We desire catharsis -- dealing with The Dark Knight Rises

Posted by tom | Jul 25, 2012

Agree/disagree with Deception's Darkness: Seeking the light in the films of Christopher Nolan (Nick Olson. Christianity Today. 7/18/2012):

[P]erhaps the greatest signal of transcendence in Nolan's work is his meta-commentary on moviegoing in "Inception": We desire catharsis. In a sense, it doesn't matter whether or not the totem fell — not because reality doesn't matter, but because the fact that we desire it to fall says something about ourselves. Something's wrong. And we need a Light to break through.

Bonus feature: The Dark Knight Rises and Truth Has its Day (Nick Olson. Christ and Pop Culture. 7/25/2012). 

Confession: As some of you know, I have found the work of Christopher Nolan connecting with me at a deep level from his first releases. Furthermore, I have been prayerfully considering my thoughts regarding whether the recent shooting squashes my strong desire to see "The Dark Knight Rises." 

It is significant to me that (More)

Urbana 12 Registrations Top 7,000!

Posted by tom | Jul 4, 2012

Tom chats with a Grove City College student (his alma mater) at the ESN table.Pray for preparations for Urbana Student Missions Conference (December 27-31). Yes, I'll once again wrap up the year inviting Emerging Scholars to be active Christ-followers/witnesses to the reality of the Gospel/Kingdom of God in higher education across the nation, across the globe. In particular pray for practical decisions regarding the Emerging Scholars Network display table (e.g., how to staff, what material to have available), seminars, and special receptions/conversations as we're in the mix of hundreds of mission agencies AND ~18,000 missionally-oriented students. To God be the glory!

Pray for Emerging Scholars to continue to register to become part of the conversation not only at Urbana12, but through regular conversations/resources with mentors (local and/or national), the Emerging Scholars Network Blog and Emerging Scholars Network Facebook Wall. If you are an Emerging Scholar and/or know an Emerging Scholar who is available to join us, don't miss checking out/passing along information on the Emerging Scholar Urbana12 Scholarship. Also, feel free to drop me a line :)

Announcing Good News for ESN

Posted by tom | Jun 19, 2012

Announcing Good News for ESN (Micheal Hickerson. ESN Blog. 6/19/2012). Wow! I made the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) Blog ;) Thank-you to Micheal for the surprise, I particularly love the picture choice of our little four year old (6/13).

It's a privilege to serve the growing Emerging Scholars Network (3800+ members). What a joy to have Micheal continuing to be in the mix & Craig Gartland beginning as new Director of Faculty Ministry for InterVarsity Christian Felllowship. Once again congradulations to Craig!

Facebook Privacy

Posted by tom | Jun 15, 2012

A regular topic of conversation with faculty, InterVarsity staff, and students. Checking Your Facebook Privacy (Again) (Brian Croxall. Chronicle of Higher Education. June 14, 2012) prompted me to review my settings again. If you subscribe to Facebook, I encourage you to do likewise.

Mike's reading of Bielo's "Words Upon the Word" continues

Posted by tom | Jun 12, 2012

Mike's reading of Bielo's "Words Upon the Word" continues: How do you answer "Are you a Christian?" and "Are you an academic?" (Emerging Scholars Network Blog. 6/12/2012). Note: First post in the series is Bielo: Bible study as a social institution (Emerging Scholars Network Blog. 6/5/2012).

A more mature phase with Facebook

Posted by tom | Jun 11, 2012

“The infatuation phase [with Facebook] is morphing into a more mature phase" . . . -- Wishing Up to Facebook (Bill Keller. NY Times Op-Ed. 6/10/2012).

I know a number of people who began/continued their Facebook relationship with care and others who choose to remain separate. What do you think a more "mature phase" with Facebook looks like?

