Please watch the following video on “Applying the Scriptures to Coursework,” by Dr. Corne Bekker, Dean of Regent University’s School of Divinity.
Also, read this short article on “A Biblical Perspective for Research” by Dr. John Wesley Taylor V.
In this video, Dr. Bekker compares and contrasts purely academic (secular) scholarship and what he terms Ecclesial Scholarship (minutes 15-20 approximately in the presentation).
He notes that ecclesial scholarship is measured and evaluated quite differently than we might evaluate academic scholarship. Specifically, ecclesial scholarship is:
1. Measured by primary engagement with Scripture
2. Written to a believing community and
3. Measured by its ability to renew the church
He argues as well that everyone who practices Christian scholarship is a theologian, regardless of their discipline. This is because Christian scholars are always reading the Bible, being affected by the Bible, and thinking about the connections between their academic discipline and God’s teachings to us.
As you watch his talk (take good notes), prepare some answers to these questions in this week’s discussion forum.
Compare and contrast the standards which Johnson and Creswell & Creswell have iterated for academic scholarship (including causal relationships, reliability, prediction, replicability, falsifiability, verification, etc.) Do you feel that these standards for academic scholarship are at odds with, or complementary to the standards which Dr. Bekker describes for ecclesial scholarship?
What are the normative commitments which Dr. Bekker implies that an ecclesial scholar should have? Are these normative commitments (what you are attempting to prove or to do or change?) at odds with, or complementary to the project which one has outlined for oneself within a purely academic context? In other words, does having a set of normative Christian commitments pose an issue for the academic integrity of your scholarship in some way?
At minute 22:30, Dr. Bekker tells us that “Christ is the only answer to the problems that we face in this world.” In what ways is Christ the only answer to a public policy problem which you have identified as interesting to you as an RSG student? Is there a particular scriipture that speaks to you when you think about the public policy problem which interests you? (Remember, YOU ARE A THEOLOGIAN!!)
What is the relationship between Christian thought and action as spelled out by Dr. Bekker? Is this the same or different from the relationship between academic/research thought and action? What do you think?
Use the following links: