November 26, 2007 -Discussing Frederick Hudson:
The Adult Years
05:24pm Nov 26, 2007 EST - So much to say, so little
space. Here's the short version: The book finds its basic worldview
in the philosophy found in the I Ching and is overtly Buddhist in its
approach to change management; but the themes have found their way into
much of the late 20th century Leadership Literature and pop psychology
(You'll hear these themes in Wayne Dyer as readily as Stephen Covey,
for instance, or voices as diverse as John Cage and Phillip Pullman
in the arts.) I expect I'll have much more to say on this later, but
I'll wait for some others to give their take...
|It's true that Eastern thought has no corner
on change or transcendence, but the issue is for what purpose and
for whose sake? I do hear as many echoes of Heraclitus in these
pages as I do Lao Tzu. As always, the Christian who wants to integrate
any truths from these pages needs to be wary of heavily filtering
the underlying worldview.
||It is also a parachute book, pointing the way
to revitalizing one's interaction with vocation and life in general.
A key theme is chaos (the 23rd hexagram of the i ching, by the way,
hexagrams are used in divination).Chaos theory offers metaphors
for change management that deny any requirement for any external
master designer of the cosmos.
|(For an intro to chaos theory, read James Gleick).
Chaos as a construct fits rather nicely with the postmodern ethos
of anti authoritarianism. Makes me think of Marduk, who conquered
the lord of primeval chaos, Tiamat. These themes speak to man from
Yet God's Truth has a pattern, and some of what Hudson
offers can be seen as compatible with a Christian worldview. The primary
way in which it can be appropriated by Christians is in its holistic
focus on vocation and life, which has biblical precedents. The Bible
does not know anything of retirement to the golf course. Again, to be
sure, the idea of developmental and transformational forms of adult
learning owes something to Aristotelian praxis as much or more that
it does to Eastern thought. Reminds me somewhat of Mezirow's perspective
transformation processes. In my view human development is was and always
shall be linear and cyclical, as the spiral of human life moves both
through space and time. By the time Hudson arrives at diagram 7 of the
life cycle, it looks like he agrees with this. One cannot separate the
life cycle from change. I'll be interested in what else others see as
viable, as the Bible is not a Western document, and an exercise in divorcing
oneself from western presuppositions can be beneficial.
Question from a friend: "Anthony, I have read
a little about quantum physics, and order discovered in fractals. There
is an emerging organizational theory based on discoveries in quantum
physics - an interesting way to look to the natural for metaphysical
understanding. My sense is (like many of the personality theorists)
that scientists and philosophers are observing elements of truth, and
it is the biblical worldview that provides more complete explanation
of natural phenomena... thoughts?"
10:15pm Nov 26, 2007 EST - Chaos basically says that
patterns arise out of nature, not because of a designer, but because
they are self actualizing. Fractals are seen to be a mathematical instance
of this. There are voices being raised in some evolutionist quarters
that chaos physics will somehow allow the universe to be
seen as creative of its own complexity in spite of the nasty
old Second Law of Thermodynamics (the law of entropy).
A few years ago, director/writer Darren
Aronofsky released the film Pi:
Faith In Chaos that took Sundance by storm. The notion is hitting
the popular culture regularly. Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials
Trilogy is hitting the big screen this month (The
Golden Compass) and the science he pulls from includes drawing on
string theory and spacetime, quantum physics and chaos theory.
||Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy
is hitting the big screen this month (The
Golden Compass) and the science he pulls from includes drawing
on string theory and spacetime, quantum physics and chaos theory.
Butterfly Effect?There was also a second
movie. Disambiguation is a cutting edge notion in organizational
theory (well maybe not so cutting edge anymore), and it is proliferating
There are a couple of ways of looking at Genesis 1- the initial chaos
and the precreation chaos theories- but however you read it, the Biblical
world view holds that God brought cosmos out of chaos, and that God
is a God of order (I Cor 14:40). That order is being subjected to decay
in this fallen world, but it will be restored ultimately and permanently
with the new heaven and new earth. We are new creation, since the process
began with the resurrection.
So yes, in answer to your question, I think observations are being made,
but wrong conclusions are proliferating for the simple reason that it
is presupposed that the supernatural is impossible- there is no God.
So we end up with another lofty argument that must be taken down. 2
11-28-07 Another side of Order from chaos: Beliefs
It's a cliché, but if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Beliefs
beget policies in practical terms. It has been observed that most policy
arises reactively from the rubble of failure to plan for contingencies.
That's understandable since human beings can find unbelieveably creative
ways to break things, and nobody is prescient.. The intial source of
much needed policy can be extracted directly from the New Testament
epistles addressing policy issues in the ancient church, but contexts
need to be considered. That's at the macro level, but following the
beliefs to their logical conclusions can aid in anticipating problems
at the micro level and solving them in advance.
Finally, policies must be followed and enforced to make any difference.
while they should not be a straightjacket for quenching ministry, they
should impose order on chaos that comes when one fails to plan. I have
been told that one of my gifts is in anticipating problems before they
happen based on observation of the situation. It takes time and discernment
to do this. Leaders have to study the nuances of how to order their
stewardship of the environment God places them in. God is a God of order-
1 Corinthians 14:40 speaks in a context of the administration of Spiritual
Gifts, but I think by inference it attains in this discussion as well.
Recent posts on Educational theory
07:53pm Nov 29, 2007 EST -
On Destiny informing Education and Hudson's The
Adult Years- Mastering the Art of Self Renewal
I do believe there can be joy in the journey, to quote Frederick Buechner.
