What do you think about "Christian Privilege in the Academy," http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2010/02/christian-privilege-in-the-academy/? I'll be thinking about it as I run some errands this morning. Hope to get back to it later in the day.
What do you think about Study: Youth now have more mental health issues (By Martha Irvine, AP National Writer, January 11, 2010)? A helpful piece for educators, parents, youth ministers. HT: Miller.
The higher rates of depression in youth raised to believe than one can be successful in whatever one desires by just doing it rings true to me. There has been a lack of acknowledgement that
- one can't do anything/everything that one puts one's heart to
- one may need to try, try, and try again -- first time/one time isn't always enough
- each one of us has unique gifts/vocation
What's most surprising? The possibility that he might become the first Asian-American draft pick in NBA history? The bigoted jeers he regularly hears at games (everything from "wonton soup" to "Open your eyes!")? The number of microphones and cameras of Chinese and Taiwanese outlets—five covered Harvard-Dartmouth on Jan. 9—that broadcast Crimson highlight packages, including interviews with his coach, Tommy Amaker?
Or is it the hysterically proud new fans, the ones filling gyms from Cambridge, Mass., to Santa Clara, Calif., toting signs and wearing customized T-shirts (WE LOVE YOU JEREMY!) more befitting a Jonas brother than a Taiwanese-American Ivy League point guard?
"The most surprising part," Jeremy Lin concludes, shaking his head and exhaling, "is pretty much everything. ..." -- Pablo S. Torre, February 1, 2010
Pray for Jeremy and his continued growth in Christ-likeness in the face of all the challenges he faces.
I'd love your responses, i.e., after you've read the post. ... You don't have to follow all the links but Scot McKnight's response/conversation regarding the Christianity Today article is quite good.
Christians, Sports and Compromise: A Brief Response
Sports Fanatics: How Christians have succumbed to the sports culture—and what might be done about it.http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/february/3.20.html
Setting a Reading Goal: 100 Books in 2010. What do you think about reading everywhere, faster, smarter AND setting a reasonable goal (maybe you're not up for 100 in 2010). Maybe you already do that. If not, Lent's around the corner. Maybe it's time to give up TV (or vast stretches of browsing the internet) and turn to being stretched by reading ;-) HT: Arlene.
Below is the God at Work testimony which I shared during Sunday Morning Worship on January 31, 2010, Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ. If you desire to join our prayer team team, volunteer, or support us financially, please drop us an email. Note: On-line giving available here
At the turn of the new year, 15,000 plus college students from across North America sang praise to God at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Urbana Student Missions Convention. In addition to time focused upon the study of John 1-4 and various seminars, students had opportunity to connect with numerous mission agencies. At the Emerging Scholars Network table, we registered over 150 students from a wide range of fields and a number of countries.
Why the popularity of Emerging Scholars at a missions convention? Because many students realize that their campus is their current mission field and many of them are continuing to receive masters degrees and PhDs in this unique mission field. Some are seeking to enter closed countries through business entrepreneurships, engineering projects, staffing hospitals, teaching roles, etc. Others are remaining in the U.S. with a vision to redeem their vocation and participate in regular short term mission projects, such as the 1 PSU-Hershey Medical Center physician who is part of a team in Haiti now, the president of the PSU-Hershey Christian Medical Society who is serving in Chile as part of his fourth year, and the 20 members of the PSU-Hershey Christian Medical Society who will minister in the Dominican Republic over Spring Break.
What did conversations at the Emerging Scholars Network table look like? Typically one saw a face of astonishment from a student as they passed the books on our table. If they were with friends, they pointed out and chatted about the books they’d read or were on their to read pile [Note: Check out Best Books for Undergrads: Your Picks!]. If a student or a group of students took a moment to stop, I’d introduce myself,(More)
I received word from a brother in Christ that the student highlighted in "Harvard's Hoops Star Is Asian. Why's That a Problem?" (Sean Gregory, Time, 12/31/2009) is being discipled/mentored by InterVarsity's Asian-American Fellowship's Staff. Great story. Maybe I'll be shouting Go Harvard! during the NCAA Tournament. Below's an excerpt from the end of the article.
Lin's maturity could lead him to ministry. A devout Christian, Lin, who is an economics major, is considering becoming a pastor in a church near his Palo Alto home. "I've never really preached before," Lin says. "But I'm really passionate about Christianity and helping others. There's a beauty in seeing people change their lifestyles for the better."
Before settling on a career, however, Lin has some on-court business to attend to. Harvard has racked up some impressive wins early in the season. The team upset Boston College in early December, and knocked off a 9-2 George Washington team this week, 66-53. The Crimson, who play next at Seattle University on Jan. 2, should challenge two-time defending champion Cornell for the Ivy title; a league championship would give Harvard that elusive trip to the NCAA Tournament. And Lin wants to give pro basketball shot, most likely overseas or, who knows, maybe the NBA.
"I can definitely see him being in ministry," says Steve Chen, Lin's mentor and the pastor of the Mountain View, Calif. church the Lin family attends. "But right now, God has gifted him in a specific way, and he's going to go after it hard." If Lin leads Harvard to the tournament, he'd be off to a pretty holy start. Consider it his first miracle.
When I posted Urbana Journey Begins, I didn't think I would be in some form of The Amazing Race. ...
- Delayed in Harrisburg, PA, because of delays in O'Hare due to snow. I hung out with three staff also heading to O'Hare before catching a flight to St. Louis, MO, and another 3 staff heading to Dulles before catching a flight to St. Louis.
- Delayed, canceled, wait-listed, unable to schedule a flight until Monday in O'Hare because of bad weather in Chicago and St. Louis, MO.
- While waiting for flights, a group of 7 of us missed AmTrak, MetroBus, and rental car for options for Saturday. On Sunday, 1 able to fly out with American and another able to fly with United.
- Hotel in Chicago, discounted but not underwritten by United ... 5 of us road out of O'Hare Sunday morning in a rental car. ... We beat the 3 who flew out of Harrisburg to Dulles b/c their flight returned to Harrisburg due to the smell of smoke. After which they were re-routed to Atlanta where they stayed the night before flying into St. Louis.
Praise God that those who were delayed, waitlisted, canceled, etc have arrived! God has been teaching many of us about patience, persistence, & courage thru Advent & it has been showing through in surprising ways.
Heading out the door for my 10 am flight to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Urbana Student Missions Convention 2009.
Call upon God the Father to provide direction through His Word and Spirit to the 17,000+ students, mission agency delegates, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship campus ministers who will connect at booths, mealtimes, seminars/tracks, studies of John 1 - 4, and large group worship at Urbana09 (December 27-31, St. Louis, MO).
Pray for Tom as he
- travels to Urbana09 on December 26 and returns on January 1. Note: I'll transfer at O’Hare International Airport (Chicago, IL) en route to St. Louis, MO. ... Huge Storm Hobbles Middle of Nation. Pray for others in the air and on the ground.
- staffs the Emerging Scholars Network's booth and special events, with the intention of identifying, encouraging, and equipping Christian scholars to be redeeming influences in higher education not only in the United States, but to the ends of the earth through unique missional opportunities afforded those with scholarly gifts/interests.
Pray for Theresa (and the four girls) as she manages the house with Tom at Urbana09.
Check back for updates from the conference. ...
Best Books for Undergrads: Your Picks is posted.
Whew! That was a lot of books. Now: what did we leave out? (Mike)
There's no way we can have all these books on the Emerging Scholars Network table @ Urbana 09 (only 5 days away!), but we can invite the 17,000 or so students with which we talk* to dig into the growing on-line resource/learning community which makes up Emerging Scholars Network Blog. So, if you haven't already, please swing by Best Books for Undergrads: Your Picks and join the conversation. And if you have, come back to see what else has been said and to contribute more input, e.g.,
- what you're reading in college now and why
- what you read in college and found of great value (short or long term) and why
- what you wished you read in college, but came upon later ... and why you wished that you had read it earlier
PS. German Terrorists, Eccentric Victorians, Russian Mathematicians, and More (Podcast in which Stan Guthrie and John Wilson talk about favorite books of 2009, posted 12/21/09). Earlier podcasts for last minute stocking stuffers: Christmas Books, Part 3 (posted 12/08/09), Christmas Books, Part 2 (Posted 11/30/09), Christmas Books, Part 1 (posted 11/16/09).
