...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

March 03, 2006 Back Home Again, thank the Lord!

Hippie Chimps

This is plain weird and attests to the fallenness of the whole of creation. Read the first paragraph carefully.

Ha!

It now reads :"Unfortunately, bonobos are prized by Congolese for their tasty meat, and many villagers who are illegally hunting the wiry, wizen-faced apes don't realize how close their prey is to extinction."

Earlier today, it read: "Unfortunately, bonobos are prized by Congolese for their tasty meat, and the wiry, wizen-faced apes don't realize how close their prey is to extinction.' Somebody must have complained.

Free resource

For sending up to 1 GB sized files via ftp.
The link below can be used by anyone to send files that are up to 1GB in size and this looks very easy to use and is free of charge—keep it in mind the next time you have to send/upload large files. Here’s the URL.

Meet the Longpen

New invention lets authors sign books remotely.

Mobile Google.

Through a deal with ABC News, Google will provide live daily webcasts of "World News Now" with rankings on the day's top search terms and the most popular stories on Google News.

Oscars of Interest:

Not that I put much stock in the discernment of the scions who choose the Oscars, bit I was a bit interested in the winners of the following categories-

Best Animated feature.

Makeup: the Chronicles of Narnia...

March of the Penguins won the best documentary nod.


Sunrise


One of my Dad's found sculptures

Less of Us

We want to show the world that Jesus loves them
We want to show the world that there's a better way to live
And as we live our lives before them
May the power and the glory of your name
Be exalted in the heavens-this is our aim.
Be exalted now as we declare your fame.

As we Lay our lives down for the least of these
May we fade from view and see your glory be released

More of you and less of us
We pursue a holy trust
As we're laying down our lives
We will see your love suffice
So die we must
It's more of you for we are only dust.
More of you and less of us
More of you and less of us.

Anthony Foster
March 5, 2006

From the Deep

From the deep oh Lord you have heard my cry
You hear my heart weep as my soul wants to die
But you gather my tears in a bottle to keep
And precious is the dying here in the deep.
For my flesh cries out at I cannot stand
My mind falters with doubt for I can't understand
The wherefore's and why's of this circumstance
But as the flesh dies the heart learns to dance.

Lord I am weak and I am so frail
This bundle of dust seeks to do more than fail
But nothing is done if it's done on my own
But if I am one with you I am never alone.
Here in the depths of despair and of pain
I'm inept to make my loss into gain
But for your sake and my own You will reap
Far more than I've sown here in the deep.

Anthony Foster
March 5, 2006

Bring an Offering

Bring an offering
Bring an offering
Bring an offering from your soul
And in bending the knee
You will come to see
That in true worship He will make you whole

Bring an offering
Bring an offering
Bring an offering of strength
And your sacrifice, will be pleasing in God's eyes
You will enter into your reward at length.

Bring an offering
Bring an offering
Bring an offering of the mind
In your very thoughts
The Lord you shall exalt
And the true and perfect treasure you will find.

Bring an offering
Bring an offering
Bring an offering of the heart
See your one desire
In what the Lord requires
And the greatest joy in you he shall impart

With heart and strength and soul and mind
We long to love the Lord
To enter in to worship and to see his name adored
So save our souls and fill up our minds
And give us the strength and the heart to find
An offering of praise-The obedience of faith that will suffice
For you desire a better sacrifice

And that which cost me nothing
I will not sacrifice
With a humble spirit, a contrite heart
I will lay down my life.

Anthony Foster
March 2, 2006

When Trials Turn to Praise

All of my trials you'll turn to praise
All life's denials are part of your grace
Through all of the miles I'll come to a place
Where I feel Your embrace.
When trials turn to praise.

Though troubles mount I will nevr be lost
I'll choose to count them as part of the cost
I'll set my sights on You and be released
They pale in the light of your power and peace.

What we see as blessing may truly be a curse
And so I am confessing that I will seek You first
In the trials and the turmoils
The suffering and the pain
I will see You turn my loss to gain

Though Satan may tempt me it's just a test.
For You have allowed it so I may be blessed.
I will let go of striving and in You I will rest
All my days
As trials turn to praise.

