About aubreehughes

I love Westerns, cinnamon rolls, sports and history. I am a public relations undergraduate and director for a student-run PR firm at Oklahoma Christian University. I work in community relations for the best NBA team in the league, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Writing is my passion. I am a News OK Contributor, freelance journalist and previously worked as a sports journalist for OC’s newspaper, The Talon. I handled different aspects of public relations and communications interning with Congressman Tom Cole in his Norman office. I spent a summer as an associate at Jones PR, helping with political campaign marketing copy, opinion editorials and press releases. I stay up-to-date on current events serving on Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s Student Leadership Council and partaking in gubernatorial campaigns and other volunteer services during the election season. I am a track and cross country runner at OC, passionate about health and fitness. Connect at aubree.hughes@eagles.oc.edu or (405) 615-3845.

Harmony of Faith and Reason

Christian faith is not bereft of reason, nor is it blind. The problem of secular skepticism is not because of a lack of evidence, but the intent of one’s will to accept the given evidence.

Faith is built on a foundation of truth. In our postmodern society, faith is often insufficient for the intellectual who, ironically, considers him or herself the objective scholar. Here lies the problem: claiming “there is no truth” is in fact a truth claim—contradictory of itself. This weak foundation of postmodernity will not last.

Reason and faith harmonize. Faith is the only way to surmise beyond the realms of reason and experimentation, because there are limits to reason. As Dinesh D’Souza puts it in What’s So Great About Christianity?, I wasn’t at the Battle of Waterloo, but I have good reason to believe it happened; I’ve never been to Papua New Guinea, but I’m putting faith in people that tell me it is there. We even put faith into things we can’t verify, yet skeptics don’t want to put faith in God who has proved himself through Jesus and the Bible.

Dallas Willard explains in his book A Place for Truth that faith is not something that is “true for you”—that is relativism. It’s not something you believe because you “felt something extraordinary”—that’s subjectivism. Nor is faith in God a sound philosophy because it “works for you”—that’s pragmatism. For followers of Jesus, these views are inadequate.

A skeptical mind is as habitual to a Christian as to an atheist. It is more alarming to never question one’s beliefs than to doubt or look for coherent rationality for faith. Although there is a balance; Jesus says a wicked generation asks for a sign. I’ve accepted there are things my finite mind will never remedy. God created a world for truth seekers who will never be short of rabbit holes to chase.

By grace, God meets us where we are. Wherever you are, start with a prayer for the revelation of truth. The Word of God says our amazements will know no bounds when we understand all that the realm of God’s existence means.


Reflecting on C.S. Lewis’ ‘A Grief Observed’

Sometimes it isn’t death that yields grief. Perhaps it’s the loss of a friendship, inability to have a child, the end of a relationship, losing an opportunity or simply missing the mark. Regardless of the road to grief, nothing can prepare for loss, for the hole left in one’s heart. Consider C.S. Lewis dealing with the emotional paralysis of losing the love of his life. The roller coaster of doubt, physical pain, agony, isolation and emptiness is just a snapshot of the deep chasm of grief he bore. One of the main witnesses of his grief was his stepson, Douglas Grasham, who said, “The greater the love, the greater the grief. The stronger the faith, the more savagely will Satan storm its fortress.”

Grief is ongoing. People will tell you, “Let yourself be upset so you can heal.” This is misleading. Every time I let myself get upset I think, “This is it. I’ll let out the obligatory cry and then I’ll be okay to move forward and put the past away.” After going through this process too many times, I realized each hysterical healing process hurt more and more because my grief process “wasn’t working.”

Grief makes us seek God. I don’t know how anyone can say God doesn’t exist when He is the only true comfort in times of grief. Humans crave spiritual healing. We were created with a need to depend on our Creator. Sometimes, it feels good knowing my grief is a pointer to God. In Why?: Looking at God, Evil and Suffering, Sharon Dirckx explains “why?” is so often the question we ask after facing a loss. She says the important question is “whom are you asking?” We instinctively ask because God exists and we are unconsciously aware of it.

