Monday, June 15, 2015

Answer to Prayer for power to discuss evaluativism

I asked you to pray for God's help in developing power to engage in a godly discussion of the event we are planning. Here's an update about how that prayer has been answered thus far:

Prior to our meeting on June 13th, Erin Simmons introduced me to Prezi, which I used to develop a lecture aimed at deepening understanding of evaluativism and evaluative diversity. I think it is my most rigorous treatment thus far. If we measure success based on how much it convinced others that this topic could (and should) be discussed at a "professor-level", then it was very successful. Thank God for this advance!

I also developed an "interdependent meal". Each person was given food that is not satisfying by itself, but would be delicious if combined with the food given to others (I will never forget the annoyance in Ben's voice when he blurted out, "All you gave me is a stack of tortillas!"). The meal allows even non-professors to experience the plight of the most specialized (e.g. Aspies, die-hard conservatives, compulsive inventors, highly sensitive persons, etc.): bringing something to the table that is valuable only if others contribute as well. I thank God for the inspiration, and for help in figuring-out how to make the meal work (if any chef wants to develop their own version--I'd love to compare notes).

When our team first met on the 13th, we each took a self-assessment, developed by Erin, of our personal understanding of evaluativism and evaluative diversity. It included rating ourselves on a scale of one to ten (ten being "I could have a doctorate in this topic"). The group median was four. When we repeated the self-assessment, some people rated themselves even lower. I put myself at an eight--for years I've been studying this topic and unsuccessfully seeking someone with greater understanding. To put it bluntly, we are not on the same page, and one person even said he doubts the gap will close before the event takes place.

That really touched me. What could be more godly than the willingness to work with people who are not on the same page? What could be more godly than to commit to develop a conversation about a topic that is not one's own? Our meeting took place at the United Methodist Conference, where clergy were ordained and commissioned for service--it is a great blessing to be working with people who seek to serve.

Already, we have witnessed remarkable response to your prayers, and I hope you will keep praying for power to engage in a godly discussion of the event we are planning. Each of us is working on developing our own "elevator speech," and will begin to share our speeches with each other in July. Each of us also brought home Lee Daniel's "The Butler," and an annotated bibliography of other sources to study. There will be many opportunities for divine assistance--please keep praying.

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