Tuesday, March 13, 2012



I. Mechanical Engineers, like Bezaleel, are gifted by God with the wisdom, understanding and knowledge needed to obey God in the building of His Kingdom according to the pattern of His Word in time and space (Exodus 36).

II. Mechanical Engineers use scientific, mathematical, practical, and logical understandings of God’s creation as a basis to seek Heaven’s assistance in the conception, design, prototype, manufacture, and management of products and services which serve God and man.

III. Mechanical Engineers living in relationship with God the Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit can and do set goals and accomplish what other Mechanical Engineers cannot.

IV. Mechanical Engineers live in an integrated world because God, as creator and sustainer of all things, brings unity and meaning to everything.  Therefore, the Mechanical Engineer integrates their faith in God and His Word with their products and services through the conscious understanding, application, and acknowledgement of Biblical truths that are consistent with the historic Protestant faith.

V. Mechanical engineers operate with an understanding that God rules over all elements of civilization and take into consideration the Biblical views of each element of civilization as they conceive, design, prototype, manufacture and manage the innovation of products and services.  Common elements of civilization which Mechanical Engineers consider include evangelism, morals, biology, economics, education, arts, authority, geography, history, language & literature, civil law, Biblical law, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, theology, eschatology and government.

VI. The result of a Mechanical Engineer’s efforts bring glory to God and joy to the Mechanical Engineer and those he serves in both time and eternity.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thursday, September 29, 2011

If Engineers Were to Rethink Higher Ed’s Future

September 27, 2011, 10:27 pm, Chronicle of Higher Education
Atlanta — Walk into a college president’s office these days, and you’ll probably find a degree hanging on the wall from one of three academic disciplines: education, social sciences, or the humanities and fine arts. Some 70 percent of college leaders completed their studies in one of those fields, according to the American Council on Education.You’re unlikely to discover many engineering degrees. Just 2 percent of college presidents are engineers.

Yet, when we think of solving complex problems, we normally turn to engineers to help us figure out solutions. And higher education right now is facing some tough issues: rising costs; low completion rates; and delivery systems, curricula, and teaching methods that show their age.

So what if engineers tackled those problems using their reasoning skills and tested various solutions through simulations? Perhaps then we would truly design a university of the future.

That’s the basic idea behind Georgia Tech’s new Center for 21st Century Universities. The center is officially described as a “living laboratory for fundamental change in higher education,” but its director, Rich DeMillo, describes it in terms we can all understand: higher education’s version of the Silicon Valley “garage.” DeMillo knows that concept well, having come from Hewlett-Packard, where he was chief technology officer (he’s also a former Georgia Tech dean).

Applying the garage mentality to innovation in higher ed is an intriguing concept, and as DeMillo described it to me over breakfast on Georgia Tech’s Atlanta campus on Tuesday, I realized how few college leaders adopt its principles. Take, for example, a university’s strategic plan. Such documents come and go with presidents, and the proposals in every new one are rarely tested in small ways before leaders try to scale them across the campus. After all, presidents have little time to make a mark before moving on to their next job.

In a garage, “the rules are different,” DeMillo explained to me. “Universities are set up to hit near-term goals. Few are thinking about what the university should look like years down the road.”
DeMillo already has a number of projects in the pipeline, including a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and a TechBurst competition where students create short, shareable videos on particular concepts, and the university as a whole is thinking of others. One favorite of Georgia Tech’s president, Bud Peterson, is X-College, which would allow students to essentially design their own degree programs focused on “grand challenges” facing society. It would also allow faculty members to experiment with learning techniques and the semester calendar itself. In keeping with the test-and-learn philosophy, Peterson wants it to start small, perhaps with 50 honors students next fall.
Georgia Tech’s center offers a unique opportunity to experiment in an industry not known for taking risks. At a kickoff event for the center on Tuesday, I moderated a wide-ranging discussion with some leading thinkers on the future of higher ed, and among my questions was this: If you had a chance to run this center, what one project would you put on its agenda?
Among the ideas I found most interesting:

Public research on the common questions. One way for public universities to reassert their relevance is to focus on public research on big common questions facing society.

Create incubators. It’s difficult for policy makers and campus leaders to get their heads around abstract concepts of the future. Bring ideas to life in small ways, and show how they can work.

Improve social engagement. So-called softer skills are more important than ever as technology limits face-to-face interaction. Figure out ways to embed leadership, social, and global skills in everyday curricula.

Interactive learning. Remove teachers from being the center of all knowledge. Learning no longer happens with the teacher in front of a roomful of students taking notes. Find richer, more active ways of learning.

