Creationism and Baraminology Research News

This blog has been superceded, and is only here for archive purposes. For the latest articles, please see us at our new location!

An ongoing list of creationist research projects. This is not a creationism-verse-evolution site, but a site to publicize the research work done by members of the creationist community and the intelligent design community, or research work by the science community at large constructively relating to creation topics. Evolutionary critiques may be included on occasion but only under special consideration, and especially where the research pertains directly to developing a creationist model.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

This blog has been officially superceded

I just finished transitioning all of my blogs onto my new website. Here is the superceded version of this blog. Also see all of my other blogs.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

God, Nature, and Design Conference at Oxford

This sure looks interesting. Sadly, I am already booked solid for the moment :(

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why Scriptural Geology Failed in the 1800's

GRISDA has a paper by Warren Johns explaining why he thinks that scriptural geology failed in the 1800s. It has some good ideas. Here are his suggestions:
  • Restricting flood layers to higher and higher portions of the geologic record

  • Lack of human fossils in geologic strata

  • The shift away from the hard facts of geology by the scriptural geologists

  • The major journals and educational institutions were hostile to traditional religious beliefs

  • The professionalization of geology made it difficult for part-time geologists (such as the scriptural geologists) to have a voice

  • Liberal theology was replacing orthodox theology as the dominant view

Monday, April 28, 2008

Art Chadwick's Dino Dig Site

I found an abstract from a poster session (pg. 49A) given by Art Chadwick on his dino dig site that I thought might be interesting. Not only were they using really cool GPS tech to come up with their maps, they also found the following, which I thought was interesting:

The mass mortality event is preserved within a normally graded bed in a poorly consolidated claystone or mudstone with large limb bones at the base, grading upward to vertebrae and toe bones at all query sites. The bones universally exhibit little evidence of weathering; abrasion and other transport degredation are also conspicuously absent. The claystone is conformably overlain by fine-grained, well-sorted immature sandstone showing evidence of rapid accumulation. We propose that a large population of ornithopods...was catastrophically decimated and initially accumulated in a nearshore freshwater environment. Subsequently, the disarticulating remains were remobilized and transported basinward to a deeper water setting as a graded bone bed.

I had listened to his talk at the BSG conference a while back, but did not remember hearing that the bones were sorted by bone size. Anyway, there's lots of interesting information in there.

Monday, April 14, 2008


If you are interested in probability, I think you'll find this blog post very interesting. The comments are also good.

For Intelligent Design purposes, _both_ the frequentist and bayesian outlooks on probability are important. The bayesian outlook is important in examining search strategies of cells for new genome configurations. When searching for a solution, you use probabilities as a way of separating out what you do and don't know.

However, I think that the frequentist outlook is also important. The generation of numbers which form probability curves is important, and I believe it belongs to a general feature of nature which can supply randomized numbers according to probabilities in order to maintain balance within nature.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Being in God's Creation

Some of the things that have been coming out lately in science news is that, *gasp*, God's Creation is good for us! Things like being out in the sun actually help our bodies fight cancer. And now we are learning that playing outside can lower the risk of allergies. This is also interesting when we consider some of the ideas about symbioses which have been previously considered. Might it be that there are symbionts available in the environment that we are not getting when we are in an environment that is too clean?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Noah's Ark Studies: From Origen to the Present Day

Bryan's CORE center just put out a short informational essay called How to Build an Ark, which details the studies into the Ark's possible construction from the time of Origen to the present day. It's an interesting read. Some recent ark studies include:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bookstore Improvements and the Future of this Blog

UPDATE - I put an incorrect link to the bookstore, but it is now fixed!

First of all, I've revamped the bookstore so that it includes a lot more material, but is also better organized. Please let me know if you have additional suggestions. I've tried to weed out the useless stuff, but let me know if I may have missed something or been overly-critical.

