Monthly Archives: July 2014
Eighth Week PhD: A Moral Argument
One of our readings this week was from our Beckwith, Craig, and Moreland textbook, “To everyone an answer: A case for the Christian worldview.” Our discussion question asked us to choose one of the arguments we had to read and decide which one best argued for the existence of God. One chapter called, “A moral argument” by Copan, struck me as the most valid and convincing argument for God’s existence. The moral argument proposes that since morality exists, then God exists. This is a very brief summary of the argument. There are some that would argue that morality (knowing the difference between right and wrong) can exist without God.
I read a portion of a book by Zuckerman that explained how the societies in Sweden and Denmark are existing peacefully and in little chaos without a strong following of Godly principles. There are probably many other societies existing with the same principles. Morality is something God gave all human beings knowledge of as explained in Romans 2:14-16 in which the Gentiles have the law “written on their hearts,” obeying God’s law even though they did not know the law. Whether you believe in God or not, he exists and he has given everyone an inner moral compass. Even if a society exists with peace and abiding citizens, eventually, without acknowledgement of God, the society will fall.
The difference between morals with God and morals without God is the motivation of our actions—faith. In relation to faith and actions, James 1:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (New International Version). While morality (knowing the difference between good and evil) is a human nature, I believe that without God morals have no purpose and no meaning.
Blessings to you and yours.
Copan, P. (2004). A moral argument. In F. Beckwith, W. Craig, & J. Moreland (Eds.), To everyone an answer: A case for the Christian worldview (pp. 108-123). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.
Zuckerman, P. (2008). Society without God: What the least religious nations can tell us about contentment. New York: New York University Press.
Seventh Week PhD: Null Curriculum & Intelligence
If you’ve never heard of the “null curriculum” you are not alone. Perhaps you are a teacher and you did study about it when you were going through college. If I studied it while I was in college, I don’t remember doing so. According to our textbook by Pazmino, the “null curriculum” are the things that you do not teach that you either meant to teach, but forget or can’t teach because of time restraints. The “null curriculum” fits into the “explicit curriculum” and the “hidden curriculum” to make up the whole of what a teacher could teach. The “hidden curriculum” are the things that you don’t necessarily put in your lesson plans or aren’t necessarily a learning objective, but you teach it anyway. One example of this might be if a teacher tries to teach her students to treat each other with respect. She may not have this in her lesson plans or it may not be a learning objective, but it is being taught nonetheless. An example of “null curriculum” might be if a teacher has to skip a chapter in a textbook because there was a day lost due to weather. The teacher has to make the decision to keep it in or take it out and what is the most important thing for the students to learn. That is what a teacher does. All of those things comprise the curriculum.
It wasn’t part of our reading this week, but next week part of our reading includes chapters from our Beckwith, Craig, and Moreland text. In one of the chapters, Dembski defines intelligence, according to etymology of the word, as “choosing between.” Intelligent people weigh all the options and then make choices. This makes sense because in Proverbs 14:6 (NIV) it says, “The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.” Intelligence can be inherited, but I think it can also be learned by teaching students, children, friends, and colleagues how to make choices when given many options. Maybe you are more intelligent than you thought!
Blessings to you and yours.
Dembski, W. (2004). An information-theoretic design argument. In F. Beckwith, W. Craig, & J. Moreland (Eds.), To everyone an answer (pp. 77-94). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.
Pazmino, R. (2008). Foundational issues in Christian education: An introduction in evangelical perspective. (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Sixth Week PhD: I Love Deadlines…
…I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by (attributed to Douglas Adams). This week was almost all spent on writing my first doctoral paper for the Christian Worldview for Educators class. We also had to submit a 12-15 PowerPoint slide presentation to go with the paper. We were tasked with choosing a critical issue in our field (Distance Education) and applying ideas from our textbooks to this critical issue (at least 7 sources total, we could use the Bible, but was not part of our Reference List, plus a video for the Powerpoint). My title is “The Effects of Social Media on Pedagogy in Online Learning.” I didn’t procrastinate, exactly. In graduate school, working on my Master’s degree, there were plenty of times I started a paper the day before it was due. Most of the time, it works for me. However, this time, I researched my topic a few weeks in advance of sending the topic to my professor. After my professor approved my topic, I researched some more. Then I went to Las Vegas, presented a poster (you can view that here as a PDF if you want: http://www.tagmydoc.com/dl/24jVS5/gmAN), had a vacation in Las Vegas with my hubby, and then went to Virginia for residency. I probably should have worked on my paper a little bit at a time during all those places. After staying up until 3am to submit paper and PowerPoint, I will think a little more ahead of time for my next paper (due August 6).
Perhaps it is wise to follow in the footsteps of God, who sent his Son at just the right time (Galatians 4:4). He planned for Jesus to come to earth to put aside the old law and establish a new one. He must have carefully planned it, researched it, made notes, referenced his own work, learned from his previous writings, and then sent us Jesus–exactly when we needed him. So I should plan accordingly so that my papers will be sent at just the right time.
Blessings to you and yours.
Fifth Week PhD: I Survived My First Residency
I am moving right along after my fifth week in my first course of my doctoral program. Starting on Monday this week was my first of three residencies at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. It is a beautiful campus about 20 minutes from the beach. I didn’t get to go to the beach this time, but I did meet my current professor face-to-face (Hi Dr. Finn!), and I met many of the professors I will have in the future. I met many of my classmates with whom I have been talking online. On the first day we met in our individual cognate groups–mine was composed of three different cognates–Distance Education, Higher Education, and Higher Education Leadership Management. We were divided into groups and were tasked with researching a topic and presenting on that topic this morning (Thursday). All of my group happened to be from the Distance Education cognate–Fred, Julie, and Jose. We chose the topic, “Faculty and Digital Media Literacy: Tools, Challenges, Barriers, and Solutions.” My first presentation as a doctoral student went smoothly with help from my wonderful classmates!
During the week, we received encouragement and truth about what it will take to successfully complete this program–time. I met some second year and third year residency students who were also encouraging and honest about what it takes to get through this program. After this week, I know I am supposed to be here. I know what it will take. I am prepared. I can do it!
Fourth Week PhD: Virkler and Vegas
I’ve made it through my fourth week of my first doctoral course. What does Virkler, my assigned reading, and Vegas have to do with each other? Well, while I have been in Las Vegas for a conference this week, I have also been doing my course work. For the most part it hasn’t been too difficult to do these things together, far from home. It has made for some later nights than I had intended.
The conference (American Library Association), which is my first attendance of said conference, has been super wonderful and helpful to bring back and practice in my work. I’ve learned that I am a twitter addict, introverts have quiet influence, unconferences can be successful, Alexander McCall Smith is just as witty and charming as his books, Las Vegas is hot in June, conference wifi is not all its cracked up to be, and one Starbucks for 10,000+ librarians is just.not.enough! Also Donny & Marie!
In any case, our textbook for this week included Henry A. Virkler’s “A Christian’s Guide to Critical Thinking.” The first three chapters deal with hermeneutics–“principles used to properly interpret someone else’s communication” (p. 19). While I won’t go into everything Virkler has to say about interpreting scripture, I will say that even though there are principles to follow when interpreting scripture, humans have managed to still be divided when it comes to certain passages or doctrines described in the Bible. I don’t think it was God’s intention to have his church divided into so many denominations. However, we are humans and are imperfect, so the fact that there are so many ways of interpreting scripture is not surprising to me. I think the Holy Spirit can discern who is a follower of Jesus and who is not. We are all his body and can agree that Jesus came to die for us so that we might live.
Blessings to you and yours.