Grief makes us see God. Evolutionists believe in natural selection, the survival of the fittest. The weak and mournful will die out. It is in grief that we can clearly see that God is near the broken-hearted. Grief is an emotion natural selection would overcome, yet here it remains. C.S. Lewis said, “All human relationships end in pain – it is the price that our imperfection has allowed Satan to exact from us for the privilege of love.” God doesn’t cause pain. All good things come from God. We may not understand why God allows suffering, but we know he provides comfort in those seasons of pain and strife.

Grief is all-consuming. Reminders of your loss choke you with pangs of excruciating memories. I’m reminded through certain places and a very realistic reoccurring dream. What may seem a normal part of the day for some—hearing a certain song, dreaming, seeing a photo—will knock someone in grief to their knees. There is nothing rational about these pricks of grief. C.S. Lewis’ clarity of mind and sharp acuity has brought many atheists to see rational reasons for belief in God; yet even he couldn’t handle the hammer blows of grief. He says, “Then comes a sudden jab of red-hot memory and all this ‘commonsense’ vanishes like an ant in the mouth of a furnace.”

Grief is invisible. No one can see or feel exactly what you are going through because they haven’t lived the experiences you have. Some prefer to grieve quietly, others do it surrounded by loved ones, while some are paralyzed by grief and perhaps seem apathetic to the present world. C.S Lewis explained that he dreaded the moments when the house was empty, but wishes they would “talk to one another and not to me.”

All grief has significance. To empathize with others who are experiencing grief that seems insignificant to us, we need to try to look at it from their eyes. It is, however, not feasible to attempt to fully understand someone’s grief. Proverbs 14:10 says, “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” The bottom line is you don’t always know when someone is grieving, and you certainly do not and cannot understand the extent to which they are suffering. Our chapters of grief should be a reminder of how important it is to treat everyone with gentleness and kindness, not knowing when or what they are experiencing.

Agenda-Setting Media

The agenda-setting theory says the media tells us not what to think, but what to think about. In addition, the media can frame a subject to make you think about it in a certain way.

On the home page of CNN’s website, the first story is “Trump’s Culture Wars” (Collinson, 2017). I felt like the article was important because it was the first one, written in large text and includes a large photo. The story is about a football team following the footsteps of Colin Kaepernick and kneeling during the national anthem. The article goes on to refer to Trump as a bully, a former reality show star, politically incorrect and flippant.

As I read this article, it seemed like more of an opinion article, yet it was on the front page. This is an example of the media telling us what to think about and framing it so we think about it in a certain way. The reporter interjected his opinion and framed the story with Trump as the ignorant racist and the kneeling football players as heroes. It could have been framed the opposite, with Trump as the hero and the players as ignorant.

Regardless of opinions on the dispute, it should have been reported with objectivity so the public could decide for themselves who is the hero. There are statements and facts a journalist can choose to make both arguments, even though there should only be objective fact.

On one hand, the media is always telling us what to think about because they choose what stories to publish. However, some stories are given less attention, perhaps because of how the organization perceives what the public considers newsworthy.

Perhaps some agenda setting is inevitable. It’s a product of human bias. The best journalists can do to serve their audience is be aware of their biases and have a third party check system.

Collinson, S. (2017, September 25). Trump’s culture wars take over American sports. Retrieved September 25, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/25/politics/donald-trump-nfl-anthem football/index.html

Young Earth Against Old Earth: An Attack On Christianity Or A Secondary Issue?

The young earth versus old earth debate is not just a dispute between a secular and Christian worldview; the issue is a toxic division in the Christian community itself. There is a clear disconnect in the church’s view on origin. Some might argue it is postmodernism creeping into the church encouraging Christians to try to make the old earth evolution story fit the Christian story. Others might say Christians lose credibility and respect among the scientific community when they discredit observable research, causing young people to fall away.