Second, for the future of this blog, I'm going to be merging this with a lot of my other activities under the unified banner of Bartlett Publishing. This will probably not happen for a few weeks or months, but I thought you might want to know that it is coming, and the URL for this blog will likely be changing to match.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Eggs and Tracks in the Flood

Ian Juby has been kind enough to let me repost this from a listserv that we are on together. It's more-or-less an FAQ about flood models, and what they do with eggs and tracks in the flood. I've slightly edited portions of it which were referencing other listserv emails.

I had received some queries and skepticism regarding the dino egg nests, flood deposits, etc.. - and have even heard about people abandoning the faith with one of the main reasons being that land animal tracks werenin the rock record.

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I thought I would try to tie this all together (pictureless, unfortunately) into a flood model, to hopefully clear things up. It'll be long, so I've broken it into sections:
  1. Dinosaur egg nests and trackways: are they in flood layers?

  2. Egg nests in more detail

  3. Tracks in more detail

  4. What the bible says about the flood

  5. Flood model

  6. The context of eggs and tracks within the flood model

  7. In conclusion

Dinosaur Egg Nests and Trackways: Are They in Flood Layers?

In short, yes. One must remember that it is not just dinosaur tracks that are in question - there are fossil footprints all throughout the rock record: dinosaur, human, scorpion, amphibian/lizard, spider, bird, etc...

At any rate, there are tracks of land animals and birds found in very deep layers.

All of these layers are clearly flood layers, and are all clearly associated with each other, via ONE flood. For example, these layers are all parallel to each other, often thousands of feet thick - yet the layers will bend (in unison) over mountains and uplifts. I can't really go into a lot of detail here, other than to say that the big picture screams "global flood."

The layers are parrallel to each other, sometimes found all over the world, and bending over mountains which also would have been formed during the later part of the flood.

The dinosaur eggs are no exception - in fact, even the evolutionists say that the eggs are laid on tidal flats!

So yes, the trackways and egg "nests" are in flood layers. The tracks and eggs often have hundreds (thousands?) of feet of sedimentary layers on top of them - layers that are parallel to all the rest of the rock record, and often found around the world.

Egg Nests in More Detail

I will mostly defer to the CRSQ article "Dinosaur egg nests reinterpreted," available on the CRSQ website.

I will merely refer to that article, citing major points from it, as well as my own two cents on a number of things, having had the opportunity now to see dozens of dinosaur egg clutches and remains (either in person, by photograph, or by scientific literature).
  1. eggs are rarely in nests, and often found in fragments and caved-in.

  2. what is commonly referred to as a "nest" is not at all nest-like, merely a clutch of eggs

  3. as for the nests that are genuine nests, so what? How long would it take to make an egg nest? A few hours?

  4. embryos are exceedingly rare in dino eggs; there was no incubation time before they were destroyed, presumably by the overburden that rapidly accumulated on them

  5. the egg clutches, when studied closely, actually show that they were laid in stressful conditions - not ideal conditions.

  6. there has now been _several_ oviraptors found buried with/on their nests - wikipedia has a nice photo of citipati, an oviraptor found buried alive on its nest. This is hardly evidence against the flood! Much ado was made by the dino-to-bird enthusiasts who simply assumed that its position reflected its brooding pattern (like a chicken), apparently ignoring the more likely explanation that it was trying to protect its eggs, even while being buried alive with them. Even the evolutionists know that these oviraptors were buried by a flash flood while sitting on their nests! They are found in layers that even the evolutionists claim were river beds or tidal flats!

  7. embryos that are found in eggs can be explained by stressful conditions, where the mother simply carried the eggs so long that incubation took place, before discharging the eggs

  8. while eggs, like tracks, are usually found very near the surface, there is often hundreds to thousands of vertical feet of sediments on top of them.

One can see how someone's faith can be shaken - the layers are claimed to be made by Noah's flood, so how on earth were dinosaurs laying their eggs in the bottom of a raging ocean during a global flood?

Tracks in More Detail

I've also now gotten to study tracks (including some megatrack sites) all over North America.

