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Reflection Paper Analysis

Overall Feedback

Delsa, while you have focused on Kohlberg and his theory, you have discovered and clearly stated how the viewpoints of other theorists enter in, especially as you seek the best combination for yourself and the rearing of your children. Your focus on three domains–moral development, faith development, and philosophy in thelogy– provides an excellent comtination for great learning. As I think of these things, I believe that what you have already learned in this course is amazing. I believe you will complete Workshop 6 with much more to help you in coming challenges. Thanks, Dr. Dunn

Reflection Paper Analysis

Theorists I Focused On

The theorist I focused mainly on was Lawrence Kohlberg (Granqvist & Nkara, 2017). The main reason why I found him interesting was because I was very keen on understanding his stages of moral development theory. I had struggled to understand how moral development happens, and I was eager to learn more about it. I have children to whom I like to add additional understanding about morality and spirituality. I was extra motivated to learn more about this theory to ensure that every one of my children adds spirituality correctly. I was also keen to learn more from him when I realized that his research was influenced by Jean Piaget, one of the leading figures in psychology (Granqvist & Nkara, 2017). I was also keen to learn about the many criticisms associated with his theory, particularly regarding gender bias. However, I still found the theory very applicable in my life.

I also found James Fowler’s stages of Faith Development very impressive. As mentioned, I have children, and I want to ensure as they continue to mature, they will evolve in my faith (Schinkel & de Ruyter, 2017). I realize the difficulty I have in that endeavor, considering the state of the world we are currently living in. I appreciated learning about this theory (Granqvist & Nkara, 2017). I was delighted to discover how faith grows and how I can influence the growth of faith in my children. I am also a disciple of others, and this theory provided a knowledge base that I could rely on in this endeavor. Understanding James Fowler as a man helped me better grasp the theory.

I also found that I used Kohlberg’s theory as a deconstructor, where I used it to unravel what had been learned concerning morality (Granqvist & Nkara, 2017). I then learned that I could use Fowler’s theory as a constructor. I can use it to build a person’s faith and help them grow in understanding and salvation in Christ (Schinkel & de Ruyter, 2017).

Domains I Focused on

I focused on three domains: moral development, faith development, and philosophy in theology. I focused on moral development to learn more about how individuals build their belief systems. I was keen to learn more about how someone adopts a belief system and makes it a central tenet to their thinking and its influence on their behavior (Granqvist & Nkara, 2017). I was keen on knowing how to utilize this to alter an individual’s thinking and make them question their morals (Dykstra, 1982). I also wanted to learn more about how faith is developed and how it can be cultivated.

The main reason I wanted to learn about philosophy in theology stemmed from an encounter I had when evangelizing. I met a person who told me they did not believe in God but only in a higher power’s existence. I then remembered the story of Paul and his encounter with the intellectuals at Areopagus who worshiped Unknown God and how Paul used this to preach the Gospel to them (Acts 17:16-34). Had Paul not understood philosophy and their way of thinking, he probably would not have been able to preach the Gospel to them as well as he did. As a minister and a partaker in the Kingdom Mandate, I found these three topics to be critical, and I was keen on researching them and learning more about them.

Questions on Development

The main question I had was the relation between the works of Lawrence Kohlberg and the works of James Fowler (Granqvist & Nkara, 2017). I wanted to find the commonalities between the two. I was also keen to discover the impact someone’s faith had on their moral development. I meditated on these two questions because I was keen to know how to use them as part of the Kingdom mandate. I was keen to know how to use both theories to go out into the hedges and highways and preach Christ.

I was also keen to know the answers to these questions to understand what applied faith looks like. I once heard a quote that said while evidence is faith in things not seen, its presence is visible and should be seen in an individual’s life (Granqvist & Nkara, 2017). This means a person’s faith must be seen in how they walk with Christ. This means that their behavior should change, and their faith should impact their morality. 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Paul says, “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” This shows that the Word must work inside the person. With this in mind, I was curious to see how the Word impacts an individual’s morality (Schinkel & de Ruyter, 2017).

Tests and Trials I Observed

The main test and trial I observed and related to was the peer pressure someone faces as they develop their faith (Dykstra, 1982). I was talking to a young person struggling with her faith because she felt she was missing out on drinking and having sex before marriage. She felt these things were fun, and a hole was inside her because she was missing out. However, the truth was that she was feeling peer pressure due to her pursuit of her faith, which is counterculture to the existing faith. This led her to question her faith and the truth of what it means to have peace that surpasses all understanding (Granqvist & Nkara, 2017).

I also learned that another test is the test of conscience and how malleable morality truly is. I have seen good people react immorally in a moment of weakness or when they are in a challenging situation (Dykstra, 1982). For example, I have seen great men fall into affairs because they were in compromising situations. I have also seen people make immoral decisions because they were in situations where there was no good choice. These situations were made clear by how many tests people encounter in their growth in faith and morality.

Enhancing Flourishing

I believe enhancing flourishing in morality and faith stems from believing in Jesus. In John 15:4, Jesus says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” I would say that bearing fruit means flourishing. By abiding in Jesus, we can gain virtues that help us live morally. This is highlighted in Galatians 5:22-23, which says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” These fruits come when an individual abides in Jesus. They flourish because of it.

Flourishing in faith also comes in walking with Christ. James 4:8 says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” This means our faith is replenished and rewarded as we draw near God. This means our faith is strengthened as we draw near God and experience His goodness (Schinkel & de Ruyter, 2017). This is why it is vital to say Jesus is the enhancing factor in the walk of faith.

Application of Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is an area within psychology that centers its attention on examining positive emotions, personal strengths, overall well-being, and the optimal functioning of individuals (Granqvist & Nkara, 2017). The objective of this study is to ascertain the factors that lead to the attainment of a satisfying and purposeful existence, as well as to explore how persons can flourish. The findings of positive psychology research are consistent with the observations presented in the articles on faith and moral growth, particularly concerning the promotion of optimal human well-being. One of them is in resilience and coping (Schinkel & de Ruyter, 2017). Positive psychology provides excellent coping strategies for individuals in the face of challenges. The walk of moral and spiritual excellence is an arduous one. Positive psychology can be essential in this.

I also found positive psychology essential in identifying the heart’s wants. The heart often struggles with faith and morality as it often wants things to happen in a way that brings it joy (Granqvist & Nkara, 2017). This is why pursuing good experiences is not a great approach in life. Positive psychology emphasizes positive encounters in life, which can signify what the heart wants. Positive psychology can be vital in determining the heart’s desires and praying that the Lord helps me deal with them and accept His will.

Christ the Center

This portion of learning involved a lot of philosophy. However, I realized that man’s wisdom is akin to what God considers foolishness. While its use is important, it should not be understated that the solution to the problem is Jesus. If the answers do not have Jesus as the center, they are useless and will do little to help individuals.


Bible, D. (1985). 
The Bible. Chrysalis..

Dykstra, C. R. (1982). Theological table-talk: Transformation in faith and morals. 
Theology Today
39(1), 56-64.

Granqvist, P., & Nkara, F. (2017). Nature meets nurture in religious and spiritual development. 
British Journal of Developmental Psychology
35(1), 142-155.

Schinkel, A., & de Ruyter, D. J. (2017). Individual moral development and moral progress. 
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
20, 121-136.

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