All of my trials you'll turn to praise
All life's denials are part of your grace
Through all of the miles I'll come to a place
Where I feel Your embrace.
When trials turn to praise.
The world will see God's grace and be amazed
When trials turn to praise.

Anthony Foster
March 5, 2006

The Sanctuary of a Song

The generations gather and they come to give their best.
Uniting different voices, here we enter into rest.
In the glory of communion in one Spirit and one voice
In harmony and holiness the young and old rejoice!

In the chorus we find refuge as our hearts are tuned to Christ
These hymns and psalms and spiritual songs form a pleasing sacrifice
And though we all are different in our union we are strong
We are gathered and united in the sanctuary of a song.

We will build an altar with our praise, we will lay on it a fire
As the flames rise up to heaven our souls will be inspired.
A place to come to worship to sing out sweet and strong
To give voice unto our praises in the sanctuary of a song.

We will sing of our redeemer, we will sing as we ascend
The holy mountain in our minds beyond what we comprehend
We will enter in communion to this place where we belong
In the temple deep we tremble in the sanctuary of our song

We will sing of our deliverance, we will sing to all the earth
We will sing in declaration of our sweet savior's worth
As we join the heavenly chorus all the nations sing along
You will inhabit our praises in the sanctuary of a song!

Anthony Foster
March 5, 2006

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUMAN KNOWLEDGE GAINED THROUGH RESEARCH IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES (REASON) AND THOSE TRUTHS GAINED THROUGH THE STUDY OF THE WORD OF GOD (FAITH)?

As human beings who bear the imago Dei, we come into this world with the moral, intellectual and rational capabilities to apprehend Truth. We do not have the capability of embracing it. Whether they bargained for it or not, Adam and Eve did "become like God" in a sense at the Fall. Satan’s assertation that they would know the difference between good and evil was bitter fruit that informs every proposition that can be formed concerning Truth. The world is not "normal" from the perspective of the Creator.

The Augustinian axiom "All truth is God’s truth" forms the basis of any endeavor to integrate faith and learning in this fallen world. The pursuit of truth in the natural order is such that, if well grounded and freed of false presuppositions, will lead people to a place where they can be confronted with reality from God’s perspective. Romans 1 attests to the fact that men are without excuse.
Being fallen and finite, it necessarily follows that on his own, man can only appropriate truth in a fallen and finite way. But we are not alone. God is there and He is not silent. The Spirit of God is promised to us as a teacher, and John 16 tells us that He will lead us into all truth. The Truth that we pursue will necessarily, if led by the Spirit take us to knowledge that is for the Glory of god and for our good.

That being said, the reality of the situation in the world as it is leads us to an understanding that while All truth is God’s truth, the perception and assimilation of that truth as it falls on fallen human minds is an altogether different case. Truth must be defined, and knowledge from various realms of inquiry does not necessarily cohere in integrated fashion. So the problem remains: how does one integrate knowledge that comes through research and those truths gained through that study of the Word of God?

Current Positions

The question necessarily emanates from a Christian perspective, as the world has no interest in such a pursuit. Indeed, with a gathering storm of postmodern thought taking academia captive, integration is not only impossible, it is insane to attempt it from the world’s perspective. Derrida, Rorty, Foucault and the second generation postmodern dystopians that followed in their wake have been unequivocal on this point. There is no such thing as "Truth". Human inquiry is subjective and ultimately relative. Yet even to hold to this line of thought is irrational, as it is a truth claim in and of itself.

Christians have long sought to navigate a path towards best practices in integrating knowledge from various fields. The epistemological crossroads of Biblical faith form a nexus for the coherence of all things, as Colossians 1:15 attests.

Three main views of the relationship between truth and reason shall inform any specific strategy that one can offer. Historically, Tertullian promoted a separation in faith and learning. He queried "what has light to do with darkness?" in proposing that men of faith have nothing to learn from worldly pursuits of knowledge. Augustinian thought recognizes that since man is the bearer of the imago Dei, reason, which flows from the rational aspect of the image of God, is a valid paradigm and supports faith. Augustine based his understanding of the relationship between faith and reason upon the Biblical witness of God’s two books, special revelation and natural revelation. Thomas Aquinas would go further; to assert that true knowledge of God can be arrived at based via pure reason based natural revelation, without the need for necessarily appealing to revelation from God.