*Yes, I'm being optimistic. But pray for discernment, energy and strength to interact with what will no doubt be several hundred who will come by the table (and reception) to connect, chat, and pray.
Final Call for Best Books for Undergrads. We love the input from the on-line learning community!
Mike will be compiling a list for Monday's Emerging Scholars Network blog post & acquiring copies for the Emerging Scholars Network table @ Urbana 09 (only 8 days away!). Post here, on the blog, or email one of us directly w/input.
I was cleaning up some old email and came across Andy Crouch's Why I Am Hopeful It won't be easy for us — and that's good (Books & Culture, 10/20/2008). A prophetic word? Here's an excerpt, worth a read/re-read and consideration a year later.
So why am I hopeful? Because I believe the coming years are going to reveal some pernicious weeds in our culture for what they are. One of the characteristics of weeds is that they suck up resources from other plants. They are quick-growing, quick-spreading, invasive. They do not coexist with the other plants in the garden, they overtake them. Kudzu is a weed not because it is unattractive in its own way or even has no rightful place in the ecosystem, but because it grows over and chokes out other valuable and beautiful things. Weeds are, as every gardener knows, the easiest thing to grow.
And I believe the fundamental weed in the American garden is, in fact, ease. Easy-ness. Effortlessness. Along with the incredible benefits of the rise of technology has been this terrible weed: the idea that things should be easy. The Staples office-supply chain has profited handsomely selling the ultimate symbol of our times: a plastic button that does absolutely nothing but is great fun to push, labeled "easy."...
If you haven't already done such, join our family in the new year resolution to depend upon God alone -- accountable as part of the Body of Christ who receive direction from the Word & Spirit.
Check out this opportunity ...
It's great to see that the first 50 entries win a copy of Kent Annan's new InterVarsity Press book, Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle: Living Fully, Loving Dangerously :-)
BTW, Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle was one of the InterVarsity Press titles highlighted by Byron Borger of Hearts and Minds Bookstore in his fabulous Thanksgiving post, Three things about which I am thankful: tribal technology, skeptical friends, surprising books. In this post, Byron shares these encouraging words about InterVarsity Press:
Still our favorite publisher, with excellent titles coming out every month, they have taken a serious turn in recent years (with Likewise, for instance) doing books about social justice, for and from the new generation who are serving the poor, and resources for those who are taking up this struggle to seek God's reign in ways that bring hope to the hurting and hungry. Solid evangelicals doing amazingly rich writing on social change!
Nothing is more countercultural than a community serving the Suffering Servant in a world devoted to consumption and violence.
James K.A. Smith
Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?
Join me in prayerful consideration/application of this quote as we enter the holiday season on campus and in the larger culture. HT: *CINO daily asterisk (11/11/2009).
- Frontline (text) interview: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/etc/notebook.html
- Four health care systems, excerpt from T.R. Reid's The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care (Penguin Press, 2009): http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/countries/models.html
- Ancient Health Care in the Nation of India, http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/india701/
Today I went with a group from Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ to hear Gordon MacDonald present on The Changing Face of Ministry: Engaging All Ages in the Mission of the Church. I'll share some quotes over the next couple of days and post the notes when they're "ready to go."
In the past, the time-span of human change was considerably longer than that of a single human life. Thus, mankind was trained to adapt itself to fixed conditions. But today our training must prepare individuals to face a novelty of conditions. -- Alfred North Whitehead (1931)
Note: After outlining some significant post-1450 change cycles, MacDonald commented, You don’t talk about change cycles anymore, it’s just change. Still thinking about that one. Do you think it's all change?
