Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Ethics problems in law, education inform message on Christian ethics in biblical story of widow's offering

Last Sunday, it was my privilege to deliver a message on "Christian ethics," arising from Mark 12:41-44, at my local church in Barrington, R.I.

The service is posted on the church website. The message begins at about 31 minutes and runs about 24 minutes in duration.

I used two problems in conventional ethics as jumping off points: one, from legal ethics, a lawyer's unintentional acquisition of privileged records produced mistakenly in discovery; and two, from higher education, a student's unintended acquisition of an unfair academic advantage.

I used the term "doing ethics," which I borrow from, though it is not unique to, the work of Bob Steele (no relation), Jay Black, and Ralph Barney, with a powerful assist by Lou Hodges, in journalism ethics in the 1990s. I was privileged to have a front-row seat when they worked out the revised code of ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists at that time, especially the game-changing "Minimize Harm" principle.

In crafting the church message, I am indebted especially to mentors Eric D'Agostino and Scotty Neasbitt, who helped me navigate the research; and to my church leadership, including Dan Harrington, who writes thought provokingly for the ProJo; and, always, to my wife, an unflinching editor.

I note that, as always, this blog is personal and not affiliated with nor controlled by my employer. Sometimes content on this blog serves both to inform the public and to educate my students about the law. This posting, however, concerns religious belief and is exclusively personal in nature. No public resources nor on-the-job time was used in the work of the above-described message, nor in the production of this blog post. At the same time, of course, readers of any and every religious tradition and belief system are welcome on this page and at The Savory Tort, just as all students are welcome and encouraged in my classroom.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Advice for New Law Students, 2019 Edition

New law students, allow me to refer you to and to recommend my 3Ps for 1Ls (2018).

This morning my pastor preached on Proverbs 15:31-33.  It occurs to me that the teaching, which deals with spiritual maturation, is especially appropriate and extrapolatable to the start of the school year, for us all, teachers and students, of any level, and, to be sure, of any faith.  Here's the NIV:

31 Whoever heeds life-giving correction
    will be at home among the wise.
32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
    but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,
    and humility comes before honor.

Pastor Kim pointed out that there's a difference between a "wise guy" and a wise person, and the latter takes work.  (Aug. 18.)  Verse 32 is especially intriguing: "[O]ne who heeds correction gains understanding."  

The words for "discipline" and "correction" in verse 32 vary with translations.  But I think it's fair to say (not being a scholar of these things) that the Hebrew words put a little more rebuke and reproof into the former and a little more instruction and rectification into the latter.

As is often the case with Proverbs, this is good advice that goes beyond faith and has application in commonsense life.  In our academic pursuits, we should always be open to correction.  Pastor Kim laid out correction, even rebuke, as sine qua non of learning and growing.

Pastor Kim also pointed to the word "humility" in verse 33.  The antithesis of pride, humility renders us susceptible of correction, and therefore ready to grow in knowledge, intellect, and wisdom.

Happy new academic year!  Be humble and get wise.