There is disagreement on the importance of the age of the earth. Stephen Meyer, Christian founder of the main organization behind intelligent design research, believes it is of secondary importance and the first issue is the reality of God (Klinghoffer, 2014). Meyer holds an old earth view, but says someone can believe the earth is young and still see evidence of intelligent design. Meyer works with Lee Strobel, Christian apologist and author, at Case for Creation conferences. Meyer said they noticed that when people clearly see a winning and affirming argument for faith, they suddenly relax about the unanswered theological questions:

“What people are really looking for is an affirmation of the core tenants of their faith and their apologetic arguments in a world of secular science. There was an Adam and there was a real Fall. The question of when it happened does not have much at stake. The church is looking for truth, a truth that transforms and is persuasive” (Meyer, Sproul, & Horton, 2014).

Other Christian scientists say there is a lot at stake when Christians accept billions of years and that questioning the Bible from the very start poses a huge problem. Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, says the age of the earth may not be a salvation issue, but it is an authority issue (Ham, Chaffey, Edwards, & Mortenson, 2013). According to Mortenson (2017), “It’s theism that’s at stake. That is the target of the secularists and naturalists. If they can do away with creation, they can do away with Christianity and theism. God defined a day in [Genesis 1] verse five.” Ham believes doubting young earth creationism is a Christian compromise:

“If doubt begins with the first chapter and book of the Bible, the Bible is easily rejected as perfect and irrefutable, and the Church is easier to leave. From my observation time is a very easy way to cover the glory and majesty of God’s creation” (Ham, Chaffey, Edwards, & Mortenson, 2013).

Not every scientific theory is compatible with God’s Word, and natural revelation provides limited insight into truth, according to Psalm 19:7-8. However, Romans 1:20 says God reveals himself through nature. Historically, the Catholic Church’s Biblical interpretations have been corrected with improved understanding of natural revelation, such as the negated geocentric worldview (McMullin, 2005). The Catholic Church has since accepted the misconceptions. R.C. Sproul, founder of Ligonier Ministries said:

“I think we can learn from nonbelieving scientists, but I believe all truth is God’s truth. If something can be shown in the Bible without question and someone gives me a theory based on natural revelation that contradicts it, I will stand with God’s Word. Both spheres are God’s spheres of revelation and both truths must be compatible. If they are in conflict, somebody is wrong. It may be the theologian or it may be the science because we are fallible human beings interpreting infallible revelation.”

The young earth view holds that the Genesis record should be read as a historical narrative. Often cited on a young earth side is Psalm 11:3, “If the foundation be destroyed, what shall a righteous man do?” Many believe questioning the first chapter of the first book of the Bible is questioning the groundwork of the Gospel. The age of earth is calculated at about 6,000 to 10,000 years old from the genealogies of Adam to Abraham, and from Abraham to now (Mortenson, 2011). According to the Genesis record, God created Adam on the sixth day. Most Christian and secular scholars agree on this point, totaling the dates between Adam and Abraham from Genesis 5 and 11 to about 2,000 years (Grigg, 2003, p. 13-15). In addition, in Exodus 20, God gives the establishment of a workweek. He says, “Six days shall you labor and do all your work… For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth.” This verse parallels man’s week to God’s creation week. God gives a commandment to the Israelites to work six days and rest on the seventh, because He created in six days.

Archbishop James Ussher lists the calculations of 32 chronologists’ age of the earth based on the Bible. The average date is 4045 B.C., dating the earth to about 6,000 years (1658). Descendants of Noah were scattered after the Tower of Babel incident. Cultural discrepancies could be expected in calculating the age of the earth, however, many cultures’ calculations range close to Ussher’s, including: Israel and Judea, India, Babylon, Vatican, Samaria, Mayan, Spain, Egypt, Persia and Germany (Young, 1996).

Old earth defenders believe Genesis is poetic and no chronological information is given (Morris & Morris, 1989). Christian geologist Davis Young defends the day-age theory, arguing that the seventh age of rest from creation is still going on, yet he accepts creationism (Morris & Morris, 1989, p. 9-11). Since the seventh day does not end with, “and the morning and the evening were the seventh day,” like the first six days in Genesis 1, Young believes in overlapping creation days, perhaps lasting over 15 billion years each (Morris & Morris, p. 12). In contrast, Morris (1989) points out that the verbs, “rested,” “completed” and “finished” in Genesis 2:2-3 are past tense, so since it already happened we cannot be living in the seventh age. Young admits that the literal six-day Biblical interpretation is the most reasonable and legitimate, but his reason for rejecting it, along with the flood geology, is based on geological research, not Biblical (Morris & Morris 1989). David Snoke believes the Bible is without flaw and that the old earth view is a valid, conservative and orthodox interpretation. Snoke (2006) says Christians “should not be so quick to dismiss the day age argument and decide the old earth view is liberal.”

In the first chapters of Genesis, the Hebrew word for “day” that is used over 2,300 times in the Old Testament is “yom” (Neyman, 2005). According to Neyman (2005), it is not always translated as an ordinary 24-hour day, just as words have multiple meanings in English; context determines the meanings. According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (1980), “[Yom] can denote: 1. the period of light (as contrasted with the period of darkness), 2. the period of 24 hours, 3. a general vague ‘time,’ 4. a ‘point of time.’” There are 67 instances where the word “yom” is translated into the English word for time (E.g. Genesis 4:3, Deuteronomy 10:10, 1 Kings 11:42), and there are eight instances “yom” is used to denote an “age” (Genesis 18:11, Joshua 23:1, Zechariah 8:4) (Neyman, 2005). However, in all the scriptural instances, about 400 total, that “yom” precedes a number as it does in Genesis 1, it refers to a 24-hour day (Menton, 2017). Essentially, any time the Old Testament mentions a number followed by “day,” such as 400 days or 6 days, it is interpreted as a single 24- hour period. The only time this type of context is questioned is in Genesis 1.

Many Christians refuse to accept the idea that God created a universe that was
dying. According to Ham (2014) believing in billions of years means believing in bloodshed before the Fall and blaming God for death and bloodshed. In Genesis 1, God says his creations were good, and Romans 5:12 says man brought sin into the world. There was no disease or death until God cursed the ground in Genesis 3, and animals and humans were originally vegetarians until God permitted meat eating after the flood in Genesis 9. When one looks at animals today, there are sharks and alligators devouring each other and sometimes people. The old earth view says the fossil record, which has evidence of brain tumors, cancer and animals eating each other, was laid down billions of years before man (Ham, 2014). In his article, “Creation, Evolution and Christian Laypeople,” Timothy Keller addresses the danger of assuming death before the Fall of man:

“One of the greatest barriers to belief in God is the problem of suffering and evil in the world. Why, people ask, did God create a world in which violence, pain and death are endemic? The answer of traditional theology is—he didn’t. He created a good world but also gave human beings free will, and through their disobedience and ‘Fall’, death and suffering came into the world. The process of evolution, however, understands violence, predation and death to be the very engine of how life develops. If God brings about life through evolution, how do we reconcile that with the idea of a good God? The problem of evil seems to be worse for the believer in theistic evolution” (2010).

Public school textbooks, secular museums, documentaries on television and secular professors are in unison teaching an old earth argument: 15 million years ago a big bang started the universe, stars formed 10 billion years ago, the sun 5 billion years ago and man developed from ape-like creatures over millions of years (Ham, Chaffey, Edwards, & Mortenson, 2013, p. 8). Christian scientist Brad Harrub (2011) rejects an old earth and the day age theory. He refers to Genesis 1 that says plants were created on day three, and insects weren’t created until day six. If these days were ages, it would be very difficult for plant life to survive because plants need bees to pollinate. Without animals, plants do not produce new roots and have limited ability for nutrient absorption (Lambers, 2005).

