Four New Moderators!


(Brad Kramer) #1

As our little community has steadily grown, we’ve seen the need for more moderators to help foster gracious and productive dialogue (and keep the peace). The mod team reached out to a number of Forum whom we thought best modeled this type of dialogue. Four of them have agreed to become moderators here. They are :drum::drum::drum: :

@Elle
@Mervin_Bitikofer
@Jay313
@pevaquark

I’ve asked them to introduce themselves in this thread, so that you can get to know them a little better.

A reminder that if you need to contact the moderators, the best way to do that is to flag a problem post (automatically notifies us), or send a message to @moderators. Please do not message individual moderators with an issue.

P.S. @Casper_Hesp has stepped down from his role as moderator to focus on his graduate studies. We are grateful beyond words for what he has contributed to this community :clap: :clap: .


(Brad Kramer) #2

(Christy Hemphill) #3

It’s not that we as individuals don’t LOVE hearing from you about your issues, it’s just that using the @moderators tag means the first person to notice the message can deal with it and everyone stays in the loop about what is going on. It may seem like we spend all day everyday just waiting for stuff to happen around here, but the truth is we all have real jobs and families and may not be available when you need help.


(Luca) #4

4 fantastic people. I am very happy with this! Best wishes to all.


(Phil) #5

Let me echo the welcome! It is good to share, and I look forward to having such a great new crew to help keep us on track!


(Laura) #6

Hi all! And thanks for the opportunity to get more involved here. :slight_smile: I’ve shared bits of introduction on a couple threads in the past, but here’s something a bit more thorough:

I grew up in a Christian homeschooling family that was very invested in AIG/YEC, and it wasn’t until I began the process of homeschooling my own kids that I realized I didn’t want to go down the YEC route (it gradually stopped making sense, and I’d been put off for a while by AIG’s culture wars and tone). But I knew I had a lot to learn, especially if I was going to teach my kids something so different from what I was taught, so somehow I found BioLogos that way. I’ve really appreciated learning from such a varied and knowledgeable group of people, and especially the way science and faith are integrated. There are probably many good places one could go to learn about evolution from square one, but having a place where you can wrestle with how it all fits into your faith is incredibly valuable, especially when you’ve always been surrounded by the view that you can only have one or the other.

Right now I live in rural Maine and homeschool my kids (just one in school at this point), and enjoy reading, blogging, gardening, cooking, occasional self-employment, etc. I’m also six months pregnant, so my activity here will probably take a dip in a few months’ time, but will hopefully resume as I learn to sleep again -fingers crossed-. :wink:

[Edited to add: I suppose it’s also relevant that I have an English degree from a state university, so I contribute more to the theology/philosophy/education angle of things than science/math, though I learn a lot from the perspectives of those in the sciences, as long as I can follow the conversations!]


(Mervin Bitikofer) #7

Sorry to be late to the party. I’m on a trip with students at the moment and may only have spotty time to catch wifi this week. So here’s my quick self-intro for now.

I grew up in a Christian household in a rural Mennonite (but not Amish) setting, and I have retained and made that abiding faith my own in my adult years – passing it along to my own children as best I can. My general sense for how my parents saw (or would see) these issues is … that they didn’t. (My dad has passed from this life, and my mom is still with us, but has long since succumbed to dementia.) But while I was growing up, dad would always express praise and amazement for all of God’s creation and how it all fit together. We have always been (and remain) unapologetic creationists.

At the same time, I don’t remember dad spending a lot of emotional energy opposing evolutionary science or deep time perspectives. He may have made disapproving comments of such things I suppose, and my memory may be “sanitizing” any such realities to make him seem to be closer to where I’ve slowly grown --I know such memory tricks do happen. But I’m pretty sure I never saw any books by, say Whitecomb, Morris or similar authors until I was investigating these issues on my own. [Added edit: my immersion in the scriptures, however, was constant and a given, and is still a given today.] All this is to say that my parents obviously thought there must be bigger fish to fry than to throw more fuel onto that warfare thesis during my childhood years in the 70s.

