FW: A Christian's Responsibility

Mon, 20 Sep 1999 07:19:29 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Darryl W. Maddox [SMTP:dpmaddox@arn.net]
> Sent: Friday, September 17, 1999 8:54 AM
> To: MccarrickAD@nswccd.navy.mil
> Subject: Re: A Christian's Responsibility
> Hello Al,
> Yes, it is fair game. Though posting to the group was an error on my part,
> after I realized what I had done, I thought perhaps it would generate a
> bit of
> mail such as yours and I have looked forward to seeing what others think
> and had
> to say about the questions I raised. I appreciate your taking the time to
> respond.
> MccarrickAD@nswccd.navy.mil wrote:
> > I read with interest your post directed to Dr. Miller (since it was
> posted
> > to the list, I assume that it was fair game).
> >
> > I teach at a Christian secondary school - Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy
> and
> > Paleontology (the latter two are only half year electives). My own
> > background is chemical engineering plus alot of reading.
> >
> > Both in school and at church or other outside activities, my ears perk
> up
> > whenever pronouncements on scientific issues are raised. My own
> conclusion
> > is that I will bring to the attention of the speaker first any factual
> error
> > that were made.
> Yes, that is what I did also; initially in private discussion after the
> 1st talk
> and then in my letter to him. Glad you concurr.
> > I believe that this follows Christ's instruction to go
> > directly to the brother who has offended rather than to others (that
> could
> > verge on gossip). (I am never (almost) asked my thoughts ahead of time
> > except by students who bring interesting items in for me to read.)
> Yes, this has happened to me also. I have been asked by students to offer
> opinions on books they have.
> > It is
> > important to be gentle and humble in your correction,
> Thanks for the reminder, I get way to emotional about these things and if
> it
> were not for reminders such as your and others I have recieved I hate to
> think
> of the impression I might give a Christian scientist.
> > but also to present
> > the sources for your information - after all science is not just a
> matter of
> > opinion.
> Another excellent point; it also helps them learn more about a subject in
> which
> they are obviously interested and I have found most are willing to read
> more it
> they just knew where to find it. This has also resulted in establishing
> establishing long running correspondences with 2 web page originators to
> whom I
> have sent corrections. I have really gained a lot from both trying to
> answer
> their continueing questions and from their different views on the various
> topics. One in a physicist and the other apparently a retired missionary
> (so
> far we have spent all our time talking about geology with only a passing
> remark
> on his part providing the clue about his background). I look forward to
> establishing a few more such links in the coming years, and I plan to put
> this
> (though I don't know how it will be recieved) in the promotion notebook
> under
> community service efforts.
> > Be sensitive to the good motives of the speaker, and offer your
> > own encouragement along with the correction. My experience is that a
> good
> > fraction will accept your thoughtful criticism (especially when done in
> > private) and a smaller fraction will actually change or make amends.
> >
> > Some familiar examples: a fifth grade teacher repeated the missing day
> > story about NASA running computer programs backwards, an 8th grade
> teacher
> > and our youth pastor both mentioning that human footprints are found
> within
> > dinosaur prints in Texas, and finally our pastor presenting the story of
> the
> > British sailor swallowed by a whale (I gave him Ted Davis' "Whale of a
> Tale"
> > article that can be found at the ASA website).
> >
> > I was most encouraged when my pastor mentioned first thing the next
> Sunday
> > that the British sailor story was most likely completely false. He
> rightly
> > excused himself somewhat by explaining that he had found the story in
> three
> > separate trusted commentaries (something to be learned there !).
> Oh, how painfully I have learned that lesson.
> > That took moral courage for him. (He did not mention my name - and that
> is
> > probably
> > important.)
> >
> > Be careful of your own heart - as CS Lewis says: pride is the most
> dangerous
> > of sins.
> And I have a bucket full because from my very earliest recollections I
> wanted to
> be someone important and everytime I do something right or see someone
> else make
> a mistake it jumps back up.
> > There may be times when it might be best to let something go, so
> > as not to appear either too sensitive or not to make a pain of yourself.
> >
> > That concern you feel is important. Christians should never be found
> using
> > falsehood to defend the Bible (sort of ends-justifing-the-means).
> Yes, and I worry about how to tell them that some of what I am saying is
> an
> interpretation of data and thus subject to change as new data is found and
> some
> is the data itself. I start seeing glassy eyes as the answers get longer.
> My
> wife accuses me of never giving less than a $10 answer to any 25 cent
> question.
> Last night I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. ______Hardgrove from the
> Center for
> Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin summarize the 4
> thousand year
> political, religious and social history of the billion people of India in
> a bit
> under 2 hours. What a master of summarization.
> > I taught an adult Sunday school class on Great Christian Authors. One
> of
> > those was
> > Augustine. In his Confessions (book V, I believe), he talked about his
> > powerful disillusionment when he realized that the chief teacher of the
> > Manachaeans was spouting scientific nonsense. If he was in error about
> > factual issues, why should he be trusted with more important spiritual
> > issues. That was one of his reasons for leaving that sect.
> >
> > Al McCarrick
> Thank you very much for those thoughtfull insights. I will look forward
> to your
> comments to other authors on the list and perhaps as I have questions or
> concerns I will right you directly.
> Darryl