Academic or relevant
When it comes to teaching, one of the things I really like to do is take something complicated and see if I can explain it simply. This applies whether I’m teaching Sunday School, a small group, or writing a paper for my college course. However, in order to do this, it means sometimes I oversimplify or over generalize which was my experience recently when I handed in an assignment for my college course.
I feel that sometimes Christians are reluctant to get involved in ethical issues because they feel they are too complicated. So for my ethics assignment I took a complex issue, stem cell research, and tried to explain it in terms a 12 year old would understand. The person marking my paper felt my paper was not ‘academic’ enough. I felt like responding but I don’t want to be academic, I want to be relevant.
In my mind this raises an interesting problem. Bible Colleges are places for tertiary education and therefore would like to be ‘academic’ and yet the people we are called to minister to are not necessarily academically inclined. Often my assignments ask me to write for an audience that I would be likely to minister to, yet, if I do this, my assignments are not going to be academic enough to satisfy my lecturers.
An interesting dilemma…