Thursday, March 05, 2009

Integration

I have been attending meetings for a group for Christian faculty and graduate students at the university in which I am employed. We have been discussing how to “integrate” our faith with our various disciplines. This involves looking at our disciplines from Christian perspective and developing ways to transform them into what God would have them be. We want to help each other use the gifts that God has given us to advance His Kingdom. A helpful book that we have read and discussed recently is entitled, The Two Tasks of the Christian Scholar. (The two tasks are making Christianity relevant in the academic world and making intellectual pursuits relevant in the Church.)

There is a lot of talk about secular science being opposed to Christian values in the public universities and the difficulties faced by Christian scientists who try to publish works in support of traditional creationism as taught in the Scriptures. (Prime examples of this are featured in the recent movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.)

But in our group, we have pretty much come to the conclusion that things are even worse in the field of the humanities (English, History, etc.). The moral relativism is more explicit. In the secular sciences, at least there is some standard by which something is considered true or false, even though the standards are warped toward as a false interpretation of the facts. But most people don’t realize how much the very idea of truth is being marginalized in the Humanities. There are no absolute truths at all. Everything is just your own subjective values and even nominal Christianity is despised.

We also watched a video about a sociologist who discusses how he integrated his faith into his discipline by challenging certain assumptions that were made in his field of study. He was able to turn his knack for statistics into a strong tool for Christian apologetics. He wrote very persuasive arguments that the printing press came about and was used in cultures where Biblical Christianity was being freely preached. In other cultures, there was no incentive to do this, because the rulers were interested in controlling the masses and not allowing people to freely choose for themselves to follow Christ. It’s a very compelling story.

If you are a Christian graduate student or university faculty member, consider joining this group. If there isn’t a chapter on your campus, then try starting one yourself. For more information, go to http://www.gradresources.org.

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