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Wrestling with the Integration of Faith and Learning In Engineering (Gen: 28 - No blessing without wrestling) Paulo F. Ribeiro Engineering Department Calvin.

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Presentation on theme: "Wrestling with the Integration of Faith and Learning In Engineering (Gen: 28 - No blessing without wrestling) Paulo F. Ribeiro Engineering Department Calvin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wrestling with the Integration of Faith and Learning In Engineering (Gen: 28 - No blessing without wrestling) Paulo F. Ribeiro Engineering Department Calvin College 2004 Fall Retreat August 30, 31, 2004

2 Wrestling with the Integration of Faith and Learning 1 – Wrestling with the Context: Caution 2 – Wrestling with Evil: Dangers 3 – Wrestling with Purpose:Glimpses of a Redeemed World 4 – Wrestling with Design: The Concept of a Baptized Engineering Design 5 – Wresting with the Profession: Perspectives from Heaven and Hell 6 – Implementation and Conclusions 7 – Confessing a Sin (Composing a Poem) 8 – Quiz

3 Wrestling with the Context Science / Modernism (limitation - reduction) Post-modernism (core concept - deny) Prosperity (simplicity - BMWs) Future (excitement – rituals) Purpose (kingdom vision - revolutionaries ) Eternity (joy – longing Heaven is not a spiritual carrot on a stick) Excellence

4 Wrestling with Purpose: Glimpses of an Redeemed World What is the Purpose of Engineering as An Activity? 1 – Exercise Dominion (Cultural Mandate, Stewardship) 2 – Minimize the Consequences of the Fall (Healing) 3 - Minimize Physical Impossibilities and Limitations (Redeeming) 4 - Help others to see and experiment glimpses of a Redeemed World (Longing for the final form – our ultimate destiny – where all the inspiration come from)

5 Wrestling with Evil The Challenges of Responsible Use of Science and Technology Man's conquest of Nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men. There neither is nor can be any simple increase of power on Man's side. Each new power won by man is a power over man as well. Each advance leaves him weaker as well as stronger. In every victory, besides being the general who triumphs, he is also the prisoner who follows the triumphal car. CS Lewis, Abolition of Man

6 "... This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists.... Now I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about science. But government involves questions about the good of man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man's opinion no added value.... On just the same ground I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They 'cash in'. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science." C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock Wrestling with Evil Government - Power

7 Wrestling with Design: The Concept of a Baptized Engineering Design Components: Imagination (inherited) Creativity (derived) Creational Norms (given) Faith (bestowed) Creativity = Design = Sub-Creation Goals: 1 - Reflect on Creation 2 - Sub-Create with passion and without fear 3 - Emphasize purpose 4 – Emphasize Value 5 – Place yourself as part of the sub-creation Creational Norms Imagination Creativity Faith

8 Wrestling with Design: The Concept of a Baptized Engineering Design Reason / LogicImagination Allows analysis Makes Connections Dissects arguments Builds propositions Allows synthesis Forge connections Heal divisions Humanizes knowledge Understands our world, Laws discerned Creates a new one Mysteries embraced Like faith: see what is unseen Like love: unites two in one Highest form: Incarnational – it brings a spiritual vision Without imagination we cannot be sub- creators

9 Wrestling with Design: The Concept of a Baptized Engineering Design ProjectImaginationCreativityCreational Design Norms (*) Faith FoodIrrigation for third world countries Local Resources Dependability, Caring, Stewardship, Sustainability, Outreaching those in need EnergyElectricity Generation Alternative Sources Dependability, Stewardship, Sustainability, Equipping those less fortunate ???? Service oriented FreedomDiversity(*) JusticeJoy (REDEEM = Reformed Engineering Design E Ethics Manifesto) (*) Cultural Appropriateness, Openness, Stewardship, Harmony, Justice, Caring, Dependability, Sustainability

10 Wrestling With The Profession: Perspectives from Heaven and Hell Adapted from Chapter 9 of The Great Divorce by CS Lewis Introduction A dialogue between a redeemed engineer (from heaven), now a Spirit, and a former earthly associate and fellow engineer, now a Ghost. The conversation takes place in heaven where the Ghost engineer comes to paradise for a visit. When the engineer from hell catches the first glimpses of the amazing landscape of heaven, with an unimaginable display of technologies and techniques, he immediately desires to be part of the teams who are working on these spectacular projects, but is mad at himself when he remembers that he forgot his computer with some of his files and programs. … Here are the details of the encounter ….

