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First Sterling College Faculty Lunchtime Worldview Discussion Led by Professor Tom Bronleewe
January 5, 2009
Nearly twenty members of the Sterling College faculty met in late November for the first monthly Faculty Lunchtime Worldview Discussion. Tom Bronleewe, professor in the Theology and Ministry Department, presented on the topic of worldviews in the American culture.
Chaplain Anne Smith organized this discussion group to continue the dialogue begun at the faculty retreat prior to the beginning of the academic year. Sterling College’s commitment to a Christ-centered education impacts the coursework of all academic departments. In the monthly Lunchtime Worldview Discussions, faculty members will listen to presentations regarding a Christian worldview and share the methods they use in their individual classrooms for its integration with their subject matter.
At this first meeting, Tom Bronleewe introduced his topic as the last few faculty members entered Chandler Boardroom bearing lunch trays. “I’m going to share with you some of what I teach the senior-level Philosophy of Faith and Life class.” He continued with Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland’s characteristics of an Empty Self and led the attending faculty in a discussion of how each of those characteristics is manifested in American society. Following this he presented a list of books about worldview for faculty members’ further reading on the subject.
Bronleewe then turned everyone’s attention to the video screen. “This is how my students begin to apply the concepts we discussed.” An Audi web commercial played on the screen. Following the commercial the faculty discussed the worldviews presented and how many of them fit with J.P. Moreland’s Empty Self characteristics. “I use commercials such as this one,” Bronleewe said, “to help students see how cultural worldviews actually affect an entire culture, and, ultimately, how the cultural worldviews affect each one of the students in particular. They grow in their ability to discern as the semester progresses. Ultimately I want students to see there is a difference between our culture’s worldviews and the worldviews we want to have as followers of Christ.”
Faculty members left the meeting still discussing the ideas presented, and Chaplain Anne Smith commented, “I have a desire to increase community among faculty members as well as a desire to increase dialogue among faculty about their disciplines and a Christian worldview. This was an excellent first step towards both those goals.”