In 1992, 18 years ago

Posted by tom | Sep 3, 2010

In fall 1992, Theresa and I entered Grove City College, after graduating Donegal High School in the spring.  Can you remember back eighteen years ago, the year most first year students were born?  I took a look at wikipedia to remind myself of ...

  • Super Bowl XXVI: The Washington Redskins defeat the Buffalo Bills 37–24.
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia founded
  • Jay Leno becomes the new host of NBC's Tonight Show, following the retirement of Johnny Carson.  Comment:  Carson was so much better than Leno.  Do I belong to a previous generation?
  • Václav Havel resigns as president of Czechoslovakia. Question:  Have you read Jim Sire's book on Havel?
  • Lots of shifts in alignment in the former USSR.
  • Brett Favre makes his first start for the Green Bay Packers.  Question:  Is he still playing this fall?
  • Pittsburgh International Airport's new facility opens in Findlay Township, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ... Tom and Theresa "enjoyed" this facility a few too many times ;-)
  • Prince Charles and Princess Diana publicly announce their separation. Note:  watching their 1981 marriage on TV remains one of my sharpest childhood memories.

What would you add to the list?

Discpleship Training Includes ...

Posted by tom | Aug 17, 2010

A faculty friend recently reminded me not to loose sight of God's resources when discipling students on campus.  Maybe I should find some volunteers to help me start a community garden and cooking/canning classes in 2011 ;-)  Lancaster County, PA, is definitely the place for this education!

But discipleship training would need to include teaching on supporting ourselves from God's resources where we live, so we wouldn't be dependent on stuff sent from China to Walmart.  The Mennonites and others do better at raising enough to store away or freeze for the coming year and developing recipes that are inexpensive yet with good nutritional value with grains, beans, etc.  The first step is to get off addiction to expensive fast foods and mcdonalds type stuff ... less expensive clothing from thrift stores ... and more walking (many students at my college drive five blocks to class).

PS.  Check-out the various cookbooks posted by the Mennonite Central Committee.

Why Most Students Quit the Church...

Posted by tom | Aug 16, 2010

A faculty friend recently shared with me this story about a student from class

He quit his high school youth group when they called him an atheist for asking questions.  Most students quit the church sometime during high school.  Maybe they had good feelings about their youth group and perhaps say they "love the Lord", but their minds are left empty.  Some turn to philosophy classes in college, hoping to find a way to the truth that their  youth group never provided.

When Francis Schaeffer was teaching at L'Abri, many students came there who were disillusioned with what the empty or absent teachings  in their churches, and their shallow christian colleges.  There has to be a place where students can ask any questions without confronting a judgmental spirit, find those willing to listen, and work through these questions (assuming they're mostly honest).

What do you think about my friend's comments?

Join me in prayer for

  1. the student mentioned above and the many others who journey through high school, college, and young adulthood.
  2. followers of Christ in education (teachers, students, administrators, etc), the home (i.e., parents), community, youth groups, campuses ministries, and local congregations as we enter a new academic year.  Pray for us to truly lean upon, embody, point to, and proclaim the Way, Truth, Life. 

If you desire to connect and/or have me speak regarding these concerns, drop me an email.  For some of my thoughts/material visit Next steps for Next Steps.

ASA Mtgs Begin Today in Washington, D.C.

Posted by tom | Jul 30, 2010

Pray for Tom’s fruitful engagement in the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation:  Science, Faith, & Public Policy (Washington D.C., July 30 - August 2).  He’s attending to

  • connect with ESN members
  • delve into ethical topics of personal and professional concern, more below
  • interview speakers
  • invite participants to become involved with InterVarsity through a display table and a Graduate & Faculty Ministry Reception (Sunday, August 1, 8:30 PM, Atrium) with his colleagues Terry Morrison and Dwight Schwartz
  • wrestle with how ESN might host/contribute to discussions on Science, Faith, & Public Policy.

What a joy it will be to see, hear, and learn more about the beauty/complexity of creation and our interaction with/care for it.   To God be the glory! 

No doubt I will be reminded of my high school gifted program classes/internships with the F&M geology lab and undergrad years as biology major at Grove City College, not to mention the 24/7 scientific community with which I interacted at Carnegie Mellon University/Pitt. Hope to come across some friends from these and other campuses. 

Note:  Since beginning ministry at PSU-Hershey Medical Center, my interest in BioMedical Ethics and the Call to Care has been strongly renewed.  I'm looking forward to how BioMedical Ethics (in addition to Creation Care) will be explored in the coming days.  I'll be exploring resources/materials to use in preparation for Dennis Hollinger's 9/26 Christian Scholar Series presenations on Christian Ethics in Life & Death and Challenging sexual ethics issues Christians, http://www.etownbic.org/hollinger/.

Still trusting google?

Posted by tom | Jul 24, 2010
How do you search for material on-line? Do you place absolute trust in The Google Algorithm (NY Tmes Op-Ed, 7/14/2010)?  If not, what is your preferred search engine and why?  Just wondering ... I'm still using google for searches.  I appreciate their "library," blog reader, and email.  Sometimes I use their maps.  But I've not gotten into it as a social networking or business recommendation tool.

