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Jon Meacham - Produce Proof or Publicly Apologize!

Friday, April 28, 2006

I had posted this earlier, but had removed it while I was waiting to hear back from Mr. Meacham. I am re-posting it at this time with the intention of updating it when he gets back to me.

Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham recently spoke at the inauguration of John Lilley as the president of Baylor University.

If the reports by Tim Woods of the Waco Tribune-Herald are accurate, I believe that Jon Meacham needs to produce some proof regarding one of the claims he made in the speech or publicly apologize to Bob Jones University.

The article is here: Newsweek editor's speech highlights Lilley's inauguration as Baylor head

The particularly egregrious comment, in my opinion is found below:

Meacham interspersed jokes with serious discussion of faith and people’s intellectual examination of their own beliefs. He told the crowd of an e-mail he received from a man at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., in response to an article he wrote for Newsweek.

“The message was to the point: Dear Mr. Meacham, I am praying for you, but I hope you go to hell,” Meacham said.

I cannot honestly believe that Mr. Meacham received such an email from "a man at Bob Jones University." It sounds a lot more like something someone who only knows a caricature of BJU may believe people at BJU think and say, rather than what someone who is actually at BJU would think or say.

If such an email does exist, I want to see it. I would like some proof. I have sent an email to Newsweek seeking a clarification from Mr. Meacham, but the initial reply I got (an automated response with FAQs) led me to believe that I probably will not get much of a response. However, I did get an email in which Mr. Meacham has promised to respond to my concerns.

As a believer and as a BJU graduate, I can attest that I have never heard anyone at BJU express a desire that matches what is claimed to have been included in this email. Christians do not "hope" people go to Hell. We desire for their repentance, not their ultimate damnation.

Mr. Meacham's offense will probably not get any play in the MSM, but it is not an innocent offense. Perhaps it would be better understood by Mr. Meacham and his friends if the shoe were on the other foot and someone prominent were quoted as saying, "I received a email from a member of the editorial staff at Newsweek and he said that we are going to be devote ourselves to denigrating Christianity as often as we can and we hope that we can get all Christians to stop subscribing to our magazine." Surely they would expect some proof of this email or demand an apology. I am sure that they would already have their lawyers working on a lawsuit by now.

So, let's see it, Mr. Meacham. Put up or apologize. If you actually have some proof, I will just a publically call for an apology from the person who wrote the email and/or the school. I seriously doubt any such proof exists.

Just my thoughts,


Happy Birthday to my Big Girl

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Today is the birthday of my oldest daughter, Christina Ruth Sansone. She turns seven today, but we already had her birthday party on Saturday.

Happy Birthday, Christina. I hope that you have had a good birthday today and that you enjoyed having a "school birthday" as well. It hardly seems possible that you are already seven years old. How big you have gotten to be!

I love you, big girl. I love your sensitive spirit. You have always been a quiet and sweet girl. Even when you were young, you managed to find ways to entertain yourself and have fun all on your own. I remember when you were young we could sit you on a blanket with a couple of toys and you would stay there and play with them - we could never get your brother to do that! (And you know we can't get Beka to do that!)

I remember when you came up with your own version of "lizards and sharks" - you were much more relational with them - they had to be friends and do things together, rather than attack each other. Your love for others and your desire to help them is an encouragement to me - how many other little girls do you know who are willing to clean up their brother's room without him even asking? I guarantee you, not many!

I know this last year or so of transition has not been easy for you. You miss your old friends a lot, not just the children, but the older ones like the teen girls who babysat you back in NJ. Hopefully we can visit some of them again soon.

You are growing up soo big. You do a really good job at helping out (when you want to) and you have a very nice singing voice that I love to hear when Mommy plays for you before church on Wednesday nights. I can't believe that you are growing up so fast. A big part of me wants to just stop things so that you and Josiah and Rebekah can always be my little children. Please keep your love for God primary and keep your love for your family and others strong.

I love you, big girl. I pray for you and I hope you have a good birthday.



File under Family_, Personal_

Newsweek post temporarily removed

Monday, April 24, 2006

Earlier today I had published a post about a statement made by an editor of Newsweek. I had emailed Newsweek, but based on the automated response I received from them, I did not expect for my email to actually be answered. I then posted here about the situation. Since my initial post, I have been contacted via email by the person in question and he has expressed an interest in calling me to clarify the situation that I was discussing.

I have therefore removed the previous post until I get get a chance to hear the other side of the story. If you came back here looking for that previous post, I hope you will understand. I will fill in the details once I have had a chance to receive and process this new information.

Just my thoughts,


Sermons available for listening and downloading

Saturday, April 22, 2006

After some considerable time trying to figure things out, I am pleased to be able to announce that we are now able to make some of our Sunday Sermons will be available on our church web-site.

