Topic: Lab Project Phase 1
Both Discussion Board assignments for this course relate directly to the lab project that is posted in the Course Content. This lab project poses the question, “Is there a relationship between frequency of church attendance and the level of understanding of basic Christian doctrine?” For your first DB forum, read the excerpt from an original article that appeared in the Baptist Message in August 2011 (Quarles, 2011), posted in the Course Content section. Then answer the following prompts.
- Summarize the excerpt in several sentences. Include in your summary a list of the main Christian doctrines that students are failing to grasp.
- Think about the research question: Is there a relationship between frequency of church attendance and the level of understanding of basic Christian doctrine? In order to conduct a study, a psychologist must first establish the null and research hypotheses that will guide the research design and data analysis. (The types of hypotheses are reviewed in Module 1.) Based on the given research question and your reading, state a null hypothesis and a research hypothesis (otherwise known as an alternative hypothesis) for the lab project. Note that we are not stating a hypothesis for the Quarles study, but for the lab project study with the given research question.
- Share your thoughts: Based on your own opinion, what do you predict the results of such a study might be?
Lab Project Excerpt
The following text is the basis for the Lab Project and Discussion Board Forums. The excerpt is taken from:
Quarles, C. (2011, August 18). Southern Baptists must learn to ‘choose our battles wisely.’ [Louisiana] Baptist Message.
You are not required to read the entire article, but if you wish to read it, it has been included in the Module/Week 3 Additional Materials folder.
“For the last three years, Louisiana College has administered a newly-developed BASE (Belief Assessment of Spiritual Essentials) exam to incoming freshmen to determine how well they understand the essential doctrines of the Christian faith.
These are not the lofty doctrines that only erudite ivory tower theologians discuss and debate in the back rooms of dusty libraries; these are essential gospel truths that a person must understand and believe to be considered truly Christian.
Such doctrines include humanity’s sinful and lost condition, Jesus’ identity as God, the necessity of faith in Jesus for salvation, and our Lord’s bodily resurrection.
Here are some of our discoveries:
· 78 percent believe that all people are basically good and have no real need for a Savior
· 65 percent cannot identify a simple definition of new birth in a multiple-choice question. They think that being ‘born again’ means experiencing reincarnation or transmigration in which a person who has died returns to earth in another life form so that they can make up for the sins of the past.
· 54 percent think that faith in Jesus is unnecessary for salvation. In their view, as long as a person believes in a god and has fallen in love with him, her, or it, he is right with that god.
· 42 percent believe that people go to heaven because of their personal morality rather than because of Jesus’ sacrificial death.
· 32 percent do not know that Christianity affirms the Deity of Jesus Christ, even though the NT repeatedly insists that faith in Jesus as God is necessary for salvation.
· 25 percent do not know that Christianity claims that Jesus literally rose from the dead.
Overall, our freshmen scored a 67 percent on the BASE exam, a failing grade, despite the fact that 90 percent of the college’s incoming freshmen claim to be Christians and nearly 60 percent of them grew up in our own Louisiana Baptist churches!”