Fantastic post by Michael Patton, author of Now That I’m a Christian: What It Means to Follow Jesus. Patton writes:
The central claims of the Bible demand historic inquiry, as they are based on public events that can be historically verified. In contrast, the central claims of all other religions cannot be historically tested and, therefore, are beyond falsifiability or inquiry. They just have to be believed with blind faith.
Svati Kirsten Narula, writing for The Atlantic: ”the average student in 1979 could work 182 hours (a part-time summer job) to pay for a year’s tuition. In 2013, it took 991 hours (a full-time job for half the year) to accomplish the same.”
Read the whole thing.
FYI – My new book has tips on saving for college, lowering the costs of college, and earning money during college.
Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor, authors of The Final Days of Jesus, discuss five errors to drop from your Easter sermon:
1. Don’t say Jesus died when he was 33 years old.
2. Don’t explain the apparent absence of a lamb at the Last Supper by only saying Jesus is the ultimate Passover Lamb.
3. Don’t say the same crowds worshiped Jesus on Palm Sunday and then cried out for his crucifixion on Good Friday.
4. Don’t bypass the role of the women as witnesses of the resurrected Christ.
5. Don’t focus on the suffering of Jesus to the extent that you neglect the glory of the Cross in and through the Resurrection.
Read the whole thing.
My friend Matt Perman and I are hosting an informal author meet-up in the lobby of The Galt House at 10:00 PM on Tuesday night (4/8) of the Together for the Gospel conference. (Note: the lobby is in the first floor of the Suit Tower.) We will have some copies of our books to give away. Stop by for a chance to win, or increase your chances of winning by e-mailing a question in advance. We’ll do our best to answer as many questions as we can at the meet-up.
Matt Perman is the author of What’s Best Next and a former director of strategy at Desiring God. Here’s a nutshell description of our books:
It occurred to me that it might be helpful–or at least different–to introduce Preparing Your Teens for College from the standpoint of key questions that I sought to address in the book. Here are seven of them:
1. What are the key character traits teens need to be successful at a college (of any sort)?
2. How can we help our teens own the Christian faith for themselves?
3. How can we help our teens make wise relational decisions and avoid the subversive influences of the wrong crowd?
4. How can we help our teens learn sound principles of financial stewardship so that they don’t become trapped in consumer debt or excessive student loan debt?
I’m grateful to Matt Smethurst of The Gospel Coalition for taking the time to interview me about Preparing Your Teens for College. Here’s one of our interactions:
How do today’s economic conditions make preparing our kids for college more crucial than ever before?
College is more expensive than ever. But with regard to future earnings prospects, it’s also more significant than ever. In June 2013, the unemployment rate for non-college grads was 7.6 percent, but for college grads it was about half of that (3.9 percent). You’ll see this pattern, in good times and bad, over the last few decades. And the “earnings premium”—the additional money that a college graduate earns relative to a non-college graduate—has been steadily increasing. In 1979, high school graduates were paid 77 percent of what college graduates made; today they make about 62 percent.
Good article by Sam Frizell in Time magazine. A few excerpts:
“At the end of 2003, American students and graduates owed just $253 billion in aggregate debt; by the end of 2013, American students’ debt had ballooned to a total of $1.08 trillion, an increase of over 300%. In the past year alone, aggregate student debt grew 10%. By comparison, overall debt grew just 43% in the last decade and 1.6% over the past year.”
Awilda Rodriguez and Andrew Kelly of the Center on Higher Education Reform at AEI:
Last fall, President Obama unveiled a plan to promote college affordability by changing the way the federal government distributes student financial aid. The proposal calls for a federal college ratings system that appraises colleges on measures of access, affordability, and student success.These ratings would then govern the allocation of federal student aid dollars, with schools that perform well receiving larger Pell Grants and more generous student loans. Schools that lag behind would get less….
Great observations from Michael Horton on an old practice less common in our day. An excerpt:
Pastors today aren’t as busy as Luther. Yet Luther said that it was the pastor’s duty to teach the catechism to the people, and he did so. He did it for the young people. And he taught them on personal visits.
This view of the pastor was carried over into Reformed practice also. Right down to today, pastors and elders make it a point to visit every family in the congregation—at least once a year.
Confession: I hate carrying and spending cash. Always have. I like the convenience of putting everything on one credit card, being able to have an instant record of my spending, and (of course) earning 1 percent cash back. I’m not prone to impulse purchases, and I’ve always paid my bill in full and on time. But Derek Thomas has a provocative article in The Atlantic on the downsides of our becoming a cashless society.
Thomas writes: “In the 1970s, fewer than 20 percent of the adult population owned a credit card. Today, between 70 and 80 percent of the adult population does.” So what? Thomas goes on to argue: