Monthly Archives: June 2014
Third Week: PhD To Everyone An Answer
It is my third week of my first course as a doctoral student. Yay me! This week our discussion was on two chapters of a book titled, “Foundational Issues in Christian Education: An Introduction in Evangelical Perspective” by Robert Pazmino and four chapters of a book titled, “To Everyone An Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview” edited by Francis Beckwith, William Craig, and J.P. Moreland. The latter book is not specifically about education although you can apply it to that. This book is about apologetics. Apologetics is to defend one’s faith in order to bring people to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Out of the two books, I enjoyed reading this one. It flowed better and was easier to understand. This book happens to be a collection of essays in honor of Norman L. Geisler, an expert in Christian apologetics.
One of the most interesting sections focused on the relationship between Jesus and his family. During Jesus’ time, the society was patriarchal. Women did not take leadership roles and were not the center of the culture. Jesus changed all that when he spoke to women. Even some of his followers were women. Jesus also changed the definition of family when he said, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:48-50, NIV). Jesus was known to befriend known “sinners” and forgive their sins. He welcomed them as family. We must remember that even if we have a loving family, there are some in the world who do not. There are some who do leave their mother, father, sisters, and brothers for Christ. Our definition of family needs to be bigger than we suppose it to be, just as it was to Jesus. Blessings to you and yours.
Second Week PhD: Creeds and Foundations
Another week down and 100 more to go (or so)! This week one of our discussions focused on observations of the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed. I was not familiar with either one, so I chose the Apostles’ Creed. The text of the creed is here:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
It is a nice creed. If one were to commit to this creed, a belief in God, the Father, Jesus his son, and the Holy Spirit would be necessary. This creed focuses on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If one were not raised in the catholic church (like me), then one might have a problem with the phrase “I believe in the holy catholic church.” However, after reading it several times, I have come to the conclusion that whatever the intentions were of the original author(s), I believe that the phrases “holy catholic church” and “communion of saints” are referring to a unified church–a people that profess God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as one. A people that are committed to believing in a creator, his son, and the power of the Holy Spirit. A spirit of unity is what God wants from us. Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
Blessings to you and yours.
First Week: PhD
My first week of my first course has been interesting. Distance learning is not what is was back in 1998 when I started my Master’s degree through a distance learning program. Technology has come a long way, although I miss seeing my classmates, or having classmates that I can see on a weekly basis.
Our first assignment of my doctoral program (Christian Worldview for Educators) was to discuss what we thought were the main themes of the Gospel of Luke and how this gospel showed Jesus as a person. In Luke 19:10 it says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (NIV). Isn’t that the main theme of the whole Bible? Saving the lost, saving the sinners, saving everyone. Jesus was compassionate, forgiving, and sometimes humorous. Luke shows Jesus as a healer. He healed a lot of people. He also taught. A lot. As teachers (and everyone is one), we need to have compassion on students, parents, bus drivers, lunch ladies, other teachers, and anyone else who we meet on a daily basis. Isn’t that how a Christian Educator is different than others. Or an educator who is Christian. Either way, be compassionate as Jesus was compassionate. Blessings to you and yours.