These three main approaches to how faith and reason relate have distilled themselves into several positions based on the assumptions each approach has towards the possibility of integration. As Arthur Holmes said, "All truth, no matter where it is found or by whom it be discovered is still God’s truth." Because they contend that all truth is God’s Truth, the compatibilistic and transformationalist views are interested in articulating ways of integrating disciplinary knowledge, such as knowledge derived from research and personal inquiry in the light of knowledge gained in the sight of revelatory knowledge.

Another approach, which in some minds cannot be considered as concerned with integration at all, is the reconstructionalist view, which hold that a fresh and biblical ground of inquiry can be the only starting place for true knowledge, and therefore integration of disciplinary knowledge is not in fact possible. This view would assume that men are dead in trespasses and sins and as totally depraved persons, are unable to add anything to a conversation about truth. While this view may seem to be on the surface opposed to integration, we can still learn much from the very fact that the results of such endeavor can inform us by way of comparison and contrast with the way other views would approach the work of integration.

Assumptions and Presuppositions

Compatibilists would seek to find common ground in knowledge gained from research and find points of integration; a compatibilistic framework would acknowledge that there are shared presuppositions, methods of inquiry, and notions of ontology and epistemology that may make it possible for faith to embrace disciplinary knowledge without much change.

Transformationalists would look at the data skeptically and filter it through a Biblical grid work or sieve to discern between truth and error. They would, in effect deconstruct information that is assumed to be syncretistic by nature at best. It is assumed that a non-Christian world view would be foundational to such knowledge. The content would be transformed and sanctified by the elimination of dross.

In reality most legitimate approaches to integration will incorporate all three of these approaches on a case by case basis. Human knowledge based on reason alone is not homogenous n nature, there are, within each discipline, competing theories, precepts, research methodologies schools of thought and truth claims persist. Within schools of thought, processes involving controversy, change, adaptation, developments exist. Some disciplines, such as mathematics, are not as open to subjectification as inquiry in the social sciences may be. The appropriation of any matrix for measuring the validity of claims must appeal to a higher authority.

Position

Arthur Holmes has written that "the educated Christian must be at home in the world of ideas and men...in principle the Christian perspective is all-redeeming and all-transforming." As the redeemed in Christ we have been and are being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Ro12:2). We are to Love God with all of our mind, heart, and soul (Mt 22:27).As Gresham Machen said, all of life is to flow from doctrine.

The Fall fragments the perception of truth. But as agents of redemption we are to be fighting the battle for the minds and hearts of people everywhere. The academy is the front lines of the battle. Luther contended that it is at the very point at which the battle is taking that we prove our worth as soldiers. Christians must thus regain (or acquire) a battlefield view of life.

Christ is the sovereign King of all of Creation, and we must place a priority not in just aligning our presuppositions with Biblical Truth and resting on the fact that we are building on a firm foundation. In fact, no one pays attention to foundations unless they are faulty. We must declare boldly the authority of the Scriptures and the absolute sovereignty and treasure of the One of whom they speak. This means we must go on the offensive, not to be offensive, but to contend. As Lewis said, "Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered." He went on to declare this as a moral imperative, and that to falter is to betray our uneducated brethren who are at the mercy of the intelligentsia.

Yet today we see an encroachment upon the truth from within evangelical ranks as well. As Albert Mohler has written, Christian scholars such as Stanley Grenz, Brian Walsh and William Willimon evidence their postmodern leanings in declaring that the faithful should abandon the fight for the existence of objective truth.

All attempts at integration of Biblical Truth and disciplinary knowledge must be consistent and coherent. Harris gives us several assumptions that must attain from a Christian perspective. As stated before, all truth is God’s truth. Since God, who is sovereign created all things and all we know about the creator is revealed knowledge, any inquiry based in creation will necessarily lead the honest inquirer back to the truth. As Schaeffer said, there is "no final conflict." This is not salvific knowledge, but rather, as Romans 1:18-23 tells us, as bearers of the imago Dei, we have enough knowledge from creation to make us all "without excuse" and we bear God’s wrath is we suppress the truth.