Broader, related comment: A friend recently passed along About Face: Why I’m Not on Facebook: An Open Letter to Christian College Students (Steve Baarendse. Touchstone Magazine). Steve makes excellent points. But in the end I find Facebook and other online social media (e.g. my personal and the Emerging Scholars Network blog) provide unique opportunity to connect with and stay in touch with a number of people in ways that cannot be done otherwise . . . even giving company in a dynamic way to a number of "outsiders" who find themselves alone due to a variety of factors out of their control.

FB, as many other tools developed by creational caretakers, can be used for good or for ill. Let us wisely use it for good to bless others and receive what we can learn from others. . . . part of the process being the ability to discern when to say 'no' to FB and the unique type of interactions it spurs in competition with face-to-face interactions in the home, neighborhood, local congregation, work place, etc.

Finding Mentors as an Undergraduate

Posted by tom | Jun 8, 2012

Have a story (or multiple stories) about finding a mentor as an undergraduate? Advice on approaching possible mentors? Thank-you to Hannah for her Emerging Scholars Network blog post Finding Mentors as an Undergraduate (6/7/2012) and Lisa for materials gathered for Resource for Grad Student mentoring of Undergraduates (5/29/2012).

Grove City College: Picture of Rockwell, location of my studies in Biology, from first year dorm room. Comment: I have many stories, such as hours dialoguing with my first core curriculum class professor at Grove City College. I most probably would not have met this French faculty member except through the core curriculum requirement. As one steeped in existentialism, Nietzche, and popular alternative culture (circa early 1990's), hours dialoguing with a French professor raised in a rich Huguenot heritage was amazing -- the providence of God! I had questions spilling out and she had an open door. Furthermore she built a bridge to taking a spring term clas with a religion professor whose office door was likewise always open after class (not before as he prepared for class). I just went to the office to ask questions about the assignments (what became class after class), refine topics, eventually receiving pre-marital counseling in preparation for his co-officiating of our wedding.

My Biology advisor spent long hours encouraging me to finish the Bachelor in Science instead of transferring to a Religion degree ;) Questions about vocation emerged from the complexities of class registration. As I was friends with his children (contemporary students, one even involved with InterVarsity Missions Fellowship) and wife (who served as a campus librarian), we also had lots of informal opportunities to interact before and after graduation . . . both on and off campus.

It was also great to have the shared InterVarsity history with the Religion and the Biology professor mentioned above. All three faculty both spoke at the InterVarsity Missions Fellowship on campus.

Just beginning to reflect upon this, more specifics coming . . .

Where was this heading: Through conversations in/out of class I began a trajectory toward a critical realist perspective, involving a personal and a communal indwelling of the Biblical narrative in “response to what God has done in the story” (Middleton and Walsh, 1995, p. 174). This indwelling dialogues with culture, family, religion, and academic readings in such a way that subtle adjustments are made over time instead of large pendulum swings in the direction of the new reality, or fantastical journey, to be embraced. My “a second naivete” (Middleton and Walsh, 1995, p. 173) works out as I draw together people and resources to prophetically challenge the larger campus community and the Christian sub-community to consider a way of life which intersects with the People of God and the Word of God across time, space, and cultures. This way of life locates itself in the final act of a five act Biblical play, preceded by creation, fall, the story of Israel, and the dramatic climax of the events concerning Jesus of Nazareth. We, as the early church, find ourselves living in the fifth act, where the actors are charged with the task and responsibility of improvising the final scenes of the play on the basis of all that has gone before (Wright, http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Jerusalem_New_Testament.pdf).

The transformation of personal perspective was compelling, leading to a desire to share with others who were Culture Makers. This developed even further at a decade at Carnegie Mellon University. . . maybe that's why I so much enjoy work with Emerging Scholars. More another day.

Some of the above material drawn from One more day when you can live your life . . .

Ever been "remade" by music?

Posted by tom | Jun 5, 2012

Ever been "remade" by music? Do you find it a 1x, periodic, annual, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, or even minute-by-minute experience? How does it compare/compete with reading, maybe it's one in the same for you, i.e., when songs have words or inspire words with content, storytelling, direction.