11 Perspectives from Heaven and Hell ‘Meanwhile, now!’ said my Teacher suddenly. We were standing close to some bushes and beyond them I saw one of the Solid People and a Ghost who had apparently just that moment met. The outlines of the Ghost looked vaguely familiar, but I soon realized that what I had seen on earth was not the man himself but photographs of him in the papers. He had been a famous engineer / scientist. ‘God’ said the Ghost engineer, glancing round some of the engineering constructions and technologies displayed. ‘God what?’ asked the Spirit (redeemed engineer). ‘What do you mean, “God what?’ asked the Ghost. ‘In our grammar God is a noun.’ ‘Oh – I see. I mean “By Gum” or something of that sort. I mean … well, all this. … I should like to work on new technologies like these and expand their applications.’ ‘I shouldn’t bother about that if I were you.’ ‘Look here; isn’t one going to be allowed to work on engineering projects here.’ ‘Looking comes first.’

12 Perspectives from Heaven and Hell ‘But I’ve had my look. I have seen just what I would like to do. Gosh! – I wish I had brought my computer with my old files. (Later he realized that his Windows version was 2000 years obsolete and would not work there anyway - software and hardware were integrated into one environment called Doors - Version  ). ‘That sort of thing’s no good here,’ he said. ‘What do you mean?’ said the Ghost. ‘When you worked in engineering projects on earth – at least in your earlier days – it was because you glimpsed of a world where our limitations could be overcome by an appropriate use of technology. The success of your project was measured by its ability to assist other people with their needs and to help them to think about greater possibilities. But here you are having the thing itself. It is from here that the message came. There is no good in expanding these technologies here, for we see it already – all that it can be. No revisions or updated versions.’ ‘Then there’s never going to be any point in doing engineering in this country?’ ‘I don’t say that. When you’ve grown into a Person (it’s all right, we all had to do it) there’ll be some things which you’ll see better than anyone else. But not yet. At the present your business is to see. Come and see. He is endless. Come and feed.’

13 Perspectives from Heaven and Hell ‘There was a little pause. ‘That will be delightful,’ said the engineer from the dark country presently in a rather dull voice. ‘How soon do you think I could join on the teams working with new applications of these technologies?’ it asked. The Spirit broke into laughter. ‘Don’t you see you’ll never be able to work on these projects in the way you thinking about them?’ he said. ‘What do you mean?’ asked the Ghost. ‘Why, if you are interested in the development of the country for the sake of engineering, you’ll never learn to see its real developments.’ ‘But that’s just how a real engineer is interested in the country’s developments. Electricity and Controls were your first love: you loved engineering only as a means to demonstrate the beauty and usefulness of electricity and electronics.’ ‘Oh, that’s ages ago,’ said the Ghost. ‘One grows out of that. Of course, you have not seen my latest works in fuzzy logic, real time digital simulation and even applications of superconductivity. One becomes more and more interested in engineering for its own sake.’