The Christian world view takes into consideration that so called "secular" knowledge" is incomplete in light of man’s finitude and the constraints of space and time. It also assumes a biblical framework of reality, and places Creation as the source of all human knowledge, including the fallenness and wickedness of man’s pursuits. Jeremiah 17:9-10 tells us that the heart of man is desperately wicked and it is only God who searches the heart and mind. Truth is the final goal for all learning. In fact the goal of integration is said to be to

"...produce an unified, coherent system, an interrelationship, a holistic understanding, a seamless landscape of truth where the physical, spiritual, and rational all combine into one realm...

Harris goes on to qualify the results of such integration as an:

"...interconnected realm of reality, transcending but including the physical world and traditional disciplinary knowledge, making the external world, the senses, the heart, the mind, and experience all make sense."

This is sum and substance an affirmation of Acts 17: 28 and Colossians 1:15. In Him we live and move and have our being, and ...in Him all things consist.

H. Richard Niebuhr dealt with the issue integration of culture in general with Christianity, saying,

"In his single minded direction toward God, Christ leads men away from the temporality and pluralism of culture. Culture rejects the Christ who bids men rely on grace... The dialogue proceeds with denials and affirmations, reconstructions, compromises, and new denials."

The overarching theme of the relationship of Christ to culture can inform us in our pursuit of proper integration. Niebuhr’s categories of Christ against culture, The Christ of culture, Christ above culture, Christ and culture in paradox, and Christ the Transformer of culture have distinct parallels with the literature on integration. I hold to the premise that as the Redeemer, Christ is the transformer of culture. As agents of redemption, that is our calling as well.

My own thought and writings have dwelled much on the much needed reclamation by Christians of a repudiated heritage in the arts. Whatever the discipline, and knowledge gained from a careful and critical inspection of such research must be sifted through the "authoritative sieve of scripture" to filter out the "arrogant reasoning" and inaccurate conclusions of fallen man. The Reformers thought of the Bible is the measuring stick to separate between arrogant and regenerated reasoning.

Lewis Markos writes,

" Belief in miracles does not mean believing that 2+2=5...It means that there is a supernatural being (or at least force) in the universe that is capable of intervening in human events, suspending the laws of nature, and consequently altering the natural flow of cause and effect."

The Biblical model for integration is revealed in Paul’s thoughts and can be discerned from Romans 6. We are to first "reckon the reality" in the light of scripturally revealed truth; we are to remind ourselves and to believe whatever God has said of us and our world and account it as the "gold standard," as Machen would say. Then we are to reject the reign of sin- the places where the Biblical reality and worldly perceptions of truth diverge as we assert the Sovereignty of Christ in all things. Finally we are to "render as righteous" the products of our inquiry and discernment as instruments of righteousness to Christ. The products of Spirit-informed discernment are perhaps as much an act of worship in the eye of our Creator as any new song or other living sacrifice. We are to "Critically examine EVERYTHING. Hold on to the good." (Paul, First Thessalonians 5.21).

Neil Postman has referred to "thermostatic education" as a corrective and counter-balance to the status quo of academic pursuits in our time. The Biblical corrective is a far- reaching and perfected vision that goes far beyond this based on the authority of Scripture. As Os Guinness has written, we must learn to "relativize the relativizers, and to push them to the logic of their presuppositions. An appeal to Biblical authority demands that practitioners of integration pursue an actual Biblical hyper-literacy to serve as the basis for all other intellectual pursuits. This is sadly lacking in most of Christian Higher Education. Yet, as Gaebelein emphasizes, it is the expert in some field who has a sound theological framework who is able to integrate faith and learning internally; this person makes the best Christian educator. The teacher is the one who embodies the integration of faith and learning. Therefore the Christian school that "believes that all truth is God’s Truth must seek and develop devoted Christian teachers." Indeed the non-Christian should not be hired.

