Easter is the most important holiday in Christendom. As Scripture tells us, “and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14). In the church I attend, we always try to do something very special on Easter Sunday, and this Easter’s service was particularly meaningful to me. More than a month ago, the pastor asked if I could work up a series of skits that would augment his sermon. We had done something very similar for the service on Christmas day, and the congregation really seemed to appreciate it. So the pastor and I exchanged some ideas, and I ended up writing a series of very unorthodox skits that we presented throughout his message.
His sermon was based on three gardens (Eden, Gethsemane, and the Garden Tomb). His overall message was that the tragedy of what happened at the Garden of Eden has been erased by the sacrifice that started at the Garden of Gethsemane and the victory of the resurrection that took place at the Garden Tomb. It’s difficult to write skits about such well-known events, so I often try to write from a unique perspective. With the pastor’s permission, I decided to write these skits from the Devil’s perspective. The four skits will appear below.
This was all laden with emotion for me, because it was the first time I had done a skit since my right-hand man in the church’s drama ministry passed away. I wanted to do something that made it clear how important this step was, so I hesitantly asked his teenage daughter, Emma, if she would do the skits with me. She agreed and did a great job. I really couldn’t have asked for it to go much better, and the congregation appreciated both the content of the skits and the significance of the event.
Feel free to use these skits in any way that the Lord leads. If possible, I would like a credit, but the most important thing is to use them to minister to the Body of Christ.
This past weekend, I spoke at the Alberta Home Education Convention in Canada. As far as I know, it is the largest home education convention in Canada, and I think I have spoken there only once before, way back in the year 2000. It was really wonderful to go back. I met several parents who told me they remembered me from 17 years ago, and that I encouraged them to continue on in their homeschool journey. Their children are now in high school, at university, or in the real world, and they are very happy with their decision to continue homeschooling.
One of the kind souls who drove me around actually told me his son’s story, which is worth retelling here. He graduated homeschool many years ago and wanted to attend a major Canadian university. At that time, the university did not accept homeschool applicants. However, the student’s family knew someone on the inside, and that person was able to convince the university to accept him. At first, the university did not allow him to take any courses related to his desired major, because the administrators thought that homeschooled students “just played with Play-Doh all day.” As is generally the case, this homeschool graduate excelled, and the university quickly changed its tune. After he graduated with a 4.0 GPA and a pile of honors, the university asked him to help them write their admissions policy for homeschooled students.
I spoke several times at the convention, and the audiences were very appreciative. I always try to leave time at the end of my talks for questions from the audience, and I succeeded for every talk except one. Many of the questions related to very specific cases, but I got one question that I think could apply to everyone, so I decided to discuss it here. At the end of one of my talks, I was asked whether or not a homeschooled student could take a fifth year of high school. The mother thought that for one of her children, an extra year of high school would do a lot of good, but she was concerned that it might look odd to a university.
As someone who has studied radioactivity in detail, I have always been a bit amused by the assertion that radioactive dating is a precise way to determine the age of an object. This false notion is often promoted when radioactive dates are listed with utterly unrealistic error bars. In this report, for example, we are told that using one radioactive dating technique, a lunar rock sample is 4,283 million years old, plus or minus 23 million years old. In other words, there is a 95% certainty that the age is somewhere between 4,283 + 23 million years and 4,283 – 23 million years. That’s just over half a percent error in something that is supposedly multiple billions of years old.
Of course, that error estimate is complete nonsense. It refers to one specific source of error – the uncertainty in the measurement of the amounts of various atoms used in the analysis. Most likely, that is the least important source of error. If those rocks really have been sitting around on the moon for billions of years, I suspect that the the wide range of physical and chemical processes which occurred over that time period had a much more profound effect on the uncertainty of the age determination. This is best illustrated by the radioactive age of a sample of diamonds from Zaire. Their age was measured to be 6.0 +/- 0.3 billion years old. Do you see the problem? Those who are committed to an ancient age for the earth currently believe that it is 4.6 billion years old. Obviously, then, the minimum error in that measurement is 1.4 billion years, not 0.3 billion years!
Such uncertainties are usually glossed over, especially when radioactive dates are communicated to the public and, more importantly, to students. Generally, we are told that scientists have ways to analyze the object they are dating so as to eliminate the uncertainties due to unknown processes that occurred in the past. One way this is done in many radioactive dating techniques is to use an isochron. However, a recent paper by Dr. Robert B. Hayes has pointed out a problem with isochrons that has, until now, not been considered.