CJUS 745-Discussion Forum 1-Reply1

Reply must be at least 200-300 words. For each thread, you must support your assertions with at least 2 citations from sources such as your textbook, peer-reviewed journal articles, and the Bible.
Field, A. P. (2018). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
**JAMIE***
The world of statistics and Christianity is a challenging and interesting journey to analyze.  There are some who love statistics although I am definitely not one of those individuals.  I have found a disconnect with statistics, real-world applications and how the data can be ultimately skewed for anyone’s motives to ensure the data works in their favor.  The fact of the matter is they can easily be misconstrued and misused.
After reading the article titled, Why You Should Use Stats in Ministry (2016), authored by Ed Stetzer, he is one of the opposite mindset when it comes to statistics.  He is a self-proclaimed “nerd” and effectively admitted that he loves statistics.  Like Stetzer, I too am not much into sports, but do occasionally watch different teams playing various sports.  Furthermore, Stetzer related statistics to the Hollywood movie titled Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt.  I recall watching this movie and Stetzer was correct in his assessment that it was all about statistics.  Analyzing players and performance to using advanced statistics to review hits, scored runs and RBI’s in aggregate form.
Moreover, this article written by Stetzer (2016) discussed the use of statistics when it comes to investing money.  It goes without saying that investment firms such as Fidelity, Edward Jones and Ameritrade all use some form of statistics to measure the performance of a company and their respective future outcomes.  This part really helped me relate; whereas, since my father passing away, I have become the sole provider in managing mom’s retirement and have now been working closely with an investment firm to ensure mom’s portfolio remains intact, so financially, she will be set for the rest of her life.
Looking at this from a Christian worldview it’s important to not use statistics with assumptions; whereas, just because a certain percentage of individuals may not believe in the Bible does not mean that we should not trust the word of God.  Furthermore, the church should not use statistics to determine the application and direction of the ministry
Field (2018) discussed the basic fundamentals of quantitative research to include (1) the initial observation, (2) generating and testing theories and hypotheses, (3) collecting data measurement, (4) collecting data research design, (5) analyzing the data, and (6) reporting the data.  If you look at this from a Biblical point of view one can deduce that “believing” in God is not always about data collection and overall analysis, but instead having faith.  Statistics is highly scientific and religion is not.
Effectively statistics have been shown to help address reality and factual information.  This is readily needed in the criminal justice system from identifying proper funding for equipment to testimony in a court of law.  When it comes to the church statistics can identify how the church can be more efficient to their members from donations, funding and increased participation.  It can identify engaging activities and how to respond to certain issues.  Moreover, statistics can determine needs within a community in which the church serves.  For example, if the church is saying that more homeless shelters are needed as a blanket statement versus a percentage of the community is homeless and in need of additional services this can tip the scale to approve and move forward with funding.
An interesting peer reviewed article titled, Accuracy of Data in Abstracts of Published Research Articles (Pitkin, Branagan and Burmeister, 1999) discussed the importance of the abstract being able to verify articles in good faith and determined that within the medical journal field, the data was found to be inconsistent in the abstract versus the article itself.  Although not directly related to the criminal justice field this shed light onto the importance of accurately articulated abstracts being this is sometimes the most difficult part to write in an article or published journal.  Being able to succinctly articulate the abstract in an accurate manner seems to be a challenge not only for impending doctoral graduates, but for seasoned researchers as well.
According to Helmus and Babchishin (2016) discussed risk assessment versus diagnostic tasks and found that diagnostic statistics extrapolated more information about recidivism within the criminal justice system versus a sliding risk scale.  This is important to note; whereas, as we progress towards our respective PhD’s, its critical to understand the accuracy in data collection and to utilize the most viable statistical tools available.
From a world view standpoint, statistics can help us to forecast the weather using computation models.  The use of statistics is applied in the financial market, risk assessment with insurance providers, quality product testing, predicting disease and political outcomes.
Even the Bible related to statistical data like Proverbs 1:1:33 (ESV), “The proverbs of Solomon, so of David, King of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth – Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance…”  This goes to the heart of not only statistical data, but to embrace life-long learning and the importance of justice and equity in this world.
References:
Field, A (2018).  Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics (North American Edition).
Sage Edge.  Thousand Oaks, CA.
Helmus, M. & Babchishin, K. (2016).  Primer on Risk Assessment and the Statistics Used to
Evaluate its Accuracy.  Sage Journals.
Pitkin, R., Branagan, M., & Burmeister, L. (1999).  Accuracy of Data in Abstracts of Published
Research Articles.  JAMA.
Stetzer, E. (2016).  Why You Should Use Stats in Ministry.  Christianity Today – World
Evangelical Alliance.

 
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