14 Perspectives from Heaven and Hell ‘One does, indeed. I also have had to recover from that. It was all a snare. Powerful simulation tools, paper writing and international conference presentations necessary down there, but they are also dangerous stimulants. Every researcher, college professor or professional engineer is drawn away from love of doing engineering as part of our cultural mandate and praise to the Creator, to the love of the telling others about it till, down in Deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about Him. For it does not stop at being interested in engineering, you know. They sink lower – become interested in their own personalities and then in nothing but their own reputations.’ ‘I don’t think I am much troubled in that way,’ said the Ghost stiffly. ‘That’s excellent,’ said the Spirit.’ Not many of us had quite got over it when we first arrived. But if there is any inflammation left it will be cured when you come to the fountain.’ ‘What fountain is that?’ ‘It is up there in the mountain,’ said the Spirit. “Very cold and clear, between the two green hills. A little like Lethe (oblivion). When you have drunk of it you forget forever all proprietorship in your own works. You enjoy them just as if they were someone else’s: without pride or modesty.’ ‘That will be grand,’ said the Ghost without enthusiasm.

15 ‘Of course,’ said the Ghost engineer, as if speaking to himself, ‘there will always be interesting people to meet …’ ‘Everyone will be interesting.’ ‘Oh – ah – yes, to be sure. I was thinking about people in our own profession. Shall we meet Michael Faraday, James Maxwell, Albert Einstein?’ ‘Sooner or later- if they are all here.’ ‘But don’t you know?’ ‘Well, of course not. I’ve only been here a few years. All the chances are against my having run across them … there are a good many of us, you know. Don’t you remember that the IEEE used to have over 350,000 associates when we were active members?’ ‘But surely in the case of famous engineers, noble prizes and IEEE Fellows you would hear about them?’ ‘But they are not distinguished – no more than anyone else. Don’t you understand? The Glory flows into everyone, and back from everyone: like light and mirrors. But the light is the thing.’. Perspectives from Heaven and Hell

16 ‘Do you mean there are no famous engineers here?’ ‘They are all famous They are all known, remembered, recognized by the only Mind that can give a perfect judgment.’ ‘Oh, of course, in that sense … ‘ said the Ghost engineer. ‘Don’t stop, said the Spirit, making to lead him still forward ‘One must be content with one’s reputation among posterity, then’ said the Ghost. ‘My friend,’ said the redeemed engineer. ‘Don’t you know that you and I are already completely forgotten on the Earth?’ ‘What is that?’ exclaimed the Ghost. ‘Do you mean those MBA / Virtual Engineers have won after all?’ ‘Lord love you, yes!’ Said the Spirit, shining with laughter. ‘You could not get $25 an hour for you consulting fees even in Europe or America. We are dead out of fashion.’ ‘I must be off at once,’ said the Ghost from Hell. ‘Let me go! Damn it all, one has one’s duty to the future of Engineering. I must go back to my friends. I must write a new paper, start an advanced technical working group and become the editor of a new engineering journal. I must restore my engineering reputation and have plenty of publicity. Let me go. This is beyond a joke.’ And without listening to the redeemed engineer’s reply, the shadow from the dark country vanished. Perspectives from Heaven and Hell

17 Implementation and Conclusions Implementation Short Weekly or Daily Reflections (avoid the temptation to use scripture/prayer as a ritual) Contextualize: E-Mail articles, ideas, questions ….. Examples: What is wrong with this picture? Perspectival Reading Assignments (The Tulip – Kalsbeek) Perspectival Questions (Tests / Exams / Papers) One Final Discussion Period Conclusions Be Aware Science / Modernism, Post-modernism, Prosperity, Future, Purpose, Eternity Integrate: Imagination, Creativity, Creational Norms, Faith Our Prayer: Ps. 90:17..,. Confirm the work of our hands.

18 Our End: Your Design First it was magnets and blinking lights; then transistor radios and motor bikes … Delight after delight. Then came the equations, integrals and differentiations; mysteries to be embraced, problems to be unfolded. But for what end? To create, control and redeem, I was told. Now, after years of seeking for the right sight … from irrigation projects to satellites I continue to struggle for your blessing and insight… For the designs you have called me to create…. I see now that all my life, for this end I was made

19 The New Jerusalem: Rev. 21 and 22 Evaluate the design? (take home quiz)

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