It is not our current plan to upload every sermon, as we do not have the space for that type of thing, but it is our desire to make a few sermons available for those who are interested. The new sermons can be found by clicking on the "Audio" link on the main church website page at

The first sermon that has been made available on the web-site is the message from last Sunday (Easter Sunday), entitled "Responses to the Resurrection" on Matthew 28. It can be found through the main church web page as described above, or it can also be accessed through clicking here.

I hope that you find this helpful.

Just my thoughts,


Jesus Walked on Ice?? You have to be kidding me

Thursday, April 20, 2006

In one of the stranger attempts to explain away a miracle of Christ that I have seen, an article in the April 2006 edition of the Journal of Paleolimnology suggests that rather than walking on water, Jesus actually walked on ice.

Here is an article about the article: Jesus Could Have Walked on Ice, Scientist Says

I wonder if this scientist or the author of the article actually took time to read the Biblical account of this story.

Mt 14:24-33 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

If you notice, in the story, there are a number of factors that make this "theory" rediculous.

1. The disciples (of whom a majority are experienced fishermen who had spent much time on this very lake) are in a boat and don't notice all the supposed ice.

2. Christ not only walks on water Himself, He also bids Peter come out and walk on the water, without letting Peter know where to find the floating ice.

3. Apparently Peter's ice was not any good, as Peter began to sink.

This attempted explanation reminds of the old discussion when people claim that the Israelites only crossed a swamp instead of the God parting the Red Sea. Okay, then explain how Pharoah's army all drowned in this swamp.

Christ walked on water. It was a miracle. The disciples recognized it as such and responded the way we all should respond to the miraculous Christ - they worshipped Him.

Just my thoughts,


File under Bible_, Culture_War, Fundamentalism_

Science is going to save the world! - Ignorance is bliss

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Cliff J. from Chico, California recently demonstrated how ignorance can be bliss, even in the name of "science".

From the Chico Enterprise-Record's website (, we are given a beautiful little gem of wisdom under the title "The enlightened masses?"

Among the pieces of wisdom dispensed out from this short piece of writing are the following:

Science education is going to be what ultimately unifies the world, not Bush or Osama bin Laden and the powers from above that they both say are guiding them. But how to spread the truth? Maybe drop science books instead of bombs. How about missionary scientists, using the humanitarian pretense as a means to deliver their message?

I am all for science education and education in general. Of course, what I would encourage in the realm of science education would look a little different than our friend Cliff would envision. For one thing, I would be against the propoganda of evolution being taught as fact in a taxpayer funded educational institution, which i am guessing is exactly what Cliff thinks is so great about "science".

His next quote is also interesting:
Closed minds are everywhere. Here in America, we don't imprison scientists like the Catholic Church did with Galileo, but we still see the fundamentalists terrorizing their children into not listening to their public school science teacher by telling the kids that their teacher is an agent of the devil. Instead of burning the books, they burn the minds of their children, so they're afraid to read the book.

His vitriolic spirit is clearly demonstrated here, as well as his ignorance. First of all, many of the children of fundamentalists are already out of the public school system. Secondly, those children that are still in the government schools are not being terrorized into not listening - they are instead being made aware that just because the teacher says it, does not make it true. Thirdly, no one is accusing the teacher of being an agent of the devil.

Ironically, it is the side of Cliff that comes the closest to advocating burning books in this discussion. Both the Creation Science side and the ID side (I have issues with ID, but not for this post) are advocating providing more information and presenting additional viewpoints to this discussion. It is the "science establishment" in the government schools who are seeking to keep the ideas that are opposed to them oppressed.

When Cliff uses the example of Galileo, it provides a nice parallel, but the parallel works the opposite of his own intention.

In the discussion of the helio-centric universe, we had a powerful and established institution sure of their view and oppressing those who desired to question that view.

In the discussion of evolution and creation, we have a powerful and established institution sure of their view that is oppressing those who desire to question that view.

Cliff finishes off with this dandy,
Be thankful that the world's geologists didn't come from Bob Jones University, or Liberty University (Jerry Falwell's). If they did, your means of transportation would still be a donkey.

Folks, I could not make this up. Since when did the world geologists have anything significant to do with modes of transportation? Were those involved in the "horseless carriage" geologists? Were the Wright brothers geologists? Was Henry Ford a geologist? Please help me see the connection.

I guess as long as you believe that "science" will save the world, then such things as logic and reasoning are no longer necessary. Wow!

Just my thoughts,


File under Culture_War, Education_, Hot_Issues

Some comments and questions

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

If you have visited A Thinking Man's Thoughts previously, you surely recognize that there has been some changes made to the blog. You have also probably noticed that until the last day or so it had been a while since I did much posting on this blog.