But the destination is primary, not the wandering in the wilderness
or even the pressing toward the mark, finishing the race, whatever metaphor
you choose. We who are the parapedemoi (1 Peter 1:2) have a city with
foundations as our destiny, and destiny is completely missing from this
Like so many people that I find myself ministering to, my life bears
very little resemblance to Hudson's categories, which seem to typify
a certain bourgeois view of successful living. I had a five year stint
in my Midian where God reshaped my concept of trust and success and
failure along the way that turned the predictable cycles into so much
clay that could be reformed at the potter's wheel of life. No way to
plan for falling headlong onto grace. If we know we cannot put God in
a box, why should we expect to so relegate the imago Dei?
I collect old hymnals and camp meeting songbooks from the 19th century.
Perhaps the focus on the life to come in those old songs may have lapsed
into pie in the sky, bye and bye, when I die or when I fly at some points,
but it is more to the biblical point than what neat definitions and
convenient categories Hudson offers can afford. I believe there is a
developmental aspect to life, but not so predictable as we might want
in our fallen state. We crave to be satiated in our own desire for nice
neat categories. Reminds me of Lewis's metaphor of preferring making
mudpies to a day at the beach.
Our hope is viable in the present tense but it is eschatological as
well, and it is the ending that gives the journey meaning. I was especially
interested to see Hudson's (non) resolution of human destiny into mystery.
He wants his cake and eat it too. We proclaim the mystery of faith,
indeed, but Hudson's faith in mystery is a non sequitur.As Rich Mullins
sang, when I leave I wanna go out like Elijah...but of and through and
to the Glory of God.
DISCUSSIONS - 07:26pm Nov 29, 2007 EST - Planning for a Long Life? I
know we cannot be presumptuous about how long our years on this Earth
might be. By God's grace , if I linger, I want to be viable and productive
as long as I am here. That is why Earnie and I started this journey
as I was closing in on the half century mark. It is a question of stewardship
like none other- stewardship of oneself and the image of God the individual
bears, but of our viability for service as a family unit as well. Reading
Piper's Don't Waste Your Life" and Os Guinness's the Call cemented
our resolve to do something about it.
Re.: Old teaching young: I have had the privilege of having pastors
come to me in search of a mentor-figure. I do not buy into what passes
for mentoring in much of the literature in the subject ( I think the
bibllical concept of discipleship covers the bases in a more biblical
fashion) as the concept is fraught with complications imposed by a worldly
Re.: Stratification and individuation in the Body
The stratification of the Body of Christ is indeed disturbing to me-
it is hard to find a non-age or interest group specific small group,
for instance. But beyond stratification- the contemporary evangelical
focus on the individual is more disturbing. Mark is right- the biblical
focus is on the corporate body and community, and the contemporary church,
with Baptists leading the way, has turned the corporate concept of the
priesthood of all believers into an interior and individual construct
to the detriment of the corporate nature of the Body.
News from the Cutting Edge
of Education- Technologies and Pedagogies :I monitor several newsleters
on ducation and these were culled from them this month- particularly
from Online Learnin Update.Here are some highlights for my cohort in
Of Young Adults Say They Would Choose to Go Back to School Online -
Traditional Objections Subside as Knowledge of Benefits
Increase: Six out of ten Americans say that if they had to go back to
school at some point, they'd be interested in doing it online, according
to new research released by eLearners.com... 80% of young adults ages
18 - 24 indicating they would be interested.
Wikipedia Is the Assignment - Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed
Wikipedia: time-saver for students, bane of professors
everywhere. Or is it?
Unveils YouTube Channel - California Chronicle
The University of Southern California has established
an institutional online learning Channel on YouTube as part of an ambitious
program to expand its capabilities in technology-enhanced learning and
degrees surging: Nationwide: 1 in 5 students are enrolled in an online
course - Brian Morelli, Iowa City Press-Citizen
Online enrollment is up 800 percent since 2003 and
up 25 percent since 2007.
Learning Grows More Popular - Tom Regan, Axcess News
The use of Skype, an Internet-based phone service,
for example has enhanced the teaching of foreign languages online.
Site Offers Global Collaboration on Educational Resources - Jeffrey
A Web site that provides free access to school curricula
developed through collaboration by a community of educators has won
a prestigious international award. Curriki: The Global Education and
tell universities: Get out of MySpace! - Stephen Hoare, the Guardian
Collaborative Revision with Google Docs-The sharing features of
Google Docs enable students to decide exactly who can access and edit
Learning Goes the Distance - Megan Potte, Cornell Daily Sun
Over 3.5 million students at universities across the
country took an online course last fall, according to a recent survey
by the Babson Survey Research Group.
for iPhone - Jonny Evans, MacWorld
2.0: Library Spaces Designed for Collaborative Learning - Bryan Sinclair,
Survey of Student Engagement
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) documents
dimensions of quality in undergraduate education.
on Web, Yale classroom open to public - Ruth Kim, Yale Daily News
Second Life was a big topic at the SLOAN-C
Conference. Here are three articles.
the new frontier of virtual worlds in Second Life - Penn State
Second Life More Like Real Life - Hiroko Tabuchi, Top Tech News
Look To Second Life - New Zeland Petone Herald
to Go: Facebook - Stephen Downes, Innovate
Facebook is distinctive because of its stronger roots
in the academic community.
Collaboration To Develop Open-Source Accessibility Tools - David Nagel,
to take a course at MIT free -- at home - Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh
of Institutional Repositories in the U.S. - Soo Young Rieh,et al; D-Lib
on a Shoestring - Linda L Briggs, Campus Technology
Eve: first in human computer interaction - Massey University