Contrary to what is commonly portrayed, tracks are an excellent evidence for rapid, catastrophic geological processes. The sediments they are found in must be deposited rapidly, in large quantities over vast areas, and must lithify (harden) rapidly.

There have been numerous dinosaur tracks found which mimic the coconino amphibian tracks in the Grand Canyon: The tracks go from very deep impressions, to lighter, to claws only, to completely vanishing. Even the evolutionists have acknowledged that these are from dinosaurs who went swimming! However, using the bighorn basin tracks in Wyoming as an example, you'll notice the evo's have painted a pretty picture of the nice dinosaur stepping off a shoreline into deeper and deeper water, eventually swimming. Ahhh, what a nice picture of dinosaur going for a cool, refreshing swim. However, this nice picture is not even remotely close to reality. The layers the swimming tracks are found on are FLAT. They are TIDAL FLATS. The dinosaur did NOT go down into the water, the water came UP, and the dinosaur had no choice but to start swimming!

Such trackways are common.

I also have photos of dinosaur tracks that have clearly been made in fast-moving water, as the trackways "crabtracked", or walked sideways, with the position of the feet being twisted by the current the dinosaur was walking in.

Tracks are always found on these "tidal flats", or layers that usually extend flat over large portions of the country/continent.

Using the Red Fleet track site in Utah as another example, the dinosaur tracks are under about 1,000 feet of sedimentary layers. That's how much overburden is within eyesight - I don't know how much may have been removed or may still be found on top of that 1,000 feet or so, beyond eyesight.

The Price, Utah coal mine tracks are very famous indeed, and very important to the discussion. The tracks were made in the incredibly thick layers of plant matter that now make up the coal - evidence of a watery catastrophe. The tracks are found on MULTIPLE levels, stratigraphically. In other words, they are found in rock layers tens to hundreds of feet higher in the rock sequence. There are polystrate trees in association with the tracks, and this is also apparently true for the Grande Cache tracks in Alberta; in fact, this is most likely the same coal seam and rock layers, thousands of kilometers to the North. These coal seams can be hundreds of feet underground.

Incidentally, the polystrate stumps and the dinosaur tracks themselves can KILL! The lycopod stumps are cone-shaped, and thus can fall out of the roof of the coal mine, once the coal is removed. These can weigh hundreds of kilograms and are nicknamed "kettles." The same goes for the dinosaur tracks - they too can be hundreds of kilograms, and once the coal is removed underneath them, people walking underneath them can get a dino track to the head, killing or injuring.

With the Paluxy river tracks, this is in the Cretaceous chalks, which we discussed previously - a layer which is found on every continent. It was obviously laid down by a global flood, and in the immediate vicinty of here (I'm in Glen Rose right now, writing from the banks of the Paluxy), one can see hundreds of feet of sedimentary layers on top of the tracks. Take a short drive, you can see hundreds of feet more. I don't know what the maximum thickness of overburden would be.

These are just the dinosaur tracks I'm discussing here, which are obviously in the middle of "flood layers." Once can see how someone's faith can be shaken by the "evidence." After all, how on earth can dinosaurs wander around the bottom of a raging ocean, in the middle of a global flood?

What the Bible Says About the Flood

This is key to understanding the whole scenario. Anti-creationists betray their ignorance about the global flood (and its overwhelming evidence) and what the bible claims.
  1. The flood did NOT happen overnight!

  2. it was 40 DAYS (almost a month and a half!) before the ark was lifted

  3. it was 150 DAYS (FIVE MONTHS!!!) before the highest mountains were covered

  4. the mountains rose out of the flood waters

  5. obviously we're not underwater now, so the floodwaters LEFT the continents

Flood Model

It does not matter which flood model you favour - the points remain the same:

Now let's logicaly follow this through: What would happen during a global flood?

Today, we have TIDES. Do not underestimate the power of these tides. Obviously the tides would still be present during the flood - in fact, if anything, they would be enhanced.

