December was a slow travel month for me personally. We were still doing ministry though. For instance, Juan taught in Colombia and Bob had speaking as well. And even though I did not travel, I did and have been teaching locally. I’ve been teaching a class that I’ve put a LOT of effort into called, “What About . . . Human Evolution?”
I can’t lie, I’m excited about this class and I’m getting even more excited after teaching the lessons live every Wednesday at our local library to a small group of folks. I wanted to see if what’s in my head will translate into something effective in the real world. So far, so good!
Before I tell you a couple of stories from the last 5 weeks of teaching this class please allow me to explain the concept of the class.
First, we do NOT use any Christian or Creationist materials in the course. None, zero, zilch, nada! What we’re doing is reading strictly from respected, secular sources and we’re addressing 20 of the supposed human/ape evolutionary ancestors.
For instance, for 19 of the 20 ancestors you will have three resources in common. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, The Australian Museum and The Institute of Human Origins. (Don Johanson started this anti-creation “ministry” in Berkeley, California in 1981. It’s now a part of Arizona State University. And yes, it is a ministry. It just preaches secular humanism!)
After that we use other popular sources like, New Scientist, Scientific American, Time, etc. as well as other technical publications to glean our information. The bottom line is that it’s a LOT of reading of secular sources that aren’t very friendly toward the biblical worldview. And that’s fine with me. The TRUTH will set you free.
I explained to the folks that are taking the class that one of the strongest attacks against me is my lack of education in the field that I speak on. I don’t have a PhD in science or human origins. Therefore, I am challenged, and rightfully so.
In order to overcome that weakness I’ve adopted the approach that I will use secular materials to point out the problems with what they’re teaching. I’m basically saying, “You can call me whatever you want, but this is what the leading teachers of evolution say about the topic. You have to deal with that!”
So, after four weeks here’s a couple of things that have happened that reinforced my belief that teaching HOW to think instead of WHAT to think is the key.
In church one of the men came up to me and said, “Hey Carl, I’m really loving reading this weeks materials, it’s like a comedy skit!” I asked what he meant by that and he said, “I read one source and they say that it happened this way, then I read another source and they say it happened another way and no one agrees with the other person and they contradict each other. It’s funny.”
That’s the key to why we’re doing what we’re doing. If I tell those in the class that the experts contradict each other and that there’s more speculation than fact in what is being taught it just wouldn’t be as effective as them discovering it for themselves.
The second incident was when another of the attendee’s was asked by a mutual friend about what he was learning in the class. Without missing a beat he told him about how one professor takes a single tooth and teaches his students that males didn’t fight with each other as much as in the past and became better mates to females. They became more involved with child rearing and started bringing resources home, which is why they started walking upright! That’s right, they needed their hands free to carry the resources back to their mate and children!
I was so encouraged as he explained how what he was learning made him more bold in his faith and his willingness to share Christ with others. By the way, everything that he said was straight from the reading and this is just one of three explanations for why our supposed ancestor started to walk upright.
Most people don’t realize that the Biblical faith has answers. It’s our desire to encourage the body of Christ to do just as this man did. When asked a question, he gave an answer for the reason of the hope within him, with meekness and fear.
Please pray for this class. I’d love to get it online in the next couple of months. Please consider signing up to take one of the classes we offer right now at www.academyofhopeonline.org! My class on “What About . . . Fossils?” would be perfect to take before the human evolution class and Juan’s class on “Teaching How to Think, Not What to Think!” would be perfect before taking mine!
Do you have a child that is considering going to college? Parent, you should take Sharon’s class on “Go Forth and Conquer” with them before making the final decision. There is great, practical information in there to help make the right decision for whatever direction the Lord leads you.
In addition, Dr. Melody Rawlings class on “Discovering the Leader in You!” is an excellent class on leadership. And more importantly, biblical, Christlike leadership. Dr. Rawlings has a LOT of experience teaching and blessed us by working with us in Academy of Hope!
The bottom line is this, get involved, get active! God is giving us time to share His love and truth with a dying world. Thank you for your support and helping us to share HOPE!