Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A "Final" Post

Greetings, fellow theologians, and thank you for the pleasure of your company on M/W afternoons this semester.  I've greatly enjoyed our class and the topics we've discussed.  Thank you for your commitment to the scholarly study of the Christian faith.

For this "final" post of the semester, below are the options for taking the final exam.  Remember:  if the times listed in the early part of the week do not fit into your schedule, the designated time for the exam is definitely available to you on Friday, December 8, at 11:00 a.m.  Plan your week carefully and consult the Finals Schedule to know when your classes meet.

Looking forward to a "final" visit with you next week!
Finally, speaking of "final" things, remember to study the section on Eschatology for the final exam!
Gerald Chafin

Monday, December 4, 2:00
Monday, December 4, 3:30 (our usual class time)

Wednesday, December 6, 3:30 (our usual class time)

Friday, December 8, 11:00

AND, one more item, in Part 5 of the exam outline, the paintings listed correspond with the following Scripture passages:
John 2:1-11
II Samuel 11

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

PERSONAL CREDO - writing instructions

PERSONAL CREDO!  (I believe!)

This project is due by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22.
Submit your typed responses an attachment to

The CREDO is a well-written 4 - 7 page paper addressing a minimum of 3 of your core faith beliefs.  Follow this outline closely while writing your paper.  Notice that the A/B/C items you started for class on Wednesday, Nov. 15, (to get your CREDO going) are within the outline, but now merged into #2 and #3.

1. Share your religious background prior to taking this course.
2. As a result of this course, identify a minimum of 3 of your core faith beliefs.
(If you need help getting started, take a look at your response to WITWAIDH, Chapter 4, question two.  The question list for the book is the post immediately below this one.)  This section is the core of your CREDO, but will be the shortest of the paper.  After an introductory statement, this may be a simple listing.  More than three are welcome!
3. Critically think through (analyze) each core belief in a separate section.  
How did you obtain this value?  Write about where you currently are with this belief based on Erikson’s stages OR the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.  Erikson may be appropriate for one of your beliefs while Wesley is more suited for another.  This is more like a mix-match outfit!  (AND you are free to use other theories like those you read about in chapter 12 such as Kolhberg or Fowler!)
4.  Write a conclusion to your CREDO that includes how you are growing in faith since coming to college as well as how your faith will influence your future after college.

Finally, as you write, indicate the main sections of your CREDO in BOLD:
I. Religious Background
II. Statement of Core Faith Beliefs
III. Analysis of Beliefs
    A. Core Belief 1:  _____
B. Core Belief 2:  _____
C. Core Belief 3:  _____
IV.  Conclusion
Not for the paper, but for later reference here is our current list of Scripture readings since mid-term:
Exodus Chapters 1-5 and chapter 7
2 Samuel 11-12:24
John 2:1-11........The Wedding at Cana
John 6:1-15........The Feeding of 5,000
Mark 2:1-12 and Mark 5...Healings

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Christian Beliefs book project: What in the World Am I Doing Here?

What in the World Am I Doing Here?  

This project concludes at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4.
Submit your typed responses to the following questions via email as an attachment to

Note 1:  The entire question listing is here.  However, in most cases, you should begin with CHAPTER 5 since previous sections were completed earlier!  

Note 2:  Labeling each chapter:  As you already know, preceding each chapter in this book, a page is devoted to significant quotes.  Which quotes are meaningful to you?  
  1. As a discipline for familiarizing yourself with quote material, as you label each chapter, begin by listing your selection of meaningful quotes.
  2. Quotes may also be given from within the chapter!  There are many possibilities!
  3. To assist you, each chapter below begins with a reminder to do this!  

Chapter 1:  What in the World Am I Doing Here?
1. List your quote selections!

2.  According to the text, what does it mean that we are becoming a "utilitarian society"?  Do you agree?  

3.  In your own words, retell the story of George Washington Carver.  How might his story be your story?

Chapter 2:  Who Am I?
1. List your quote selections!

2.  Chapter 2 opens with the statement, "You are a complex person."  The chapter then works through the various stages of our life cycle.  In a well-written essay, mirror the chapter's stages of your own life and describe the self-image you developed to this point in your life.  

3.  Write a brief response to the last paragraph of page 25:  At this point in your journey, are you coming "to grips with whose you are?"

Chapter 3:  What Am I Looking For?..... This chapter is intentionally blank for a session in November!

Chapter 4:  What’s Really Real?
1. List your quote selections!

2. Ann Landers wrote "10 Rules for the Real World that You Don't Learn in School."  After seeing her list, write your own "Rules for the Real World" based on your life experience.  Write at least 5 rules with some brief reasons, or the history of why you chose the rule.

Chapter 5:  Into What Will I Invest My Life?
1. List your quote selections!

2. Have you had an experience with the death of a family member?  A friend?  Briefly tell about your experience.

3.  Imagine it’s your funeral and three persons talk about your life.  What would you like said about you?

4.  Using the “Sower and the Seed” parable referenced in the chapter, what are the thorns that choke our plans for purpose and meaning?

Chapter 6:  Can I Know God’s Will?
1. List your quote selections!

2. According to the text, what are some ways we can ascertain God’s will?

3. Have you ever felt a gentle impression or a sense that you were being guided to do something?  Tell about it.

Chapter 7:  How Can I Get the Big Decisions Right?
1. List your quote selections!

2. What are the major life decisions?

3. A distinction is made in the chapter regarding strategy and tactics.  When was a time in your life plan when you made a mistake in tactics?  In strategy?

Chapter 8:  Can I Find Satisfaction in This Life?
1. List your quote selections!

2. Despite having more, Americans are enjoying it less. Why is this so?

3. Why does a selfish lifestyle not ultimately satisfy?

Chapter 9:  Can I Change?
1. List your quote selections!