Another reason one might reject an old earth view is the population rate. According to Keene (1995), population is doubling every 35 years. If there were two humans in the beginning, and the population doubled every 35 years for one million years, the total is 10^5,000 (Harrub, 2011). This total accounts for disease, famine and war. Harrub (2011) says it has been estimated that the entire universe can hold a population of 10^100, and regarding a young earth creationist view, he says, “If there were two humans in the beginning 6,000 years ago, the calculation arrives at 8.34 billion people. We currently have just under 7 billion. The global flood that sent population back to eight could explain the discrepancy.”

The scientific evidence is telling of both an old and young earth view; one can make the scientific evidence fit either argument. I tend to take a young earth view on the age of the earth. I Corinthians 14:33 says God is not the author of confusion. I believe God will answer those who ask Him to reveal the truth. Moses was not an astronomer, Peter was not a paleontologist and Christians do not have to have a doctorate to understand the Word of God. The Bible is infallible and the Gospel is cross-cultural, timeless and understandable to all. Christians have a duty to search the Scriptures daily and stand ready to give an answer. He reveals truth, and all truth is His truth.


Anderson, B: Old-Earth, Young-Earth Creationist Models
Ham, K., Chaffey, T., Edwards, B., & Mortenson, T.: (2013) Six days: the age of the Earth and the decline of the church.
Harrub, B. (2011): Evidence for a Young Earth – Convicted
Keller, T. (2010). Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople (Rep.)
Ken Ham on the Age of the Earth [Interview by K. Ham](2014, January 28)
Klinghoffer, D. (2014). Stephen Meyer’s Dangerous Idea: Counsels Theistic Evolutionists and Others to “Do Their Homework” on the Design Question
Lambers, H., & Colmer, T. D. (2005). Root physiology: From gene to function. Dordrecht: Springer; McMullin, E. (2005). The church and Galileo; Menton, D. (2017). What a Difference a Day Makes!
Meyer, S., Horton, M., & Sproul, R. (2014). Should Christians Divide over the Age of the Earth? [Interview];
Morris, H. M., & Morris, J. (1989). Science, scripture, and the young earth: an answer to current attacks on the Biblical doctrines of recent creation and the global flood
Mortenson, T. (2007) Why Shouldn’t Christians Accept Millions of Years?
Mortenson, T. (2011). Young-Earth Creationist View Summarized And Defended
Neyman, G. (2005). Old Earth Creation Science; Robert Young, Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible (1996), referring to William Hales, A New Analysis of Chronology and Geography, History and Prophecy, vol. 1 (1830), p. 210
Russell Grigg, “Meeting the Ancestors,” Creation, pp. 13–15;
Snoke, D. (2006). Biblical Case for an Old Earth
Ussher, J. (1658). The Annals of the World

Threats to the Surveillance Function of the Press

When I hear the word surveillance, I’m quick to criticize and assume it indicates Big Brother is watching like in George Orwell’s 1984. However, the surveillance function of the press empowers citizens with information to ensure a fair democratic society. The function is essential for democracy because it helps the media share news that most citizens do not have access to and can benefit from. It is a right that allows journalists to tell us what is happening in our country.

For example, the surveillance function has allowed reporters to investigate Russia’s election meddling, the Watergate scandal and Clinton e-mail controversy. The surveillance function allows the press to inform the public not only on matters of politics, but also of safety. The media was able to give citizens living along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean time to prepare for the recent hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration discovered two months beforehand that there would be 14 to 19 hurricanes, and the media helped distribute the message (Coghlan, 2017).

One of the greatest threats to the surveillance function of the press is skepticism. In a time of fake news and alternative facts, people do not look to the media as a reliable source. According to a Gallup poll, only about 30 percent of Americans trust any source to bring objective and accurate news (2016). Journalists can no longer claim to be the watchdogs they once were; now many insert their opinions and spin the truth. President Trump generalizes the media by indicating they are all evil truth-twisters. In fact, Trump has repeatedly called journalists “an enemy of the American people” (Mullin, 2017).