Nancy Pearcy has warned us that teachers who are Christian are not enough. Most teachers who are trained in institutions where the Christian world view is not at the core of studies are in effect contaminated by rationalistic concepts. For instance constructivism is a direct application of Dewey’s evolutionary epistemology, yet astonishingly, even some Christian teachers have accepted constructivism without discerning its philosophical roots.

James Sire said, "[Christians] must have a habit of mind that combines openness with skepticism. As such it is an excellent mindset for the pursuit of knowledge. Carl Henry reminds us that

"Christianity can overcome the current addiction to the nonobjectivity of knowledge and rout the notions of the intellectually fatigued commentators that the coordination of theology, ethics, science, art, and socioeconomic principles is no longer possible. The rationalistic approach subordinates the Truth of revelation to its own alternatives and has speculated itself into exhaustion" Kuyper said, "There is not one square inch of the creation about which Jesus Christ does not cry ‘This is mine! This belongs to me!’" We contend that the authority of scripture and the sovereignty of God be the driving force in any attempt at integration.

Chesterton once said that Christians hate "pink." The Christian mind demands that black and white issues not be muddled into grey and watered down into agreement. An inquiring mind invites controversy and truth seeking. We are to have a both/and mentality that sees the possibility of paradox and compatibility in what on the surface seems to be discordant information. We also recognize the fallenness of man and the finiteness of our minds. We know that God’s ways are above our ways, as Isaiah 55 attests. Yet we also adhere to a yes/but philosophy- even the knowledge that we integrate may have aspects of it that form contingencies. This is an important feature of Christian thinking, as most knowledge mining requires sifting gold from dross, wheat from chaff. Within various disciplines there are a variety of theories, competing principles, and approaches that deny the possibility of most truth claims in the world to be considered autonomous. As Dostoyevsky said, "If God is dead, and then all things are permissible." So without God, the logical termination point of modernism became postmodern rationalistic nihilism.

Critics such as Suzy Gablik may trace the beginnings of the failure of modernism to the late twentieth century (some have in fact pointed to the destruction of the Pruitt-Igoe development in St. Louis as a watershed event), but in fact, from a Biblical perspective, Modernism as a philosophy was doomed from the start. One can trace the demise of Cartesian/Kantian thought and the common belief that we must move beyond foundationalism to its roots in Eden. It is one thing to question foundationalism and another to move off the foundation. When truth is sought in self, rather than in history, it becomes part of the death that sin brings, as it is centered in Adamic man.

Principles for Integration

Much has been written about the building of Christian world view since James Orr wrote in the last century. And much has been written concerning methodologies for integration from the perspective of the various disciplines. William Hasker has proposed that more must be written in order to bridge the two related approaches. He has premised that "The ultimate aim of faith-learning integration is not merely to complete the integrative task within each separate discipline, but to enhance our overall vision of reality in the light of Christ."

There are competing approaches within evangelicalism. Kuyper held to the notion that knowledge falls into "spheres of sovereignty" that have rules that apply to them discretely. This has at times led to a Reconstructionist perspective that denies the possibility of real integration. If all truth is God’s truth, what are we to do with knowledge that on the surface seems incompatible with Christianity? I hold that nothing is beyond the scope of redemption and transformation.

Wolfe says that genuine integration occurs when an assumption or concern can be shown to be internally shared by (integral to) both the Judaeo Christian vision and an academic discipline. Yet Noeble declares, Christian psychology, at first glance, seems to be a contradiction in terms." Wolterstorff warns us that "in weighing a theory, one always brings along the whole complex of one’s beliefs." So how does one start to approach the task of weighing such seemingly contradictory lines of knowledge?

Bredfeldt gives us five principles for the integration of knowledge within a Christian world view. The starting point is the authority of Scripture. A truth claim must be analyzed for its intrinsic value. These principles form a matrix of measurement of disciplinary knowledge:

1. Directly supported by Scripture- The knowledge is found to be in accord with the authority of the Word of God.

2. Theologically consistent with Scripture- The knowledge does not violate doctrinal truth.

3. Addressed by Scripture- It may not be beneficial, but not forbidden; Concern for the weaker brother may be in view in parsing this type of knowledge.

