Bush Fever:

Posted by tom | Nov 7, 2006

Amish & Old Order Mennos in the 2004 Presidential Election (Donald B. Kraybill, Elizabethtown College; Kyle C. Kopko, The Ohio State University; April 2007 Mennonite Quarterly Review)

What are we going to see on Election Day? A good turnout, but nothing will compare to the 2004 Presidential Election in which some declared The Amish are caught up with Bush fever while others reminded us God never lost an election.

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Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits

Posted by tom | Nov 6, 2006

It was chilly as the heating system malfunctioned in the Pietist Center, but Don Kraybill offered to generate a lot of hot air :-) I have a lot of notes and I apologize that they drift into a more listing form toward the end, but its all worth the read. Next presentation in the series: Bush Fever: Amish & Old Order Mennos in the 2004 Presidential. ... incredible material for tomorrow!

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Why Would Anyone Believe in God?

Posted by tom | Oct 25, 2006

Why is it that the world over people have believed in a God, a super God? Why do we believe in anything? Why believe in superhuman agents (gods)? Why is there a naturalness to religious belief? About 160 people packed in Stahr Auditorium at F&M to learn about the relatively new field of the cognitive science of religion from Justin Barrett, author of Why Would Anyone Believe in God? and Senior Research Fellow for the new Centre for Cognition and Culture which will support a multi-disciplinary research project on the Cognitive Science of Religion at the University of Oxford's School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. Here are some notes:

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Skeptic Forum Questions . . .

Posted by tom | Oct 25, 2006

Dear Friends, Thank-you to those which helped me warm-up. As you've gathered from House Arrived we've been swamped, the house will be set tomorrow. Thank-you for helping me prepare, some responses are forthcoming.

From the Buggy to the Byte

Posted by tom | Oct 19, 2006

How the Amish Tame Technology

Over 80 of us crammed in the Bucher Meetinghouse at Elizabethtown College with the lights of PCNTV.com focused on Don Kraybill as he sought to unravel why and how the Amish, like no other religious group, challenge/tame technology. So how is it done? Not just the forbidding of entertainment technology like a fundamentalist Christian or Islamic group (or family) or the Sabbath prohibitions of a Hasidic group. And not the violent countercultural actions of Luddites, but the daily interaction with the strong and powerful influences of the march of progress?

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ID on Trial

Posted by tom | Oct 13, 2006

About 80 people nearly filled F&M's Stahr Auditorium to participate in a thoughtful and sympathetic reflections led by Ted Davis, History and Philosophy Science at Messiah College. Ted lives 15 miles from the federal courthouse in Harrisburg and 15 miles from Dover. And he put aside a number of other responsibilites to provide commentary of the Dover case, because he owed it to himself and his profession (note: he believes that he was the only academic to attend more than 1 day of the trial, to sit among an audience largely comprised of journalists), as "the trial was fundamentally about my own discipline, history and philosophy of science." In addition to attending 4 out of the 12 days of the trial, Ted followed transcripts and reviewed press coverage. So according to Ted, what is Intelligent Design (ID) and what can we learn from the recent trial (fyi: my notes are below, here's an audiofile for the presentation from the F&M Philosophy Department's Event Website)

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Join us for

Posted by tom | Oct 6, 2006

Intelligent Design on Trial

-Ted Davies (Messiah College), Thursday, Oct. 12, 7:30pm, Stahr Auditorium, Stager Hall, F&M. Ted is a very highly respected historian of science who will talk about various aspects of the ID issue, providing a rare, balanced treatment.

Why Would Anyone Believe in God

-Justin Barrett (Oxford): Monday, Oct. 23, 4:30, Stager 102, Stager Hall, F&M. Justin is a cognitive psychologist who has done groundbreaking work showing how our minds are structured in such a way that we are naturally inclined to form beliefs about the reality of a God who is omnipotent, omniscient, and good.

This work has captured the attention of many secular scholars as well. They use it to argue that our brains simply trick us into religious belief (in fact, Richard Dawkins will release a book, The God Delusion, the week before Justin comes that will use some of his work to argue for that very conclusion!). Justin of course thinks that it shows how God has structured the human mind to make belief in God natural for his creatures. A very brilliant fellow and an extremely engaging speaker.

Letter to a Tenured Prof.

Posted by tom | Oct 2, 2006

Andy Crouch writes back to Edward O. Wilson. Just had to post this brief, sharp piece by an upcoming speaker for our work at Penn (note: he'll speak on Christians and Cultural Power: Where is America Headed?). This would be good fodder for Faculty/Grad conversation. Hoping to acquire a copy of E.O. Wilson's The Creation: A Meeting of Science and Religion in the near future. Just wrapped up IVP's Is Belief in God: Good, Bad or Irrelevant? Quite a good presentation of an email conversation between a faculty who follows Christ and a punk rocker who follows evolutionary ideas. Maybe a sample approach for on-line witness or even public dialogue :-)

Looking forward to InterVaristy's Oct 22 Baltimore Grad and Faculty Ministry Conference which will feature several faculty alongside Campus Crusade's Randy Newman wrestling w/campus mentoring and witness. Pray for graduate students and faculty to be reminded of this opportunity and set aside this opportunity to encouragement and equipping.

