Re: Readings on origins issues--request for suggestions

From: Roger G. Olson <>
Date: Sat Sep 25 2004 - 13:31:12 EDT

> This coming spring term I will be teaching two courses about origins
> issues.
> I am rethinking/updating the readings that I assign for those courses.
> It
> would be helpful to have suggestions--off list, please--from members of
> this
> list, along the following lines.
> (1) I'm looking for published articles & essays and/or single chapters in
> books that I can have students read for class discussion of various
> individual issues and overall positions on origins issues as a whole. Web
> articles are also fine here.
> (2) An article/essay/chapter should be clear, well written, accurate in
> the
> facts it cites, not overly polemical (if it dismisses opponents as
> heretical, moronic, dishonest, etc., I won't use it), and also
> representative of a broader position (e.g., what Bill Dembski writes can
> be
> taken as representative of a broader ID position, although individual
> IDers
> might not always agree with him on a given point) rather than simply
> idiosyncratic. It also must be capable of being understood entirely or
> almost entirely by my students. My students are mainly not science
> majors,
> are mainly not freshmen, and mainly well above average in intelligence.
> (One course will be an honors course; those students are almost all very
> bright; the other course is not an honors course. Messiah has an avg SAT
> of
> just about 1200.)
> (3) The article/essay/chapter can be your own! In this case, however, if
> you are in a position to grant Messiah College permission to include the
> article in a course packet without paying a royalty, I am more likely to
> use
> it. Please address this point specifically if any of your suggestions fit
> into this category.
> (4) As for specific topics, in general I am open to considering almost
> anything that is interesting and relevant to origins issues. I don't want
> to foreclose any suggestions. At the same time, I definitely want to have
> readings that argue for specific overall positions (e.g., YEC, OEC, ID,
> varieties of TE, even scientific materialism) in comparison with other
> positions. Those are the most important ones I need. I presently use the
> book on "Three Views" from Zondervan to do this, but I am not fully
> satisfied with it. I might keep it, I might substitute another book
> (suggestions are invited here), or I might replace it with a set of
> articles.
> In addition, I'd like some readings to address specific origins issues in
> some depth. Here are some examples, I don't expect necessarily to cover
> them all, and I don't limit the list only to these examples either.
> Theodicy/death before the fall, reductionism/soul/freedom,
> ethics/morality/evolution, big bang and fine tuning, the age of the
> earth--these are all relevant individual topics.
> (5) Finally, I esp invite suggestions from other faculty who have taught
> similar courses. What works with your students, to provoke a high level
> of
> discussion and individual thinking on the part of your students? Which
> readings are helpful to them as they form their own understandings and as
> they try to grow spiritually?
> Let me repeat my request that all responses be private!
> Thank you,
> ted

Why private? I'd been interested in seeing some of these reading
suggestions myself. I'm involved in a team-taught gen.ed. course at Saint
Joseph's College (IN) on the topics of cosmic, biological, and cultural
evolutions, and C/E issues certainly are relevant.


Received on Sat Sep 25 13:49:00 2004

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