Even going by today's tides, which average 3 to 5 feet, a five foot tide is a pretty serious tide!

So, every twelve hours we have a tide that comes in, and goes out. During the flood, each tide would be HIGHER than the last, because the flood waters are RISING. I would suggest a ten foot high tide is not at all out of line.

By comparison, the Inodesian Tsunamis were less than 30 feet.

During the Indonesian tsunami, we learned many things about sedimentary deposition; for example, one wave can lay down 3 to 5 sedimentary layers.

Thus, every twelve hours, during a global flood, we can lay down multiple layers with each incoming tidal wave (higher than the last), as well as "who knows how many" layers being deposited by waves superimposed upon the tidal wave.

We also saw excellent examples of organism sorting during the Indonesian tsunami:

People dead: > 280,000
Animals dead: 0?

It's like the animals KNEW it was coming and headed for high ground.

I've also been continuously amazed at what we've learned here at Glen Rose with our flume research.

One of the thing that's amazed me here as how we can dump ENORMOUS amounts of dirt with just a little bit of surprisingly slow-moving water! In our original, linear-flume experiments, our water speed was a pretty constant five feet per second - not a lot of velocity at all! We usually deposited sediments nearly the same thickness of the water! During our second runs, we were not depositing anywhere near as many sediments, though the water was faster, and thus more capable of carrying more sediments. The reason had nothing to do with the speed - it had to do with our sediment/water ratio - we had lots of water and very few sediments. Lots of sediments can be moved even with slow-moving water.

The Context of Eggs and Tracks Within the Flood Model

So, within my flood model (which I think is quite reasonable), every twelve hours you have a fresh wave of water and sediments washing higher on land. The water goes out during low tide, leaving behind the nice, freshly laid sediments. This goes on for MONTHS.

During this time, dinosaurs gestating eggs want to either a) make a nest (instinct would drive them to do this) or b) ditch the eggs to save energy as they flee the oncoming flood waters (again, instinct would also drive them to do this).

During low tide, dinosaurs, people, birds, etc..., would go out onto the tidal flats either foraging for food, or trying to get to other high ground.

High tide would come in, burying the tracks. Whether the tracks were preserved by rapid lithification of the sediments, or rapid burial, in either case, the preservation had to be rapid. Some dinosaurs would be forced to swim as the rising waters came in. Perhaps people, dinosaurs, and other animals, simply swam for a few hours until the tide went out. Some are swept out to sea, others deposited on the newly deposited flats.

As a side note, it is remarkable how far one can walk - especially if in a hurry. I often go for a ten mile hike "just for fun" and can keep a four mile per hour pace quite easily while walking railroad tracks. I don't know how far a human or dinosaur could walk/run between tides, but it could potentially be an incredible distance. Let us also keep in mind that conditions were obviously radically different at the time of the flood - one look at giants in the fossil record settles that issue. Under these better environmental conditions, people can walk farther without fatigue. Thus, it is quite possible that even humans could cover incredible distances during the few hours of low tide.

Some dinosaurs would ditch their eggs as the next tide came in; this is why most eggs are found in disorganized piles, or in rows. They are not "nests" but rather discarded eggs.

Some dinosaurs would attempt to make an egg nest. This can be done very quickly in between tides - why not? Oviraptor citipati (and others) can be buried by surprisingly slow-moving water which is merely heavily laden with sediments. The tidal waters of the Bay of Fundy are very slow moving, but rise and fall up to 50 feet! These tides can KILL if you get stuck out in the mud during low tide. It does not take water of incredible velocity to carry sediments, nor to bury organisms, it just takes lots of dirt and water.

Scorpion and spider tracks within the coconino sandstones are often cited as evidence that they were "deserts" and not laid by the flood. Hogwash. Spiders are too light to make tracks in sand - especially the depth of the tracks we find (I have some of these in my museum collection).

