Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saturday Read 10.29.15

I havent paid much attention to the news surrounding Ben Carson's involvement with the SDA's any more than I paid attention to the news surrounding Mitt Romney's involvement with Mormonism. As candidates they run to be president of the USA, not president over just Christians who will reject Carson as they did Romney because of their church affiliations. There were many evangelicals who rejected John Kennedy because of his Catholicism. The attached article is extreme, as I have known SDA's who do not follow word for word the teachings of Ellen White even though she essentially founded the church. Heck I know Lutherans who don't know anything about Martin Luther for that matter. When Walter Murphy wrote his famous book "Kingdom of the Cults," he struggled as to whether or not to include the SDAs in it. I might also even though I was once married to one and know her SDA beliefs played a part in the rather quick end to our marriage. That being said, however, it is the content of character that is more important to me as opposed to ones personal views about a religion that someone might be involved with when they dont even know to what extent he/she does believe in it. In short, as a Christian and theologian I have no problem with Ben Carson and his SDA affiliation.

As his surge in heavily evangelical Iowa puts a spotlight on his faith, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is opening up about his membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He embraces it as right for him while also framing his beliefs in broad terms that aim to transcend divisions among Christians.
In an interview with The Associated Press, days after GOP rival Donald Trump criticized Carson's church, the retired neurosurgeon said his relationship with God was "the most important aspect. It's not really denomination specific."
Carson discussed a brief period as a college student when he questioned whether to stay in the church. And in his own criticism, he said it was a "huge mistake" that the top Adventist policymaking body recently voted against ordaining women. "I don't see any reason why women can't be ordained," he said.

New results are in from NAEP, the test known as the “report card” for the nation’s schools. They’re not good.
New results are in from the test known as the “report card” for the nation’s schools, and they’re not good.
The U.S. Department of Education just released data from the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress, a nationally representative test measuring student achievement in mathematics and reading. The NAEP, administered every other year in math and reading, often is called the nation’s report card.
There no doubt will be numerous analyses of all the data that NAEP provides, including student subgroups, achievement gaps, state-specific results, charter performance, and progress (or lack thereof) over time.
But at first glance, the new results paint a picture of continued lackluster academic performance.
Math and reading achievement declined for both fourth- and eighth-graders from 2013 to 2015. Mathematics achievement declined at both the fourth- and eighth-grade levels, and reading achievement declined significantly for eighth-graders.

 - Even as President Barack Obama sent U.S. troops back to Iraq and ordered the military to stay in Afghanistan, he insisted Syria would remain off limits for American ground forces. Now the president has crossed his own red line.
His deployment of up to 50 U.S. special operations troops into northern Syria to assist in the fight against the Islamic State is the kind of incremental move that has defined Obama's approach to the Middle East in his second term. /31/with_syria_deployment_obama_crosses_own_red_line_128613.html

Arthur C. Brooks writes in the New York Times:
Scholarly studies have piled up showing that race and gender diversity in the workplace can increase creative thinking and improve performance. Meanwhile, excessive homogeneity can lead to stagnation and poor problem-solving.
Unfortunately, new research also shows that academia has itself stopped short in both the understanding and practice of true diversity — the diversity of ideas — and that the problem is taking a toll on the quality and accuracy of scholarly work.
The ideological imbalance that pervades academia fosters groupthink and undermines critical thinking. The dominance of left-leaning perspectives in academic institutions compromises their commitment to open inquiry and effective education.