Designed for Good

Posted by tom | Jul 12, 2008

How do you [James Choung] hope this tool will change the way Christians themselves think of evangelism?


Bible Expositor named for Urbana '09

Posted by tom | Jul 9, 2008

Thank-you to Miller who passed along the link to Bible Expositor named for Urbana '09 (America's Center and the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 27-31, 2009). So who is the expositor?


Local Congregation and Para-Academic/Church Mission in Partnership

Posted by tom | Jun 25, 2008

Among all the congratulations for the birth of Lily Joy and questions about how our family's adjusting, we've received a variety of inquiries regarding other matters.  One missions team member of a partner congregation shared how a college student, returning from a spring of discipleship in an InterVarsity chapter, presented Carl Ellis' 4-paned window of marginalization with the young adults.  AND the missions team member wanted to know more about Ellis' work.  Why didn't the missions team member just ask the student?  Because the student has already left for a Missions Project with InterVarsity, along with several other collegians from their congregation (who by the way attend a variety of colleges and universities). 


N.T. Wright on the Colbert Report

Posted by tom | Jun 24, 2008

Is that the Colbert Report? -- Theresa inquired just a few minutes ago as I played an Interview on the Colbert Report in which N.T. Wright holds his own while Stephen shares his idea of heaven as getting a harp, drinking a mint julep and asking Ronald Reagan questions ;-) Check it out.*

BTW, looking forward to having Wright speak at Following Christ, InterVarsity's National Graduate & Faculty Ministry Conference to be held December 27-31, Marriott Magnificent Mile, Chicago, IL.  If you're an Emerging Scholar, graduate student, and/or faculty member, come join us.


History, History, and More History

Posted by tom | Jun 13, 2008

Have an interest in history? Check out the Books-and-Culture article History, History, and More History, which is a report on the 2008 conference of The Historical Society. Note:  The two journals which The Historical Society publish are The Journal of the Historical Society and Historically Speaking).  Also, in case you don't already subscribe, I'd encourage you to a regular diet of weekly pieces from Christianity Today's Christian History & Biography.  I love it and share various pieces with friends, Sunday School classes, and family members (particularly around the dinner table).

PS.  Conference on Faith and History (CFH) will held in September on World History and History that Changed the World at Bluffton University, Bluffton, Ohio.  Anyone going?  If so, pass along what you learn.

Evangelical Political Scholars Association

Posted by tom | Jun 11, 2008

A friend-in-ministry passed along the link to the Evangelical Political Scholars Association (EPSA).

ESPA exists to serve the Kingdom of God by facilitating interdisciplinary discussion, research and professional contact across the disciplines among evangelical Christian scholars who are interested in political life in all its dimensions - theological, philosophical and institutional, and by providing a forum in which members can provoke one another to think more biblically, more rigorously and more practically about the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of men, their different natures and relationships.


Christ-and-Culture Chat on Jesus Creed

Posted by tom | Jun 2, 2008

As some of you may remember, I keep track of Jesus Creed conversation, see The Death of Blogs. The recent exploration of Christ-and-culture through interaction with John Stackhouse's, Making the Best of It, has been excellent and I would commend it to you, see Christian Realism 1 (note: which gives significant attention to Anabaptists) and Christian Realism 2. One comment refers to Mirslav (sp?) Volf's Soft Difference:  Theological Reflections on the Relation Between Church and Culture in 1 Peter. Wow! Soft Difference is well worth prayerful consideration. Has anyone previously come across this piece? Would love to have the reactions of others.


Does Academe Hinder Parenthood?

Posted by tom | May 24, 2008

An InterVarsity Faculty Ministry discussion board has been wrestling with Inside Higher Ed's piece Does Academe Hinder Parenthood? Here’s one short summary from the article and a comment [posted by an on-line respondent] with which a colleague of mine kicked off the conversation:


Where should young emerging evangelicals turn for care and feeding

Posted by tom | May 20, 2008

Continuing the conversation found at The Rise of Cosmopolitan Evangelicalism . . . Comment Magazine has an excellent Interview with Timothy Shah, director of The Emerging Evangelical Intelligentsia Research Project, a Senior Research Scholar with the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (CURA), and Senior Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. As an alum of the Pew Younger Scholars Program, I concur that it’s loss is significant. Pray for Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) and Following Christ Conference as part of InterVarsity's Graduate & Faculty Ministry will press forward in this area of significant concern . . .


