Higher Education

Cultural Accommodation, the Growing Danger for Christian Education

"Faced with shrinking enrollment and finances, Christian colleges face the stark reality of deciding how much they are willing to change in order to continue their ministries. The fundamental question is “Where is the line which we cannot cross in order to stay open?” - Proclaim & Defend

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Online Vs. in-Person Education: Theological Training Is Supposed to Be Hard

"In my previous post considering Dan Wallace’s recent article discussing online vs. in-person education I concluded that, especially regarding theological teaching, in-person education is superior to distance education—all other things being equal. But rarely if ever in life are all other things equal." - DBTS Blog

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Talk: The State of the Evangelical Mind on Christian College Campuses

SBU prof's firing, university's theology discussed

"As a former Southwest Baptist University professor appeals his termination for allegedly accusing faculty colleagues of deviating from theological orthodoxy, the university has commissioned an "external peer assessment" to include "evaluations regarding orthodoxy" on the Bolivar, Mo., campus." - BPNews

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Why Biblical Foundations for Education Still Matter, Part 4

Continues 3 Biblical Models for Grounding Education. Read the series so far.

3. Elihu’s Is/Ought Model

The final of the three Biblical models for our consideration here is what I call Elihu’s Is/Ought Model. David Hume once critiqued divine command moral systems on grounds that they didn’t earn the right to move from is (descriptions of reality) to ought (prescriptions for what we should do about reality). Hume’s critique is not entirely unfair, and quite a few moral systems crack under the weight of the Humean accusation.

However, Elihu models a different approach, and one that transparently asserts an earned prescription for human ethics and understanding. We discover the wisdom of Elihu in Job 32-37, just before God’s case-closing response to Job. It is worth noting that Elihu’s and God’s arguments are so similar as to be indiscernible, if we weren’t told who was presenting the arguments in each case. As it turns out, there is further evidence for Elihu’s positive influence, even beyond his agreement with God’s own assertions. The only main character not rebuked in the book of Job is Elihu. Each of Job’s other friends stand guilty before God (though He would forgive them), and even Job himself is rebuked, though also ultimately forgiven. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar were guilty of speaking wrongly of Job. Job was guilty of ignorance, but not for long, and Elihu helped with that.

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Why Biblical Foundations for Education Still Matter, Part 3

Continues 3 Biblical Models for Grounding Education. Read the series so far.

2. Paul’s Model for Transformative Learning

Paul recognizes that in order for us to understand how best to educate people, we must understand what a person actually is. These days he has competition, however, as five major contemporary theories of learning all make significant assumptions about what a person is and how they are best educated.

Behaviorism focuses on the learners’ response to stimuli, and postulates that if you can control the environment through operant conditioning, then you can create change in the behavior of the learner. B.F. Skinner was convinced that the person was essentially an active organism that was conditioned to behavior. Cognitivism focuses on “the representations and processes needed to give rise to activities ranging from pattern recognition, attention, categorization, memory, reasoning, decision making, problem solving, and language.”22 Humanity is essentially a computing device, processing and acting based on schemas. As the educator assesses where the student is in Piaget’s four stages of development (sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational, or formal operational),23 the educator determines what information and tasks are age-appropriate for the computer to handle next.

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Why Biblical Foundations for Education Still Matter, Part 2

Three Biblical Models for Grounding Education

1. Solomon’s Worldview Model

Solomon’s commentary on the foundations for learning is not insignificant. Solomon is lauded as the wisest person who would ever live,6 and he formulates a very straightforward philosophy of education. He asserts that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,”7 and adds that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”8 Solomon is not limiting the scope of education here to religious education. Rather, he makes a much more profound and far reaching epistemological statement: wisdom, knowledge, and understanding all find their derivation in the fear of the Lord.

Arguably, there can be no education without the increasing of knowledge and understanding, nor any fruitful application of knowledge and understanding without wisdom. So, at least according to Solomon, we can not get far into the educational process without an awareness of how to foster wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Solomon’s formula directs the educator to focus on the fear of the Lord.

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UC Berkeley leader Isabella Chow slammed over biblical gender views

"A University of California at Berkeley LGBT group is petitioning for Sen. Isabella Chow's resignation from student government; her political party, Student Action, has dropped ties to her; the university newspaper has refused to run Chow's editorial in her defense; and hundreds have protested against her" - BP News

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