However, SEA spiders are negatively bouyant (very dense and heavy for their size) and are the more likely candidate for the "octopod" tracks within the coconino. As for the "Scorpion" tracks, they could have been from a sea scorpion, but let's assume they are from a scorpion. Scorpions can live for DAYS underwater. Furthermore, fossil "scorpion" tracks have been found on ellesmere island in the Canadian high arctic. While at Joggins last summer, we stumbled upon a young man, a rock hound who'd been collecting there for years, who'd found a FOSSIL SCORPION at Joggins - nobody is claiming that Joggins was a desert! They're claiming it was the shore of an ocean!

In conclusion

Tracks and eggs are definitely made in "flood deposits" from Noah's flood. However, they are easily explained, and in fact, BEST explained, within the context of a global flood.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

International Conference on Creationism 2008

Just got word that ICC 2008 is going to be in Pittsburgh, PA, August 3-7. It and the BSG conference are back-to-back and in the same hotel!!! Very exciting! I am going to try to be at both. They have some of the abstracts posted already:
  • Biological Creation and Relationship - The Prevalence of Symbiosis in Nature - Oooohh, one of my favorite subjects!

  • The Origin of the Elements - I think this is going to be Setterfield's paper on how the elements can originate from water in a plasma form - very cool!

  • Catastrophic Geology of the Northern Rocky Mountains - Catastrophic geology is always a fun subject :)

Anyway, it looks like a great time for everyone. And remember, if you didn't get a chance to get your papers into ICC, I'm guessing the BSG will have a pretty big turnout this year as well, since it is right afterwards in the same hotel!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Combined BSG/Creation Geology Group Conference

The 2008 BSG conference is going to be held combined with the Creation Geology Group conference. The conference, titled "Frontiers in Creation Research", will be held August 7-8 in Pittsburgh. See more information at the BSG conference website. Abstracts are due March 28.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stuff that's just cool

It turns out, some DNA encodes things on both its strands.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Creation Journal! Online and Free!

AIG has a new research journal out with Andrew Snelling as the editor. The most exciting part -- the journal is online, free, and freely sharable!

Finally, someone gets it, and understands what will take Creation research to the next level.

Here's the link: The Answers Research Journal

Saturday, January 05, 2008

RATE Diamond Results Duplicated and Reported

A recent paper by Taylor and Southon, Use of natural diamonds to monitor 14C AMS instrument backgrounds, confirms the results that the RATE group discovered in testing diamonds for C14.

According to the paper, AMS systems should in theory be capable of detecting apparent ages of up to 100,000 years. In order to minimize sample contamination, Taylor and Southon used diamonds which are impervious to most types of contamination which had been removed from paleozoic strata.

This is related to the ability of diamonds to repel and exclude water from adhering to its surface, a very unusual property for a mineral. It was this unique physical characteristic of diamond that was the basis of our hypothesis that this surface would eliminate or significantly reduce the adhesion of carbon or carbon-containing molecules from the ion source of an AMS spectrometer that would contribute to a trace memory or sample cross talk effect.

The really interesting part is when you compare the results from multiple cuts of a single diamond compared with other diamonds. The cuts from the single diamond shows a range of 14C content between 0.00015-0.00018 fm (fm=fraction of modern - 69,000-70,000 yrs apparent age). The range from different diamonds is 0.00005-0.00021fm (68,000 - 80,000 yrs apparent age). This indicates that the differences are due to real C14 differences in the diamonds, not in instrumentation. If the problem was instrumentation, then both the split sample and the individual samples should have about the same variance, especially since (by long-age assumptions) both should be C14-dead. Instead, the carbon seems to be intrinsic to the diamonds themselves.

According to the paper:

Our measurements have confirmed our hypothesis that diamonds represent a much "cleaner" surface with respect to adhesion of carbon-containing molecules from the ion source that contribute to trace memory or sample "cross talk" effect. At this time, it is not clear to us what factors might be involved in the greater variability in the apparent 14C concentrations exhibited in individual diamonds as opposed to splits from a single natural diamond. Possible factors suggested to us are greater variability in the orientation of the crystal facies and microfractures in individual diamonds.

