What's new?

I have a few minutes this morning to update you on my current status and the status of Core Academy, but those minutes are going fast unfortunately.  Over the Christmas break, my friend who is the chemistry professor at Bryan College contracted COVID and spent a month in the hospital, and the college asked me to fill in for him.  I genuinely hoped it would be a temporary arrangement, but you know how COVID is.  I'll be there to the end of the semester, teaching three classes and running labs Monday through Thursday.  I can only guess that God wanted me back in the classroom, and I am grateful that I am able to step in and help my friend (who is recovering nicely now).  I'm also very grateful for my lab assistant, without whom lab would be 10x more work than it is.

Meanwhile, the staff at Core Academy are keeping things humming along there, especially with production of our new "Let's Talk Creation" podcast.  I mostly just show up to the assigned recording days, and everything is ready to go.  So that's a big blessing.  Reception has been good.  We've gotten good reviews, and we're already up to more than 500 views on YouTube!  I'm grateful for that too and for a staff that can keep the ministry going while I'm distracted with other responsibilities.

In case you were wondering, the Core Academy spring retreat was completely canceled.  We're looking to try again in the fall, but we'll have to see how things go.  I'm thrilled to see the COVID numbers dropping so dramatically, but I'm also wary that it's just seasonal.  The ongoing vaccination program will hopefully further diminish the impact of COVID, and I'm optimistic that we'll begin having events again in the fall, including the retreat and our annual banquet.  If you'd like to schedule something with us for the 2021-2022 school year, let me know.

What's been going on out in the universe while I've been buried with chemistry teaching?  We landed another probe on Mars, which I'm always excited about.  This one's got a little helicopter on board to see if we can fly things on Mars in addition to crawling around on wheels.  Should be really interesting to watch.

In the world of hominins, there's a new article contesting the claim that Little Foot's arm was damaged during life and grew back abnormally.  Research on Little Foot itself remains pretty sparse, with little data available to the public beyond the series of papers originally published.  I have no idea when or if this will change.

Two months ago, I commented briefly on the Ravi Zaccharias scandal, and subsequent changes at the ministry I think have been positive, if too late.  Christianity Today reports that they're changing their name and ministry focus, and they've fully embraced repentance and restoration.  I'm relieved to see them avoid the kind of spin or "damage control" that I've seen at too many ministries, where people tried to minimize wrongdoing.  That's not repentance.  True repentance comes at a cost though, with heavy layoffs expected in the near future.  It's still a very sad story, even though the leadership finally seems to be doing the right thing.

Some asked me what I thought of Ravi and his work, aside from the sin and deception.  Honestly, I'm not a fan of the culture that seems to grow around apologetics.  I don't want to judge unfairly, but too often I find apologetics attracts people who just like to argue and other people who like to make themselves feel good by intellectually attacking others.  Again, though, I know there are good approaches to apologetics, and it's not all bad.  But my answer to apologetics is very much like this article from my friend Leonard Brand.  Leonard writes,
If we win an argument, it may seem satisfying. We have defended the Word of God. But we may have lost a friend, and lost the opportunity to be a positive influence.
So I don't want to throw out apologetics altogether, but I do want to see us make fewer arguments about the evidence for our creator and instead becoming living evidence of the power of the gospel and of Jesus Christ.

And now I must get back to working on chemistry.  May God bless you.  Thanks for reading!

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.

Have you read my book?  You should check that out too!