Valley Church Community
 
Frank Nemec

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, I graduated MIT 1968 in electrical engineering, and U. C. Berkeley 1972 in electrical engineering and computer science. I retired from a 36-year career at IBM, most recently in EDA (electronic design automation) at the Almaden Research Center. My wife Laurie worked on a real estate development project in Flagstaff, Arizona. Our daughter Cayley lives in Montana with her husband. I don't mind if you take a look at this developing message to her. Our son Philip lives in San Jose with his wife and two children. They attend NBC. ... more personal details Frank Nemec photo

Ministry

I sing bass/baritone in the Joyful Sounds choir. I am a webmaster for Valley Church and several other domains. When my health permitted, I drove the church busses (starting with the one which is now in a museum), and led the Fellowship ministry.

Passion

My current passion at Valley is to encourage people to think! Understand the Bible as you read it. Know why you believe what you believe, so you can better communicate it with others. Bertrand Russel is rumored to have said, "Most Christians would rather die than think - in fact they do." Let's not prove it true.

I am most interested and qualified in areas related to science. That's why I was so excited about the Origins Seminar held at Valley in January 2008. Galileo, a devout Christian, challenged the prevailing church doctrine that the earth was the center of the universe. Eventually, the church saw facts in conflict with that doctrine, and realized the doctrine was not really based on good Bible scholarship. I believe we are nearing a similar situation with some other church doctrines, such as the 6-earth-day creation and for some, a wholesale rejection of all things evolutionary. I think they are not well supported by solid Biblical scholarship. They cause the scientific community and the thinking public to view Christians as naive and foolish, shutting down any meaningful dialog. Further, referring to these views with ridicule and disdain demonstrates attitudes not consistent with Christian character.

I think about historic doctrines of the church and how they match the overall message of the Bible. I enjoy discussing them. I respect the views of others, though I sometimes express a view strongly to focus on an issue in few words. I lead a class on Ancient Jewish Philosophy as Expressed in Tanakh which began June 10, 2012. Please contact me if you'd like to begin a dialog on any of this. Some of my writings on these and other subjects are on my personal website.

Resources

I am willing to lend many of the resources I have to anyone at Valley interested in learning about any of these things I discuss. Many are listed as references in my notes on the gospels. Diaries of Jesus is a unique resource for any serious student of the Greek texts of the gospels. Two of the Bivin and Blizzard books are in the Valley Church library. The Teaching Company offers superb college-level courses in DVD and audio formats. Many are available from the Santa Clara County library system.

I direct your attention particularly to course 6340, Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World. This course gives an excellent, balanced overview of religious thought and actions in the region. It puts Israel into its proper perspective among the religious thought and political actions of the region. He gives very good insight into how the ideas of divination developed into the idea of the prophet, and how the prophet had strong influence on religious thought. The prophets probably had the most effect in moving Israel from henotheism into monotheism. I strongly recommend this course to anyone serious about understanding the Judeo-Christian traditions. It resists the tendency toward indoctrination, of imposing the orthodoxy of one religious school of thought onto others, at best confusing the understanding of the earlier cultures.

Course# Course Title
470Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition
1220Science in the Twentieth Century
4691Science and Religion
1284Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality
380Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations (Brian M. Fagan)
7150Art Across the Ages (Ori Z. Soltes)
611Augustine: Philosopher and Saint (Phillip Cary)
4636Reason and Faith: Philosophy in the Middle Ages (Thomas Williams)
6457Beginnings of Judaism (Isaiah M. Gafni)
4360Wisdom of History (J. Rufus Fears)
656New Testament (Bart Ehrman)
6450History of Christian Theology
6577From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity
625Philosophy and Religion in the West (Phillip Cary)
653Old Testament (Amy-Jill Levine)
6537After the New Testament (Bart Ehrman)
643Historical Jesus
from the library ...
6299The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon (Bart Ehrman)
6593Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication (I have part 1 of 2) (Bart Ehrman)
4670Skeptics and Believers: Religious debate in the Western Intellectual Tradition (Tyler Roberts) (do not yet have)
6340Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World (DVD)
3180Between the Rivers: History of Ancient Mesopotamia (DVD)
3650Exploring the Roots of Religion (DVD)
3480Late Antiquity: Crisis and Transformation (CD)

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