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Ohio court spars on science teacher's creationist lessons
State Supreme Court justices sparred with lawyers on Wednesday in a heated hour of arguments over the extent to which a now-fired public school science teacher had the right to push his religious beliefs in class.
A lawyer for the school board that dismissed John Freshwater in 2011 said he waved a Bible at his students, handed out religious pamphlets and espoused creationism in his evolution lessons.
Freshwater's attorney, Rita Dunaway, said accounts of Freshwater's class conduct were exaggerated and he was exercising his academic freedom to explore controversial ideas.
She said the board's decision to dismiss Freshwater showed hostility toward religion.
John UK wrote: Suppose you had every volume of John Owen on your bookshelf (about 6ft wide mass of thick tomes with nice white covers) and a little black KJV Bible on the end, let us suppose you had read the Bible through a few times, would it not be a great temptation to pick up a John Owen instead of the Bible? Look not at the John Owen when it shines at you from the wall, nor the Thomas Manton which promises such endless delights of theological entertainment. In the end, they will bite you and drag you down to the Reformed graveyard at Bunhill Cemetery, London. And then I awoke, and behold, it was all a dream.
With respect wrote: In other words the Reformed are just as guilty as the Charismatic Jesus People in NOT teaching their people to think and value the Bible above every other book.
Suppose you had every volume of John Owen on your bookshelf (about 6ft wide mass of thick tomes with nice white covers) and a little black KJV Bible on the end, let us suppose you had read the Bible through a few times, would it not be a great temptation to pick up a John Owen instead of the Bible?
Look not at the John Owen when it shines at you from the wall, nor the Thomas Manton which promises such endless delights of theological entertainment. In the end, they will bite you and drag you down to the Reformed graveyard at Bunhill Cemetery, London.
If you've been on SA for any length of time, you will have noticed, with a handful of notable exceptions, that most of the reformed camp when asked to defend a doctrine resort to quoting their favourite authors, any references to scripture are used only as proof texts!! Why is that? Why are the reformed more familiar with other books than the Bible? Perhaps there is something fundamentally wrong with the modern reformed approach which is always justified the way that you have gone about justifying good books.
In other words the Reformed are just as guilty as the Charismatic Jesus People in NOT teaching their people to think and value the Bible above every other book.
Spurgeon puts good books firmly in their place. He also said beware the man of one book! I say, let that one book be the Bible!
All I am insisting on is Bible first - use your own brains, develop your thinking faculties, and only then as iron sharpeneth iron compare with the thoughts of others.
Incidentally, in this I would recommend, unlike some, much wider reading than just reformed books. You assumed that Christopher would only find the truth in the books that you selected, which are from a particular viewpoint. Why?
You seem to have a bee in your bonnet, brother. Where did I argue against the Bible or have a low view?
Why bother listening to sermons, we do so BECAUSE THE BIBLE IS BEING TAUGHT. People come to a conviction on matters without seeking such, but ALWAYS by being faced with issues. Some times by reading books, which are no more than extended sermons.
So you presume I don't read or study the Bible Why?
The books I recommended are books that have helped many. It sounds like you don't want Christopher to read such and compare scripture with scripture and then make up his own mind? I REPEAT they have helped 'many' so why take such a high stand against me?????
You said: When I have an issue to consider, the Bible is my first resort'
But let us say you read the Bible but belonged to the Charismatic Jesus Army for a couple of years, you were none the wiser about the charismatic movement, BUT I gave you an extended sermon-A BOOK-by Dr Masters (who some recommend on here)...could that BOOK and its bible teaching FIRST poke you into seeing the errors of your way?
Of course That was and is my point about books and no more. Just like sermons from sound teachers!
goodbooks wrote: ....Some reading ONLY their bible never seem to reach sound conclusions, so good books by good men can be very useful as History certainly proves.
Let's jack in our bibles then, eh?
And pray tell, all those who write books against the charismatic movement, did they all come to those conclusions by reading books against the Charismatic movement? Do we have a succession of such books since apostolic times because the Bible is inadequate for these purposes?!
I never denied that there is a place for good books for the discerning, but the Bible is given for doctrine, reproof etc so that we may be throughly furnished. I am sorry that you have such a low view of the Bible. Try reading and studying it sometime - you might be surprised by what you'll learn.
When I have an issue to consider, the Bible is my first resort. I may then use the brains of others, person to person, or books to challenge my thinking and conclusions. Otherwise ones thinking faculties are never developed if all one gets is spoon feeding!!! It also reduces a persons credulity threshold and so we may buy into the authors errors which may be mixed in with sound teaching.
My vote remains with the Bible and the Holy Spirit!!!
With respect wrote: to see how they challenge your understanding.
So good books can not FIRST challenge one's understanding? A good book will contain much scripture and the insights of good men who have pastoral calling and well able to teach. No different to a sermon as they are seeking to open up the Bible! If the book is sound then why do you think it couldn't help a person to reach a sound scriptural conclusion even when that person hadn't been seeking such?
Was Pilgrim's Progress a good book-many first come to see sound doctrine through such a read?
So many testimonies of so many converted through commentaries on the book of Galatians! So many helped to reach a biblical conclusion through the aid of God's instruments-TEACHERS who preach sermons and sometimes write books!
With respect...do you REALLY deny that good books can help one to reach a sound biblical conclusion?
What about a charismatic reading a popular Reformed book challenging the Charismatic Movement? I know of many not seeking any conclusion but then being convicted as the HS worked as they read that book!!
Some reading ONLY their bible never seem to reach sound conclusions, so good books by good men can be very useful as History certainly proves.
Raiseemup wrote: Frank, may I ask, have you ever read the alternative view of Romans 9 by likes of Asa Mahan or similar? Made me think real hard about the traditional reformed understanding of that chapter. Always good to look at other views, even of you ultimately reject them.
