You know those presentations or sermons that raise numerous questions in your mind yet leave you with no opportunity to voice those questions or delve into the material in a more meaningful way?
Yes, I know this feeling well. When these questions are dealing with the existence of God or the reliability of the Bible it is vital that we provide educational environments aimed at increasing the curiosity of young minds. Impact 360 strives to provide an active learning environment that encourages students to mentally engage their minds with both the professor and their peers while working through biblical worldview, servant leadership, and vocational questions.
Our fall term is jump started by JP Moreland, Distinguished Chair of Philosophy at Biola University. With intelligence and wit he explains how we love God with our minds, the renovation of the soul, and how the Holy Spirit’s power brings restoration. Del Tackett, founder of the Truth Project, details God’s plan and purpose from creation through consummation. Students then tackle questions dealing with the nature of truth with Jonathan Morrow who leads them through epistemological case studies.
Dr. Glenn Gentry from Columbia International University challenges these millennials to defend their beliefs as he immerses them in worldviews such as Scientific Naturalism and Postmodern Relativism. Atheist Christopher Hitchens’ book God is Not GREAT, prepares students for a critical thinking module taught by Dr. John Winged from Covenant College. And lastly Dr. Frank Turek brings the fall to a close by teaching on the evidence for the existence of God.
An important part of each week is the Academy. The Academy is a unique seminar designed to foster curiosity through active learning techniques such as the Socratic method, small group discussion, case studies, and debate. In a recent Academy students were divided into groups to debate three questions:
Does science make belief in God obsolete?
Can man be moral without God?
Have religion’s cultural contributions outweighed the conflicts it has provoked?
Although they had read both Christian and non-Christian authors on worldview issues and enjoyed rich discussions about these ideas, they had yet to directly tackle these specific questions. It was encouraging to see how much each student had grown in his or her ability to think well and provide substantive arguments. This class has been positioned well as we move into the spring when we will launch into ethical issues and tactics for engaging the culture.
Do you know the Truth? How do you know? Watch the Impact 360 Gap Year students from the class of 2016 present their case to the question “What is Truth?” in this video.