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Monday, December 14, 2009

400-408Dallas Willard, Professor of Philosophy at USC, and the person who has had the biggest impact on my spiritual life through his books and tapes, especially his The Divine Conspiracy.  His latest book is great too, it's entitled Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge (dwillard.org).  Today, we talk about Chapter 8, "Pastors as Teachers of the Nations." 
[Page 198] The basic questions upon which life hinges were discussed in Chapter 2.  The pastors deal with them.  We discussed some of these questions in subsequent chapters:  What is real?  Does God exist? Does God interact with human life?  Who is well-off, and who is a truly good person?  Is there a spiritual life in Christ, and how does one enter into it?  To make "disciples" of Jesus is to bring knowledge of him to people in such a way that they want to know his answers to these questions, and the role of pastors is to help them attain the knowledge they seek.  Their task is not to get people to believe things, to share "Christian" feelings or rituals, to join Christian groups, or to be faithful to familiar Christian traditions–though all of these may have some place.  The task of Christian pastors and leaders is to present Christ's answers to the basic questions of life and to bring those answers forward as knowledge–primarily to those who are seeking and are open to following him, but also to all who may happen to hear, the public arenas of a world in desperate need of knowledge of what is real and what is good.
The Worldview Questions
[Page 50] What is real?  The answer Jesus gives to this question is:  God and his kingdom.
[Page 51] Who is well-off, blessed?  And the answer of Jesus is:  Anyone who is alive in the kingdom of God.
[Page 53] Who is a really good person?  A really good person, as Jesus teaches, is anyone who is pervaded with love.
[Page 53] How do you become a really good person?  You place your confidence in Jesus Christ and become his student or apprentice in kingdom living.
[Page 55] How do we know which answers to the four questions are true? … (Page 58, This rests upon what shall count as knowledge, and what methods are acceptable as sources of knowledge today.  Historically there are three sources, Authority, Reason, Experience.  Today, "science" is the presumed authority on knowledge.  Page 62, Bottom line, today's debate over who has "knowledge of reality" has primarily two adversaries:  the naturalist-secularist story, and the theistic story.

413-423Dallas Willard.  What is knowledge?  Is there such a thing as Christian knowledge, things that Jesus taught about the real world?  What did he think was real, who was well-off, who is really a good person?  Do we teach this in Christian higher education?  Is this what pastors teach?

[Page 203] Pastors are now mistakenly seen, and perhaps even see themselves, as teaching what Christians are supposed to believe (perhaps what we had better believe), not what is known and what can be known through fair inquiry.
428-437Dr. Jill Hubbard, clinical psychologist, heard regularly as part of the New Life Live (newlife.com) team heard weekdays here on KKLA at 2:00pm, she brings a gentle and insightful woman's perspective to all the issues, balancing the guys nicely.  She's in private practice here in LA, helping clients who struggle with depression, addictions, eating disorders, and relational and personal growth issues.  She is the author of The Secrets Women Keep: What Women Hide and the Truth that Brings Them Freedom, as well as The Secrets Young Women Keep.
• TODAY Show, MSNBC (12/14/09) Admitted mistress: I'm sorry I hurt Tiger's wife.  Are affairs and regrets some of the major "secrets women keep"?  When should a woman expose her secrets and when should she keep them to herself?  Did Cori Rist make the right decision for the sake of her son?  What do you tell your kids if you've made major mistakes, especially your past sexual behavior?
(9:13) Cori Rist full.  (Natalie Morales from TODAY on NBC @ 12/14/09) Cori Rist, wearing a cross necklace, tells her story of regret with Tiger Woods.
(:19) Cori Rist 1 short.  Cori is speaking out now because of her son.
(:15) Cori Rist 2 short.  Cori admits she didn't think ahead.
(:32) Cori Rist 3 short.  Cori says she's different from the others because she walked away from the affair. "I'm not a party girl."
(:59) Cori Rist 4 short.  Cori gets teary eyes as she tells how this has affected her son and her parents and grand parents.
(:05) Cori Rist 4b short.  Cori says she has told the truth to her son.
(1:15) Cori Rist 5 short.  Cori talks about Tiger's wife, Elin.