Stop teaching subjects. Teach students how to diagnose problems starting in kindergarten and then give them the knowledge to get better at it. Helping students solve problems teaches them how to think.

Revamp the college admissions process and office. Jonathan Cole, a former provost of Columbia University, said the smartest people on a campus should work in admissions, and that includes faculty members. “They need to get involved in who is living in this house,” he said. Right now, admissions is too tied to test scores, and “we’re getting boring, one-dimensional students,” he said.
So if you had a chance to run this center, what ideas would you put on its agenda?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Young Home School Author, Hadassah, From Beulah, North Dakota Releases First-time Novel

Beulah, North Dakota, August 22nd, 2011

Makala Kopp, also known by her pen name, Hadassah, graduated from high school during her junior year at the age of 17 with a story on her fingertips and a message burning in her heart. Instead of heading off to college like most young people, Hadassah dedicated the following year to writing. Now, two years later she is self-published author. Her motivation in writing “Called and Chosen” is simple. “Are you aware that the One who walks with me and converses with me everyday longs for and pursues your heart?”

Called and Chosen tells the story of Eden Vanette who is living out her life as a young musician, artist, and businesswoman in New York City when she discovers adoption papers validating her Jewish heritage. With this discovery comes a letter from her birth mother telling Eden she’s been “chosen,” but for what?

Feeling betrayed by her family and plagued by mysterious dreams, Eden leaves family and friends, traveling to Israel to make sense of her mother’s letter. In the land of her forefathers, Eden meets her grandfather, whose secrets help her discover more than just her identity. And what about Micah, the kind, attractive young man who works at her grandfather’s winery?

Then one night, dangerous Arab fanatics murder Eden’s grandfather, plundering and destroying his villa and vineyard. They take Eden hostage, believing her to be the “chosen one” spoken of in ancient prophecy. Their motive? To destroy her and the ancient treasure they believe she holds. Beaten and fearing for her life, Eden comes to understand the mystery of being a “chosen one.” But will she live to pass on her knowledge—the ancient treasure?

Interwoven with mystery, intrigue, and romance, this tale of unshakable love and undeniable truth will make you wonder: have you also been “chosen?”

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Theonomy in the Middle Ages

By Marc Clauson

Prevailing wisdom among political theorists and historians classifies most, if not all, of the medieval theorists of law as advocating some form of natural law. While not denying the natural law strain in these writers, this paper seeks to show, using Thomas Aquinas as a representative example, that this assessment may be overstated if not outright distorted.

The alternative proposed is that Aquinas was a Theonomist, that is, that his commitment with respect to legal theory was more toward law derived directly from the Christian Scriptures rather than the natural law theory. Theonomy is the name given to a modern movement which seeks to apply biblical law of the Mosaic civil code to political ethics and, practically, to society, through legislation. Several definitions of Theonomy are possible, based on a historical analysis of the legal thought of the Middle Ages through the recent period.
One such defintion, known as "general equity" theory, asserts that the Mosaic judicial laws are valid and binding on the magistrate, not in exhaustive detail, as some Theonomists avow, but in their general principles. Neverthless, it is the Mosaic law that is applied and not natural law. This paper seeks to prove that this general equity theory of Theonomy was held by Thomas Aquinas. Moreover this was, it is shown, his prevailing theory of law, with natural law being secondary.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Government Courses for Home School and Home College

Christian home schooled and home college students interested in influencing governments and politics are encouraged to take one or more of these courses as part of their curriculum. Let Dr. Bartlett know if you take one of these courses so that your homework can be customized to the your state government context and support moving home school legislation forward in 2013 and beyond.

GOV 101 - Comparative Views of Government
This class introduces students to the different views regarding how governments should be established. Students must read the required readings and produce an outline of the important points they gleaned from the readings which they will turn in for part of their grade. Students will also need to dialogue with the professor about the readings once they are assigned. They will then be required to write a comprehensive term paper in which they will compare and contrast the various schools of governance by answering a question posed by the instructor.

Instructor Professor Dr. Hector Falcon
Format: Correspondence
Course Fee: $75/credit 4 Credit hours $300.

GOV 201 - Biblical Principles of Civil Government
This class introduces students to biblical principles of civil government. Students will produce an outline of the major ideas they glean from the readings which they will turn in for part of their grade. They will also need to dialogue with the professor and answer questions as they progress through their reading assignments. Students will then be required to write a final comprehensive paper in which they will write about the ideas they have gleaned in order to answer a question given by the instructor.

Instructor: Professor Dr. Hector Falcon
Format: Correspondence
Course Fee: $75/credit 4 Credit hours $300.

