BIB 373 Contemporary Issues      Instructor: Bruce Terry
Section: 01  Room: NC 271        Day/Time: TTh 3:00-3:50pm
Office: Stotts (NC), Room 20A    Telephone: 304/485-7384 ext. 153
Office Hours: M-F 1-2pm; 4-5pm   E-mail:


A Study Bible (such as the Harper's Study Bible or the NIV Study Bible; please limit yourself to the Revised Standard, the New American Standard, the New International, or the New Revised Standard versions, but the instructor will be using the Revised Standard Version)
Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament
Campolo, 20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid to Touch
Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (6th ed.)
Harvey, Writing with Sources

Course Description

This course will focus on issue of doctrinal, moral, and social import in the church and world today. It will emphasize understanding both sides of a question, but also making a decision based on scripture as to which is the side that God would have a Christian choose.

Course Objectives

  1. To acquaint the student with various doctrinal, moral, and social issues of our time and the arguments associated with each.
  2. To develop an academic understanding of a valid hermenuetical process used in relating the Bible to these issues.
  3. To enable the student to utilize a rhetorical process of argumentation in order to come to some decision on these issues.
  4. To help the student come face to face with the scriptures which bear on these issues, thus providing a faith building experience for the student.

Attendance and Tardies

Attendance in class is mandatory; it will be part of the basis for the grade given. If you cannot attend for good reason, either notify me beforehand or as soon as possible afterward. This applies even if you have an excused absence. You will be expected to do all work of any classes missed, except for pop quizzes and daily homework. If you do not intend to attend regularly, kindly withdraw from the class now.

Do NOT miss class simply because you do not have an assignment finished. Do NOT miss class if you can possibly come; save any absences for sickness or death in the family. If you have an extended illness, please contact me to let me know.

Kindly try to be a class on time. If you are consistently tardy for no good reason, I reserve the right to count three tardies as an absence.

If you have to leave early, please inform me before class. Do not schedule extra work, doctor's appointments, etc. during class time if at all possible. If you are too frequent in leaving early, I reserve the right to count early departures as a partial absence, adversely affecting your grade.

Absences may be excused if you bring me documentation that you were ill, involved in an accident, on school business, or there was a death in the immediate family. More than three hours of unexcused absences will result in your being dropped from the course. You may pay a fine and petition to be reinstated. Additional unexcused absences will result in your being dropped without future reinstatement. No credit will be given for a course in which absences, both excused and unexcused, total more than 25% of the hours of the course (i.e., more than 8 class periods).

Office Hours

I will be in my office ten hours during the week as outlined above. If you have class conflicts with my office hours, you can schedule another time with me. Appointments during office hours will be given precedence over drop-ins, but if you need to see me about something and don't have an appointment, come on up to my office and I will try to squeeze you in. If you need help, please use my office hours. You may also see me both before and after class as time permits. I will be available for extended conferences after class hours if it does not interfere with another class or chapel. No appointment will usually be necessary to see me at this time. If I am not in my office at office hours after a class, check my last classroom to see if a student has detained me there or in the computer lab since I also serve as webmaster at OVC. Please feel free to interrupt me in either situation.


Your grade for the class will be based on two major exams (including a comprehensive final exam), three typed three-page papers, attendance, presentations and participation, and grades from pop quizzes over the reading, collected in-class work, and collected homework. The three-page papers should be presentation of arguments for or against a position on three different issues: 1) a doctrinal issue discussed in class; 2) a social issue discussed in class; and 3) a an issue of your choosing not discussed in class.

The three-pages papers on issues should follow the following format: an introduction of the question, a statement of the claim, three to five arguments favoring the claim, an objection to the claim, an answer to the objection, and a conclusion. The paper may answer two objections, but answers to objections should not be a substitute for arguments favoring the claim.

The three-pages are three full pages, not counting the cover sheet (required) and bibliography (also required). One page is defined as 27 double-spaced typewritten lines (counting the title, but not your name or page numbers) with 1" margins. The typed papers should be written using the Turabian style guide.

Exam questions can come from the lectures or assigned readings from either the textbooks or the Pentateuch. The final exam will cover material from the whole course.

Class will be excused for students attending the World Missions Workshop at OCUSA. Students will be expected to attend at least a one hour class for each hour missed and turn in a one- page report on the class attended. The reports will count as attendance grades.

Ten points will be given for attendance. One point will be deducted for each class missed, including those missed for illness. The only exception to this will be those who miss on official school business and have an official notice to this effect. Two grace days will be given to allow for absences due to illness and excused absences for official school business. Note well: Grace days will be applied first to excused absences.

