DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Volzke Richard Year End Review

Written by: on January 3, 2017

This year’s reading stretched and pushed me to think in different ways. The Matrix of Christian Ethics: Integrating Philosophy and Moral Theology in a Postmodern Context was greatly influential. Christian ethics and human ethics do not always agree. For example, in America the debate over the legalization of same sex marriage is about to be determined by the US Supreme Court. Society’s ethics have changed when it comes to defining what marriage is in today’s culture. Nullens and Michener provided a good overview of ethical theories and views on the underlying reasons for moral failure in societies.[1] Christians must define their ethical standards using biblical truths. Many times, I have seen the church and Christians give up their values in order to be accepted by the world around them. A portion of my research this year has focused on ethics, which is an important part of an organization’s ethos when it comes to taking care of their workers. Corporate ethics involves the way an organization, as a whole, interacts with the culture they are operating in.

This year, I’ve gained a better understanding of how we think and make decisions. In The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, David Brooks states, “We are primarily the products of thinking that happens below the level of awareness.”[2] Brooks explores many ways in which society, upbringing, and experience have shaped who we are and how we react in every instance with our lives. For me, this book highlighted the insecurities within my life and how they have negatively affected my relationships with others. Having a better understanding about myself will aid me in my research project. I must be aware of how my thinking and biases can effect they way that I interpret the data. Knowing this, I will endeavor to let the information speak for itself. Brooks also touched me on a personal level. The author reminded me of many occasions in which I have blamed someone else for my own problems. When we become defensive against being hurt, we often cause hurt to others. It is by the grace of God that we can overcome our issues.

Amy Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, touched a nerve and showed me that I still harbor some prejudice against other cultures. I am a proud American, and when I feel my culture is being questioned, I take offense. This is short sighted, and I must strive to be more opened minded. I know that Americans are not always right. In fact, my wife and children are much more open-minded and accepting of other cultures. I recognize that my mindset is a trait that was developed over much time, and results from the environment in which I was raised. Because I recognize this, I can proactively check myself and avoid passing along prejudice attitudes to my children.

Throughout this year I have learned that I must guard my ethics and stand on biblical truth. Why and how I make decisions has more to do with my subconscious than conscious mind and I still have many of my American white middle class traits. I recognize that I have a long way to go when it comes to being like Christ. This DMin program has exposed many things that I need to change in my own life and leadership, and I appreciate the challenges that I am presented with.

 

[1] The Matrix of Christian Ethics: Integrating Philosophy and Moral Theology in a Postmodern Context (Intervarsity Pr: I, 2010).

[2] Brooks, David (2011-03-08). The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement . Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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Richard Volzke

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