth, and bearing our brothers’ weaknesses. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

Lie #3. “Love yourself” – Self esteem
Theme: You are a good person who will act in good ways if you only recognize your goodness. In order to love others you must first love yourself.
The Truth: Compared to God we deserve nothing but destruction. Rom 3:23-24. You have no value in and of yourself. Rom 5:6-8. In Christ, we are infinitely valuable. Our lives are only valuable because of His sacrifice, because he died for us and his life is infinitely valuable. Christ died for EVERYBODY and loves EVERYBODY, if you offend/hurt somebody, you do that to someone God loves and died for. Jesus died for us and loves us, because of that we shouldn’t consider ourselves worthless.

Brandon Booth also made an interesting point here on abortion, if you’re a Christian and believe it’s ok. Christ died for and loves those babies; you are killing something Christ died for, even if you don’t consider it “human”, he does.

Lie #4. “Believe in yourself”
Theme: Vague belief is all that is necessary to make the impossible happen. You can create your own reality if you believe hard enough.
The Truth: Job 38: 1-11, Proverbs 28:26 – there are things in life we cannot do. Believe in Jesus because He can. Trust him, not yourself.

Lie #5. “Listen to your heart”
Theme: Your heart is really pure and innocent. Deep inside we are all good and know what is right to do. The problem is we don’t listen to our feelings enough, we think too much. If we all did what feels good everything would be fine.
The Truth: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure, who can understand it?” – Jer. 17:9 Listen to your heart... and die. Listen to Christ and live. Brandon Booth did a very funny example of this: “Imagine your heart is a little weasel. Now imagine that weasel is black, with black little beady eyes. It sits there all day and goes “Eeeee-hee-hee-hee-hee !!! Mua-a-ha-ha-ha-he!!! Ohhh-ha-hee-hee...” I even bought the t-shirt, on the front it says, “Listen to your heart....” and on the back it has a picture of a black weasel cackling like above, and it says “AND DIE!”

Lie #6. “Be yourself”
Theme: Your right to be free and individual is the highest good. Never let anyone tell you what is right and wrong for you. That is weakness and giving up individuality. It doesn’t matter what your do as long as YOU choose it.
The Truth: Luke 9:23-29 – “Whoever wants to save his life will loose it...” Don’t be yourself, be like Christ. Submit and conform to Christ, that is being truly different.

Lie #7. “It’s my life.”
Theme: You can make your own decisions, your own mistakes, and nobody had better get in your way! You have only got one life, grab it by the horns and get all you can out of it.
The Truth: Exodus 4:11 – Our life is Christ’s. He made your life and died for it. Proverbs 3:13-18 – Wisdom is more precious than anything.

Bonus Truth: Song –“100 years by 5 For Fighting” – You’re only alive for a moment. Your life is a breath of wind. Seek wisdom while you can, do not waste your time.

9:00 – Exam
Basically this was just a test for ourselves to help us remember what we learned, we could look in our notebooks.

9:45 – The Spamley Cup
Ahahahahahahaha! Oh dear. What fun. They did a whole skit on the origins of “the Spamley cup”… how it fell from the sky and an Elvin princess picked it up, how evil and good fought over it, how it was remolded into a chalice, a medallion, how the ancient Egyptians got it. All the time they had music from “The Lord of The Rings” playing. Anyways, Mr. “Spamley” supposedly dedicated it to Worldview and only the best could get it, by winning the competition. Finally he got around to announcing the winners, it went something like, blue – 4th, green – 3rd, and then he made both of the leader representatives for red and yellow come out, to build up the suspense… and yellow won, both the cheer competition and the Spamley cup! The whole team got to go up onstage and yellow was presented with the “Spamley” cup…. Yup, one of those fake golden plastic “trophies” with a metal container of Spam in it. After celebrating a bit and screaming we were unceremoniously ordered offstage.

GO YELLOW! (I can’t BELIEVE my team won. Yay!)

10:15 – Campfire
Basically there was no campfire, we just all sat outside together around an imaginary “campfire” and we were encouraged to get up and tell what we learned. It went really late and bedtime was pushed all the way back to about 12:30.