4. Explicitly denied by Scripture- The fact, truth claim or knowledge sets itself in opposition to the clear teaching of Scripture.

5. Doubtfully consistent with Scripture- this may include gray areas that Scripture does not address explicitly, bit may be rationally portrayed as being inconsistent with the Scriptural viewpoint.

By ascertaining how the knowledge stands when held up to the light of God’s revealed Word, we can further sift it through our theological grid. The Christian framework is, by its nature, the best starting place for the discovery of truth.
Ken Gangel gave a far reaching and influential series of lectures at Dallas Seminary that continues to inform the conversation on the integration of faith and learning. Gangel gives several principles for the integration of faith and learning. Key aspects of the differences in the Christian world view and all other world views are the distinctions that must be drawn between Theistic Supernaturalism and Naturalism, the distinction between Revelationalism and Rationalism, and the distinction between Absolutism and Relativism.

Implications for Ministry

All integration approaches should start with the given of the absolute authority of the Word of God. In the Scriptures, we have the mind of God. While we recognize that the truth in scripture is not exhaustive truth, but what Francis Schaeffer called "true Truth."

Because of what God has revealed and the way he has made man in His image, though fallen , we can truly know of God, of man, of society and history, and all the things that scripture affirms, in all the ways it affirms it.

As Philippians 1: 9 tells us, we must not forget that love is the source of knowledge, and we must passionately seek to pursue the truth in love (Eph 3). That means interfacing with, not withdrawing from the world that so desperately needs to hear an alternative and well reasoned voice in the Academy.
As Andy Chambers has stated, the purpose of integration, ultimately, is to "reduce the gap between faith and life." Antonio Chiareli says,

"Following the godly path means to accept and boldly carry out the challenge of integrating faith and learning by participation in the shaping and teaching of a biblical world view. Yet the structure and purpose of this world view must not only be eternally true but temporally viable."

"Temporal viability" is a loaded phrase, and often a matter of debate in Christian circles. Lewis warned us away from chronological snobbery. We must hold as a key principle to the contemporanaeity of Scripture and the Holy Spirit. The Bible is always relevant because it is truth, and all other forms of learning must be seen in its light. We must not commit the logical fallacy of holding to any other source of authority in this manner of relevance and timeliness as well. The cult of the new has a powerful effect on scholarship. In addition the power and promise of the Holy Spirit to teach us to discern and love wisdom is a key part of this principle, as the Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures and leads us in to all the truth. So we must also come to a clear understanding of the way Truth is disseminated in this world: how truth is discovered and understood, and its very nature. Truth is not constructed and arbitrary.

To reiterate, any attempt at building a Christian curriculum that impacts the world for Christ must be based on the centrality of special revelation. In this practical way, we realize our world view. As Schaeffer said, we must not only hold to an unswervingly vibrant weltanschauung, we must do everything in our power to influence the world we take it into and see the fight as the battle it is. As 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says,

"Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does, for the weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world; on the contrary we have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy every speculation and every lofty thought set up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive in obedience to Christ."

In order to realize this calling, we must be ever building and sifting our Biblical world view- we are to be Biblical sieve-makers, as Gangel says. We must look to discern the world views at the radix of the claims disciplinary knowledge claims to be free of. In fact, every one has a world view, and for integration to occur, the inspector of disciplinary knowledge must know the truth well enough to recognize the counterfeit.

Finally, the implications for applying these principles to the integration of faith and learning flow from the personal beliefs of the individual through the institution in seeing its realization. Just as there is no separation in the sacred and secular, there is no divorcement of world view from life.

Conclusion

We are seekers of Truth and proclaimers of Truth in a world where the zeitgeist is directly opposed to the pursuit of Biblical truth. We are to be about this pursuit in love, and with an ever watchful and self-examining eye. This work is not one that can be accomplished without shrewdness.