They also mention at the end that they plan on carrying out future experiments on artificial diamonds (in order to control introduction of C14) to see the differences in the machine output.

Anyway, it's a very interesting paper, especially since it essentially duplicates the RATE results, but done using a different laboratory and even for a different purpose (the authors did not give any indication that they doubted the long presumed age of the diamonds).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Highlights from CMI and AIG

Sorry I haven't been around. The combination of huge projects at work and seminary have taken me away. Seminary is done for the semester, but the huge projects still have a few weeks on them. Anyway, in the interim, here are some highlights from CMI's blog:

AIG's blog also has an interesting postings:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Moralizing Non-Believers

This post is a little off-topic, but the site I was hosting this at may go offline soon, and I need a place to stick it. In any case, here it is:

The Problem of Moralizing Non-believers
Jonathan Bartlett

Why moralizing non-believers doesn't advance the Kingdom of God even one inch.

Many Christians today are really missing the boat when it comes to doing Christ's work. It seems that the ministry that God has called us to, the Great Commission, has been degraded to the Great Moralization. What I mean is that Christians have essentially given up trying to bring lost people to Jesus, and instead have focused on simply berating them for the way they live their lives.

This seems to me, well, backwards. Isn't living in sin what nonbelievers do? I'm not saying that believers don't sin, just that it's no longer something were bound into doing, it's just something we do because we're idiots. With believers they don't have a choice. Sure, they can stop one sin, but only to replace it with another. The best one can hope for in trying to moralize a non-believer is that the person in question will give up one life of sin for another - and what good is that?

It seems that we are fighting battles which need not be fought. One of my favorite examples of this is the assertion from non-believers that people are born homosexual. Now, I don't really believe it myself, but I hardly see the harm in it. What you have is non-believers coming out in agreement with the Christian doctrine that we are all born with a sinful nature. The fact that they are being specific about their sinful nature isn't that important. Why Christians are so combative about this argument is beyond me.

I've also heard many people, especially creationists, getting all up in arms because people who don't believe in God aren't believing in God being the creator. Well, what do you expect them to believe? It's not a conspiracy, people. People who are
aren't Christians don't act like Christians, and they shouldn't be expected to do so. In fact, I'm rather glad they don't, because it makes it more obvious who needs Jesus. When you see someone who is a murderer, a prostitute, a rapist, a homosexual,
a cheater, or whatever, God's instructions are to simply view them as people who need Jesus. After all, if we fix those things first, what have we really gained? We have someone who is still just as lost as they were before, just lost in a different jungle.

The people who are trying to change the world to Christian principles without first having them know Jesus is to both mock Christ and deny His power. You are mocking Him because you are belittling the importance of a relationship with Him. You are denying His power because your actions imply that you can lead a godly life without God. How dare you.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Video: Thinking About Creation - Irreducible Complexity pt 1

I just finished producing my next video in the Thinking About Creation series. This one is the first of several (probably 2 or 3) on Irreducible Complexity. This one covers the basics of what irreducible complexity is and how it relates to design thinking:

Complete Creation pt 3

Ian Juby has a new edition of Complete Creation out. This is his best one yet, as it covers some of his own personal study of Joggins.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Shots of the Moon

Sorry I haven't been updating the blog -- seminary + work is killing me. However, in a moment of spare time, my 5-year-old son and I looked at the moon tonight, and after he went to bed I took some shots. These are actually pretty good pictures considering it was a $70 telescope and a fairly cheap camera, and I don't know what I'm doing :)

Anyway, here are the pictures:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Call for a New Kind of Seminary

The current method of seminary just doesn't work. Perhaps in years past it was a great idea, but the present local Church has suffered greatly because of the seminaries. The local Church has suffered in the following ways:
  • The divide between lay and clergy is too wide. Lay people need access to more in-depth Biblical training, and pastors need more real-life experience.

