C2QMA – PDSA

Christianity, Citizenship, and Quality Management Apologetic concept (C2QMA). Apologetics is the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through systematic argumentation and discourse. Wikipedia

PDSA Examples

“Jesus is the perfect apologist and critical thinker.” If you take any example of how Jesus addressed people and topics, he has the “perfect” (ideal) response that I think falls within a “predictable” format: Motivation, Action, Feedback, Learning. These components can be aligned within a cycle for learning and development referred to as the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle.

  • Plan – Motivation
  • Do – Act
  • Study – Feedback
  • Act – Learning

Overall Premise: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mathew 5:48, NIV).  Striving to be more perfect requires that variation from the ideal be reduced – the gap between the actual situation and what the ideal or perfect situation would/should be.

For every student of Apologetics, isn’t the expectation that students will learn to be a more effective apologist which will result in bringing more people to Christ?  If so, wouldn’t this be an example of “reducing variation?”

Take any example of Jesus’ interaction with people:

  • Motivation.  What was Jesus’ motivation?
  • Action: Given a respective situation, what did he do and say?
  • Feedback:  What was the result of his actions on others?  Was variation reduced, e.g. did his actions have positive effects, were more needs met?
  • Learning: What was learned by those that heard or later read about the situation? What did they do with what they learned? What has been the effect of their respective contributions?

Application from the Perspective of God

  • Motivation: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
  • Action:  God gave His only begotten Son who provided the example for perfect, taught, provided examples, recruited disciples, performed miracles, was crucified, died, buried, and resurrected.  His life validated prophecies in the Old Testament and his life and works are documented in the New Testament.
  • Feedback.  For over 2,000 years, individuals have accepted the truth of Christianity and embraced God’s plan for them. Many in turn have shared the gospel and brought even more people to Christ.
  • Learning.  The Apologetics Master Program at CCU is an example of building a capability to expand the number of apologists to reach even more people. And with current communication technologies, there are EVEN more opportunities to reach more people by providing the right message, at the right time to the right audience.

The Case for Christ. A practical application to help assess the format for learning and development is Lee’ Strobel’s “The Case for Christ”. His book was also turned into a movie.  When reading the book or viewing the movie, can you answer the following questions?

  • Motivation. What led to Strobel’s desire to challenge and then “Make the Case” for Christ?
  • Action. What did he do to confirm or refute his theory?
  • Feedback. What information did he obtain that convinced him of the Truth of Christianity?
  • Act. How did he apply what he learned? How was this shared with others? What has been the effect and long-term result?  One of the outcomes led to the development of the Apologoetiuc program at CCU.

The Master’s Program in Apologetics at CCU provides another illustration.

  • The “motivation” includes the desire to bring more people to Christ.
  • The “Action” is represented by the course curriculum.
  • The “Feedback” would include student evaluations and feedback, enrollments, and the success of graduates. Feedback would also be used to make course and program improvements.
  • The “Story” (Learning) would include how the program is marketed and the testimony from students on the success they have had in applying their new skills and capabilities in bringing more people to Christ.

Students

  • Motivation – What motivated you to enroll in a course/program?  What are your expectations?
  • Action – Includes enrolling in a course and meeting requirements.
  • Feedback – Provided throughout each session by the instructor and fellow students
  • Learning – Continually refining respective apologetic methods. Further and future learning and application opportunities are supported through repeated cycles of the PDSA.

Personal Example

My father was told by his doctor that he needed to adopt a better diet and exercise program or his health would continue to deteriorate and would lead to a shorter life. With the love and support of my mother and family (Motivation), my Dad changed his habits (Action).  The Feedback provided by the Doctor indicated that the changes were effective. My dad lived a healthier and longer life (Learning/Story).

Deming reinforced that application of the PDSA Cycle or process is executed in the context of a system that can lead to profound knowledge:  

  • Psychology (Motivation)
  • Systems (Action)
  • Variation (Feedback)
  • Knowledge (Learning)

In summary, regardless of the level – scholars to children, isn’t the aim always to reduce variation from the ideal that can be supported through a shared method?

APL C2QMA Concept

Christian, Citizenship, and Quality Management Apologetic (C2QMA)

“Apologetics derives from the Greek word apologia, “to give an answer.” 1 Peter 3:15 gives us the defining statement: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer (apologia) to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”  Ravi Zacharias – RZIM.org

CONCLUSION

Leveraging the interrelationship between Christianity, Citizenship, and Quality Management has the potential of providing a needed context that can immediately address the most pressing issues of our time, help mitigate the effects of conflicts, and improve the quality of life throughout all levels of our society.

PREMISES

Christianity, Citizenship, and Quality Management share a common aim:  Reducing variation from the ideal will lead to more perfect outcomes. Excellent quality is the result of doing the right things, right.

  • An ideal would be that all human needs are met.  Needs would include physical, emotional, and spiritual.
    • Example: Health Care is a need. As more needs are being met, the less the adverse effect on people of needs not being met.
  • Variation either gets better (more needs are continuously being met) or it gets worse (adverse effect on people of needs not being met.
  • The Christian, Citizenship, and Quality Management Apologetic supports secular and non-secular methods for improvement.   Non-secular approaches have not, will not, and cannot produce the most optimal outcomes.
    • In a secular approach, the customer/stakeholder/supplier defines “perfect” e.g., the right things.
    • In a non-secular approach, God defines perfect and Jesus the standard of perfection.
  • Christian Apologetics provides the truth and defense of the Christian faith.  A more conscious awareness and understanding of variation by apologists will provide additional insight and support for advocating acceptance of the Christian truth.

Christianity

  • In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth (Genesis 1:1, NIV)
  • Variation is a fundamental element of God’s design.  The variation principle states that everything varies: no two people or things are exactly alike. Variation represents the difference between the ideal (perfect) and the actual situation. (ASQ – What is the Law of Variation?)
  • Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mathew 5:48, NIV)
  • Jesus established the human standard for perfection; God is perfect, man is imperfect but expected to support improvement.
    •  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippines  4:8-9, NIV)

Citizenship

  • The U.S. Founding Fathers were influenced by Judeo-Christian values and integrated Christian principles into the design of the U.S. system of government.
    • 238 of the 250 men that we would call our Founding Fathers were in fact traditional, fundamental Christians” (Pastor Paul Blair, America’s Christain Heritage”, p13.)
    • The Preamble to the Constitution identifies the aim  of the U.S. system of government for We the People (citizens) to  continually work towards “a more perfect Union.”
    • The intent through the Constitution and Bill of Rights was to establish a framework that would enable citizens to work together in pursuit of a more perfect Union.  It was expected that Christian leaders would continue to lead or support improvement efforts.  The emergence of political parties is a challenge to this premise.
  • “We the People” own the system of government – we are top management. We can delegate accountability to our elected representatives but we are always responsible for assessing the results from changes to policy and laws and supporting improvement.
  • The Founders expected future generations to develop better methods for assessing the “State of the Union,” and their respective “State of the Community” by identifying and then supporting changes that would result in progress towards “a more perfect Union.”
  • Alexander Hamilton -Revolutionary War General, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Author of the Federalist Papers, Secretary of the Treasury, killed by Aaron Burr  in a duel:
    • One other consequence of Hamilton’s untimely death was that it permanently halted the formation of a religious society Hamilton had proposed. Hamilton suggested that it be named the Christian Constitutional Society, and listed two goals for its formation: first, the support of the Christian religion; and second, the support of the Constitution of the United States. This or¬ganization was to have numerous clubs throughout each state which would meet regularly and work to elect to office those who reflected the goals of the Christian Constitutional Society. 36
  • American Renewal Project
    • From The Desk of Mike Huckabee:  My good friend Rabbi Daniel Lapin wrote an opinion piece last week titled, “Only Six More Years for America?” https://rabbidaniellapin.com/only-six-more-years/ Laying out the great civilizations over the last 3 millennia, which according to him last on average 250 years, Rabbi Lapin says that there is hope for America because of her Judeo-Christian heritage and founding:

  • More Info:

Quality Management

  • Law of Variation – American Society for Quality. 
    • The Law of Variation is defined as the difference between the ideal and an actual situation.
    • An ideal situation represents a standard of perfection—or the highest standard of excellence defined by stakeholders, including direct customers, internal customers, suppliers, society, and shareholders.
  • The quality management principles, methods, and tools represent proven approaches for reducing variation from the ideal.  They are applied to improve the quality of the products and services provided worldwide. Products and services are developed to meet a need (s).
  • Two major organizations that support the development and application of the better methods and tools include the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
  • The basic tools of quality are taught and applied at the K-12 level. The basic and advanced tools of quality are taught and applied by adults throughout the world.
  • Taguchi Loss Function.  The Taguchi Loss Function is an accepted principle within the quality profession.  It states that the closer a product or service is to the ideal (nominal, optimal) the higher the quality and the lower the cost to society (stakeholders).
  • W. Edwards Deming was a world-renowned leader in quality management. He supported Taguchi’s conclusion and  reinforced the point:  “Anything less than optimization of the whole system will bring eventual loss to every component in the system” (W. Edwards Deming, The New Economics, p.53)
    • Deming also reinforced the aim for improvement: “If I had to reduce my message for management to just a few words, I’d say it all had to do with reducing variation”  Ref: Henry R. Neave, The Deming Dimension (Knoxville, TN: SPC Press Inc., 1990), p. 57
    • Deming’s contributions for improving the quality of products and services provided worldwide were recognized in Fortune magazine as being among the 20 that have shaped the modern world of business and in U.S. News and World Report as one of nine turning points in history. The top turning point was identified as “The Apostle Paul, whose preaching and eloquent writings led to mass acceptance of Christianity.”
    • Deming was a devout Christian and supported a secular (non-religious/spiritual) approach in his consulting, teaching, and publications.  In the first edition of his last book “The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education, he was subtle in using the nonsecular term  “metanoia” to describe the needed transformation. “The word metanoia is more suitable than transformation. Metanoia is a Greek word which means penitence, repentance, reorientation  of one’s way of life, spiritual conversion (emphasis mine).”  (Deming, The New Economic, first edition, p 95).
      • Deming died in 1993.  Later editions of The New Economics  replaced the term metanoia with “The First Step.”
    • Deming’s secular based strategy has not resulted in any significant degree of transformation to the new philosophy.
    • Deming identified four common components that have always been integral to making and sustaining a successful change in any area and at any level. On a personal level, think about a change you made that resulted in an improvement:
      • Motivation  – Why the need for change?  Did the motivation come from within (intrinsic) or was it driven by an external reward such as money fame, praise, prizes?
      • Action.  What did you do?  What was the process?
      • Feedback.  What information was used to assess results?  Did you achieve the expected result?
        • The “What’s New?” is being able to answer the question with an understanding of common and special causes of variation. Deming estimated that without this knowledge, 95% of changes can lead to no improvement.
        • Test your knowledge of the variation principle
      • Learning – The Story – what do you tell others about the experience? What knowledge was gained?
    • Deming referred to the four components in context of a system that could lead to profound knowledge. And Knowledge can lead to Wisdom.  Deming identified the components as consisting of Psychology (Motivation), Systems (Action), Variation (Feedback), and Knowledge (Learning).
    • Deming developed the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle to help guide improvement efforts.

PDSA Apologetic Based Examples – Application from the Perspective of God

  • Motivation: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
  • Action:  God gave His only begotten Son who provided the example for perfect, taught, provided examples, recruited disciples, was crucified, died, buried, and was resurrected.  His life validated prophecies in the Old Testament and his life and works are documented in the New Testament.
  • Feedback.  For over 2,000 years, individuals have accepted the truth of Christianity and embraced God’s plan for them. Many in turn have shared the gospel and brought even more people to Christ.
  • Learning.  The Apologetics Master Program at CCU is an example of building a capability to expand the number of apologists to reach even more people. And with current communication technologies, there are EVEN more opportunities to reach more people by providing the right message, at the right time to the right audience.

Additional Information:

My book (PDF): Success Through Quality – Support Guide for the Journey to Continuous Improvement by Timothy J. ClarkAn introductory but comprehensive overview of the history, methods, and basic tools of quality.  Examples include personal, family, society, government.  The book was published by the American Society for Quality’s – Quality Press.

The text includes an expanded description of variation that was accepted by the American Society for Quality and included in their glossary: “What is the Law of Variation?

Websites

SuccessThroughQuality.com – articles and application examples

APL 510 S3 Advertisement, Argument, Rhetoric

“This discussion board offers students the opportunity to select three advertisements and identifying the fallacy (or fallacies) in each. Students may not know the name of all of the fallacies at this point, but they should look for violations of the criteria of a good argument.”

Rhetoric and the application of rhetorical force and devices influence perceptions and expectations that drive decision making.  Arriving at the Truth of the matter requires an alignment of perceptions and expectations with the actual situation based on facts and evidence.

From an apologetic perspective, the foundation is based on facts and evidence that align with perceptions and expectations.

Three advertisements and a respective fallacy

  • 2016 Presidential Election
  • 2020 Presidential Election
  • Christian, Citizenship, Quality Management Apologetic. Link to the concept and examples: Password is apl510, https://wp.me/p9vJtr-1MC

An “advertisement“ could represent any action that is intended to influence a change in position with the intent to influence action (a decision).  It could include a headline in the media, public service or public relations campaign, or marketing related to a specific product or service. Products and Services range from a Christian apologetic-based movie and book such as Lee Strobel’s Case for Christ to a video-game.

An advertisement can provide an informal “argument” that suggests a conclusion based on a premise (s).  In marketing and advertising, creating a gap between “perceptions” and “expectations” influence consumer decisions more so than facts and evidence (logic, reason).

If consumers believe Brand “x” is better than brand “y”, they may be convinced to switch brands and if the product performs as expected, they may continue to purchase the product. Even though, the facts and data may identify that there is no difference between the two brands.

Perceived, Expected, Actual. Excellent (better/more perfect) quality is defined as the result of doing the right things, right. The three types of quality are Perceived (What people think it is), Expected (What they think it will be), and the Actual (supported with facts, evidence, data).  Perception and expectations may not represent reality (actual situation) but combined with an appeal to emotion, can have a significant influence on a decision.

  • Determining the “Truth” – either stated or implied in the advertisements would include a reconciliation among three types of quality, e.g., you made a change based on perception, you received what you expected, and the facts and data support the decision.
  • In the context of a Christian, Citizenship, and Quality Management apologetic, think of the political advertisements in the 2016 presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Assuming you voted, your decision reinforced your belief that you perceived and expected that one candidate would produce better results than the other.
  • The 2020 Presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden and respective advertisements repeats the cycle. Gallup routinely follows up with a survey that asks the question: “Are you any better off now than when you were four years ago?”g., did you get what you expected? [1] 
  • Gallups’s recent survey, conducted Sept. 14-28, 2020 showed 56 percent of voters said they were better off with only 32 percent saying they were worse off. Perceptions (better off) and expectations (expect things to improve) will continue to have an influence on how people will vote in 2020.
  • Based on subjective (surveys) and objective information (facts and data), are we a more perfect nation that we were four years ago? Will we be making progress in the next four years? 
  • From a Christian perspective, shouldn’t decisions contribute to a more perfect (better) outcome based on Biblically-based criteria? When do actions motivated by Love not result in positive outcomes in the long-term?

Fallacies and Deceptions. T. Edwards Damer defines a fallacy as a violation of one or more of the five criteria of a good argument.  He references that the word fallacy comes from the notion of deception. [2]

As Damer points out, fallacies distract from good arguments that are attempting to arrive at the “Truth” of the matter.

  • Fallacies either intentionally or unintentionally as a result of ignorance, are used to influence perceptions and expectations. Fallacies are used by the political campaigns and could include the fallacies associated with all the categories:  Relevance, Acceptability, Sufficiency, and Rebuttal.  In terms of facts and evidence needed to support Truth (actual situation) ”  specific fallacies include – insufficient sample, unrepresentative data, arguing from ignorance, and the fallacy of fake precision.
  • My advocacy and “advertisements” for the application of a Christian, Citizenship, and Quality Management apologetic method attempts to make the case that a new method is needed. Damer’s work does not reference the better and proven standards associated with numerical (numbers) based literacy in the context of process and Biblical based decision making. The aim of the new method is to support action that leads to more perfect outcomes. In summary, political advertisements (arguments) associated with the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections – with a cost in the billions, includes most if not all the fallacies identified by Damer. The intent of the campaigns is to influence voter’s perceptions and expectations that will lead to a position (support for a candidate) that then leads to a vote (a decision).
  • The Christian, Citizenship, and Quality Management apologetic align the three types of quality with proven methods in assessing progress in working to achieve more perfect outcomes in any aspect of life.

[1] Gallup. “More in U.S. Say They Are Better Off Than in Past Elections” accessed Oct 21, 2020 https://news.gallup.com/poll/285593/say-better-off-past-elections.aspx

[2] Damer, T. Edward. “Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments”, 7th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2013

Rhetoric – Dr. Mark Foreman. Video: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking (32:10)(Embedded)  This presentation covers the way rhetoric and rhetorical devices can subtly impede critical thinking. Several examples are offered.

  • Rhetoric – “the art of persuasive writing and speaking. The purpose is to persuade others to adopt a belief.”
  • Rhetorical Force. “The attempt to persuade someone to adopt a belief based on the psychological or emotive responses one has toward the idea.”
  • Common Rhetorical DevicesInclude: Euphisms and Dysphemisms, Weaselers, Downplayers, Stereotypes, Innuendo, Loaded Question, Ridicule/Sarcasm, Hyperbole, Proof Surrogates.