New study: fathers play an important role in child development

A family praying and reading the Bible
A family praying and reading the Bible

Science Daily reports:

Fathers play a surprisingly large role in their children’s development, from language and cognitive growth in toddlerhood to social skills in fifth grade, according to new findings from Michigan State University scholars.

The research provides some of the most conclusive evidence to date of fathers’ importance to children’s outcomes and reinforces the idea that early childhood programs such as Head Start should focus on the whole family, including mother and father alike. The findings are published online in two academic journals, Early Childhood Research Quarterly and Infant and Child Development.

[…]The study found that fathers’ parenting-related stress had a harmful effect on their children’s cognitive and language development when the children were 2 to 3 years old, even when the mothers’ influences were taken into account. This impact varied by gender; fathers’ influence, for example, had a larger effect on boys’ language than girls’ language.

Another key finding: Fathers’ and mothers’ mental health had a similarly significant effect on behavior problems among toddlers. Further, fathers’ mental health had a long-term impact, leading to differences in children’s social skills (such as self-control and cooperation) when the children reached fifth grade. In fact, fathers’ depression symptoms when children were toddlers were more influential on children’s later social skills than were mothers’ symptoms.

In sum, the findings contribute to the small but growing collection of research affirming the effects of fathers’ characteristics and father-child relationship qualities on children’s social development, rather than just the fathers’ residence in the home or presence in the child’s life, according to the paper published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

What’s the purpose of this? Well, if you’re watching the Democrat convention, you know that Democrats are great believers in taxing working families, and then giving money to women who have children outside of marriage. In fact, government policy even penalizes married couples, the so-called “marriage penalty”. But this study clearly shows that we need to stop  paying women to have fatherless children. What good does it do to talk about helping children, when you pay women to inflict fatherlessness on children? It makes no sense, and it’s not compassionate to the children.

We ought to be promoting marriage with our tax policy, not trying to make the government a substitute for a husband.

Good news: UK Supreme Court rules against Scotland’s fascist Named Person scheme

One of the first "named persons" fired for sex crime with child
One of the first “named persons” fired for sex crime with child

Dina tweeted this article from the UK Daily Mail about that the so-called Named Person policy, which appoints a worker from the secular socialist government to each child born in Scotland, who will then follow that child through their childhood and interfere with the parent-child relationship.

Read it:

Judges have blocked Nicola Sturgeon’s controversial law to appoint a named person for every child in Scotland, blasting the scheme as ‘totalitarian’.

The flagship policy, introduced by the SNP administration at Holyrood, set out to appoint a single point of contact, such as a teacher or health visitor, to look out for the welfare of children under 18.

Scottish courts had dismissed attempts by Christian campaigners to block the legislation but today five Supreme Court justices heard an appeal and ruled the measures were ‘incompatible’ with European human rights laws because of the requirement to share private family data. 

The court ruled that the current drafting of the legislation risked breaching important regulations protecting privacy and confidentiality and could result in disproportionate interference with the right to a family and private life. 

It is a humiliating blow for the SNP Government in Edinburgh but defiant Scottish ministers insist they will not scrap the scheme despite today’s ruling by the Supreme Court in London – the UK’s highest court.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney vowed to implement the measure nationally once changes have been made to comply with the High Court’s ruling.

[…]Scottish government ministers had planned to roll out the named person scheme across Scotland in just over a month’s time.

Under the scheme the named person will be required to exercise statutory functions, including providing advice, information or support where appropriate to promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of the child or young person.

There is no opt-out for parents from the Named Person policy.  And one of the first named person has already been found guilty of a vile sex crime. What would you expect when you give liberal government workers access to children who are not their own?

The Named Person scheme is an obvious way for the secular left to push their values: abortion, gay marriage, socialism, pacifism, etc. onto children with impunity. This is not surprising since people on the secular left often view parental authority as harmful to children. One can easily imagine scenarios where Christian parents try to teach their children beliefs and moral behaviors that are incompatible with the far-left Scottish government.

I am always taken aback by the great confidence that teachers and social workers have in their desire to impose their radically leftist, anti-family views on families. These bureaucracies tend to be dominated by feminists who have great confidence in their wisdom to impose their views on men. They think that they know how to raise children better than the taxpaying families who pay their salaries.

