Sean McDowell: How Do I Motivate Students Who Don’t Seem to Care?

One of the most common—and frankly one of the toughest—questions I receive is how to motivate students who are apathetic. How do you make students care? If you are expecting an easy answer, then you might as well click away now. Students are not robots and so we can’t force them to care about anything! But there are a few things I have learned from my experience and research that may help you motivate students who don’t seem to care about spiritual issues:


John Lennox Premier Lecture – Going Against the Flow

Professor John Lennox and the life and book of Daniel

This is an outstanding and challenging lecture by Professor John Lennox from Oxford University.  We highly recommend this lecture and Prof. Lennox’s book, both of which are highly relevant to Christians living in a post-Christian western world.  From the Premier website:

Mathematician and Christian thinker John Lennox gave the Premier Lecture for the 20th Anniversary of the Radio station on June 10th.

Drawing on his new book ‘Against the Flow’, Lennox draws lessons from the book of Daniel for the church today.

Get the MP3

For more info & the transcript of the lecture:

For Against The Flow (the book):

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‘Same sex Marriage bill’ – now law: what it means for churches – Craig Vernall

Senior Pastor, Craig Vernall, National Leader of the NZ Baptist Union, has notified all Baptist pastors registered as marriage celebrants (on the Baptist List) with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, that they are expressly forbidden to perform civil unions and same sex marriages under Baptist Administration Manual policy – instituted by the Baptist Assembly Council. Nor can they or any other Baptist celebrant perform such ceremonies in a private capacity, because they are only authorised to their (statutory function) role as marriage celebrants, based on the Call they have to the local Baptist congregation, ancd having accepted that Call, they are duty-bound to uphold the policies etc. of the NZ Baptist Union (of NZ churches).

Good work Craig!

Full article here.


British Psychological Society to launch attack on rival profession, casting doubt on biomedical model of mental illness

Is this serious, humorous, or seriously screwball?

The Guardian, 12 May 2013 —– Psychiatrists under fire in mental health battle

There is no scientific evidence that psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are valid or useful, according to the leading body representing Britain’s clinical psychologists.

In a groundbreaking move that has already prompted a fierce backlash from psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society’s division of clinical psychology (DCP) will on Monday issue a statement declaring that, given the lack of evidence, it is time for a “paradigm shift” in how the issues of mental health are understood.

No scientific evidence…… it is time for a paradigm shift……. gosh, I thought for a moment that they were talking about the creaking mess of neo-darwinism?

Dr Lucy Johnstone, a consultant clinical psychologist who helped draw up the DCP’s statement, said it was unhelpful to see mental health issues as illnesses with biological causes.

“On the contrary, there is now overwhelming evidence that people break down as a result of a complex mix of social and psychological circumstances – bereavement and loss, poverty and discrimination, trauma and abuse,” Johnstone said.

So does this mess apply in any way to the new fad of yummy homosexuality?  The ever-so-popular-but-so-far-illusive gay gene seems to imply that homosexuality does not originate in the biological, so where else could it originate other than the “complex mix social and psychological…… and abuse”?  This means homosexuality resides in the mind (well, in the brain if you are a materialist) and is therefore a mental illness.  Or is it the other 98% of the population that are mentally ill?   

In other news:

Can you please explain to me…

Can you please explain to me…

If marriage can be redefined to encompass two men or two women, then surely it can also encompass three men or three women.

If it is discrimination to stop two women getting married, then surely it is also discrimination to disallow a man from marrying his daughter or his son.

And from here.

Louisa Wall’s bill cannot become law as it contains a host of serious breaches of the Bill of Rights Act 1990. For example, under its revised Schedule 2 (with all gender differences removed from the Principal Act), it will exclude many ‘loving’ couples from getting legally married, and yet the bill provides no justification for such discriminatory prohibitions. A 19-year-old homosexual male, after divorcing his same-sex ‘married’ partner, will be unable to legally marry his ex-partner’s father. (No children can come from such a ‘union’ so why the prohibition?). Under Louisa Wall’s proposed legislation, there is no rational or biological reason why two biological brothers (or sisters) who love each other should not get married if they declare their love for one another. And yet her bill prevents them from marrying. Why? (Prohibited marriages under Schedule 2 of the Principal Act are based on the issue of consanguinity of the potential offspring. However, gay couples are sterile. So why the prohibitions?).