This skepticism makes another threat to the surveillance function. Many journalists are under a microscope of stricter scrutiny, growing more and more susceptible to litigation. Melania Trump recently won a lawsuit against a journalist’s false accusations (Gonzalez, 2017). Some thought the $2 million compensatory and punitive damages were excessive and should have been protected under neutral reportage, which protects journalists for publishing accurate defamatory information by a responsible party.

The surveillance function allows the media to be the eyes and ears of society. The First Amendment protects the rights of a free press, but the limitations and challenges are growing every day.

Mullin, B. (2017, February 22). Journalists react to being called ‘the enemy of the American people’. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from https://www.poynter.org/news/journalists-react-being-called-enemy-american-people

Coghlan, A. (2017, September 20). Hurricane Maria confirms dire warnings for 2017 hurricane season. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from https://www.newscientist.com/article/2148116-hurricane-maria-confirms-dire-warnings-for-2017-hurricane-season/

Gallup, I. (2016, September 14). Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from http://news.gallup.com/poll/195542/americans-trust-mass-media-sinks-new-low.aspx

Gonzalez, G. (2017, May 1). Media Risks Rise As Public Trust Fades. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20170501/NEWS06/912313178/News-provider-risks-rise-as-public-trust-fades-critics-increase-scrutiny-Trump

Marketplace of Ideas is Crucial for the Media

Freedom of expression is valid. “Good ideas” and “bad ideas” are objective, and everyone should be able to have both. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Holmes used the idea first in a landmark case in 1919, calling it “the best test of truth” (Collins, 2010).

A marketplace of ideas contributes positively to democracy and is crucial in the media. Without the media, the public loses surveillance and an important watchdog. Government repression and censorship usage is limited to clear and present danger and should not threaten the media (Ingber, 1984).

Last November President Trump tweeted, “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag…” He went on to say they should lose citizenship or be thrown in jail.


Trump likely expected his tweet to be a spine-chilling patriotic message that would get his electorate base fired up; however, it is government suppression and limiting one’s freedom of expression. If someone decides to have a flag-burning bonfire, they will likely be subject to public humiliation.

The flag stands for the First Amendment and freedom of expression. By suppressing one’s freedom to burn the flag, it is setting fire to everything the flag stands for.

Christians should consider evangelism when weighing the pros and cons. Freedom of expression is a blessing to Christians because we don’t have to look over our shoulder for sharing the good news.

According to an article by Josie Timms, freedom of expression is one of the most significant human rights and is used as a catalyst for change (2017). It has provided America with numerous improvements: women’s suffrage, civil rights, the labor movement. The marketplace of ideas concept is brilliant, and if anyone disagrees, they have a right to present society with a better social remedy.

Collins, R. (2010, May 13). Holmes’ Idea Marketplace – Its Origins & Legacy. Retrieved September 26, 2017, from http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/holmes%E2%80%99-idea-marketplace-%E2%80%93-its-origins-legacy/

Ingber, S. (1984). The Marketplace of Ideas: A Legitimizing Myth. Duke Law Journal, 1984(1), 17.

Timms, J. (2017, May 04). Why is free speech important? Retrieved September 22, 2017, from https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2016/04/free-speech-important/

Finding Inner Peace

Refusing to forgive and move on makes an intelligent, logical person completely irrational. The more you hold on to that grudge, the more it holds on to you. If you keep this in yourself, you will lose yourself.

Injustice cannot hold a candle to reconciliation. Until you move on, you are fiddling while Rome burns and ignoring far superior relationships. Let go of resentment or remain a slave.

Refusal to move forward is an insidious disease. When you lose the need to outdo this person you will have room in your heart for compassion, love and healing. Remind yourself what makes your life important; remind yourself why a younger version of yourself should look up to you. The energy you waste on someone who is no longer in your life should be used to serve others.

“Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.” -Pema Chodron