I don't mind differences of opinion, but I would rather argue with you then someone who is long gone. If you understand his thoughts and can put them forth, we can proceed. But, what little I know about this fellow, I think it is safe to say that he and I would probably disagree on these things. Believe me, if I am traditional reformed in the area of election, then it is by accident.
Thanks for your comment. I had never heard of this fellow, so I googled him.
 And not only [this]; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, [even] by our father Isaac;  (For [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.  What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness with God? God forbid.  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus? (Rom 9:10-20)
Christopher000 wrote: Thanks John. I tend to come across wrong when asking these types of questions so I want people to know that I am not questioing God. I know there are just a lot of things that are difficult to comprehend so I ask questions to get as close to an understanding as I can. God is perfect, and just. Period.
That's okay, Christopher. I understand where you are coming from. And I truly wish you well as you work through these very difficult doctrinal differences. Even though SA has a statement of faith which embraces all believers, it permits for quite a variety of secondary issue doctrines. I have already mentioned two varieties, and there are many more. The Lord is the one to get doctrine from, through his word. Ha! We all say that!
Anyways, I remember when I was just starting out as a disciple in 1979, I used to ask all sorts of questions, and make all sorts of arguments, and found that because I was talking with mature believers, I learnt a lot along the way. Not by accepting force-fed popish-style dogma, but by being made to think for myself, searching the scriptures etc. It is taking me a lifetime, I can tell you.
Thanks John. I tend to come across wrong when asking these types of questions so I want people to know that I am not questioing God. I know there are just a lot of things that are difficult to comprehend so I ask questions to get as close to an understanding as I can. God is perfect, and just. Period.
Christopher000 wrote: However, if this isn't the case, and it was never a matter of choice, never a matter of God knowing whether or not a particular person would accept Him or reject Him, then the human me asks how that could possibly be fair?
Christopher, you also need to ask the question, "Fair to whom?"
A man worked in a vineyard all day and received a penny, even though he laboured next to a man who arrived so late he only worked an hour and who was still paid a penny. He thought that unfair. But the late worker did not think it unfair.
One thing is needful, and that is to be convinced that God is good, and always does what is right. This is why his only begotten Son had to undergo the sufferings of hell, to pay the price of a broken law, that God may be both just and yet justify them which believe in Jesus.
But note that God does not have to be merciful to anybody. He can be simply fair, and condemn all men, because all have sinned. He need not have suffered the pain of the cross, but in love chose to do so. Is he fair in deciding to save some but not others? Sure. It is only our flesh which rebels against God's decrees. It proves that even we who believe still have the remnant of a sinful nature.
Say I had 50 people line up in front of me. I don't know any of them and I am seeing each one of them for the very first time. Other than having their first names written on a piece of paper that I am holding, I know nothing about them whatsoever. Also, they are fully clothed, have gloves on their hands, and bags over their heads. The gloves and bags serve two purposes; so that I cannot see the color of their skin, or look into their eyes. Now, with these 50 people standing in front of me, I am told to pick 25 people that I hate and want to go to prison and 25 people that I love and want to provide a great life for.
How do I do this without first allowing them to plead their case, without getting to know them, or without giving them a choice to get to know me to see If we might have been great friends?
Is this just one of those things that we just can't and won't fully understand right now? I'm not questioning God here, by the way.
This is a very difficult concept for me to understand. I fully understand the differences between the two camps, as John most recently, along with someone else earlier (sorry) explained it but it's very difficult. To me, as a mere human, I have to wonder about the chosen as opposed to those He didn't call or choose. So those who were not chosen from the foundation never had a chance? They were/are never given a choice? For me, this is where my idea of people rejecting Him would come into play...He knows in advance who will reject Him., so they are rejected. However, if this isn't the case, and it was never a matter of choice, never a matter of God knowing whether or not a particular person would accept Him or reject Him, then the human me asks how that could possibly be fair? Is this what Frank was speaking of when mentioning the mystery of God? This all makes perfect sense but we just don't have the knowledge to out it all together? I hope I made sense because this all is hard for me to comprehend much less type out logically.
John UK wrote: Ah yes brother pilgrim, great chapter, great gospel message, great depths, great sovereign God! We shall not fully understand these things in this world, and maybe not even in the next. Isaiah 55:6-7 KJV 6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. ---
Bro John, a matter of curiousity. I'm not promoting one way or another at the moment, but how do you reconcile the sequential nature of Isa 55:6,7 with the theology that says the opposite?
Frank wrote: Isaiah 55:8-11 also helps me tremendously when meditating on God's word. Is it any wonder why some things are hard to fully comprehend? Verse 11 is very helpful to me when pondering particular salvation and God's effectual calling.
Ah yes brother pilgrim, great chapter, great gospel message, great depths, great sovereign God! We shall not fully understand these things in this world, and maybe not even in the next.
Isaiah 55:6-7 KJV 6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55:10-11 KJV 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
John UK wrote: Amen brother. These doctrines are always wonderful because true. Man-made doctrines may be palatable but because false they are highly dangerous. Some reckon the best men are a few petals short of a flower.
I believe there are many things that are hard to fully understand or perhaps even to understand at all because they belong to the secret things of God, Deu 29:29. I don't understand gravity, but I know it is true and I know that if I jump from a tall building, it will not go well. But, it is healthy to ponder these things as long as we do it to glorify our Lord and Savior.
Isaiah 55:8-11 also helps me tremendously when meditating on God's word. Is it any wonder why some things are hard to fully comprehend? Verse 11 is very helpful to me when pondering particular salvation and God's effectual calling.
Man-made doctrines, as they relate to our Lord and Savior, usually contain partial truth that make them more palatable and because of that, they are the most dangerous.