Chesterton House On-Line Audio Resources

Posted by tom | May 14, 2008

Thank-you to Miller who just passed along a treasure trove of on-line audio resources from the Chesterton House —a Christian Studies Center affiliated with Cornell University designed to help students think critically and Christianly on life, learning, and culture. Some presentations include:

J. Richard Middleton, April 5, 2008
"In the Beginning God Created the Heavens and the Earth: Responsible Interpretation of Genesis 1 in Ancient and Contemporary Contexts"
Graduate Christian Fellowship Roundtable

  • Roundtable (mp3)
  • Question 1 (mp3)
  • Question 2 (mp3)

  •  (More)

    The Rise of Cosmopolitan Evangelicalism

    Posted by tom | May 7, 2008

    Yesterday, Mapping the Evangelical Intelligentsia and Evangelicalism Rebounds in Academe went up on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s website. The first article brings to the attention of the larger academic community:


    We used your unsold copies to build a tree . . .

    Posted by tom | Apr 28, 2008

    Have you seen the cartoon, We used your unsold copies to build a tree, but it’s not the same (Two men stand before a tree made out of books)? It ran in The New Yorker, June 11, 2007.  If not, go here. Will that be the end of Encyclopaedia Britannica which is not on-line or will the paper Encyclopaedia Britannica be produced on demand?

    I don't know, but I must confess it has been fun to look up various items and compare to Wikipedia. But I must confess disappointment, with only one Encyclopaedia Britannica article referring to a Grosch/Grosh.  Surprisingly that was better than the IFES, InterVarsity/IVCF, InterVarsity Press, and Urbana Student Missions Convention combined!  Anyhow, love the research opportunity and the This Day in History feature.  I'll be using this material shortly, but much to do today especially with Eden not staying in her room during naptime while Theresa's at the store and the laundry's going.  Note:  Earlier post on the origin of this subscription . . . 'Encyclopaedia Britannica' for free?

    'Encyclopaedia Britannica' for free?

    Posted by tom | Apr 22, 2008

    What a dream come true, I can't wait to show my Daddy! According to The Chronicle for Higher Education's Education-technology news from around the web (which took its news from TechCrunch reports) the reason for bloggers being offered free access to the on-line Encyclopaedia Britannica are the publisher's fears [of] being nudged into irrelevance by the proliferation of free online reference sources.


    Following Christ 08

    Posted by tom | Apr 7, 2008

    Want to know more about Following Christ, InterVarsity's triennial conference for graduate students, faculty, and professionals?

    Go to to register, to explore scholarship info, and to download audio from Following Christ 98 (which includes the material N.T. Wright used for The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering the Jesus Who Was & Is) and Following Christ 02.


    Crazy and Conflicted about Sex

    Posted by tom | Apr 1, 2008

    Thank-you to my friend in campus ministry who passed along, John Stackhouse's recent post The Reality of Sex. May followers of Christ not be found to be fools regarding the gift of our bodies. Here is a benefical quote:


    Too many opportunities

    Posted by tom | Mar 22, 2008

    Thank-you to my campus ministry friend who passed along Findings: The Advantages of Closing a Few Doors. Here's a quote from the article regarding a study at MIT,

    Closing a door on an option is experienced as a loss, and people are willing to pay a price to avoid the emotion of loss,” Dr. Ariely says. In the experiment, the price was easy to measure in lost cash. In life, the costs are less obvious — wasted time, missed opportunities. If you are afraid to drop any project at the office, you pay for it at home. 


    The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

    Posted by tom | Mar 17, 2008

    Thank-you to those which have kept me up-to-date on Tim Keller's ministry as pastor of Redeemer Church, NYC, NY. I have found his material, particularly his work on A New Kind of Urban Christian, of great interest. 

    Tim's The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism stands at No. 18 on the New York Times bestseller list (anyone interested in passing along a copy in my Easter basket?) and recently he's has spoken on material from his book at a number of Veritas Forums.


    InterVarsity Team Mtgs in Chicago

    Posted by tom | Mar 10, 2008

    Pray for us as Tom's in Chicago, IL, from March 11-15 for meetings with InterVarsity's Graduate & Faculty Ministry (GFM) followed by InterVarsity Press' (IVP) Staff Advisory Team.  During the GFM meetings, Tom will have some significant conversations regarding the development of materials for the Emerging Scholars Network, role as director of the Mid-Atlantic Winter Graduate Student Retreat, pioneering of faculty ministry in Central PA, and continued support of GFM in Pittsburgh. 

    During the IVP Staff Advisory Team Mtgs, the staff present will consider how to best use IVP publications on campus with students, faculty, and InterVarsity staff.  This will be our second official gathering, but our first at the IVP headquarters.  Pray for clear communication, packaging of resource offerings, and next steps in distributing our recommendations.