The only way out of this mess is to cut, cut, cut the size of government, and force the government workers out into the competitive private sector, where the needs of the customers actually matter. I will also say this – if you wonder why men withdraw from wanting to get married and start families, it is because while men relish the idea of starting their own little home where they are the leaders, they have absolutely no interest in entering those arrangements if they are going to be meddled with and bullied by feminist government workers. Men marry to lead, not to be thrown in jail by fascistic feminist bureaucrats.

William Lane Craig: churches should focus on apologetics to attract more men

Church sucks, that's why men are bored there
Church sucks, that’s why men are bored there

I saw that Triablogue quoted an interesting passage from William Lane Craig’s newsletter.

Here it is:

One overwhelming impression of these engagements is the way in which the intellectual defense of Christian faith attracts men. Both at Texas A&M and again at Miami every single student who got up to ask a question was a guy! I wondered if the girls are just shy. But then I remembered a lengthy clip Jan and I watched of cast members of Downton Abbey doing a Q&A with an audience in New York. Almost every person who came to the microphone at that event was a woman! It wasn’t until late into the evening that a man finally asked a question, which was remarked by all the cast members. Why the difference between that session and the ones I experienced?—simply because the Downton Abbey program is highly relational, which is more appealing to women, whereas my talks were principally intellectually oriented, which is more appealing to men.

Churches have difficulty attracting men, and the church is becoming increasingly feminized. I believe that apologetics is a key to attracting large numbers of men (as well as women) to church and to Christ. By presenting rational arguments and historical evidences for the truth of the Gospel, by appealing to the mind as well as the heart, we can bring a great influx of men into the Kingdom. I’m so pleased that the church in Canada seems to be awakening to this challenge! I’m convinced that we have the opportunity to revolutionize Western Christianity by reclaiming our intellectual heritage.

I could tell you many, many stories of what it was like for me being shut down by churches who were overly sensitive to the desires of women. In college, I and the other male students had every attempt to bring in scholars to lecture or debate shut down by female leadership. Every single week it was prayer walks, testimonies, hymn sings… over and over. Eventually, the more manly Christians just quit going. Later on, I witnessed apologetics being shut down in the church from the top down and from the bottom up, as well.

I remember one week an excited male friend invited me to his church because his male pastor was giving sermons using Hugh Ross and Gerald Shroeder books. He was trying to tie in the existence of God to cosmology. Well, I showed up the next Sunday to hear, and was disappointed. I could tell that the pastor wanted to go back to that subject, but he never really did. Later on, we found out that a female parishioner had complained that too much science and evidence had ruined her experience of feeling good and being comforted.

I could go on and on and on telling stories like this. To this day, I cannot stand being in a church unless that church has organized things like apologetic training classes, public lectures, public debates or public conferences. But that’s the minority of churches. The fact is that churches are attended far more by women than by men, and pastors are catering to women more than men. Not only will apologetics not be mentioned, but elements of feminism will creep into doctrine (egalitarianism) and all political issues will be avoided. Church has become a place to have good feelings, and it is far divorced from anything like evidence or politics which might be viewed as judgmental and divisive. And yet those are the things that men like to talk about most: right and wrong, public policy, evidential apologetics.

What’s behind the spike in terrorist attacks in Europe?

Muslim populations in Europe
Muslim populations in Europe

Dina tweeted this article from the UK Spectator about the recent spike in terrorist attacks in Europe.

It says:

It is now a fortnight since Mohammed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ploughed a truck along the Nice seafront, killing 84 people. The following Monday Mohammed Riyad, who said he was from Afghanistan but almost certainly came from Pakistan, screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ while hacking with an axe at his fellow passengers on a Bavarian train. The next day another Mohammed, this time Mohamed Boufarkouch, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and stabbed a Frenchwoman and her three daughters (aged eight, 12 and 14) near Montpelier. Mixing things up a little, that Friday’s shooter in Munich was a child of Iranians called Ali David Sonboly. Skip forward a couple of days and a ‘-Syrian asylum seeker’ with a machete was hacking a pregnant woman to death in Stuttgart. The next day another ‘Syrian asylum seeker’, Mohammad Daleel, carried out a suicide bombing outside a bar in Ansbach, Bavaria. And a little over 24 hours later two men shouting the name of Isis entered a church in Rouen during Mass, took the nuns and congregation hostage and slaughtered the priest with a knife.

