The Enlightenment,the Reformation and America after 1865: Organizing a class, the first in North Texas community colleges?

(josh abraham) #1

I have been a chance to organize a class in the history of the science-religion contact in America after 1865.

As much I know, this class is the first of its kind among North Texas community colleges. Community college students aren’t going to participate in the elite circles of Wheaton and Calvin, and at my school, they are practically surrounded by Red-state young-earth creationists.

But my students are largely politically Blue. The professors at my school are also.

Bridging this Red-Blue gap is why I moved to a swamp in Florida for graduate school. It just so happens I live in Creationism Central in North America—Dallas. Both the Discovery Institute and ICR are here.

I have to drive 90 miles to Baylor to find anyone who knows about BioLogos, as best as I can tell.

So how to teach these low-income Millenial voters for the glory of God?

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #2

It would seem not to be a serious problem. You just stick to the facts. Fortunately there seems to be much information available. The facts are not as simple as it may seem, because there is many problems all sides, so it should be interesting.

(Jay Johnson) #3

Teach them to the best of your ability. Encourage them to achieve their goals. Inspire them to set higher goals. But most of all, get to know them as people. It sounds like you’re at Eastfield. Just south of you is Skyline High, and just south and west of that are some of the roughest neighborhoods in Dallas. I knew kids from that area who had never left East Dallas. Not only had they never seen mountains or the ocean, they had never set foot in Northpark Mall and couldn’t tell you where Highland Park was. You won’t be seeing the hardest cases, but many of your students will have grown up in that same environment. Trust is hard-won. They will not care about you or your subject unless/until they believe that you care about them. This may take some creativity on your part, since you don’t have as much time with your students as a high school teacher. Nevertheless, it is crucial, and one easy step in that direction is to learn everyone’s name.

Finally, Eastfield has more students than many universities. Some of them are more than capable of Wheaton or Calvin; they just don’t know it and have never even heard of those places. You have greater opportunity to impact more lives than you imagine, more than you ever would have at a “major” university or a “Christian school.” Go forth and do good!

Soli Deo gloria

(Jennifer Thomas) #4

I don’t know much about the specific needs of your students, but do you think it might be possible to approach the topic by using each class to talk about a specific person (rather than a specific idea) who helped bridged the science-religion rift? George Washington Carver springs to mind. Just a thought.