Archive - April, 2012

The Case for Christian Education

While not all may embrace Reformed doctrinal distinctives, or the particular emphases of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in particular, this short Case for Christian Education by James K.A. Smith is helpful. An excerpt:

So why Christian schools? Why did earlier generations commit to Christian education, investing in schools in often sacrificial ways? Their rationale was biblical, comprehensive, and radical.

Stemming from the conviction that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111:10), the Reformed tradition—and the CRC in particular—has long recognized that Christ’s lordship extends over every sphere of life, including education. There is no sphere of life that is “neutral”; rather, our practices and institutions are always and ultimately shaped and informed by faith commitments. So while an institution might claim to be “secular,” as if it were not religious, Continue Reading…

Michael Jordan Owns NBA’s worst team ever

Given his egotistical, rambling Hall of Fame acceptance speech, it’s a bit ironic that the man with a claim to being the best basketball player in history is now the owner of the NBA’s worse team in history.

As Steve Reed of the Associated Press reports, the “Charlotte Bobcats lost their 23rd consecutive game Thursday night 104-84 to the New York Knicks and finished the shrunken season with the worst winning percentage in NBA history (.106).”  Read the rest.



Tom White, Leader of Voice of the Martyrs, Dead

Tom White, executive director of Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) for more than 20 year, is dead–apparently a suicide. The details are absolutely tragic: White, 64, was apparently being investigated by Oklahoma authorities for allegedly having “inappropriate contact with a young girl.”

VOM responded to the allegations with this statement:

The Voice of the Martyrs statement concerning the death of Tom White:

The events of the last week are tragic. On Wednesday we learned that Tom White, VOM’s executive director, had died.

Allegations were made to authorities this week that Tom had inappropriate contact with a young girl. Rather than face those allegations, and all of the resulting fallout for his family and this ministry and himself, Tom appears to have chosen to take his own life.

None of those in leadership at VOM, including our Board of Directors, were aware of these allegations at the time of Tom’s death.

Continue Reading…

The Temptation of Tim Tebow

Great article by Esther Fleece in the Washington Post on a $1 million dollar “bounty” that a particular “business” has pledged to whoever can entice Tim Tebow into losing his virginity.  An excerpt:

Let’s set aside for the purposes of this discussion the crassly transparent attempt by Biderman to make a buck, or at least generate a few headlines promoting his “business,” by taking advantage of Tebow’s name and fame. Let’s focus instead on the smarmy assumption at the root of his stunt – namely, that abstinence before marriage is an impossibility and/or a silly relic from the past.

Continue Reading…

Testimonials on Thriving at College

Thriving-at-College-cover-198x300I know of several Christian schools that have used Thriving at College with their students to better acclimate them to the institution and to the realities of being a college student. California Baptist University, LeTourneau University, Missouri Baptist University, Patrick Henry College, Providence Christian College, Reformation Bible College, and New Saint Andrews College are among these schools. So I’ve asked a few folks I know at these schools if they’d be kind enough to offer “testimonials” on what sort of impression the book is having in the lives of their students. Here’s what we’ve heard so far:

“Alex speaks in a decisive yet gentle way to the core issues that face college students. His biblical guidance mentors students to make wise choices in the midst of their newfound freedoms. Students at CBU have expressed that Thriving at College prepared them for the rigors of college life, and some stated that it repaired their view of what college life is supposed to be. However, Thriving is not just for students at Christian universities. Alex addresses the issues that Christian students on secular campuses will face, and he equips them to live godly lives in a setting that does not value holiness.”
John Montgomery, Dean of Spiritual Life, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA

“What perfect timing!  For years I have searched for a book like Alex Chediak’s Thriving at College – a book that seamlessly blends Scripture and personal anecdotes with practical advice geared toward today’s college students.  So often, books like this rely too heavily on personal experience and become out-dated as time goes on.  Not this book!  In Thriving at College, Chediak balances God’s timeless word with tried-and-true godly wisdom, spurring students on to do more than just make it through college – to thrive, not just survive.  Already I am seeing this book make a difference in the lives of my students.  I wish this book would have been available when I first started college!”
Marie Tudor, Director of First Year Experience, Missouri Baptist University, Saint Louis, MO

“We enthusiastically buy this book for every engineering student in our intro-to-college classes. The chapters cultivate thinking and class discussions that powerfully promote a healthy transition into college and the adult responsibilities essential to success in a rigorous program.  Alex winsomely articulates many of the truths I long for my students to embrace, and backs them up with appropriate depth of thought.  I recommend this book to anyone in high school or college who wants to make the most of life.”
Dr. Matthew Green, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX

“My high school students thoroughly enjoyed reading and discussing Thriving in College. They found it readable, challenging, and very practical. It’s one of the top books I recommend for graduates.”
Sean McDowell, Educator, Speaker, and Author, Capistrano Valley Christian High School, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Continue Reading…

Providence Christian College Merges with Covenant College

Very exciting times for my friend Derek Halvorson. This news is a month old, but just getting to me now:

1. On behalf of the Providence Christian College Board of Trustees, Chairman Pete Nanninga announced plans to merge the Christian liberal arts college in Pasadena, California with sister institution Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.

2. In conjunction with the announcement of intention to merge, Covenant College Board Chairman Martin A. Moore announced the selection of Dr. J. Derek Halvorson as the sixth president of Covenant College. Dr. Halvorson’s tenure will begin on July 1, 2012.

Read the whole thing. Congratulations, Derek!

Does federal financial aid increase or decrease higher ed costs?

A debate between Dr. Richard Vedder (Ohio University) and Dr. Robert Archibald (College of William and Mary) held at the University of Vermont on March 21, 2012. It runs about 40 minutes in length (20 minutes each), followed by about 30 minutes of Q&A.

A synopsis:

In considering the relationship between aid and costs, the debaters found little to agree on.

According to aid opponent Richard Vedder, distinguished professor of economics at Ohio University, the explosion in federal aid that began in the 1970s has not only not increased access for low income students, it’s led to rising prices for all, as colleges routinely hiked tuition in response to growing federal largesse.

Not true, said proponent Robert Archibald, chancellor professor of economics at the College of William and Mary, who went second and had the luxury of challenging Vedder’s positions throughout the debate. His research shows aid resulted in greater access for low-income students and lower real costs for all. Without it, colleges would be forced to discount steeply for low-income students and compensate with higher tuition for everyone else.

Rembering Chuck Colson (1931-2012)

Chuck Colson passed away this past weekend.  I enjoyed watching him give his testimony:

As well as this memorial video that Prison Fellowship released:

HT: Justin Taylor

1 In 2 New Graduates Are Jobless Or Underemployed

Not an encouraging report from the Associated Press:

The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.

Read the rest. It proves why, as I argued previously, if you don’t have academic ability or drive, it might be better to get work experience and forgo college loans.


Owen Strachan Interviews Eugene Peterson

Their interactions are on the reading and writing life of the pastor.  An excerpt from Peterson’s remarks:

Writing is a vocation; it’s not just a way to get published. I knew from early on that I was a writer. I didn’t know what that meant. I did have a sense that it meant something about the integrity of the gospel and none of this cheap Bible exegesis or propagandizing the gospel. I wanted to get into the whole story and the whole Bible. So I don’t think that’s a very good question to ask a writer, “Why do you write?” You write because there’s fire in your bones. You’ve got to do this whether anybody ever reads it or not. If you’re looking for whether you’re going to be published, you’ll probably cheapen what you’re doing.



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