When I was young movie theme songs such as Chariots of Fire, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars infused my life with a sense of direction. More recently it is the regular reminder offered by songs such as St. Patrick's Breastplate, Mind of Christ of My Savior, Be Thou My Vision, A Mighty Fortress is Our God. Note: The last two have been tied as my favorite hymns since a very young age.

Brief Reflections inspired by Can Music Save Your Life? (Mark Edmundson. Chronicle of Higher Education. 6/3/2012). Check out Mark's interactions with Bob Dylan, Allan Bloom, and a number of others :)

Original post at http://www.facebook.com/notes/emerging-scholars-network/ever-been-remade-by-music/10150958966644841 (6/4/2012).

Who’s Afraid of Angels and Aliens, Alienation and Etcetera?

Posted by tom | Jun 1, 2012

If you haven't already, I'd recommend you take some time to relax and dwell upon Roy's consideration of Angels and Aliens on the ESN Blog as you start your weekend, definitely before you get your avatars, books, games and films out. If you have a deep thought or two, please share them :)



The Last Judgement. Jheronimus Bosch. ± 1482 or later. Oil on panel.

163 × 247 cm (64.2 × 97.2 in). Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Public Domain.

Resource for Grad Student mentoring of Undergraduates

Posted by tom | May 31, 2012

When in Baltimore the other week, I happened to meet a grad student who developed a program for "Graduate Student mentoring of undergraduates." This Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) blog post not only has the inspiration for the program, but also a first draft of a handbook to reproduce the program on other campuses. What fun to share these resources. ESN is a blast! The providence of God is hard to miss. . . .

Resource for Grad Student mentoring of Undergraduates (5/29/2012)


Prozac Campus and Perfecting Ourselves to Death

Posted by tom | May 30, 2012

"Flawlessness is not a reasonable goal, or a healthy one, and students need to be made aware of the difference between an excellence worth striving for and an unattainable perfection." -- Prozac Campus: the Next Generation (Katherine Sharpe. Chronicle of Higher Education. 5/27/2012)

A superb point, but I'd also like to point out that the larger structures are a significant part of the problem. It's hard to be countercultural in your family, among peers, as part of a campus ministry/church, and/or in the educational milieu, if you find yourself on your own in all (or even most of these places). This starts young when one's identity has not been rooted in the reality/truth that God the Father has woven us together in our mother's womb with a unique purpose to be brought to fruition by His Word, Spirit, Body, Work in our becoming the amazingly, wonderful reflection of Christ-likeness He intended since the very foundations of the earth. Let us rest and journey in this "mental-health reality check." Yes, I'm coming back to Psalm 139:13-16. . . . another Emerging Scholars Network blog series is stirring.

Perfecting Ourselves to Death coverA book which I've personally appreciated and shared with friends who wrestle with perfectionism is Perfecting Ourselves to Death: The Pursuit of Excellence and the Perils of Perfectionism (Richard Winter. IVP. 2005). If perfectionism is an area of concern for you, friends in class, those with whom you share your life (and Life in Christ with), I'd recommend adding Perfecting Ourselves to Death to your summer reading list -- maybe even read it with a friend or two. If you'd like to discuss the book with me, drop me a line.

Memorial Day & "Changing Signs of Truth"

Posted by tom | May 28, 2012

Changing Signs of Truth cover"'The true quality of a sign,' as Raymond Williams explains, 'is that it is effective in communication.' Hence, 'as a function of continuing social activity [a sign] is capable of modification and development.'" -- quoted by Crystal L. Downing (Messiah College, Distinguished Professor of English and Film Studies) in Changing Signs of Truth: A Christian Introduction to the Semiotics of Communication (IVP, 2012, 21).

How apt to be reading "Changing Signs of Truth" over Memorial Day Weekend. I'll be heading out to a parade, a family gathering, and plenty of table conversation later in the morning. How about you?