443-452Dr. Jill Hubbard.  How much do we share of our pasts with our spouses, our kids, our parents?

458-508Dr. Jill Hubbard.  Single parents:  what and how much do you tell your kids?
512-523Robert Epstein, (long "I")  teaches at UC San Diego, former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, and author 14 books including The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen.  This spring he'll be coming out with a book entitled Teen 2.0:  Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence (teen20.com).
Topics: 1. A psychologist in Pennsylvania, Lawrence Steinberg, has just been awarded a million dollar prize for his work on adolescence - most of which is garbage.  He spreads the "teen brain" myth and confirms negative stereotypes about teens.
2. Homeschooling and socialization issue: Do teens really need to able to attend school to be properly socialized?
3. Building love deliberately over time in a marriage (rather than leaving it all to chance) - based on my upcoming (Jan. 5) COVER story in Scientific American Mind: "How Science Can Help You Fall in Love": http://DrEpstein.com/downloads/Epstein-HOW_SCIENCE_CAN_HELP_YOU_FALL_IN_LOVE-Sci_Am_Mind-JanFeb2010.pdf
Three components played a primary role in creating the prolonged adolescence phenomena:  1) compulsory education not based upon competency, 2) child labor laws that prevented competent workers from remaining on the job, and 3) the development of the juvenile justice system that intended to "mother" the kids in institutions, and ended up training criminals.
In praise of The Case Against Adolescence, Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, writes: "Adolescence was invented in the 19th century to enable middle-class families to keep their children out of sweatshops. But it has degenerated into a process of enforced boredom and age segregation that has produced one of the most destructive social arrangements in human history, consigning 13-year-old males to learning from 15-year-old males. It's a social experiment that failed. Dr. Epstein's book traces the history of the problem, demonstrates with unrelenting perseverance that much of the turmoil of our teens is a creation of our culture, and offers a specific and detailed proposal for getting our young people back on track.  If you are concerned about America's young -- and about America's future -- this is a must-read."
Working with colleague Diane Dumas, Dr. Robert Epstein, a longtime researcher and professor and the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, has developed a unique and comprehensive test—the Epstein-Dumas Test of Adultness (EDTA)—that measures 14 different competencies that appear to define adult functioning in modern society.  The test contains 140 yes/no questions and should take you between 10 and 15 minutes to complete. The test has been empirically validated with a sample of roughly 30,000 people between ages 10 and 83.  To take the test, go to howadultareyou.com.  About 30% of teens score higher than half of all adults.
• Is it true that the physiology of the teenage brain makes them incapable of responsibility and commitment?  "Absolutely not," says Dr. Epstein, "nor can you blame it on hormones."  Here are ten facts about our teens that will surprise or even shock you from teen20.com,
1.  Although everyone knows that teens have too much "freedom," teens in America are actually subjected to ten times as many restrictions as mainstream adults and to twice as many restrictions as incarcerated felons and active-duty U.S. Marines.
2.  Although headlines tell us that teen turmoil is caused by an immature "teen brain," the teen brain is a myth perpetuated by drug companies to make us put our teens on prescription drugs.  And it's working:  We're now giving more psychoactive drugs to our teens than all other prescription medications combined, including acne medication and antibiotics.
3.  Although everyone knows that teens are naturally depressed and moody, teen turmoil is completely absent in more than a hundred cultures around the world.  Most cultures don't even have a word for adolescence.  If the turmoil we see in our teens is really natural and inevitable, wouldn't we see such turmoil everywhere?
4.  Although everyone knows that teens have it too easy, the rate at which teens are being restricted is increasing every year in the U.S. Teens are now being punished or even arrested for having food fights in school, hugging, wearing sagging pants, carrying ibuprofen, wearing fragrances, bringing calculators to school, talking during school lunches, and cheering at sporting events.
5.  Although everyone knows that parenting a teen can be tough, the rate at which parents are being punished for their teens' offenses is increasing dramatically.  Parents can now be fined $150,000 if their teens download copyrighted music and imprisoned for allowing their teens to drink alcohol.
6.  Although everyone knows that teens can't form lasting relationships, male teens actually have a lower divorce rate than males in their 20s.  Some of the most successful relationships in U.S. history—Eliza and Andrew Johnson, Barbara and George Bush, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter—were teen romances.
7.  Although everyone knows that teens are unreliable workers, teens have the lowest rate of absenteeism from work of any age group.  In fact, the older the worker, the higher the rate of absenteeism.
8.  Although everyone knows that teens are reckless drivers, teens cause fatal, alcohol-related car accidents at half the rate of their elders, ages 21 to 25.
9.  Although everyone knows that teens are forgetful and irrational, most forms of memory and intelligence actually peak between ages 13 and 15.  After our 20s or 30s, our cognitive abilities decline for the rest of our lives.  Brain size follows the same pattern, peaking at age 14.  By the time we're 70, the brain has shrunk to the size it was when we were between 2 and 3 years old. (So just who are the overgrown children? :)
10.  Although everyone knows that teens are inherently incompetent, new research suggests that seven million teens under age 18 are more competent than half the adult population across a wide range of abilities.