GOV 220 - Calvin and Government
In this class students will be introduced to Calvin’s ideas related to governance. They will outline important ideas they derived from the readings and turn them in for part of their grade. Student will also dialogue with the professor about their readings and be required to complete a comprehensive final paper that utilizes the ideas they have gleaned to answer an exam question given by the instructor.

Instructor: Professor Dr. Hector Falcon
Format: Correspondence
Course Fee: $225. (3 Credit Hours @ $75/hr

GOV 220 - America's Constitutional Republic
Students will be introduced to America’s constitutional form of government. They will be required to turn in an outline of ideas they have gleaned from their readings for part of their grade. They will also be required to dialogue with the professor about their readings and write a final comprehensive paper in which they will incorporate the ideas they gleaned from the readings to answer an exam question given by the instructor.

Instructor: Professor Dr. Hector Falcon
Format: Correspondence
Course Fee: $300. (4 Credit Hours @ $75/hr

GOV 240 - The Theology Of The State
This course deals with an in-depth study and analysis of God's Truth over against Statist Religion and power.

Requirements: Each student must show an in-depth understanding of the material presented and must be able to accurately discuss and apply the details of the material in written format.
Instructor: ProfessorRev. Dr. Paul Michael Raymond
Format: Correspondence Course Fee: $225. (3 Credit Hours @ $75/hr)

GOV 310 - Statesmanship: Government Law and the Constitution
Course Materials: A series of political and legal lectures will be the primary source of learning along with readings on statesmanship principles.

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Paul Michael Raymond
Format: Correspondence Course Fee: $225. (3 Credit Hours @ $75/hr)

GOV 340 - General Equity of the Judicial Laws
This course explores the historical usage and biblical meaning of the General Equity of the Mosaic Judicial Laws. This will include a review of the development of these doctrines from the Reformers to the Westminster Assembly, with special attention to source documents. Topics discussed with include the three-fold division of the Law (Moral, Ceremonial and Judicial), the classes of Judicial Laws, the Westminster Confession of Faith, Establishmentarianism, the Magistrate as Keeper of Both Tables of the Law, the usage of the term “General Equity” by Reformed Divines, and the modern applicability of the Mosaic Judicial Laws.

Course Materials: A series of lectures will be the primary source of learning along with supplemental readings.
Instructor: Prof. Adam Brink
Format: Correspondence Course Fee: $225. (3 Credit Hours @ $75/hr)

GOV 360 - Reformation and Resistance
This course explores the impact of the Protestant Reformation on the American Declaration of Independence, and theory of civil resistance. Far from being the product of the Enlightenment, the American theory of civil resistance is the direct heir of the Reformation. In this course, we review the source documents which inspired or were directly borrowed from to formulate the Declaration of Independence. The main source document is the Holy Bible, from which the Reformers derived their doctrines of a) righteous rule, b) the definition of tyranny, and c) the right to defy tyranny. After Scripture, we review various influential documents from the Reformation which applied the Bible's teaching, from sources as varied as German Lutherans, Scottish Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, English Puritans, French Huguenots, and English Marian Exiles. This course is critical in re-establishing the foundations of the Reformed doctrine of civil resistance, and applying it to our current political crises.

Course Materials: A series of lectures will be the primary source of learning along with supplemental readings.
Instructor: Prof. Adam Brink
Format: Correspondence Course Fee: $225. (3 Credit Hours @ $75/hr)


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Two Kingdoms: Of the Ungodly Power and of the Cowardly Retreat

By Bojidar Marinov | Published: July 6, 2011, American Vision

When a few weeks ago the Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli spoke to a group of 250 pastors assuring them that the churches are not only permitted but also expected to speak on political issues, and thus encouraged the pastors to give “guidance on issues that fall in the political world,” he didn’t do anything the Reformed theological tradition disapproves of. To the contrary, by doing that, Cuccinelli followed in the footsteps of those government magistrates in the Bible of whom Calvin says that are praised for “taking care that religion flourished under them in purity and safety.” Indeed, if the church is instructed to speak to governors and kings (Matt.10:18), then every governor or king that encourages the church to speak to him and advise him in his policies is obedient to his Biblical mandate in his calling before God. Whatever Cuccinelli’s personal reasons for his encouragement to pastors could be, his call must be praised highly by the church as an example for Biblically obedient magistrates, and the pastors must be strongly admonished to take Cuccinelli’s advice.

But no, some supposedly “Reformed” authors wouldn’t agree with Calvin, and wouldn’t agree with Jesus’ commandment for us to speak before governors and kings. In an article with the disparaging title, “When Churches Play at Politics,” Peter Wehner disagrees that the pastors should accept Cuccinelli’s encouragement – and Christ’s commandment, for that matter – to instruct governors. While we will return to his specific arguments later, it is helpful to note at the beginning that he summarizes his position with the words of Tim Keller, a prominent PCA pastor: “The church as the church ought to be less concerned about speaking to politics and more concerned about service.”