If you read the post about the Building Dedication, you can probably guess some of the real world issues that have caused blogging to take a back seat. (What the real world trumps blogging? I am obviously a bad blogger!) Another real world project that I have been working on is designing our church website - (we officially changed our name on the Building Dedication Sunday). I also have been working on trying to start digitally recording our sermons at Fellowship Baptist Church,

I am still in the process of making changes to the blog, but I will highlight a couple of these changes and ask for some feedback from those who visit here.

1. Overall layout
I have wanted to set up a three-column layout for awhile now (I tried a few months ago), but I could not figure out how to do it. Part of the idea to this adjusted format is that more of what I want to be visible at a quick glance will now be available without having to scroll down so much. I found the layout at Thur's Templatez

2. Categories for Blogger!!!
One of the frustrations that many people have with Blogger is that there is not a built-in way to tag blog posts into categories. For a lot of people, this is frustrating. A few months ago, I started to move my blog over to Wordpress in part because of this fact. Thanks to netcf2, I finally have a way to do this. Thank you to whoever runs the netcf2 site, as it allows me to have categories for the blog without loosing my "google juice." (One drawback is that I need to go through my old posts and set them up in the categories, but I am making progress!)

3. Added a picture of a thinking man.
One of the more frequent searches that find their way to my site is people looking for a picture of a thinking man. So, I thought I would reward all of those who come here looking for it by at least showing a part of the picture. A believe the picture most people are probably looking for is called "The Thinker" by Rodin.

Anyway, I would love to hear some comments on the overall layout and the categories, etc. (I will say that I have already had one person indicate that they like the old look better.)

Just my thoughts,


File under Blogging_, Personal_

Building Dedication Sunday

On Sunday, April 9, we celebrated our Building Dedication Sunday at Fellowship Baptist Church. It was great to see many people come out to join us for this special day. We had a number of friends and visitors from locally, as well as a good group of people from our former church (Hardingville Bible Church).

In the morning service, Pastor Mark Franklin from Hardingville Bible Church preached, and he dealt with the building of the walls in Nehemiah's day and encouraged us as we move ahead as a group of believers.

In the afternoon service, Pastor Steve Wagner, the founding Pastor of Messiah Baptist Fellowship (now named Fellowship Baptist Church) spoke on Revelations 2-3 and dealt with the Lord Jesus Christ's messages to the seven churches.

We also enjoyed special music from Mr. John Fleming, Mr. Ken Dennis, and Mrs. Edna Woodhall and had a great time of food and fellowship at the new building.

Just my thoughts,


File under Church_

Preparation for Building Dedication

On Sunday, April 9, we held our Building Dedication Sunday at the church. It was a great day in which to thank God and to praise Him for what He has done in our midst. I plan on blogging about that soon and including some pictures later this week. Since I do not have the pictures for that day, yet, I thought I would take this space to highlight the work that has been done on the building and then do a post on the Building Dedication soon.

As I look around at the building, I am amazed at God's goodness to us as a church in providing for us such a wonderful place to meet. If someone had said to me last year that we would be in a building this nice by this time, I would have had difficulty believing it. If you had said to me a couple of months ago that the building we are in would look so nice, I would have had difficulty believing that as well.

One of the things that has been encouraging in this whole process is the way that practically everyone has chipped in and helped. It has truly been a team effort and the final product is much nicer than it would have been if I had been the one deciding things by myself.

Here are some pictures for those who have not had an opportunity to see the new building.

File under Church_

A Word of Clarification

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I received a lot of hits yesterday due to our little "Happy 19th Birthday Roast" of Scott Anoil. I think that most people who came here via SharperIron or from one of the other guys in the little link or from Scott's blog are aware of a couple of factors that some of my other readers (including some folks from my church, family members and people I know from other places) are probably unaware. SOOO, I wanted to make a couple of quick comments for the few of you who do fit in that category. I know it can be frustrating at times to be on the outside of an inside joke.

1. Scott Anoil is an Assistant Pastor in Illinois whose blog focuses primarily on the issue of Christian music and culture. I have never met him personally, but I have come to respect much of what he writes.

2. Scott is not 19 years old. He is really 26. So, no, he did not write the hymn that we use for Communion as an 18 year old. He is a prodigy of sorts, but not that much of a prodigy.

3. Yes. Scott really was in that picture of the children's choir - at the top. And yes, as far as I know, those are relatively recent pictures of Scott and he really does look like he is only 19 (or 16 of so), even though he is older than that.

4. If you did not go by and see Chris Anderson's addition after the main roast was over, you should go there. Chris has some great pictures (although the pop culture reference escapes me - I am guessing it is from some movie that I have not seen).

5. The obviously marked up picture with the leather jacket, etc. is menat to be a joke. Neither Scott, nor myself or anyone else who was part of this little "surprise" for Scott, would wear anything close to that picture.

Just my (hopefully clarifying) thoughts,


File under Blogging_, Friends_