A little more of a teaser, "This book seeks to negotiate the aggressive forces of culture through responsible deciphering and deployment of signs. It discusses how signs work in order to argue that Christians might influence the flow of culture by changing their signs of truth. This does not mean it will call into question Christian truth itself.

The Christian journey focuses upon truth as embodied in Jesus Christ. He is the unchanging destination and the Bible is the time honored map. . . . Even the most detailed map cannot tell drivers how to handle new construction, geological changes, storms, detours, and accidents" (21).

As I mentioned the other day, if you're also reading Changing Signs of Truth (or have interest in doing such) let me know :)

Ready for "(re)signing truth"?

Posted by tom | May 26, 2012

Changing Signs of Truth coverFamiliar with the work of Messiah College's Crystal L. Downing (Distinguished Professor of English and Film Studies)? She just published her 2nd InterVarsity Press title: Changing Signs of Truth: A Christian Introduction to the Semiotics of Communication (IVP, June 2012) AND it just unexpectedly showed up in the mail box. Fun!

Anyone else reading Changing Signs of Truth or have interest in doing such this summer? I wonder if Crystal would be willing to do a provocative ESN post on "(re)signing truth" . . . just brainstorming . . . when the idea's more concrete, I'll drop her an email :)

Maybe I should also dust off and brush up on How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith: Questioning Truth in Language, Philosophy and Art (IVP, 2006) and remind myself of her main points before emailing :)

ESN Blog Post: "Random Notes on Doctor Bot Ed" Series

Posted by tom | May 11, 2012

Today Roy delivered Part Two of "Random Notes on Doctor Bot Ed." Join me in enjoying the stream :)

Note: If you missed Part One, click here . . . And before I forget, "Thank-you Roy! Looking forward to what you contribute to the Emerging Scholars Network Blog next week :)"

'Next Time, Fail Better' with the blog post :)

Posted by tom | May 9, 2012

How do you press on through writing shortcomings/failures & their results in your field? I found Next Time, Fail Better fun to read as a blogger who is a novice in both "Humanities" & "Computer Science" writing*.

Upon reflection, I know lots of writers in both areas (and lots of others) of whom I'm not worthy of having my material read/viewed by. I just pray what I share is good enough to be a connection point, create a meeting space, provoke thought, and stimulate next steps. Any blessing coming from the best which I have to offer at a given time based upon limited time, strength, energy, resources, etc is by grace from Christ alone.

It's probably hard for some of my friends through the years to believe, but I am coming to truly love/appreciate the continual stream of helpful feedback/recommendations which I receive as part of formal and informal teams/creative resource groups. Yes, that's even when I'm not the "team leader" :) By God's grace, I have very much come to embrace the beautiful communal refining process. More on that another time.

*Computer Science writing as the simple coding/CS insights involved in posting this blog and working with the Emerging Scholars Network WordPress blog.

Thinking Aloud Together: Pastors & Scientists?

Posted by tom | Apr 30, 2012

Interested in keeping up w/Scot McKnight (2012 Spring Christian Scholar Series)? Here's the first in a series on pastors and scientists not only Thinking Aloud Together but also listening to one-another :)

How well do the pastors and scientists you know think aloud together and listen to one-another? What are examples of how this has been encouraged in your local congregation, on campus, in the community? Did you know that some grant money is available from BioLogos for such endeavors, see the bottom of Part II.

To Keep the Faith, Don't Get Analytical?

Posted by tom | Apr 29, 2012

"Unlike intuitive thinking, activating the analytical cognitive system promotes religious skepticism." Agree/disagree? Lots of comments for this Friday Emerging Scholars Network Facebook Wall post in response to Study of the Day: Even the Religious Lose Faith When They Think Critically (Atlantic Monthly. 4/27/2012). To make it easier to read mine, I've given them below :) . . . HT: Mike.

On first encounter, I'm not convinced. I confess that this is an intuitive/reflexive response, no doubt stemming from a family with a strong thread of Intuitive Thinkers* coupled w/a decade w/InterVarsity at Carnegie Mellon where I encountered more followers of Christ among those w/the analytical bend than the intuitive. None-the-less, the data does start to add up. I think how firmly one's lens/story for life (which may have an analytical bend) is founded makes a big difference even in simple tests such as

A bat and ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

At present I don't have the time to follow the links in the Science article (To Keep the Faith, Don't Get Analytical). Looks like I'd have to buy a subscription to read one of them. If anyone else does, let me know what you think of the sample size and the answers to the various questions.

*A little background on my train of thought regarding the Myers-Briggs which accesses me as an NT. Although I concur that I'm an NT (w/equal E/I, J/P), I would note that in general I don't put a lot of stock in the Myers-Briggs (or other tests of this form) to provide deep insight into who we are and how to relate to people. People (and their life experiences/story/community/relationships/lens for life) are so much more unique (and inform so much more of their life) than the generalizations/categories offered by such approaches. None-the-less, it can be helpful place to start conversations, team-building, etc. when headed in the direction of sharing one's life experiences, story, community, relationships, lens for life, etc. Maybe that's an example of why I score a perfect "I" and how the "I" is stronger than the "T" ;)

"A Tale of Two Christ(s)" on ESN Blog

Posted by tom | Apr 27, 2012

"The Sacrament of the Last Supper." Artist: Salvador Dalí. 1955. Oil on canvas. Dimensions 267 cm × 166.7 cm (105 in × 65.6 in). National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. 

With A Tale of Two Christ(s), Roy Joseph enters the growing cadre of ESN guest bloggers.

Currently Roy is an independent scholar working on a project on Creation and Cosmology and is deeply interested in issues of history and philosophy of science, theological aesthetics and creative writing as well.

Welcome Roy by sharing your responses to his thoughts. . . . I encourage you to get to know him, he'll be writing more for the ESN blog :)

ESN Blog Post: Free On-line Classes: Fantasy and Science Fiction?

Posted by tom | Apr 25, 2012

Last week I posted on the Emerging Scholars Network blog: Free On-line Classes: Fantasy and Science Fiction? In case you haven't read the post, I'd encourage you to do such.

As part of the exercise:

Bonus: next time we chat in person or by lengthy email, I'm very interested in any ideas you have for ways that followers of Christ in a campus ministry, such as myself, can best use free on-line classes (and/or other on-line material) to share loving God with “head, heart, & hands” AND loving neighbor. 

How Academics See Evangelicals: A Tentative Reading List

Posted by tom | Apr 24, 2012

Christ Church Cathedral, OxfordAdditional suggestions for Mike Hickerson's How Academics See Evangelicals: A Tentative Reading List? (ESN Blog. 4/24/2012)

The Wisdom of Discretion

Posted by tom | Apr 23, 2012

"Discretion, knowing what can be said and to whom and when, is an important component of an academic career. . . . Knowing when to be transparent, and when to be discreet, is a learned skill, one of those skills that most of us are not, and from a practical standpoint could not, be trained to master. Discretion, for better or worse, is a skill or savvy that is learned through trial and error. . . . Discretion is one means by which we inspire trust." -- Professorial Discretion (Nate Kreuter. Inside Higher Ed. April 23, 2012)

Comment: In addition to providing a window into the life of a young professor, Kreuter offers a number of helpful insights regarding decision making. I would argue discretion, honesty, creating contexts of truth-telling, etc, are vital to all relationships, vocations, and communities. No doubt higher education is a unique context and young professors would benefit from additional training/mentoring (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Emerging Scholars Network is pioneering in this area), but these practices come more from what guides one's "head, heart, and hands" than the ability to follow a rule book on appropriate behavior. The older, experienced members of the vocation reveal the "fruit" of their chosen path -- some have chosen the path/hospitality of Lady Wisdom, others Lady Folly. Looking in on campus life/publications, I have found the contrast to be at times absolutely stunning.

