Showing posts from August, 2011

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend… …or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere. Well, let’s see here. I want to start by giving a shout-out to Timothy Butler , a theology blogger that I came across and interacted with a number of years ago. Why the shout-out? Tim is from the St. Louis area, and is – talk about the world’s smallness – an alumnus of my institution. On top of that, he’s teaching for my department as an adjunct this year (as well as starting doctoral studies – he’ll be a busy guy). All of which lead to us finally meeting in person over lunch yesterday. It’s always lots of fun to meet face to face with those I’ve met keyboard to keyboard in the theo-blogosphere. Also, I want to highlight a recent guest-post (over at the blog, Two Friars and a Fool) by my good friend and partner in crime, David Congdon , entitled: The Evangelical Hypothesis . It is well worth your time. Here is the heart of his proposal, but you’ll need to go read the whole thing to u

Is Barth's God Too Transcendent? It depends...

...on which Barth you're talking about. There are a number of stock criticisms made of Barth’s theology. Chief among them is the claim that his emphasis upon Jesus Christ and God renders his theology one-sided in that it leaves no room for the rest of us, for creation. In other words, the claim is that Barth’s God is too transcendent, so much God without us that there is precious little room left for God with us. Consequently, so the argument goes, the God we meet in Barth’s theology is fundamentally a God against us rather than for us. Amy Marga describes this worry in her book, Karl Barth’s Dialogue with Catholicism : [A] doctrine of God in which God is wholly separated from creation can bring no hope to a broken humanity. An utterly transcendent God brings no peace. God must be both above all things but also in all things…Guilty of this kind of imbalance were none other than the dialectical theologians [ed. note, with KB in the van]. They…reverted back to a doctrine of God th

Assessment in Higher Education

Today was my first official day on the job, and it was primarily spent in a whole-faculty workshop pertaining to assessment. Following a lengthy presentation about assessment, and a lunch to give us time to reflect, we gathered as departments to chart some program-level learning objectives. This was the first step in what will be at least a year long look at our various programs, and how the various courses fit into the programs, etc. All of this is well and good, and certainly necessary. All of this is aimed at verifying that students have learned something, and determining what they have learned, when they leave our institution. That said, I could not help but thinking as I listened to the presentation that, at the end of the day, what assessment does is shift the focus away from grading students to grading institutions and programs. One could argue that this is necessary given rampant grade inflation: i.e., since grading students doesn't mean anything anymore, we need to pay a

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend… …or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere. I’m now installed at Lindenwood University , and am looking down the barrel of orientation week (the coming week), and the first week of classes (the week after that). My last week was spent banging out a few things that slightly resemble syllabi, as well as unpacking my books and arranging them in my office. Of course, the past two weeks have been a marathon of errands trying to get the family settled into life here. There’s plenty more to be done on that count, however, as well as with preparing for classes. It will be an interesting semester… Hopefully I’ll resume actual blogging sooner rather than later. In the meantime, here’s another set of links to amuse and inspire you. “More Damn Doodlings” - Kim Fabricius just can’t help himself. Here’s a good bit: “Invite Jesus into my life? You’re joking! It was breaking and entering – trashing the place, stealing the valuables, and