Now, Tim Keller’s views of social theory, economics, and politics deserve a more thorough treatment. But this statement of him is very important since it very well exhibits the basic position of the Two-Kingdom Theology: The radical separation between the sacred and the secular, between the “spiritual” concerns of the church and the “political” ministry of the state. This dualistic fragmentation of life has been plaguing the church and its theology for the last two centuries, leading to the disintegration of the Christian civilization created by our forefathers; and the taking over of the West by the secularists who create no such division in their own ideologies and religions.

What will the results be if we accept Keller’s statement as authoritative? Can we really separate between politics and service as he recommends? And who determines what “politics” is and what “service” is? Tim Keller and others like him are eager to limit the pastors’ political involvement but they are not as willing to limit the politicians’ “service” involvement. Thus the pastors are limited but the politicians are not, and therefore it is the politicians that are free to determine what is “politics” and what is “service.” Like I pointed out before, in such a situation we should expect to see the politicians gradually expanding the definition of politics to include what traditionally has been service. Our modern history has many examples of this. Education used to be a service provided by the church; today it is politics from beginning to end – laws, federal and state agencies, regulations, teachers’ unions, etc. Care for the elderly was traditionally Christian service, today it is politics – Social Security, Medicare, regulations and tax rules for retirement accounts, inheritance issues, etc. Care for the poor has always been the responsibility of the families and of the church – as the Bible clearly states in both the Old and the New Testaments – and today welfare is the largest financial commitment of the modern civil governments, as well the major topic in all political campaigns, legislature sessions, and political debates. Regulation of relationships between employers and employees, debtors and creditors, was the topic of many sermons in the colonial era and the early U.S. History; today these economic issues are entirely within the jurisdiction of the state.

So where do we stop? And how can the pastors oppose this absorption of everything by the state? Keller doesn’t say; neither does Wehner. They do not seem to notice the trend; or if they do notice it, they do not seem concerned about it. One could make a conclusion they welcome the march to statism. Eager to limit the pastors to their “spiritual” calling, they do not seem as eager to limit the politicians to their “secular” calling. Socialism wins by default in the outworking of such a theology in practice.

Wehner himself adds another argument against the pastors’ political involvement: Their lack of competence or insight. This is a serious issue, we must admit. But then Wehner’s conclusion is again in favor of the statist solution: If the pastors are incompetent, then the state’s “experts” should take over. Again, he claims, the pastors must remain limited and restrained, and the state reign supreme over all.

But why are pastors incompetent in the first place? Aren’t most pastors the product of the multitude of seminaries that teach the Two-Kingdom doctrine? Aren’t the seminaries supposed to teach the pastors to apply the Word of God to every area of life? What stops the seminaries from doing that? Isn’t it the same Two-Kingdom Theology that says at the very outset that pastors shouldn’t be concerned with politics but with “service”?

Wehner puts the buggy before the horse. He uses the incompetence of the pastors to justify his position that the pastors shouldn’t get involved in politics. The truth is, the incompetence of those pastors is the very product of Wehner’s theology taught in the seminaries. No seminary offers courses on political science, Biblical economics, Biblical philosophy of history, Biblical view of welfare, employer-employee relations, war, etc. No seminary teaches a comprehensive worldview to make the pastors competent to talk about any issue in our modern society from a Biblical perspective. The seminaries stand on the same foundation Wehner stands on: Churches should not “play at politics,” i.e. pastors should be silent on political issues. When seminaries believe that, we shouldn’t expect them to teach their students anything that smacks of politics in our modern world, and therefore the seminary graduates will remain incompetent to give the Biblical principles and inside to those areas of life that are “politics.” Pastors indeed are incompetent. And Wehner and others like him bear the responsibility for it.

Ironically, Wehner’s complaints against the incompetence of pastors don’t speak well of his friend Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Mohler’s own words, “the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.” Albert Mohler has trained thousands of pastors, directly and through his influence over other seminaries. And those thousands of pastors are exactly the pastors that Wehner talks about: incompetent and without insight when it comes to comprehensive view of life. Wehner is completely right: very little insight and wisdom comes from those pastors trained by Mohler – and in fact, from the pastors of any other denomination in general. What stops Mohler, with his influence and knowledge, from training those pastors to be competent?

