Updated Mar 10, 2023
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mathew 28: 16-20, NIV.
- E Pluribus Unum. Out of many (states, colonies, interests), One Nation Under God, With Liberty and Justice for All
“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.”
- What Is Apologetics—and Why Do It? Methods described include classical, evidential, presuppositions, cumulative case, and reformed epistemology.
Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)
Leveraging the interrelationship between Christianity, Citizenship, and Quality Management has the potential of providing a needed context (frame of reference, worldview) 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.
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, intellectual, and spiritual.
- Example: Health Care is a need. As more needs are being met, the less adverse effect on people of needs not being met.
- Variation either gets better (more needs are continuously being met) or 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.
- 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?)
- “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20, NIV).
- 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 improve.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
- Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2, NIV
- “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.9 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)
- 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 expressed 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, lobbyists, and campaign financing has been a challenge to this premise.
- Harvard University for example was founded in 1636 to “perpetuate a learned ministry, preparation for religious learning and leadership.”
- “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 of changes to policy and laws and supporting improvement.
- The Preamble to the Constitution: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
- 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.”
- Example: Brown County Indiana – Leader Network
- Indep Voters – Brown County IN – God, Civics, Quality
- Alexander Hamilton -Revolutionary War General, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Author of the Federalist Papers, and 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 organization 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
- “Only Six More Years for America?” By Rabbi Daniel Lapin (July 24, 2020). “… Laying out the great civilizations over the last 3 millennia …. it is significant that so many of history’s empires and epochs of national dominance lasted about 250 years.
- Because of America’s uniqueness and its deliberate similarities to ancient Israel, a comeback scenario is real. Even prominent political scientist and religious agnostic, Charles Murray, insists that the American republic can only survive with a revival of the religious values that the Founders depended on. The indomitable Christian warrior, David Lane, through his @AmericanRenewalProject continues to enlist thousands of courageous pastors and millions of their followers in bringing Biblical wisdom into the public square. There is hope.
- Wallbuilders: A Few Declarations of Founding Fathers and Early Statesmen on Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible
- WallBuilders is an organization dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built – a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined.
- Apologetic Press: Founding Fathers Collection
- 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 to 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, and prizes?
- Action. What did you do? What was the process?
- Feedback. What information was used to assess the 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 the 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.
Application at the County Level of Government – The Brown County Leader Network
PDSA Apologetic-Based Examples
- 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.
My book (PDF): Success Through Quality – Support Guide for the Journey to Continuous Improvement by Timothy J. Clark. An introductory but comprehensive overview of the history, methods, and basic tools of quality. Examples include personal, family, society, and government. The book was published by the American Society for Quality – 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?“
SuccessThroughQuality.com – articles and application examples:
- FedSmith.com. Numerous articles on improving the quality of government.
- How I helped my son improve his basketball free-throw shooting
- Application to the abortion issue
- Destructive effects of grades in school
- Results of application on the lead-up to the war in Iraq