Lots in today's Emerging Scholars Network's Blog Post Week in Review: Milliennials in Transition Edition. I'd particularly encourage those who are parents, pastors, youth/young adult ministry team members, and/or part of the higher education orbit to 'not miss' Lost in Transition: With his latest research on emerging adults, sociologist Christian Smith helps the church reach out to a rootless generation.
"If anything, college is no different in terms of the faith corrosion outcomes on youth. It may even strengthen the faith of some. We think this is partly about a growing number of evangelical faculty at secular colleges. Another factor is the increasing presence and legitimacy of campus religious groups and ministries [InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Campus Crusade] that provide support systems — not just fellowship, but also intellectual engagement that may have been lacking in past decades. The culture has also changed: “spirituality” is more acceptable now than in past decades. Most faculty know you cannot say stupidly anti-religious things in the classroom and get away with it." -- Interview of Christian Smith by Katelyn Beaty, Lost in Transition, Christianity Today International, 10/9/2009). ... To God be the glory!
As many of you know this is to what I've been called. Pray for continuing insight as I "encourage, and equip Christian Scholars to flourish and be a redeeming influence among the people, ideas, and structures of higher education."
AND for more opportunities to speak with parents, youth, youth ministers regarding the importance of discipleship through the years of youth and navigating the transition from high school to young adulthood, particularly the challenges inherent to higher education. Interested? Let me know. ... BTW, I'm in the process of arranging an opportunity to speak w/youth as I type. Pray for the Word and the Spirit to mold my thoughts and enable me to present with clarity.
Tim Keller believes that engaging our contemporary culture with the gospel is one of the most important lessons he learned from InterVarsity, as a student at Bucknell University, and later as a staff volunteer while attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The books of InterVarsity Press, particularly those of Francis Schaeffer, were a significant influence in his spiritual formation. Today as , Tim has the opportunity to engage our culture on a national scale.
A new posture for New York City Christians
New York City is a “culture-forming engine,” Tim observes in an article in the June 2009 issue of Christianity Today. Andy Crouch, the author of the InterVarsity Press book Culture Making, identified Redeemer Presbyterian as a church with an important regional and national influence, helping lead New York Christians to a new posture, “from being a beleaguered minority to being a confident minority.” -- for more visit InterVarsity alumni - Tim Keller (by Gordon Govier, October 06, 2009)
First, there is the God issue. Dr. Collins believes in him. Passionately. And he preaches about his belief in churches and a best-selling book. For some presidential appointees, that might not be a problem, but many scientists view such outspoken religious commitment as a sign of mild dementia. ... (Gardiner Harris, For N.I.H. Chief, Issues of Identity and Culture, NY Times, October 6, 2009)
The other day I participated in a discussion regarding how a physician might diagnosis Jesus' mental condition based upon Mark 3. No doubt Jesus and his followers, such as Collins, are considered Outrageous by some (if not many) intellectuals. Getting practical, are you outrageously following Christ and making Christ known in your family, community, workplace?
PS. Check out the first post on George Marsden's The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship.
I've been thinking about Mike's question and I'm not sure if I have a best. So many variables, follow this link to read nominations. As for me, these are the first which come to mind: “The Visitor,” “Good Will Hunting,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Animal House,” “The Big Chill,” “Dekalog 8: Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness” ... "Paper Chase" is also good. Even though "Wonder Boys" was shot at CMU, I'm still not so excited about it. AND I guess I have some films to add to the to review list. Anyone have other ones to add to the mix?
Have I mentioned how much I love to blog for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Emerging Scholars Network? Probably not. If I have, it has not been often enough or with proper zeal! It's such a blast to think, ramble, and write about following Christ in higher education with my friend Mike. What a mission to be about regularly exploring a number of topics with our readers, but giving special attention to Academic vocation and calling, The role of faith and theology in specific academic disciplines, and Spiritual formation in the academy. And then to hit campuses and conferences with all these articles, ideas and books at my finger tips ;-)
- Week in Review: Revolutions -- just posted this morning! Tags include: digital revolution, postmodern stalinism, reading, seven deadly sins, study abroad, workspaces, writing.