2.What does it mean to be “scripted’?

3. How has your psychological “map” changed in adulthood?

Chapter 10:  How Can I Handle Life’s Adversities?...... This chapter is intentionally blank for a session in November!

Chapter 11:  Why Be Good?
1. List your quote selections!

2. How have morals changed during your lifetime?

3. Why isn’t “tolerance” today really not tolerance at all, according to William Watkins?

4. In what significant ways does Christianity differ from other major world religions?

5. What are some moral boundaries faced by people of the Christian faith?

6. What is a “cut-flower civilization?”

7. Define “relativism.”

Chapter 12:  Can I Overcome Temptation?
1. List your quote selections!

2. Portia Nelson described the learning curve regarding temptation in an autobiography of only five chapters.  Compare your life to these stages.  Tell about different situations when you have been in various stages.

Chapter 13:  Is There Really a God?
1. List your quote selections!
2. The Apostle’s Creed begins with what statement?
3. Simply list the major arguments listed for God’s existence.  
4. Compare & Contrast the statements made by Charles Colson & C. S. Lewis.  

Chapter 14:  Is God Interested in Me?...... This chapter is intentionally blank for a session in  November!

Chapter 15:  What Does It Mean to Be Authentic?
1. List your quote selections!

2. “Interiority” is a term coined by Father John Powell.  What does it mean?

3. In a single sentence define:  False self; Ideal self; Real self; and Revealed self.
Out of which self do you primarily live?

Chapter 16:  Is It OK for Me to Dream Big Dreams?
1. List your quote selections!

2. Which person’s story in this chapter inspires you?  Why are you drawn to this particular story?

Chapter 17:  What Does God Want From Me?
1. List your quote selections!

2. Describe the paradox of faith: “One must hold on and let go at the same time.”  What does that mean to you?

Monday, September 11, 2017

LWC Christian Beliefs, Preparing for Wednesday, Sept. 13

I am incredibly excited for Wednesday's session!  Why??? .... During the discussion of the Prodigal Son, we accidentally stumbled upon a very deep layer of the parable's meaning - without catching it!  So, in preparation for the big reveal, try the following: 1.) Check out the word "prodigal" in an online dictionary.  2.) Read the passage with fresh eyes: Luke 15:11-32.  Who else deserves the title Prodigal!?!  Incredible!!

Reading and journaling for Wednesday, September 13:

1.  Bible reading - the gospel of MARK 11 - 16.
(These chapters have to do with Holy Week, the events of the death/burial/resurrection of Christ.)

2.  In What in the World Am I Doing Here? read Chapter 4, "What's Really Real?, pages 38-47.  Type and turn in your answers to the following:

     A. As we did before, notice that preceding each chapter in the book, a page is devoted to significant quotes.  As you read through the chapter content, what brief quotes are meaningful to you with the chapter itself?  Type the quotes you select and indicate the page number from the text.

     B. On page 43 is Ann Landers "10 Rules for the Real World that You Don't Learn in School."  After seeing her list, write your own "Rules for the Real World" based on your life experience.  Write at least 5 rules that you will turn in with some brief reasons why you chose the rule.

     C. Select one of your rules and share it here on the blog.  I'm looking forward to what you share. 

Directions for Posting Your "Rule for the Real World":  Simply click on the "comments" link in box just under this paragraph.  On the next page, use the 3rd option: "Name/URL."  Click at "Name/URL" and type in your name. Nothing is needed in the URL box. Type your introduction in the comments box; then click the publish button. Thank you for sharing!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

LWC Christian Beliefs, preparing for 09/11/17

Thanks for a great start into "the second quarter" of the semester.  After I looked through the upcoming readings we need to cover, let's adjust the readings for our next session to the following items:

First, give a careful reading of Chapter 3, "Jesus Christ" page 27-48 in A Faith Called Christianity.

Second, listen to both these YouTube videos.  They are the same material, from page 28, but presented differently.  Simply hand-write a brief response stating:
Which rendition do you prefer?  And,
Which phrase or section in the "poem" stands out to you from your preferred video?

(You may need to copy/paste these addresses into your web-browser.)

Third, the Bible reading (for quiz material) comes from major teachings by Jesus.  Initially, let's simply read these three sections for a good general understanding of the passage:
1.  Luke 10:30-37 (Parable)
2.  Luke 15:11-32 (Parable)
3.  Matthew, chapters 5-7 (known as "The Sermon on the Mount")

Looking forward to Monday,
Gerald Chafin

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Welcome to COMMON METER:  a distinctive merging of the definitions of common and meter to create a multi-layered meaning of these words; an observation of the rhythms in faith-life that we share.  The saying is correct, "What is most common is truly most personal."

COMMON METER is 'composed' here to bring together my academic and ministerial endeavors.  As conductor of Lindsey Wilson College choral ensembles, I will share insights about our concerts and touring.  And from the ministry of church relations at Lindsey Wilson College, this location will provide a space of reflections for ministry leaders.  Indeed, one aspect toward a deeper connection to our faith-life is discovering our common meters.

More about "Common Meter"
Meter is a term used in music and in poetry. In fact, "common meter" is an important term in hymnology; it is meter at, meaning the alternation of eight and six syllables per line or phrase. For example, the majestic Charles Wesley hymn O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing is based on common meter:
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace.

Notice that the first line is 8 syllables, the second line is 6 syllables, the third line is 8 syllables and the final line is 6 syllables. Ta-da!  Thus, the stanzas of this grand hymn are classic common meter -

Soli Deo Gloria,
Gerald Chafin
Like us on Facebook:  LindseyWilsonSingers
Follow us on Twitter: @LWC_Singers