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Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: An Academic Excursion

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin

Written in the genre of Henry David Thoreau’s travel-thinking essays, Rick Kennedy's Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: An Academic Excursion is the story of a three-day climb into the Evolution Range of the High Sierra Mountains of California. Mount Darwin stands among other near-14,000-foot-high mountains that are named after promoters of religious versions of evolutionary thinking. Using the trek as its framing narrative, the book explores the complex and, at times, even murky spaces at the intersection of Christian faith, ancient and natural history, and observational science.

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Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: An Academic Excursion

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: An Academic Excursion

This series is about the reasonableness of biblical Christianity in universities. By reasonableness, I mean the warranted credibility, if not the persuasiveness, of Christian claims about ancient history.
December 09, 2011 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
1
 
Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 2

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 2

There are few things more enjoyable than a serious academic discussion in which students and faculty lose themselves in strategies pursuing understanding.
December 12, 2011 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
7
 
Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 3

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 3

Mount Darwin was named thirteen years after Charles Darwin (1809–1882) died. Evident throughout his Voyage of the Beagle is a serious young man, diligent and humble. Also evident is a young man with little interest in an active and communicating God.
December 16, 2011 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
15
 
Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 4

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 4

Ours is one of the few academic disciplines that does not believe that the simplest answers are probably the truest. We thrive in complexity, disorder, and the general messiness of human life.
December 19, 2011 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
5
 
Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 5

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 5

One way to categorize college professors—an overgeneralization but a useful one—is to split them into Totalizers and Tentative Investigators. There are Darwinist and Christian professors of both types.
December 23, 2011 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
7
 
Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 6

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 6

“Nature is messy,” a geologist tells writer John McPhee, “Don’t expect it to be uniform or consistent.” McPhee’s books on geology tend to emphasize the humbling effect of the real earth on the overly-intellectual geologists who want to over-simplify it.
December 26, 2011 
Rick Kennedy 
Earth, Universe & Time 
7
 
Jesus, History and Mount Darwin: Part 7

Jesus, History and Mount Darwin: Part 7

As an academic historian, I take heart in Richard Dawkins’ stretch to algorithms. It shows a major problem in natural history that can’t be answered easily.
December 30, 2011 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
16
 
Jesus, History and Mount Darwin: Part 8

Jesus, History and Mount Darwin: Part 8

Summiting is, to use the cliché, a mountain-top experience. Darwin assumed that “everyone must know the feeling of triumph and pride which a grand view from a height communicates to the mind.”
January 06, 2012 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
2
 
Jesus, History and Mount Darwin: Part 9

Jesus, History and Mount Darwin: Part 9

Modern academic tradition tends to try and maintain order. For historians it behooves us professionally to avoid accounts of alleged spiritual events.
January 09, 2012 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
34
 
Jesus, History and Mount Darwin: Part 10

Jesus, History and Mount Darwin: Part 10

The life of Jesus is noisy. A cacophony of information reaches through two thousand years to communicate with us. In the Bible alone we have four organized biographical sketches, Luke’s history of the first decades after Jesus, and a bunch of letters.
January 17, 2012 
Rick Kennedy 
Christ & New Creation 
12
 
Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 11

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 11

John Locke asserted that information, at every stage of being passed on, becomes proportionally less credible. Locke extended this formula to both oral and written testimony-- “the farther still it is from the original, the less valid it is, and has always less force.”
January 23, 2012 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
4
 
Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 12

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 12

Christians often insist on too many things. The Bible tells us there is only one absolutely critical thing: the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as a historical event.
January 27, 2012 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
30
 
Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 13

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 13

We did not make it to the top of Mount Darwin. No story of triumph here, intellectual or physical. The story is one of companionship and recognition of academic strengths and weaknesses.
January 30, 2012 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
42
 
Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 14

Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: Part 14

One thing Darwin and Christianity agree upon is the naturalness of selfishness and death. Christianity and evolution are both rooted in the reality of violent competition, suffering, pain, and death.
February 07, 2012 
Rick Kennedy 
Education 
16