BITH 315 Christian Thought-Spring 2015

December 31, 2014  |  By  | 


2 Course Requirements, Grading, et cetera Attendance : I take attendance at the beginning of each class, following the opening prayer. You should be on time and ready for discussion each day. There’s no such thing as an “excused absence” – you’re either in class, or you’re not. Tardiness, therefore, is inexcusable for it is unjust toward those who came to class on time. Arriving after roll call is charged as ½ absence . More than 4 absences will result in loss of a whole letter grade, and more than 6 absences, in failure. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what was covered in your absence. Assigning grades is a highly distasteful necessity. I certainly don’t like doing it; it gives me stomachaches, among other symptoms. In fact, I show all the classic symptoms of avoidance. I’d just as soon live without grades, but since Wheaton College and our society (and – in the long run – most of you, probably) really want grades, I grudgingly cooperate. Nonetheless, course grades will be determined as follows (100 points possible): a word about this class Ifthisiswhatyouwanttodo, Iinviteyoutoexplore togetherthethemesthat shapea radicaldiscipleship  rootedinthehistoricalfaithof theChurchandmanifests God’sgracetotheworld. Thisalsomeansthatinthis sessionofChristianThought, wehavetogetbeyondthe “intimidation”factorandbe willingandabletovoice ourselvesfreelyandwithfull confidencethatweengage (andsometimeseven challenge)ideas,notpersons, andthatwereceiveeach otherwithrespectregardless ofourdisagreements. Iaimatencouragingcritical thinking–thatis,Iwantto helpstudentsdevelopthe capacitytojudgethemeritsof variousinterpretationsofthe subjectmatter–soI appreciateitwhenstudents argueoverthecourse’stopics, solongastheargument doesn’tsilenceothers. Iemphasizehowcomplex problemsare;Idon’tgive simpleexplanations.Which alsomeansthatattimesI tendtodigressfromthe subjectathand.Sometimes thisisfunwhileothertimes it’sadistraction. your part my part together Iexpectyoutobeprepared andinvolvedinclass. Iexpectyoutocompleteall assignmentsontimeand accordingtoallassigned specifications. Iexpectyoutoattendclass andtoparticipateactivelyin classroomdiscussionsand groupassignments.Learning isnotaspectatorsport. Finally,Iexpectyoutoseek outanyhelpyouneed.In otherwords, Iexpectyouto makeitcleartomethat you’redoingyourfairshareof theworkofthecourse : reading,preparing, researching,andaskingyour classmates,otherstudents, andmeforhelpifyouneedit. Itrytorunaclassroom withoutraceorgenderbias. Foracademicdiscourse, spokenandwritten, the facultyexpectsstudentstouse genderinclusivelanguagefor humanbeings . Asparticipantsinanacademic community,youshouldnot uselanguagethatmight excludeothers.Inaddition, theuseofinclusivelanguage isageneralrequirementof publicandprofessional discourse.Simplyput,your proseoughttoreflectthefact thathumanityiscomprisedof bothmenandwomen. Ihopemyclassestreat studentswithrespect,as peoplecapableofthinking andorderingtheirlives responsibly.Itrytoavoid assumingthatyouneed handholding,because studentsalmostalwaysresent thatassumption(often,the studentswho need helpmost, resent helpmost).  Iamnotaneasygrader;you earnA’sfor excellence ,not justforadequatework. Ihaveespeciallyhigh standardsforwrittenwork, butIwillhelpyouwork throughproblemsifyouask.I expectalotfrommystudents, andsometimesIamhardto understand. Iftheclasssessionisoriented towarddiscussion,Iexpect everyone–howevertheshy, bored,ortheologically sensitive–toparticipatein thediscussion.Shyness, boredom,andtheological sensitivityfrequentlybecome self-perpetuatingproblems; noonewillgetthemostout ofadiscussionsection withoutactuallyparticipating inthediscussion. Oneofthemostusefulthings youcandoistoacknowledge thatyou’rebored,andpoint towhat’ssoboring(orthat you’reoffended,andpointto howwe’veoffendedyou). Ifyouaskforhelp,I’mgladto provideit;that’stheessence ofmyjob.