- The Rural Brain Drain: Below's is a quote from The Rural Brain Drain (Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kefalas, Chronicle of Higher Education, 9/19/2009).
Ultimately, with a plan and a vision the undoing of Middle America is not preordained. The rural crisis has been ignored for far too long, but, we believe, it isn’t too late to start paying attention. The residents of rural America must embrace the fact that to survive, the world they knew and cherished must change. And, on a national level, rural development must be more closely linked to national economic growth priorities, and policies must be created to help these communities prepare for a future that is already here.
- Week in Review: Ethics Tags include: ethics, faculty, ghost writing, humility, maimonides, norman borlaug, teaching, writing.
- Humility as essential to faculty success
- Keys of Thriving (Not Just Surviving!)
- An Obituary for the “Warfare” View of Science and Religion
According to the survey, parents are by far the most influential people in the admissions process — with no one even a close second. (Friends were a distant second, edging out high-school guidance counselors and far ahead of teachers or coaches.) The survey also found that the sticker price of a college was a significant factor for half of all families, with 21 percent saying cost was the determining factor about whether to apply. An institution's brand name or "prestige factor" was important to about 45 percent of the parents and 35 percent of the students. -- What Colleges Don't Know About Admissions, By Steve Cohen, Chronicle of Higher Education, accessed 09/21/2009.
So it's a big surprise to college admissions offices? Hard for me to believe, but maybe a generation who desired to leave home for a better place fill our campus admissions offices. I wonder how much more competitive/consumeristic higher education can become, but more parent focused including various admissions incentives and secret shoppers (to evaluate the quality/content of campus tour guides) steps it up a level.
A friend commented on the article, "What role do churches play in helping their young people think through their futures?" Anyone interested in a Next Steps: Transition from High School to College Seminar, maybe I should start writing/speaking about parenting and children's ministry. Who would have ever guessed that?
Father, have mercy upon us. Grant our local congregations the vision and grace to journey with whole families as salt, leaven, and leaven in today's complex culture. May we truly be the Body of Christ, learning what it means to live together in accountable community directed by the Word and Spirit from an early age. In the name of your Son Jesus, Amen.
This morning I received an e-copy of Youthworker Journal. For those with interest in youth ministry, lots of good material. I particularly appreciated the articles by two guys who have recently partnered with our ministry.
- Tom Sine on Be a New Conspirator: Young People and Lay Leaders Are Creating the Future. Note: we hosted an informal graduate student conversation with Sine in Pittsburgh last fall.
- Andy Crouch on Making the Most of Mission Trips. I think this article and his new material on this topic is significant. I hope that it receives attention at Urbana Student Missions Convention at year end. Note: we hosted Crouch for the kick-off of the Central PA Christian Scholars Network.
If you'd like to be part of conversations with guys such Tom Sine and Andy Crouch, drop me a note and I'll get you connected! In case you haven't heard, the 2nd gathering of the Central PA Christian Scholars Network is right around the corner on Sunday, October 11. We'll feature Stephen Nichols, professor of theology and church history at Lancaster Bible College on Jesus for the Academy: Freeing Christ from our Agendas. Please RSVP by Monday, September 28. Note: Nichols will preach at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ on To Whom Shall We Go? (John 6:66-69) and present on Jesus Made in America: Honest Looks, Honorable Responses during the adult elective time between the services (10 - 10:45 am).
Teaser: it's not too soon to mark your calendar for the 3rd gathering of the Central PA Christian Scholars Network on 2/28. We'll feature Don Kraybill on The Sociology of Faith: An Autobiographical Story. Note: Kraybill will preach at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ on Jesus' Upside Down Kingdom and lead an adult elective on Amish Grace and Christian Forgiveness.