Bethinking Conference: John Lennox on Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design

The Bethinking National Apologetics Day Conference, ‘Countering the New Atheism’, took place during the UK Reasonable Faith Tour in October 2011. Christian academics William Lane Craig, John Lennox, Peter J. Williams and Gary Habermas lead 600 people in training for how to defend and proclaim the credibility of Christianity against the growing tide of secularism and New Atheist popular thought in western society.

In this second session, John Lennox delivers his critique of Stephen Hawking’s arguments in The Grand Design and explains why, despite its media hype, neither God nor philosophy is dead. The lecture is followed by questions and answers from the audience.

Intelligent Design Scholar-Historian Dr. Thomas Woodward in New Zealand in December

Intelligent Design scholar Dr. Tom WoodwardIntelligent Design scholar Dr. Thomas Woodward (Wikipedia) will be visiting New Zealand in the second week of December 2012.


Dr. Woodward is the author of Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design, is also coauthor with Dr. James Gills of The Mysterious Epigenome: What Lies Beyond DNA (2012). A graduate of Princeton University (in History), he received a Th.M. from Dallas Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of South Florida. His doctoral specialty was in the “Rhetoric of Science,” and his research focus has been the history of the scientific controversy over intelligent design and neo-Darwinism.


Dr. Woodward is Research Professor at Trinity College of Florida in Tampa Bay, where he has taught for 23 years. He has spoken on the topic of evolution, intelligent design and the existence of God at over 80 colleges and universities in 25 countries. His campus presentations include a lecture series at Princeton University and Dartmouth College, and an intelligent design seminar at Cambridge University (UK) hosted by Ranald Macauley, son-in-law of L’Abri founder Francis Schaeffer. Church presentations have included Calvary Chapel of Ft. Lauderdale, Westminster Chapel in London, Surfers’ Paradise Church in Gold Coast, Australia, and Mision Mundial Church in Lima, Peru. He was featured on “Janet Parshall’s America” and Hank Hanegraaff’s program, “The Bible Answer Man.”*


Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe (author of “Darwin’s Black Box”) has described Dr. Woodward as the “premier historian of intelligent design.” He was invited by CNBC TV Network to engage Dr. Brian Alters of McGill University in an “evolution debate” moderated by Carl Quintanilla on the popular Squawk Box morning program. He has also engaged in three university debates: at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida with renowned Darwinist Michael Ruse, at Michigan State University with Dr. Donald Weinshank, and at La Sapienza University in Rome with Italy’s premier evolutionary biologist, Dr. Boncinelli.

CS Lewis Society

Tom Woodward is the founder and director of the C. S. Lewis Society, which hosts lectures, conferences and debates on university campuses and in heavily secular countries.


Woodward’s 2002 book Darwinism Under the Microscope, was co-edited with Dr. James Gills. He is the author of two books which trace the debate between Darwinism and intelligent design. His first book, Doubts about Darwin (Baker 2003), won a national book award from Christianity Today. His second book on the “design controversy,” Darwin Strikes Back (Baker 2006), was released in a Spanish translation (“Darwin Contraataca”) by Portavoz in 2008.


Dr. Woodward hosted a weekly radio program since 2006: “Darwin or Design.” In December, 2011 it took on a new name: The Universe Next Door. It is aired on WTBN in Tampa, and on The Bridge FM in the greater New York City metro area, along with stations in eight states. It is accessible on the internet at each Saturday at 5:05 p.m. Eastern time. 

Radio debate

You can listen here to his friendly debate / discussion with Peter Hearty on the Unbelievable radio program from the UK.

Well known USA Intelligent Design advocate Tom Woodward takes on the National Secular Society’s science representative Pete Hearty.  Does the new evidence in biological science point towards an ultimate creator?  Other guests also join the fray…

Dr. Woodward and Dr. James P. Gills M.D. on The Mysterious Epigenome. What lies beyond DNA.

Dr. Woodward interviews Princeton Chemistry Professor Dr. Andrew Bocarsly

More on Why Darwinists Won’t Debate


Thoughtful reader Brett Watson takes issue with my attempt to give a charitable reading to Darwinists’ avoidance of debating with intelligent-design advocates. In fact he offers an “even more charitable interpretation,” a basically political one:

I think there’s an even more charitable interpretation of why Darwinists won’t debate: they have nothing to gain from it, politically. Presidential candidates probably wouldn’t debate either if they were sure that the majority was already on their side. Not only do Darwinists potentially have a lot to lose by entering into such a debate, they also have little to gain from it. As Richard Dawkins likes to say in relation to debating dissenting scientists (and he attributes it to someone else), “that would look great on your resume, not so much on mine.”

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