    While at the IVP meetings, Tom will stay w/Dr. James Sire in order to discuss Sire's April visit to central PA.  Pray for our preparations for

    -campus outreaches at Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall College, and Penn State Harrisburg.  Pray for insight w/regard to how we might find an opportunity for him to interact with several other campuses including a possible visit to Penn.
    -campus missions presentation on Tuesday, April 1, for those who desire to learn more about our work with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  For more on this drop us an email or go to April_Events_James_Sire_and_InterVarsity.pdf.
    -prayer retreat on Saturday, April 5.  For more on this drop us an email or go to April_Events_James_Sire_and_InterVarsity.pdf.

    Manufactured Landscapes

    Posted by tom | Feb 24, 2008

    I spent Friday evening meditating upon Manufactured Landscapes. For me, the peak of the film was the shipbreaking beach, I was filled with prayer as I watched the children work in the oil sludge (earlier in the film I prayed through watching a village recycle computer parts/metal and need to ship water in due to the pollution). Here's the trailer


    Price of Life: Child Sex Slavery and the Freedom of the Gospel

    Posted by tom | Feb 22, 2008

    York Moore, InterVarsity staff colleague and author of Growing Your Faith By Giving It Away, posted video from the Price of Life outreach in which he addressed the relationship between child sex slavery and the freedom available through the power of the gospel. Note:  He also brings attention to the remote consumption of trafficking victims, making the U.S. complicit in child sex slavery and forced prostitution. 1,000 students attended this event at Michigan State University in November, 2007 and over 100 became Christians through the campaign. Praise the Lord!  May the Spirit speak to you through his testimony, challenge, and witness . . .


    Why do you do what you do?

    Posted by tom | Feb 12, 2008

    The other night Theresa and I were discussing love languages.  One's probably not surprised to find  words of encouragement speak to me deeply, even if its only from the few [Note:  Theresa's is acts of service.  So help her out :-)].  Last night's sharing by graduate students and faculty regarding the value of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship affirmed my personal sense of call and passion for our work.  Here's a few tidbits I'm passing along to affirm your prayferful support of this brave, pioneering, out-of-the-box ministry endeavor:


    Firstyear Identity Lockbox

    Posted by tom | Feb 4, 2008

    Both faculty and InterVarsity staff desire to shape lives, but many times we find our efforts falling flat. Here’s an article of interest from the Chronicle which argues students have become adults, with their identities in a lockbox before their first year and are not to be enlightened: The Myth of First-Year Enlightenment. I recently had a conversation with a faculty and undergrad campus staff worker at a small liberal arts college which waded through similar material as we discussed the potential for campus outreach which would truly engage students, faculty, and the campus as a whole. Here’s a quote from the article:  (More)

    The Better Hour

    Posted by tom | Feb 2, 2008

    Christianity Today at the Movies put me onto the new PBS documentary The Better Hour: The Legacy of William Wilberforce, see trailer. I've been looking for such material to share with Hayley and Ellen, who turned 8 this morning. Praise God!


    Harvard's History and Current Reality

    Posted by tom | Jan 22, 2008

    My friend Miller passed along a recommendation of Arseny James Melnick's America's Oldest Corporation and First CEO:  Harvard and Hendry Dunster (infinity pub, 2008, isbn 0741442744).  Note:  Jim is a graduate of Westminster College and Harvard University.  Go to for the cover and link to take a sneak peek inside.  Here's Miller's comment:

    i'm trusting that jim melnick's new book on the early history of harvard and its first president henry dunster receives attention...on page 175  jim says, "Harvard's abandonment of its Christian core values would sadden him (Henry Dunster) deeply but not in any final sense.  Henry Dunster realized that 'an inordinate love of human learning' apart from God leads to emptiness. ..he beileved that pride of learning for its own sake, without bringing knowledge under clear direction (to Veritas, to truth) would leave both the individual and the College former harvard Dean Lewis said in his book "Excellence without a soul"..

    Also of interest, R.R. Reno's First Things article Harvard’s Postmodern Curriculum, take particular note of the conclusion:


    Request: Info on Pope Cancels University Visit in Wake of Protests

    Posted by tom | Jan 16, 2008
    The Chronicle’s post Pope Cancels University Visit in Wake of Protests has been receiving quite a range of responses and attempts to clarify the facts. The post/responses (and a little more research) might be a helpful discussion topic for faculty regarding freedom of academic/religious conversation on campus and how one should respond to controversy. I’m thinking about bringing it up with some faculty later in the week and/or in early next week. I don't currently have the time on hand to research the complexities of the situation.  If someone comes across helpful material, please pass it along to me.  Thank-you.
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