Thursday, August 18, 2011

Information Literacy

Information Literacy

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents

  1. God supports the concept of information literacy.
    1. We could read about that from Deuteronomy 13, how that a prophet who gives a sign and the sign comes true, must be rejected if he tries to lead people away from God.
    2. We could read about that from 1 Kings 13, where God gave a young prophet explicit instructions, but an older prophet lied to the young man. And the young man died for believing and acting on a lie.
    3. We could read about that from 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
    4. We could read about that from Acts 17:11, “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the world with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
  2. Don’t believe everything you hear. Don’t believe everything you read. Even if you hear it from a great, trusted, bright well-educated, passionate, and gifted speaker.
    1. Have you ever seen that bulletin article telling us that NASA scientists discovered a missing day way back in history? Then, someone remembered the day that God made the sun stand still (Joshua 10:13) and the day the shadow on the sundial ran backwards 10 degrees for Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:10-11), thus proving that the Bible is true. The Bible is true, but NASA hasn’t proven that.
      1. Scientists and historians can’t even agree on the year that the Lord was born.
      2. They have no reference point from which to identify a missing day centuries before the birth of Christ.
      3. Hoax. Used by some to demonstrate the gullibility of believers.
    2. Have you read the Internet article about the lesson behind the folded burial cloth in the tomb of Jesus? Claims that it was Jewish custom for the master to fold the napkin when he was done with his meal. That told servants he was done so they could clean up. Folded burial cloth tells us that Jesus was done with death.
      1. There was no such dinner custom with the Jews.
      2. Even if there was, it’s quite a leap from a dinner napkin to a burial cloth.
    3. Have you ever heard a preacher speak from John 21 and tell us that Jesus twice used “agape/agapeo” when he asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Peter twice answered with, “Lord, You know I phileo/love you.” Peter wouldn’t dare use the word agape because it’s the highest form of love. Text says otherwise, “Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, Do you love Me?”
      1. In the NT there’s far more overlap between agape and phileo than some realize.
      2. 1 John 2:15, “Do not love (agapeo) the world or the things in the world…”
      3. 2 Timothy 4:10, “Demos has forsaken me, having loved this present world…”
    4. The buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee email. Put buzzard in a 6x8 box with no top and he’ll be trapped because buzzards have to have a 10-12 step running start to fly. Wrong! Buzzards have not read the email.

Information literacy is the ability to know when there is a need for information and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information.

No one is as ignorant as the one who does not know that he does not know. No one is as dishonest as the one who selectively sorts information and keeps only the parts that agrees with him.

Philosophically and practically, we can’t teach you all that you will need to know to serve and lead effectively for the rest of your life. We can’t give you that many facts. Even if we could, truth must be applied lovingly and faithfully every day that we live.

Rather than pretending that we can do more than is possible. We take a different approach. We teach God’s truth. We’re happy to teach facts. But we know that we must also teach you how to learn. God forbid that you complete your education here. We want you to enhance your education. We want you to learn how to learn more broadly and more effectively.

Visit the HCU website. Visit the library section. Read about information literacy. Great stuff there.

  • Definitions of terms.
  • “Hierarchy of Research Resources.” At the base, Broad, General info like Wikipedia. OK place to start for general ideas and an overview. Moves up to essays in popular publications, popular books, specialized dictionaries, scholarly books, referenced/peer reviewed journal articles, to Scripture.

    All information sources are not created equal.

    Some are purposefully biased and misleading.

    Some think they telling the truth when they don’t have a clue.
  • Guidelines in researching, first steps in researching, tips for finding information.

No substitute for critical thinking. Critical thinking is not negative. It’s “lights on.” It’s evaluating, weighing and measuring. It’s testing and exploring. It’s identifying inconsistencies as well as strengths. It’s not being afraid to say, “Those dots don’t connect. This author just made a leap that makes no sense.”

I don’t mean to be rude, but you can read on the internet from people with major academic credentials that Jesus of Nazareth never lived, that he was John’s gay lover, that he was mentally ill, that his death was faked, that his resurrection was faked, that the gospels offer contradictory fictionalized accounts of his life, and more.

Maddog Adams story. “Half of what I’ll teach you in this course will one day be proven untrue. Trouble is, I don’t know which half.” I love the fundamental humility toward the human side of knowledge. As we learn better, we do better. We need to be correctable.

On the other hand, we have complete confidence in the divine side of knowledge. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10).

1 comment:

  1. How true. God gave us a brain, and he expects us to use it. Thanks Bill for a great post.