Fast forward to college; I attended a Mennonite community college (Hesston) where I continued my high school interests of science and math (with no anti-evolutionary powder or shot spent there either), and then finished up a 4-year electrical engineering degree at K-state. Through God’s direction at opening some doors and closing others, I ended up teaching some physical sciences and upper level math courses at a small private, non-denominational Christian, K-12 school.

My general approach to science and faith is to aspire to follow the apostle Paul’s example of focusing on Christ, and (not to put too fine a point on it!) to consider everything else as rubble in comparison. So I consider myself as having a mission of bridge building, and stumbling block removal. The tricky thing is to keep from confusing those two things with each other. I fellowship with and respect people on every different side of these origins issues, who would agree with the priorities I just expressed, but who would have very different ideas about which are the stumbling blocks, and which are the bridges that can help people reach Christ. [added: Another drumbeat I persist with is that all truth is God’s truth and that the Christian need have nothing to fear from pursuing any truth revealed by God’s creation properly understood, or from scriptures properly understood.]

I try to stay supple and learning, but to also stay rooted in my most important core convictions which give me my framework for such growth. That growth has been a slow journey for me, and I recognize that others too need time to consider and for the Spirit to move them and mature them each at their own pace. I have long appreciated this forum as just such a place for that growth to be cultivated, and I am glad to have the opportunity to help that along as I can.


#8

Hallelujah!


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #9

Excellent choices! All except for @Jay313, of course. [ear-splitting grin] :smiley: Jay, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to tone down your snarky edge, does it? Boo!

I’m truly grateful for each of your voices (yes, even Jay’s! :smiley: ) — the mod team couldn’t have picked a better bunch!


(Jay Johnson) #10

Thanks for the generous welcome! By way of introduction, I grew up in the Texas Panhandle and attended the Univ. of Texas for a few years until my father died. After four years of hard labor, I returned to school at Univ. of North Texas for a journalism degree. I spent the next 10 years in various editorial and executive roles with a magazine and book publisher in Dallas before starting my own book packaging and custom publishing business, which I operated for about five years. My career then took a sharp turn, and I became an English teacher in the juvenile justice system. I spent the next decade there teaching incarcerated youth, although I continued to write magazine articles and edit books to make ends meet.

Many of the articles that I wrote were profiles of Dallas-area CEOs, which led to some strange juxtapositions. One day in particular will serve to explain. I started the day in conversation with a very intelligent teen-age prostitute about her lifetime earnings potential in that profession versus finishing her education and getting a job. Yes, we did the math. From there, I went to interview the CEO of Brinker International (Chili’s). Not a typical day, but representative of the various worlds I have inhabited.

I moved to New Mexico and began teaching special education in 2012, which I continued to do until Dec. 2016. Now, by the continuing grace of God, I have returned to my first love and am working on a series of four books dealing with the problem of the younger generation abandoning the church. Wish me luck!

@AMWolfe – I’ll deal with you later! I have all sorts of new buttons to play with. It’s right here on my desk, and it’s bigger than yours! haha

I’ll have to remember this next time I need a 10-character reply!


(Laura) #11

I’ll be looking forward to reading your books someday, @Jay313. It’s nice to see again that one does not have to be “in the sciences” in order to be interested in the science/faith questions!


(Jay Johnson) #12

It certainly would help to have that Ph.D. after my name, but sometimes God chooses to work with common clay that his work might be clearly seen, that he should receive the glory. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians:

27 But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, 29 so that no one can boast in his presence. 30 He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”


(Matthew Pevarnik) #13

Hi Everyone,

I’m also late to the party as I tend to retreat for a week or so after our school year is over and actually get to spend some time with my family. I’m presently a physics professor (starting my third year full time) at Regent University over here in Virginia Beach. If you’re in the area you’re always welcome to stop on by for some coffee or just to say hello. I’ve personally held virtually every position that one can have on origins from strict naturalism to young earth creationism and everything in between. Sometimes I think that I have less figured out now than I (thought I) did 5 to 10 years ago and aim to be much more careful in coming to and drawing conclusions than I once did. In all this, I’ve certainly come to accept that I can be wrong and have been several times in the past!