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Explored opportunities

Posted by tom | Sep 18, 2006
for faculty ministry at Alvernia, Penn State Berks, and Kutztown University with Tim (pioneering undergrad staff in Berks County). It was a great joy to discuss, pray, and consider ways we might engage the whole campus with the Gospel. Pray for

1. next steps in our conversation and particularly how we might develop a model for pioneering whole campus ministry (transforming students and faculty. renewing the campus. developing world changers).

2. Tim to receive the necessary financial support for this significant pioneering effort,

3. discernment in how to follow-up to those with whom we connected today [Student Affairs office at PSU-Berks, Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) at Berks, Nursing Christian Faculty (NCF) faculty advisor at Alvernia, campus ministry staff at Alvernia, local faculty minister at Kutztown]. Note: check out Alvernia's beautiful Sacred Heart Chapel.

By the grace of God, the story will continue in coming months . . .

NCF Connections

Posted by tom | Sep 4, 2006

I've set-up an appointment to meet w/Sandra Jamison, Director of Nursing Christian Fellowship's (NCF) Faculty and Graduate Student Ministry, who lives near Messiah College. Thank-you for the encouragement Arlene (retired from the Department of Nursing at Messiah College in Grantham, PA and co-author of InterVarsity Press' Called to Serve)! Looking foward to exploring opportunities for partnership w/nursing faculty in the area.

Has anyone come

Posted by tom | Aug 25, 2006

across Justin Barrett, author of Why Would Anyone Believe in God? He's lecturing at Franklin and Marshall College by the invitation of Philosophy Professor Michael Murray. Much of his time will be directed toward countering Daniel Dennett's recent publication Breaking the Spell and Dawkins' soon to be released The God Delusion which misuse his research (along w/others in his field) as a foundation for apologetics against God (note: Pascal Boyer is another important reseracher in this area).

Justin spent the past 5 years away from academia, leading Young Life in Lawrence, Kansas, but he is heading to the University of Oxford’s School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography to be a Senior Research Fellow for the new Centre for Cognition and Culture which will support multi-disciplinary research project on the Cognitive Science of Religion. I've ordered a copy of Why Would Anyone Believe in God? I hope to have a discussion group on F&M campus about this book (and possibly Preston Jones' Is Belief in God Good, Bad, or Irrelevant?). Anyone have interest in taking part of a discussion of either of these pieces right here at www.groshlink.net?

Mid-Atlantic Staff Conference

Posted by tom | Aug 12, 2006

Our family just returned from Camp Hebron at which our girls had a blast playing w/the other staff kids. In my spare time, when I wasn't radio-ing the kids to find out their location, shooting hoops, or caring for Eden (when Theresa caught a nasty virus which ripped through the conference), I had a number of helpful conversations w/undergrad field staff desiring to renew the whole campus. Looking forward to transformative appointments w/faculty and undergrad field staff at Elizabethtown College, Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Millersville University, and York College over the next several weeks, months, years.

Also met an IVCF staff who grew up attending the church of the pastor who lives next door to my parents dental office in Middletown. Betsy graduated Bucknell and now will be staffing Bloomsburg and 2 other staff w/artistic gifts, one of which had seen some of my sister Amanda's work in Lancaster . . . Praise God for the interconnectedness of the People of God! More to come. By-the-way, if you have faculty, pastors, or friends that we should be in touch with please drop us an email. Thanks.

In Amish country

Posted by tom | Jul 26, 2006

Just came across In Amish country, a recent piece from the Online edition of India's National Newspaper. Hard not to appreciate the outside perspective on the Amish as we return home to Lancaster County, PA, and consider our relationship to the world, the devil, the flesh AND the Word, the Spirit, the Father, and the People of God.

Although the Amish intersect w/the real world in daily life as they till, craft, weld, sew, sell, birth/raise children, live in community, etc, they come to much different conclusions w/regard to the stewardship of the creation and the common grace which the Father bestows for fulfilling our vocation as beings created in the creative and stewarding image of God to bless, guide, and develop the creation along w/her inhabitants. It is a great witness to see the primacy of community in Christ over radical American individualism in action, but this can be embraced w/o the radical separation and rejection of the good gifts of the creation provided through venues such as higher education.

Actually, Lancaster county and its people could be from another planet altogether. Such is the difference in the lifestyles of the Pennsylvania Dutch (a corruption of Deutch) who inhabit this region and the average American . . .

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Site updates, before your very eyes

Posted by tom | Jun 24, 2006

Click here to enter the site and explore links, pics, and so much more as we walk with Christ as a family in ministry. Check out a report on faculty camp.

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