The answer is: His theology. Mohler is one of the most prominent defenders of the Two-Kingdom Theology. The same theology that calls for the radical separation between sacred and worldly, spiritual and political, nature and grace, the Law of God and the “natural” law. Mohler’s theology forces him to produce incompetent pastors, devoid of any knowledge about the application of the Bible to all of life, because all of life is not under the directions of the Bible in the first place. Mohler doesn’t believe Christians can offer anything more than just vague “influence” in the society; and he insist they should restrain from any control or power over government or cultural decisions and policies.

This is especially visible in an interview that Mohler himself took of Peter Wehner about Wehner’s book, City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era. A significant part of the interview is devoted to the Two-Kingoms view that there is no such thing as a Christian culture. Mohler asks the question, “You are not really suggesting that there can be a creation of Christian culture.” And Wehner replies:

I don’t think we can create a Christian culture. I think part of that frankly is grounded in scripture itself and Christ said that the world hated me and the world will hate you.

The two then continue to bash the view that we must create a Christian culture; they offer only what they call a Christian “influence on the culture.” They know they can not separate from the culture but they want to be faithful to their preferred theology of the two kingdoms. So, just like Keller, they place a very specific limit on Christians (“Do not create a Christian culture”) but they do not place such limit on the non-Christians. Non-Christians in government and in other vocations are free to do as they please, create pagan culture with everything it entails – government, economics, science, family, entertainment, literature, law, etc. – on the basis of their own ideologies and religions. But Christians are barred from doing such a thing. At the most, Christians are allowed to only “influence” that culture already created by pagans.

But wait, what are they going to “influence” it toward? “Influence” means “sway, make one change direction.” If Mohler and Wehner have no Christian culture to offer as an alternative, to what direction do they want to influence the prevailing pagan culture? Do they expect Christians to sway the pagan culture to a better pagan culture? On what foundation should this “influence” be based if Christians don’t have a culture to start with? Should they beat something with nothing? If Christians have no culture to offer, then they have no cultural solutions to offer, then by default they will be incompetent and with no insight to participate in the culture. If “the world will hate you” means what Mohler and Wehner want it to mean – no Christian culture – then why should it mean Christian cultural “influence” at all? Will a Christ-hating world be more willing to accept Christian cultural “influence” than Christian culture? If that hatred means that a Christian must shy from building a Christian culture, why not mean that a Christian must shy from anything cultural at all, including cultural influence?

Thus by default, a pastor trained by Mohler and by the seminaries influenced by Mohler will have to be uneducated and untrained and incompetent about the world. He has no other choice but retreat. He will have to focus on “service,” but only “service” as defined by the government bureaucrats, i.e. everything that is still not taken by the state. His Two-Kingdom Theology will discourage any cultural endeavor he might have – and of course, the very seminaries that trained him won’t offer him any training in cultural endeavors. By default, the government and the cultural leadership must be left in the hands of non-Christians. Not only Mohler and his theology discourage Christians from cultural and political leadership, they also actively promote non-Christian – i.e. ungodly – power over the society and over Christians themselves, and over their churches. Peter Wehner’s complaint against Cuccinelli, and Albert Mohler’s theology of the Two Kingdoms are in effect the religion of statism dressed in religious and theological garb. The two kingdoms of that theology are the ever expanding kingdom of unlimited ungodly statist power, and the ever shrinking kingdom of Christian cowardly retreat, incompetence, and lack of insight and wisdom. Wehner’s observations about the pastors’ incompetence are correct; he only misses the fact that that incompetence is the fruit of his own theology, and of the theology of his theological friends.

So, Cuccinelli is right, pastors must speak up on political issues. But we also need to understand that as long as the seminaries are captured by professors who refuse to preach the comprehensive Gospel of the Kingdom of God, the church will remain incompetent and unable to speak. As long as the seminaries’ theology encourages the cowardly retreat from our obligation to build a Christian culture in obedience to the Great Commission, our land will be under the oppression of ungodly powers. Competence comes only from the Word of God, and from a theology that submits everything under Christ and His Kingdom. Christians must stop listening to Wehner and his theological accomplices and accept their comprehensive responsibilities in the Kingdom of Christ.

Author: Bojidar Marinov

A Reformed missionary to his native Bulgaria for over 10 years, Bojidar preaches and teaches doctrines of the Reformation and a comprehensive Biblical worldview. Having founded Bulgarian Reformation Ministries in 2001, he and his team have translated over 30,000 pages of Christian literature about the application of the Law of God in every area of man’s life and society, and published those translations online for free. He has been active in the formation of the Libertarian movement in Bulgaria, a co-founder of the Bulgarian Society for Individual Liberty and its first chairman. If you would like Bojidar to speak to your church, homeschool group or other organization, contact him through his website: http://www.bulgarianreformation.org/