Monthly Archives: October 2014
20th Week PhD: Tishomingo!
What in the world is a Tishomingo?! That’s what you’re probably asking, right? Tishomingo is not a thing, it’s a place, in Oklahoma. Where is that, you ask? Well, it is north of Dallas about two hours. It is about an hour south of Ada and about two hours southeast of Oklahoma City. Why would you go visit there, you ask? We spent three nights at a bed and breakfast in this tiny town. Some of this town’s claims to fame are The Pink Pistol, a Chickasaw bank museum, and that’s about it until about a month or so ago. My husband and I received word in January that country music singer Miranda Lambert, who opened and owns The Pink Pistol, bought a store front across the street and was remodeling it for a bed and breakfast. A few months ago, it officially opened for business and my husband and I reserved our rooms to coincide with my fall break from the doctoral program (a week free of homework, except some reading).
The Ladysmith Bed and Breakfast is a delightful boutique, classy, fancy-but-not-too-fancy, unique bed and breakfast experience. There are 8 rooms total, 5 downstairs and 3 upstairs. A three-course breakfast is made every morning by the innkeeper Staci often helped by her assistant Ashley. We were taken care of well by them and the other staff Chris, Amanda, and Josh. I guess the “odds were ever in our favor” since by happy coincidence, Miranda’s aunt and uncle were staying there while we were, and she dropped in one morning for breakfast to say hello to them. After another guest asked for a picture, I cautiously asked for a picture and she graciously obliged! She is very sweet, smart, and full of charisma. She even told us a few places to go while we were there! If you are looking for a unique, pampered experience for the two of you or for a girls’ getaway, this is definitely the place for you.
Well, enough of our wonderful fall break. However, I think it fits in relatively well with our topic in Advanced Worldview this week which was Postmodernism, specifically Postmodern Tribalism. According to Wilkens and Sanford (2009), postmodern tribalism is the belief that someone’s “tribe” is more important than any other “tribe” or culture (p. 142). While in Tishomingo, we visited the Chickasaw bank museum. This bank was the official bank of the Chickasaw nation in the early 1900s. It was restored to it’s original 1902 condition by the Johnston County Historical Society. There were so many interesting artifacts preserved from the Chickasaw tribe and other tribes on display. The attendant working there knew much of the history since she herself is Chickasaw.
We all can identify with a “tribe” of some sort, but it should not define all of us or be our motivation for serving God. Paul essentially denounces all of his “tribes” (circumcised, tribe of Benjamin, and Pharisees) in his letter to the Philippians when he says, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” (3:7, New International Version). As it says in Galatians 3:28 (NIV), “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Similarly Colossians 2:11 (NIV) says, “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” Christians should honor their unique cultures of origin, but when it comes to evangelism, there are no “tribes,” only love in Christ.
Blessings to you and yours.
18th and 19th Week PhD: Naturalism and Respite
I didn’t post anything this past week because we were out of town in Lubbock, and I didn’t plan ahead and think of posting before we left. Anyway, last week we discussed whether Naturalism (Methodological Naturalism) is consistent with a Christian worldview in the Advanced Worldview course and we discussed how well a doctoral dissertation in higher education we were assigned to read aligned with our Research Design textbook. The dissertation aligned well with our textbook even though our textbook has a copyright date of 2015 and the dissertation has a publication date of 2003. The author did not use our textbook for her research design, but consulted other texts that were either assigned or recommended to her by her professors. So, her research methods and design were perfectly reasonable for a dissertation.
I chose the belief that a worldview of methodological naturalism is not consistent with a Christian worldview. Methodological naturalism, or science for that matter, by itself, is not competing with a Christian worldview. However, if science or naturalism becomes the foundation of a belief system, then that is where there are inconsistencies with a Christian worldview. Even though science tries, it cannot explain everything that happens in the world, especially what is in a person’s heart and soul (thoughts, ideas, consciousness, subconsciousness, morals, ethics, etc.).
This week is our fall break, and I plan on doing lots of relaxing! Blessings to you and yours.
17th Week PhD: Nationalism or Moral Relativism
This week on the PhD front: Our question for Advanced Worldview was “Which do you think is more prevalent in society in general and in education: nationalism or moral relativism?” I chose moral relativism even though nationalism, when taken to extremes, can cause destruction and harm by those who believe in it strongly. According to Wilkens and Sanford (2009) nationalism is “the imbalanced and distorted form of something that is good–patriotism” (p. 62). Nationalism can be attributed to one of the ideals that led to Hitler’s power of the Nazis. If nationalism is not checked, it can lead to destruction.
Wilkens & Sanford described moral relativism as “a seismic shift in our culture” (p. 79). Moral relativism can also be described as a belief that truth no longer exists, “and if it does, it is certainly not self-evident” (Wilkens & Sanford, 2009, p. 79). I can see this more prevalent in society where the “anything goes” attitude is rampant. Many of the younger generation (under 25) are content with individualizing their faith, beliefs, and morals: my truth is not your truth and your truth is your own truth. Many of them do not like to be told “no” or “you’re wrong” when that is the message they need to hear. I have heard of teachers who are not allowed to tell a student “no”, “that’s wrong”, or give a grade of F since those are a hindrance to learning. It seems that letting students fail gives them a chance to get it right the next time, and learn in the process. If you do not let a student fail, they will think they are incapable of it. This may be a bit of a shock when they get into the real world.
Whether individualism, consumerism, nationalism, or moral relativism, these are threats to Christianity no matter which one is more prevalent. Knowing they exist is the first step in preventing them from becoming dominant thoughts and replacing God with them.
Blessings to you and yours.