A Christian Philosophy of Education

What is Christian, as opposed to secular, education? How do educational theories apply? What should Christians do?

I was reading George Knight’s classic Philosophy and Education on a recent flight from Charlotte to Memphis when Paul, a young man in the seat beside me, struck up a conversation. A Punjabi Sikh, Paul had been a math teacher in an all-black classroom in Memphis, and we discussed how hard it can be to motivate students, especially when cultural and racial barriers stand in the way. The hardest question to answer is “why learn?” The most obvious reply, to get a good job and make money, is effective but limited. While we all have to eat, the human spirit needs a transcendent answer, something beyond the individual, to give meaning to learning, and to life. A metanarrative is a story that provides structure to people’s beliefs and meaning to their experiences.

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The Next Surgeon General

What should  the US Surgeon General be like?

As Donald Trump prepares to assume the presidency, media outlets are aflutter with his nominees for Cabinet positions, and office seekers are glued to telephones calling for Executive Branch jobs. Amidst the tumult, President-elect Trump should soon consider another job that must be filled. It is less powerful than many cabinet positions, but often high profile. It deals not with bombs or buildings but with health and humanity. With Ebola just behind us, and who-knows-what disease disaster just ahead of us, this job is crucial. Donald Trump must select the next Surgeon General (SG) of the United States.

C. Everett Koop (1916-2013, SG 1982-1989) had recently retired as the Surgeon General when I graduated from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1991. He was our commencement speaker, and his words shaped my thoughts as a young doctor. This article will review the job of Surgeon General, and consider some attributes that have made recent Surgeons General successful. Many have served as acting Surgeon General since the post tends to be low on Presidential appointment priority lists, but we will only consider the appointed office holders here.

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Health and the 2016 US Presidential Candidates

How important is each candidate’s health in presidential elections? How do the candidates stack up?

The 2016 Presidential Campaign is nearing its end; in only two weeks American voters will decide who, most likely Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, will sit in the Oval Office. The US presidency is a hard job, with grueling hours and the need to make critical decisions at any time, day or night. Campaigning for president is itself a tough physical endeavor, one that speaks loudly of the health of the candidates. This year has been especially bitter, with accusations and recriminations more appropriate to a college dorm than to the highest office in the land.

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