Banish Laptops from Classrooms?

I am a professor and have recognized the distraction of having students in class with laptops (connected to the internet). It is somewhat disconcerting for all when I am discussing with my class the diagnostics of a Piel verb and a student is scrolling down his Facebook page. Is this a distraction for the teacher AND other students?  One prof reported that, “Ninety-five percent [of students] admitted that they had used their laptops for ‘purposes other than taking notes.'” If this is true, (for those few students who are reading this blog), should laptops be banned from the classroom or as one university has done: have the ability to shut down internet access in the classroom when it is not needed? See this Washington Post online article that deals with this issue and let me know what you think.

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Faith & Scholarship

In the same  vein of Michael Fox (see my previous post),  Alan Lenzi , professor in the Humanities at University of the Pacific, argues in his blog that faith-based positions on biblical interpretations have no place in scholarship and in the membership of SBL. Lenzi states, “So when people start saying things based on faith instead of reasons and said assertions are tolerated by the editors, then there is an implicit approval that such constitutes scholarship. Is that what we want in the SBL?” And “I am not saying that people of faith (or Evangelicals) should be excluded from the SBL and its publications. I am not saying that non-faith-based scholarship is objective. I am merely saying that interpretations of the biblical text that are only rooted in assertion, particularly assertions that come from religious dogma, should be excluded from scholarly discourse in the SBL.”

I wonder why a critical study of the Bible cannot lead one to faith and thus still be scholarship? Is not faith a result of study?  Granted, faith is a presupposition for some in the study of the Bible but so is a lack of faith for others.

Lenzi is reacting to  Bruce Waltke (the offending evangelical) and his book review of Michael Fox’s  Proverbs (vol 2).

People Are Watching

I have suggested on numerous occasions that people are watching how evangelicals “do” marriage.  This Lisa Miller’s article from Newsweek is a healthy reminder for that observation: “But when evangelicals are leading the charge in the marriage movement (and now, the anti-gay-marriage movement) arguing that sacred unions between one man and one woman are good for society because they’re good for children, one would hope that they’d have worked out the kinks a little better than the rest of us.” The sad truth: “According to the Pew Forum, evangelicals are more likely to be divorced than Roman Catholics, Mormons, the Eastern Orthodox, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and atheists.”

If we desire people to listen to our message, we need to get this thing we called marriage right. The world is watching.