What is interesting is how the mainstream media reports on these attacks. Their top priority doesn’t seem to be to tell the public the truth. They seem to prefer blaming the public for provoking the innocent terrorists into performing these attacks.

Look:

Although the public know what is going on, the media seems loath to find any connection between these events. Indeed, the same papers that blame an exaggerated spike in ‘hate crime’ on everyone who voted for Brexit seem unwilling to put the blame for these real and violent attacks on the individuals carrying them out. ‘Syrian man denied asylum killed in German blast’ was the Reuters headline on the Ansbach story, neatly turning the suicide bomber into the victim and the German asylum system into the perpetrator. As Reuters went on: ‘A 27-year-old Syrian man who had been denied asylum in Germany a year ago died on Sunday when a bomb he was carrying exploded outside a music festival.’ How terrible for him to lose his bomb in such a way.

The more complex story of the Munich shooter allowed everyone to double-down on their favourite explanations for violence. Inadequate welfare provisions, unsuitable town-planning and bullying were all wheeled out to explain why Ali David Sonboly started shooting in a McDonalds. Others were a little too keen to claim him as an Isis warrior, when it seems he wasn’t. The BBC got around the problem by excising the ‘Ali’ and all reports of his religion. Instead, speculation about the shooting happening on the fifth anniversary of Anders Breivik’s terrorist assault in Norway meant that every-one could ignore the Muslim eyewitness who heard Sonboly shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ and headline on Breivik instead. Meaning that in Europe in 2016 a child of Iranian parents can be portrayed as a white supremacist, while no amount of Mohameds shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ can be said to have any connection to Islam.

Somehow, the mainstream media has decided that radicalized Muslims who commit terrorist attacks must be protected from public disapproval. Their job isn’t to tell the truth, it’s to try to make people believe things that the mainstream media wants them to believe.

The real question for us is this. If the leaders of the government take this attitude, and continue to mass import unskilled immigrants from Muslim countries, then can we at last blame them for getting innocent taxpayers killed? It seems to me that the politicians who cover for the Islamic terrorists are putting us all at risk.

Peter J. Williams lectures on the historical reliability of the gospel narratives

Investigation in progress
Investigation in progress

Here’s the main lecture: (54 minutes)

And here’s the Q&A: (9 minutes)

About Peter Williams:

Peter J. Williams is the Warden (CEO) of Tyndale House and a member of the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Cambridge. He received his MA, MPhil and PhD, in the study of ancient languages related to the Bible from Cambridge University.

Summary of the lecture:

  • What if the stories about Jesus are legendary?
  • were the gospels transmitted accurately?
  • were the gospels written in the same place as where the events happened?
  • do the gospel authors know the customs and locations where the events happened?
  • do the gospels use the right names for the time and place where the events took place?
  • do the gospels disambiguate people’s names depending on how common those names were?
  • how do the New Testament gospels compare to the later gnostic gospels?
  • how do the gospels refer to the main character? How non-Biblical sources refer to Jesus?
  • how does Jesus refer to himself in the gospels? do the later Christians refer to him that way?
  • how does Jesus teach? do later Christians teach the same way?
  • why didn’t Jesus say anything about early conflicts in the church (the Gentiles, church services)?
  • did the writers of the gospels know the places where the events took place?
  • how many places are named in the gospels? how about in the later gnostic gospels?
  • are the botanical details mentioned in the gospels accurate? how about the later gnostic gospels?

And here are the questions from the audience:

  • how what about the discrepancies in the resurrection narratives that Bart Ehrman is obsessed with?
  • what do you think of the new 2011 NIV translation (Peter is on the ESV translation committee)?
  • how did untrained, ordinary men produce complex, sophisticated documents like the gospels?
  • is oral tradition a strong enough bridge between the events and the writers who interviewed the eyewitnesses?
  • what does the name John mean?
  • why did the gospel writers wait so long before writing their gospels?
  • do you think that Matthew and Luke used a hypothetical source which historians call “Q”?
  • which gospel do critical historians trust the least and why?

I really enjoyed watching this lecture. He’s getting some of this material from Richard Bauckham’s awesome book “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”, so if you aren’t familiar with it, you can get an idea of what’s in it. Peter Williams is a lot of fun to listen to – an excellent speaker.

 

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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