During the last seven weeks, through the assignments, course materials, and readings, we’ve touched on many issues; some of which may have provoked some measure of emotional response for you. Because of personal experience, for example, you may view things differently than what the textbook authors present. Perhaps your work in the criminal justice field reveals a world that is less ordered than a textbook. There are no chapters, headings, and text in the real world, but rather the sights, sounds, and smells reveal conflict, hardship, abuse, as well as moments of contentment and enjoyment. Or maybe your goal is to one day work in the criminal justice field to bring change to some of the injustices of this system that you or someone close to you has experienced such as abuse, racism, prejudicial treatment, and more. Possibly your learning from the course materials has brought clarification to an issue that puzzled you for some time.
Furthermore, studying the criminal justice system through a biblical worldview may be new for you. Restorative justice rather than retributive justice may conflict with your thinking. How can one regard a murderer, by way of illustration, as a person with inherent value to a loving God? Whom we too are to love, nonetheless. We’ve learned that God created human beings to be his image bearers, to be fruitful, increase in number, fill the earth, subdue it, rule over the fish, birds and living creatures (Genesis 1:28 NIV), and this undertaking eventually leads to the development of governments and regulations to bring order and well-being. God meant for these authorities to be servants for our good (Romans 13:4), to prevent vigilantism by “overcoming evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
For this reflection paper, consider your understanding of the course materials as it compares to your experiential learning associated with life or employment.
1. What one issue comes to mind?
2. Describe this issue in detail. (Does it bring conflict, clarification, contemplation, or something other?)
3. How does this issue relate to the course materials?
4. What learning have you derived from this personal analysis?