528-538Robert Epstein.  If we reject the myth of the teenage brain, how should this effect our parenting?  How do we not play into the forces that lead to teens acting out?  Isolation from adults and infantilization?

544-554Robert Epstein.  How do you resist the forces that are attempting to reduce your field, psychology, to neuroscience?  That is, reduce the mind to the brain?
558-608 – • Washington Times (12/11/09) The tip of the Climategate iceberg.
Contrary to the whitewash job conducted by propagandists, there are 450 academic peer-reviewed journal articles questioning the importance of man-made global warming. The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine has collected more than 30,000 American scientists urging the U.S. government to reject the Kyoto Treaty, which pushes draconian measures to reduce carbon emissions. Much hay is made of 2,500 United Nations scientists who back Kyoto, but there are many more scientists with Ph.D.s among the 30,000 skeptics than there are among the oft-cited 2,500, most of whom are government bureaucrats without advanced degrees.
•• Charles Krauthammer (12/11/09) The New Socialism.
612-623 – • TODAY Show, MSNBC (12/14/09) Admitted mistress: I'm sorry I hurt Tiger's wife.  Did Cori Rist make the right decision for the sake of her son?  Have you ever had to "protect" your kids by coming clean with something from your past?  What do you tell your kids if you've made major mistakes, especially your past sexual behavior?
(9:13) Cori Rist full.  (Natalie Morales from TODAY on NBC @ 12/14/09) Cori Rist, wearing a cross necklace, tells her story of regret with Tiger Woods.
(:19) Cori Rist 1 short.  Cori is speaking out now because of her son.
(:15) Cori Rist 2 short.  Cori admits she didn't think ahead.
(:32) Cori Rist 3 short.  Cori says she's different from the others because she walked away from the affair. "I'm not a party girl."
(:59) Cori Rist 4 short.  Cori gets teary eyes as she tells how this has affected her son and her parents and grand parents.
(:05) Cori Rist 4b short.  Cori says she has told the truth to her son.
(1:15) Cori Rist 5 short.  Cori talks about Tiger's wife, Elin.
628-638Calls
644-652Calls
(1:11) Student dead. (Chris Wolfe reporting for KTLA 5 TV @ 12/14/09).  Student leader Aydin Salek dead due to suspected alcohol poisoning
• LA Times (12/14/09) Friends delayed before seeking medical help for South Pasadena student, who died of suspected alcohol overdose.  Calls: Parents, what do you tell your underage kids about drinking?  Are your kids successfully sneaking behind your back to go to parties?  How can we as a society prevent this from happening again?
• AP (12/9/09) Survey: More Americans mix, match religions. What does the Bible say about the narrow path to heaven?  How can we, as Christians, approach and answer our friends who want to mix and match Christianity with other religions?
• LA Times (12/14/09) Controlling a classroom isn't as easy as ABC.  Calls from teachers: Do you love to teach, but hate that you have to constantly deal with behavior problems?  What responsibility lies with parents and what responsibility lies with teachers as far as disciplining is concerned?
• NRO Editorial (12/11/09) 'The Mother of All Public Options'
• Daniel Foster, NRO (12/14/09) Reid on the Brink.
• Washington Times (12/11/09) Cruising gay bars with the 'safe schools czar'.


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