Re: Readings on origins issues--request for suggestions

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Sat Sep 25 2004 - 14:35:44 EDT

...and I am involved in a project to extend or make available such
resources to a broader lay community as well.
Ted's request as stated might result in some responses that are specific
to him or his task, and I respect that.
But a more generally accessible compilation would be VERY welcome and
useful to me and the work I'm involved in.
It could be put into a "member recommendation" resource list that would
require no (or perhaps little) peer review prior to inclusion (though a
little annotation would be needed).
If that seems like a good idea to all, and if it for some reason does
not fit the objectives or practices of the ASA website, I would be
willing to offer an alternative web location for such a list.

Jim Armstrong

Roger G. Olson wrote:

>>This coming spring term I will be teaching two courses about origins
>> I am rethinking/updating the readings that I assign for those courses.
>>would be helpful to have suggestions--off list, please--from members of
>>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
>>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
>>taken as representative of a broader ID position, although individual
>>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
>>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
>>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
>>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
>>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
>>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,
>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 15:00:27 2004

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