What has led me to come to certain conclusions is through the process of preparing to teach classes related to origins, either of the universe, of life, of species, of humanity, of the earth, etc. In order to properly teach anything, I wanted to be as much of an expert as was possible without having a formal degree in anything outside of a PhD in Biophysics. I genuinely wanted to be fair to all perspectives as well as accurately teaching the modern scientific consensus but unfortunately found what I call ‘Pevarnik’s Principle’ to be true. In essence, the more uncertainty that exists in any scientific topic, the greater the chance of finding an article on a major creationist website. Typically, I found that these articles were attacking any scientific hypothesis without presenting any experiment or publication supporting their own idea and the following argument is made in many cases: the science is uncertain, therefore I am correct in whatever my perspective is. However, this is no argument at all! I am a firm believer in that if an idea has any merit, albeit scientific or otherwise, it will be able to stand up to scrutiny even from its most vehement critics. So I try to follow these principle in how I teach, but also how I aim to approach discussion on the forums here.

I’m also convinced that we constantly need fresh and new discussions on the science/faith interface. It is clear to me that such discussions need to follow the path of scientific inquiry where as popular science writer, Carlo Rovelli notes, that ‘science is born from an act of humility: not trusting blindly in our past knowledge and our intuition. Not believe in what everyone says. Not having absolute faith in the accumulated knowledge of our fathers and grandfathers.’ It is my hope that gone are the days of using either faith or science as a sledgehammer to defeat the other and I look forward to many great discussion on these forums hopefully for years to come!


(Jay Johnson) #14

The best way to learn something is to have to teach it to someone else.

You’re right about this. It is rampant. Folks running around like Chicken Little yelling, “There’s no consensus! There’s no consensus! It can’t be believed!”


(Christy Hemphill) #15

If we refer to this principle enough on these boards, will they eventually let us make a Wikipedia entry for it? Because I think that would be fun.


#16

Congratulations?


(George Brooks) #17

@BradKramer

Are these four replacement moderators… or do we now have seven moderators?

If our Uncles and Aunt are really moving on … we can’t let them go without lighting a candle in their names!

(( From Right to Left ))

To @BradKramer (who is not going anywhere),
To @Christy (who has a somewhere in the South that we could never find on our own) ,
To @Casper_Hesp (who has [[[already]]] gone somewhere), and
To @jpm (Phil) pm (who has a vast somewhere outside the door of his house, which he beholds
on an occasional basis on fair-weather evenings… but maybe not in his barefeet?).

It was a great and lovely team!

[[[ Update!: The Mod 4 are staying… plus 3 new ones! Pretty soon we are going to need a BioLogos bus! ]]]


(Brad Kramer) #18

As I explained in the OP, @Casper_Hesp is rotating out, but the rest of us are staying on. So yes, we’ve got seven moderators now.

Also, the candle is creepy, George. :candle:


(Laura) #19

We’d better not be replacing anybody… none of us noobs would know what we’re doing if not for the veteran mods. :smiley:

Great picture though! (aside from the frame)


(George Brooks) #20

@Brad, sorry I missed that part of your discussion. 7 moderators is cool… “7” brings mucho good luck for the whole operation!!!

But about this “creepy candle” thing… is that what you tell your gal? Hey, put those candles out… I know we are eating Duck soaking in L’Orange sauce… but it makes me feel like I’m in a tomb … "

That’s a little off-putting for sure … but not because of the candle … but because that’s what you came up with for romantic small talk…

Candles are awesome! Instant ambiance… Let their be light! Ok… but candles or oil lamps? Monasteries that could afford candles instead of smelly oil were living pretty large - - which makes sense, because some of those monks were pretty large too!