Foundations of Christian Thought
Due: Beginning of class, date required (see syllabus). Submit both hard copy and electronic version.
Purpose: To engage on a thoughtful level with those who live outside our immediate worldview context (Biola
University/American evangelical), in order better to understand their thinking and values.
Between now and the due date, you and another class member will electronically or in person interview at least two
people, using the ten questions listed below. (You might approach the interviews by explaining that you are students at
Biola University, taking a class that is concerned with understanding the thinking of people in our culture. As a class
assignment you are looking for a couple of people who would be willing to answer ten questions on a questionnaire.
“Would you be willing to do that?”) (If you do this in person, follow the guidelines and be wise and safe as you do so.)
You may not interview Biola students, staff, or faculty. Don’t interview someone you know to be a Christian
(unless there is some question of their spiritual status, and this would open significant doors of ministry).
Aim to have one interviewee under 40 and one 40 or older.
Instructions for the interviews (take thorough notes):
Be sure to write down the age, gender, and marital status of each interviewee.
0 Ask the following questions (also listed on separate sheet):
1. How would you define happiness?
2. What qualities make a person SLlCC€SSfi1f in life?
3. What qualities make a person a good person?
4. Are there any absolute or objective standards of right and wrong? If so, what are they?
5. At this point, what is the highest priority of your life?
6. If someone asked you to explain to them your philosophy of life (what you live by), what would you say? What
reasons would you give to justify your answer?
7. What is your view concerning the existence of God or the nature of ultimate reality? What reasons would you
give to justify your answer?
8. In your view, what is the most basic or fundamental human problem?
9. Is there a solution to the most basic human problem? If so, what is it?
10. What question do you most wish you could answer in your life?
Discuss the interviews with your partner and pray for each interviewee.
Submit a reflection paper that includes the following:
Separate Title page, stapled to:
Single-spaced, one-page reflection on the experience. Do not list the details of the interviewee’s answers; only
summarize as needed in order to illuminate your reflection. What I want is your thoughtful, considered reflections
about the interviews and the interviewees’ views.
One or some of these questions may help as you reflect:
Were there common threads – responses (reflecting thinking and/ or values) that were common to all or most
interviewees? In what areas? How would you explain this? Does this suggest any significant patterns?
Were there significant differences in their responses? Along what lines? Were there significant differences in
responses according to age, gender, or marital status? Race? Socio-economic status? Does this suggest any
0 What or who surprised you most during the interview?
How will this experience affect your interaction/ sharing with non-Christians?
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