  • The divide between the Church and the seminary is too wide. Seminaries often no longer reflect who Christ is, but instead try to be secular institutions which happen to teach theological ideas, rather than being an extension of the Church.

  • The seminaries which are gospel-focused have often lost their academic footings, and place the Church in jeopardy for lack of reasoned ideas.

  • Seminaries require potential clergy to take on huge debt loads, while debt is not something that Christians should be encouraging.

What I propose is that the local Churches take back seminary, literally. I'm not saying we should reform our institutions, but rather that we should move the physical location of learning back to the Churches themselves. Look, knowing the deep truths of the Bible is not something that should be reserved for clergy. We are all responsible for our faith, and in fact, any of us may be called to act in clergy-like roles. After all, we are God's priesthood. Why should the local Church not provide full theological training to anyone who wants it? Should knowing God and His word not be the right of every child of God?

Now, to make this happen will require quite a lot of work. First of all, those who have been gifted academically need to stop being greedy. Now, everyone knows that authors usually don't make much money, but that doesn't mean they aren't greedy. Many of them view their work as "theirs", and guard it jealously. They don't want any unauthorized reproductions - least of all unauthorized mass reproductions. And heaven for bid such information be freely available on the Internet!

The truth is, those who are gifted academically need to acknowledge that their gift is from God and that it is their responsibility to share that gift with the whole Church. Anything else is boasting in yourself of what God has freely given. This isn't to say that such people should not be paid. There are many avenues of payment that don't require that knowledge be withheld from those who thirst for it. Pastor's frequently make tape recordings of their sermons and hand them out to anyone who asks, and they still get paid. The fact is, the secular world is already understanding this, and us Christians just can't seem to understand this "sharing" concept.

It will also take dedication from the lay people. They aren't used to having anything either required of them, or even to attain such heights. They will have to be coached, and let them know that yes they CAN learn about God. Yes, it isn't just people in dark robes who can analyze scripture. It is every Christian's right to know God's word. In fact, it is a responsibility to know it, and know how to use it. But when was the last time a Church taught the basics of Biblical Interpretation? When have they taught the ancient languages?

In addition, we need to stop viewing pastorship as a lifelong notion. Certainly there will be some, if not many lifelong pastors. However, we should not perceive this as a foregone conclusion. In Paul's churches, the people who took the reigns of the Church after him were those who labored with him. He did not need to send out a search committee for pastors. They were already in the midst of the Church. God can raise up leaders from within. We don't have to look high and low for them. They are already here. If we bothered to teach our lay members, they would have the capacity to take the lead when needed.

Paul taught. In Ephesus he taught for hours each day for many years. Ephesus became a mighty Church. When it was persecuted, it caused many Churches to spring up in the surrounding areas. You see, the lay members had been well-taught, so when it was time, they were easily ready to take the leadership role. They didn't have to wait and find a pastor, or wait for some new kid to pass through seminary. The people were already educated.

So am I just complaining, or do I have a plan? Well, I have the beginnings of a plan. With your prayers and your help, you might be able to help me make this a reality. I estimate it will take 10 to 15 years to make this happen, but I think it can be done. Here's what I'm thinking of:
  • Find a teacher

  • The teacher teaches one course at a time. The courses are videotaped.

  • To start out with, the courses will utilize standard, copyrighted textbooks. Hopefully these can be replaced with open ones over time.

  • When future students take the course, they simply download the videos.

  • The teacher is available to answer questions and comment on homework (yes, there would still be homework).

  • The students can do the course and homework at ANY pace. When they finish a homework item, they pass it on to the teacher.

  • The teacher examines and comments on the homework, and tells the student whether the student should spend more time studying the subject or should continue on further. The teacher also provides additional insight to aide the student's thinking.

By going through this process, one course at a time, we can develop a full seminary education that's available to any person who wants to love God with all of their mind. It will bring academia back to the Church, and remove the current separation.

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