Join me in in setting aside time today to pray for wisdom for those currently engaged in higher education: consider focusing upon family, friends, a local campus, an alma mater (if you didn't go to college, focus upon your school district or local congregation as parents and youth are preparing for next steps in the fall), the 3800+ members of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Emerging Scholars Network (for which I blog, posts from Emerging Scholars can be found here and here), etc.

Don't be afraid to be known as a fanatical Christ-follower

Posted by tom | Apr 5, 2012
Don’t be afraid to be known as a fanatical Christ-follower. . . . Work as if God were my boss. . . . Rely fully on God’s promises. -- 13 Ways of Looking at Graduate School: Part 3 (Guest blogger. Emerging Scholars Network Blog. 4/5/2012).

Christian Scholar on the campus steps

I think that you'll be challenged by the Emerging Scholar who has contributed the 13 Ways of Looking at Graduate School Series no matter your vocation.

What a joy to labor with the next generation of scholars (3,800+ part of the Emerging Scholars Network!) as they research, train, and transition into roles of leadership across the globe -- including some in the United States, possibly even a campus with which you're connected in some manner. Your prayer, support, and encouragement of this work is a great blessing to many which ripples out throughout higher education . . . the larger culture . . . cross-cultural relationships with the high number of internationals who study on campuses in the United States.

The Emerging Scholars Network is called to identify, encourage, and equip the next generation of Christian professors to be a redeeming influence in higher education. ESN members range from undergraduate students to tenure-track faculty, and we are committed to serving these members at no charge to them.


What I Wish My Pastor Knew About. . . Scientists Talk to Their Pastors

Posted by tom | Apr 3, 2012


"Another version of the essay [Universe and Multiverse, Part 2] appeared at the Ministry Theorem, as part of their What I Wish My Pastor Knew About. . . [Scientists Talk to Their Pastors] series." . . . All these links are worth checking out, with a lot more at the Ministry Theorem ;)

The Ministry Theorem developed through a joint partnership between Calvin Theological Seminary's "Center for Excellence in Preaching" and the Calvin College Science Division. Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary are located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and exist under the auspices of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Both institutions are rooted in the Reformed tradition but are also committed to reaching out to Christians across North America and around the world as we promote sound Christian scholarship that aims at participating in God's great project of creation renewal through Christ Jesus the Lord.

The Reformed tradition of which Calvin is a part has long been committed to engaging God's world in order to provide a witness to God in Christ across all areas of culture, society, technology, education, research, and leadership.

The Ministry Theorem is part of that larger task as we seek to help pastors, church leaders, and others come to see and appreciate the grandeur of God's creation as this is revealed through the work of the sciences. By partnering with the best that science has to offer, congregations can widen their awareness of all that God has done, giving believers everywhere so very many more reasons to praise God, "from whom all blessings flow!" 

The Ministry Theorem is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. --About Us

Monday Question Series: When have you sown the seed the Gospel by questions? (Randy Newman)

Posted by tom | Mar 31, 2012

Randy Newman's Questioning Evangelism

What opportunities have you had to sow the seed of the Gospel in a manner similar to the way recommended/offered by Randy Newman's* Questioning Evangelism?

“Put more simply, we must awaken people. In many cases, people have been lulled into believing the illogical and rousing them from sleep must happen before we present any gospel content. When people say things that, given some thought, would prove to be nonsense, we must help them see the fallacy of their statements.”  “I think all religions are the same. I think all people are basically good. I would never tell anyone their religion is wrong.” “People who say such things are in desperate need of an alarm clock” (57).