Additional readings/quizzes/essays/maps may be assigned.

The final grade will be based on your work in the following way:

          3-page paper on doctrinal issue                   10%
          3-page paper on social issue                      10%
          3-page paper on issue of your choice              10%
          Attendance                                        10%
          Pop Quizzes/Homework                              10%
          Presentation and Participation                    10%
          Midterm Exam                                      20%
          Final Exam                                        20%

Only in the area of Essays and Maps will any extra credit be allowed to exceed these percentages. Your final grade will be A, B, C, D, or F. An A will be given for an average of 100-90, a B for 89-80, a C for 79-70, a D for 69-60, and an F for any average below 60.

All work is expected to be turned in on time. If for some reason you cannot make the due date, please ask my permission to turn the work in late. Late homework is accepted at only half credit, since the answers will often be given in class. Any of the three 3-page typed papers turned in late will dock the paper grade by one-half letter (5%) per class period late.

Students who are absent on exam days with good reason may schedule a make-up exam within the next week. You must ask to take a make-up exam.

Students who score less than a 70 on a major exam may petition to retake the exam within a week after grades are returned on it. The highest grade on any retake exam will be 70. Once again, you must ask to retake an exam. There will be no retakes on the final exam. Study hard for it.


Plagiarism is the presentation of another person's work as your own, whether you mean to or not. Copying or paraphrasing passages from another writer's work without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Translating passages from another writer's work in another language without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Copying another writer's work without putting the material in quotation marks is plagiarism, even if credit is given. Allowing another writer to write any part of your essay is plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious crime. The maximum penalty at OVC is expulsion from the college.

Plagiarism is easy to avoid. Simply acknowledge the source of any words, phrases, or ideas that you use. If you're not sure how to quote or paraphrase a source or if you need help with the format of endnotes or bibliographies, check with me. While you can (and in fact should) seek the help and advice of friends, classmates, and tutors, be sure that your written work is completely your own.

MAJOR EXAM DATES:   Exam 1 -- Thursday, October 14, 1999
                    Final Exam -- Thursday, December 16, 1999
                                  8:00 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Course Plan

 8/26/99 -- Introduction to the Course

            homework: read Hays, chapters 11 and 13
 8/31/99 -- The Role of Scripture in Moral Decisions
            homework: read Hays, chapter 18
 9/ 2/99 -- Abortion

 9/ 7/99 -- Abortion
 9/ 9/99 -- Abortion

 9/14/99 -- Baptism
 9/16/99 -- Baptism

 9/21/99 -- Baptism
            homework: Paper #1 Due
                      read Hays, chapter 14
 9/23/99 -- War and Capital Punishment

            homework: read Campolo, chapter 14
 9/28/99 -- War and Capital Punishment
 9/30/99 -- War and Capital Punishment
Inman Forum

            homework: read Campolo, chapter 3
10/ 5/99 -- Women Preachers, Deacons, Elders
10/ 7/99 -- Women Preachers, Deacons, Elders

10/12/99 -- Women Preachers, Deacons, Elders
10/14/99 -- Midterm Exam
World Mission Workshop--OCUSA
Huffard Forum

            homework: read Campolo, chapter 12
10/19/99 -- Euthanasia
            homework: Paper #2 Due
10/21/99 -- Euthanasia

10/26/99 -- Instrumental Music
10/28/99 -- Instrumental Music

            homework: Read Hays, chapter 16
11/ 2/99 -- Homosexuality
            homework: Read Campolo, chapter 9
11/ 4/99 -- Homosexuality

            homework: Read Hays, chapter 15
11/ 9/99 -- Divorce and Remarriage
            homework: Read Campolo, chapter 17
11/11/99 -- Divorce and Remarriage

11/16/99 -- Divorce and Remarriage
            homework: Paper #3 Due
                      read Campolo, chapter 7
11/18/99 -- Prayer in Public Schools
Last Day to Drop a Class with a "W"--Stick with it to the end!


11/28/99 -- Prayer in Public Schools
11/30/99 -- Speaking in Tongues

12/ 5/99 -- Speaking in Tongues
12/ 7/99 -- Speaking in Tongues

WEEK SIXTEEN: Final Exam Week
            homework: study for final exam
12/16/99 -- Final Exam (8:00-9:50am)

N. B.: Homework is listed before the class for which it is due!


Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs before or immediately after your first scheduled class meeting. After your disability has been verified, your instructor will work with you and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.

Last updated September 8, 1999.
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