The Discourse of Faith and Learning
The integration of the Christian faith with human learning was addressed by the earliest Christian apologists and continues to be an important question for the church up to the present day. Such lengthy conversations are complicated by variations in nomenclature, attitudes, and theological assumptions. This paper attempts to clarify portions of this historical discussions by focusing on how a given thinker weighs and balances four interrelated doctrinal issues: the unity of truth, the two sources of knowledge, the noetic effects of sin, and goodness of creation. It is suggested that thinkers commonly adopt one of five “integrative” postures: butcher, baker, candlestick maker, philosopher, or prophet. Lessons are drawn from this history and applied to some of the issues that face the academy today.
Worldview: Some Unanswered Questions
Christian worldview thinking has become an increasingly prominent framework for thinking about education since its uptake by a new and rapidly growing constituency of Evangelicals. On the surface this popular surge vindicates the methodology yet the literature demonstrates a concerning lack of engagement with apparently debilitating critiques advanced by a previous generation of scholars like Karl Barth. There have been responses of course, but they are notable for domesticating the critiques rather than treating them as fundamental objections, a situation urgently requiring attention if worldview thinking is to position itself as a genuine alternative in the wider marketplace of ideas.
Matt Phelps and Scott Waalkes
Educating Desire and Imagination in a “Faith in the World” Seminar
Recent conversations about Christian teaching and learning have discussed educating students’ imaginations and desires. But how might one begin to educate desire and imagination? To answer, we narrate the experience of teaching a course, Living Well in a Car Culture, within a general education seminar required of all fourth-year students at a small Christian university in the United States. Our goals were for students to recognize how they have been shaped by car culture, to reimagine their participation in it, and to imagine and practice alternative ways of living. Course outcomes are illustrated with examples from students’ written work.
Praying for Change: The Ignatian Examen in the “Remedial” Classroom
Contradictions abound in remedial higher education. While 40% of American undergraduate students take remedial coursework (Attewell et al., 2006), remediation represents just one percent of the national higher education budget (Handel & Williams, 2011). Furthermore, the status quo in remedial teaching and learning in American higher education does not appear to be successful at actually remediating students and aiding in their completion of degrees (Attewell et al., 2006). This essay argues for a more holistic approach to working with underprepared students than the all-too-common deficit-based approach allows for and presents a first-person practitioner’s account of a reflective-thinking classroom ritual based on the spiritual discipline of the Ignatian Examen as a paradigmatic example of a holistic approach that accounts for the developmental as well as the sociopolitical realities of underprepared students. The essay also identifies an amicable confluence of ideals and methods among Ignatian pedagogy, critical pedagogy, and liberation theology.
Ronald E. Hoch and David P. Smith
Response: Old School, New Clothes
Editors’ Note: Volume 16, issue 1 (Spring 2012) of this journal included a review of Ronald E. Hoch and David P. Smith, Old Schools, New Clothes: The Cultural Blindness of Christian Education (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2011), in which Mr. Hoch’s last name was misspelled. The editors apologize for this error. Additionally, the authors submitted the following reply to the review.