I'll never forget my first extended evangelistic conversation with a student at Carnegie Mellon. He didn't believe in the existence of the tree out the window, the table at which we were sitting, me as a person, or even our discussion. He only believed in his conscious thoughtsl. I asked him how he knew this to be true/real AND he didn't have an answer. He had never asked the question as to how he knew his own conscious being existed. Although I saw him several times on campus after our conversation, I never had opportunity to chat further. Join me in praying for this question and many others shared through the years to sprout and bring forth life even though they appear to be dead in rocky soil. Thank-you for your support and encouragement of these campus labors.

*Randy Newman is a Teaching Fellow at the C.S. Lewis Institute. He has been with the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ since 1980 and currently serves with Faculty Commons, their ministry to university professors. He ministers on campuses and elsewhere in our nation's capital to students, professors and policy-shapers. He is an honors graduate from Temple University and has a Masters of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he is also engaged in doctoral studies. Randy is a Jewish Believer in Jesus and is the former editor of The Messiah-On-Campus Bulletin. He lives in Annandale, Virginia together with his wife Pam. He is the author of numerous articles and the books Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People's Hearts the Way Jesus Did and Corner Conversations: Engaging Dialogues about God and Life, both published by Kregel Publicatios, and Bringing the Gospel Home: Witnessing to Family Members, Close Friends, and Others Who Know You Well, forthcoming from Crossway. -- http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/blog/2011/07/why-i-read-c-s-lewis-2/. Newman's Bringing the Gospel Home is on the self and I look forward to reading it after the end of this term :) An excerpt from the newer book is posted at here. Would you like to join me?

Note: Related posts include Answering Questions with Questions (Randy Newman), Our culture’s secularism silences sharing the Gospel (Randy Newman), Randy Newman's "Questioning Evangelism" -- back again, Questioning Evangelism, and Christ of Christmas.

Our culture’s secularism silences sharing the Gospel (Randy Newman)

Posted by tom | Mar 29, 2012

Randy Newman's Questioning Evangelism

As I mentioned yesterday (Randy Newman's "Questioning Evangelism" -- back again), at last week's InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Gradute & Faculty Team Meetings for the Northeast region, we gave significant attention to Randy Newman's* Questioning Evangelism -- Thank-you Paula! Below's another quote from Questioning Evangelism

“First, we just don’t have as many evangelistic conversations as we know we should. The message that has gripped our hearts and forms the centerpiece of our lives remains unspoken, unshared, and unproclaimed. We miss opportunities to tell people what Jesus means to us. Our culture’s secularism has silenced us when we should be sharing. We wonder why the topic that is so often on our minds is so seldom on our lips.” (24)

Pray against our culture’s secularism which creates an awkward silencing of sharing the Gospel in the hallways, classrooms, and offices of higher education. Pray for boldness among the Emerging Scholars and future health care professionals with whom I labor. May they be willing to be a light which shines in a dark place, sharing the Gospel in word and deed . . . grant them the skill to ask firm, challenging questions and listen well.

*Randy Newman is a Teaching Fellow at the C.S. Lewis Institute. He has been with the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ since 1980 and currently serves with Faculty Commons, their ministry to university professors. He ministers on campuses and elsewhere in our nation's capital to students, professors and policy-shapers. He is an honors graduate from Temple University and has a Masters of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he is also engaged in doctoral studies. Randy is a Jewish Believer in Jesus and is the former editor of The Messiah-On-Campus Bulletin. He lives in Annandale, Virginia together with his wife Pam. He is the author of numerous articles and the books Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People's Hearts the Way Jesus Did and Corner Conversations: Engaging Dialogues about God and Life, both published by Kregel Publicatios, and Bringing the Gospel Home: Witnessing to Family Members, Close Friends, and Others Who Know You Well, forthcoming from Crossway. -- http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/blog/2011/07/why-i-read-c-s-lewis-2/. Newman's Bringing the Gospel Home is on the self and I look forward to reading it after the end of this term :) An excerpt from the newer book is posted at here. Would you like to join me?

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