I have concern for those people who have built their Christian beliefs partly on Jesus Christ and partly on what the young-earth creationists claim. Suppose they come across some transitional fossils, and the fossil sequence looks pretty convincing. Suppose some graduate student discovers a faster or more probable mechanism for mutated evolution, and it seems scientifically reasonable. Suppose NASA finds evidence of past life on Mars. Will their faith be shaken? Will the collapse of that belief pillar undermine the whole? I have encountered two individuals on the Internet who abandoned their Christian faith while investigating and debunking the claims of young-earth creationism. That's sad.
If you don't believe me, look these things up for yourself. You should, anyway, whether you believe me or not! Go to the library and look up the references that a young-earth creationist cites. Examine the original context, and judge for yourself whether important information is omitted, and if the creationist has quoted the source fairly, accurately, and completely. Judge whether the original meaning has changed. Do some searches on the Internet. You can begin with the references that I have included with this essay. On the Internet you will have to learn to discern the truth among a large number of competing claims. That's an important responsibility. Take the time to discern well. Remember that the number of repetitions and verbal volume don't make truth. Get started now.
God chose a certain method to spread the Gospel message: Tell people, and then those people will tell other people, and so on. We humans could easily conclude that this method is cruel and inefficient by looking at human history. Jesus Himself was crucified for spreading the message this way. St. Stephen, St. Paul, and all the Apostles except for St. John are thought to have suffered violent deaths for spreading the Gospel message. We can see that this method is inefficient because 2,000 years later there are still people in the world who have not heard about Jesus. Some people have heard the message so poorly communicated that thay are not inclined to accept it. Yet we do not deny that God chose to use this method to spread the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Neither can we conclude that God did not use evolution because to us it seems cruel and inefficient.
St. Paul gives a long warning against criticizing the ways of God in Romans 9: 9-24. He gives examples from Biblical history, then denies our right to conclude that God was unfair or unkind. Note especially verse 20: "No, don't say that. Who are you to criticize God? Should the thing made say to the one who made it, 'Why have you made me like this?'"
Characteristically, he was able to embrace Lady Continence, as he put it, only in the context of a much larger rethinking of the nature of sexuality. He needed to understand the peculiar intensity of arousal, compulsive urgency, pleasure, and pain that characterizes the human fulfillment of desire. He was not looking back on these feelings from the safe perch of a diminished libido, or deluding himself that they were abnormal. As a young man who had already fathered a child, he knew that, for the entire human species, reproduction entailed precisely the sexual intercourse that he was bent on renouncing. How could the highest Christian religious vocation reject something so obviously natural? In the course of answering this question, Augustine came to articulate a profoundly influential and still controversial vision of sexuality, one that he reached not only by plumbing his deepest experiences but also by projecting himself back into the remotest human past.
The owners of the system were then encouraged by the editor of a popular technology magazine to create and sell a mail-order computer kit through the magazine.
But when I read personal non-fiction I'm coming at it from another direction: I believe this really happened. There's a kind of vulnerability when you read like that. I invest my belief in this truth, so that if I ever find out it didn't happen that way in the writer's life, there wasn't the fellow in the cowboy boots who made pancakes for supper, or the cat who answered the phone by knocking the receiver off the hook, if the writer invented these details, I feel ripped off. And this is the way I approach it as a writer. If I say I'm writing non-fiction, I'm telling you it's the truth. This really happened and I'm remembering it to the best of my ability, and that's all any of us can do.
When you write memoir, an essay, or your autobiography, your characters are real. It really is your mother, the person you divorced, your partner, your teenager, your best friend. And you worry: what will they think of having some intimate detail of their own life exposed? Every writer needs to come up with his or her own guidelines for how to write truthfully about those closest to you. I figure that my husband married me knowing I was a writer and that he was fair game as my material. On the other hand, my daughters and their families, and my stepchildren, didn't sign up for the role of writer's kid so I try not to reveal anything personal about them that might cause them embarrassment.
Getting personal on the page is different for every writer. My students ask for rules about this and I say there are no rules except for your own. The pen is mightier than the sword, and I believe that writers, good ones, stab hypocrisy, lies, and bad behavior with their writing, not the egos of those closest to them. When you write deeply and honestly about most people, you see both sides of their behavior, and a good writer reveals not only the truth, but also a generosity toward others.
This section explains the prewriting (invention) stage of the composing process. It includes processes, strategies, and questions to help you begin to write.
There are many "correct" things to write about for any subject, but you need to narrow down your choices. For example, your topic might be "dorm food." At this point, you and your potential reader are asking the same question, "So what?" Why should you write about this, and why should anyone read it?
But now Ben appreciates his memories of the death of his father at nine years of age, his boyhood days, the birth of America dream, and the fulfillment of the dream.