Integration is an all embracing and all pervasive task for the Christian. We have been looking at one aspect of integration- that of how it is to be accomplished in education, but it is as universal in scope as the sovereignty of Christ. The Christian world view is to extend to all areas of the lives of those involved in integration. As we seek to integrate all realms of truth we are not creating reality, but expositing it for the world and for ourselves. May this endeavor ever be to God’s glory and for our good, and to advance the name of the sovereign Christ in all fields of human endeavor.

Addendum: Later Thoughts and Reflections

Integration is a moving target. Information, as a commodity is always in flux and is typically internally conflicted as well. Human hermeneutical methodologies are subject to weaknesses and inconsistencies. The veracity and quality of information can suffer from a multitude of shortcomings- foundational ones such as bias in the presuppositions they are based upon, or internal problems based upon poor experimental design or statistical analysis. Every conceivable mixture of problem can be imagined.

One must critically assess the  information. What is the worldview of the source of the information? What is the purpose for making the knowledge claims? Does the source of the information have an agenda? What are their presuppositions about knowledge and truth, their view of the nature of good and evil and human nature? What is the role of authority  in the discipline and its historical origins?
If  the source of information has a different framework of reality,  it is still conceivable that there may be value in the information, as humans tend to apply their frameworks in an ad hoc manner in real life.

So the task of integration involves three aspects. Developing a thoroughgoing Christian grid work to hang information on; Sweeping the leavening from our own house by critical examination of our beliefs, and testing all new information, from inside and outside the camp,  to see how it coheres in  the reified air of sanctified understanding.

A deconstruction of syncretistic information requires different measures of approaches based on the nature of the discipline as well. Disciplines that major on application, such as the hard sciences are less open to internal bias than more theoretical disciplines, such as psychology or sociology.

Since disciplines vary widely in philosophies and methodologies, as well as content, It may be difficult to discern the complexities involved. Approaches that are mechanically applied will surely fail. A careful articulation of the problem is necessary. The effort spent in this will yield results as the articulation process involves a diagnostic aspect. As we attempt to explain the problem we must assess why the claim exists in the first place. We must discern the basis of the problem and ask how the solution operates. It may be that the only problem  that exists  is not a problem for the Christian mind; rather it is a result of the application of a naturalistic framework to the information at hand.

Three strategies form any starting point on the road to integration: We must discern the context of the knowledge. As the old axiom goes, " A text without a context is a pretext." By discerning how a truth claim fits into the "big picture" we can hope to identify the foundations underlying the claim. External influences, pre- theoretical commitments and presuppositions, personal biases, and assumptions based in the discipline itself are considerations. Finally , we must look at alternative claims and interpretations, and particularly discern the worldview of the proponents of those claims.

Of course, the goal is to develop such a fluency in the biblical perspective as to be able to process this information  with mental shorthand. Every point of information cannot be scrutinized  in an ad hoc basis. We must be willing to ascertain if the part of our own worldview that we hold as precious, or our interpretative process may actually be faulty. Humility is in order.

We stand on the shoulders of giants, and it is always valuable to look at what Christian scholars who are subject matter experts say about any controversy. When all else fails, it may be wise to shelve the information for awhile, especially if it is discerned that one has insufficient data to discern the quality of the information.

Microsoft premieres its Live Clipboard.

A new internet research tool called Digital Universe aspires to be a more authoritative version of Wikipedia. If successful, it could provide scholars and students with one more option for finding accurate, reliable information online.Skeptics, however, predict that Digital Universe is too ambitious for long-term success.

LawDragon

The "secret society" of U.S. judges is about to be invaded by a Web site that lets people who have appeared before them rate judges in the first such public forum. The tooth-comb scrutiny will come from lawdragon.com, run by Katrina Dewey, an attorney and former editor of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the largest U.S. legal daily newspaper. Lawdragon set out last summer to become the first Web site to allow legal professionals and clients to evaluate the nation's 1.1 million lawyers and judges.

Brain scans explain maths problem

Dyscalculia can cause children to struggle with simple sums Scientists say they have isolated the area of the brain linked to the maths learning disability dyscalculia. A research paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the US shows a separate part of the brain is used for counting.

   

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From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/