9:30 – The Real Life Top Ten (10 greatest decisions you’ll ever face) – Brandon Booth

I have TONS of notes on this one.

1. Who will you follow?
a. Yourself
b. Other men
c. Jesus Christ √
(Quiet times should matter because we should have a good relationship with or Lord and creator. Brandon Booth gave a really funny example of this, he had 2 kids stand up, a girl and a guy, and told a story about how they fell in love and married, and then Emily (my friend the example) left him the moment they were married and went to live in Chicago or someplace. Many years later she called and said “sweetie, it’s your wife, do you remember me? Well, there’s this really sweet mountain bike that I want and could you please radio down the money?” So he does it and doesn’t hear from her for another ten years. Then she calls again, “Honey, I’m in jail, can you send the 10,00$ bail?” We shouldn’t just talk to God when we are in trouble or want something out of him, that isn’t a relationship.)

2. What are you willing to risk? (The principle of surrender)
a. Nothing
b. Any safe bets
c. Everything √
(We should first ask ourselves the question “What actually belongs to me?” Nothing, but we have to be good stewards of what God has given us. Brandon Booth also said “the greatest temptation is to tell God that we know what’s best for our children. We cannot behave as though we are in control, because eventually our hands will be pried open. Never make the mistake of thinking you are in control.”)

3. How will you treat your family?
a. Love them as yourself √
b. Love them when it’s convenient
(Marriage is real life like real life is real life. If you don’t do a good job loving your family now, you won’t later. (See # 5))

4. Who are your CLOSEST friends?
a. People with integrity √
b. People with a whole bunch of neat qualities but not as much integrity
(You want to choose the person with integrity because they are the only one who will stick with you to the bitter end. The benefits of having good friends are 1. They will help you withstand peer pressure. 2. Accountability, and 3. Fellowship – God made us to fellowship with others. Does this mean we cannot have unbelieving friends? No, of course we can, but only believers and those with integrity should be our CLOSEST friends.)

5. Who will you marry?
a. Marry the right person
b. Marry the wrong person
c. Don’t get married for good reason
d. Don’t get married for the wrong reasons
(Love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment. Feelings come and go and we will not always have that squishy feeling in the pit of our stomach. The best part of marriage is when your spouse loves you when you’re being unlovable, and vice versa. Christ loves us when we are being unlovable. How will I decide if he/she is the one for me? We have to surrender him/her to God and God will give him/her back if you are right for each other. Wholly surrender the decision and him/her to God. It works that way with almost everything. Surrender that thing to God, want what he wants, not what your heart wants. Also (from #4) choose your spouse as you would your close friends. You want a “fruit of the Spirit” spouse.)

6. How will you learn?
a. Education is a life-long process √
b. Education ends the second the bell rings
(Education matters because we are called to love God with all your heart, all your soul and all your MIND. Also, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your MIND…” We still need to learn and grow in Christ after our “ school education” is over.”
College: 1. Not all “Christian” colleges are Christian. 2. You CAN receive a Christian Education at a secular school, and 3. Distinguish between wisdom and knowledge.

7. What is your vocation?
a. Risk it all √
b. Play it safe
(Embrace risks for the right reason, for Christ. Go where Christ leads you. Period.
Also: We are all in the “ministry”; we are all called to be salt and light in this world. It was sort of funny the way he made this point. He asked who was thinking of going into ministry. A few hands rose. He asked again… maybe one or two more. Then he asked another time or two and EVERYBODYS' hand went up.)

8. What entertains you?
a. Dive right in (Do whatever you want, everything’s good, man)
b. Walk the cliff’s edge (skirt the edge of the cliff sin and walk as close as possible)
c. Leave your coat behind (Flee Temptation; Joseph and Potiphar’s wife) √
(The hard part of this is not avoiding the bad, but actively seeking out the excellent.)

9. What happens when you suffer?
a. Run away
b. Get back on the right path
c. Persevere – James 1:2-4, Gen 50:20

10. Will you pursue happiness?
a. Yes
b. No √ - We pursue Christ, who gives us joy. God made us for more than happiness. What matters is “well done, good and faithful servant”.

The End
(come next year and see me, I already signed up again!)