The Emerging Field of Young Adult Ministry

Posted by tom | Jul 23, 2010

Desire equipping in Youth & Young Adult Ministry?  At the Brethren in Christ General Conference, I found that a masters degree is in the works at Messiah College, possibly starting in Spring 2011.  Wow!  Until then, take advantage of Byron Borger's excellent book list about young adult ministry (7/15/2010, http://www.heartsandmindsbooks.com/booknotes/book_list_about_young_adult_mi/) and the numerous posts/resources provided by the Center for Youth & Parent Understanding (CPYU, http://www.cpyu.org).

Comment:  As you know, I've been seeking to address this concern for quite some time, visit Next steps for Next Steps, http://groshlink.net/archives/2009/03/17/next-steps-for-next-steps.  Honestly, I've found youth ministers for the most part unable to address/engage these issues.  For awhile I thought it was a lack of engagement and interest.  But it probably has more to do with them giving all they can to keep the middle schoolers/high schoolers involved, i.e., they lack the time/resources to invest in next steps and continue to connect with young adults. 

My most 'successful' conversations regarding the post-high school journey in Christ (w/an emphasis on college) has been with parents.  Recently, I've begun to wonder if a focus upon material for parents of middle schoolers would be a better approach ... this would carry into engagement with high schoolers and young adults.  Not suprisingly I continue to move more and more in the direction of family-based youth ministry.  Maybe I should start a thread focusing on our family's experience through these years (twins enter 5th grade in the fall). 

Note:  In August I'll be speaking with Young Adults on "What Faith Can Do, http://www.roxburycamp.com/#/camp-meeting/2010-young-adults. I'll share material from these sessions on the blog.  Praying for more opportunity to wrestle with these concerns with youth, parents, youth/college/young adult ministers, and local congregations.  If you (and/or your local congregation) have interest in discussion, let me know. 

Are we more than bodies? How about stars?

Posted by tom | Jul 6, 2010

Recently read and discussed the below passage of C.S. Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with the twins.  I was still thinking about the section when I was clearing out the reader, "Are We More Than Bodies?" (Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial staff. 7/4/2010. http://biologos.org/blog/are-we-more-than-bodies/).

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Eustace declares, “In our world a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.” The fallen star Ramandu replies, “Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of” (emphasis added).

Are we more than bodies? How about stars? A question for living, for fiction, for theology, for Hubble, for all of the above? I'll bring it with me to the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation:  Science, Faith, & Public Policy (July 30 – August 2, Washington D.C.) when I visit NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center with Jennifer Wiseman, Chief of the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics.

4th of July: More on CLS v. Martinez, Hearts & Minds Book Deals

Posted by tom | Jul 5, 2010

At http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2010/07/more-reactions-to-cls-v-martinez/, Micheal Hickerson shares some quotes/insights gathered 1 week after the Supreme Court’s ruling on Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. What are your thoughts? How do you think this ruling will affect Christian organizations on college campuses? Please let us know.

Looking to explore Kingdom living and social transformation?  Then check out the Hearts & Minds Bookstore story and the related book deals at http://www.heartsandmindsbooks.com/booknotes/hm_travels_through_the_alphabe/.  Note:  I have almost every one of these books on my shelf (not just because many of them are excellent InterVarsity Press books, but because they truly are excellent resources), so let me know if you'd like to borrow one to take a look at before investing ;-)

PS>  Anyone willing to volunteer to help me fill out my library with the couple books I'm short on?

 

State of the U

Posted by tom | Jul 2, 2010

My response to John Simpson's, president of the University at Buffalo, SUNY, article Framing the Conversation on Research Universities (Inside Higher Ed. 7/2/2010.) may be as simple as Americans seek avenues to enjoy life and sustain a certain lifestyle.  They do not embrace a craft/vocation to the benefit of the larger community/culture/society. Why should they?  What larger meaning, purpose, and direction has been offered, nurtured, sustained for them by K-12 education, mass media, local communities, family?  Note:  Living in rural Lancaster County, PA, I am struck by the fact that there has never been a time when all Americans have sought after the higher education.  

Yes, the 1862 Morrill Act/Land Grant College Act was a great step forward for our nation which provided an educational opportunity for many.  But the individualistic foundations and mass media focus of our larger culture are hard to shake.  Higher education should continue to address these concerns through special summer programs and increased partnership with K-12 education. But their strongest investment should be in relationships with parents, educators, local school boards, libraries, etc.  In the end, transformation occurs on the local level where word/narrative and example come together ... but what narrative do they have to offer? Quite frankly, U.S. prosperity, security, and global competitiveness in the 21st century is not the narrative for my family.  Time for us to start writing out our family's narrative/mission/core values, for some of my personal narrative visit here

Two additional items:

  1. a significant boost to higher education in the 20th Century was war, not just weapon production, but also the GI Bill and the surge of draft avoidance through the piling on of degrees.
  2. research institutions extend beyond Land Grant Colleges.  A topic for another day.
Well, it's out there, of my chest. As you can tell, it's not a complete thought.  Challenge it.  Help me refine it.

Christian Legal Society v. Martinez

Posted by tom | Jun 29, 2010

Please join me in prayer as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship seeks discernment on the national and local scene regarding how the Supreme Court decision Christian Legal Society v. Martinez applies to our ministry.  InterVarsity has an article posted at http://www.intervarsity.org/news/supreme-court-decision-on-campus-ministry

Below are my initial thoughts on the case followed by some articles of interest.*  Feel free to share your thoughts/responses and article recommendations ...

We believe that the Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association principles of the First Amendment provide that InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Christian Legal Society, and other campus ministries should not be forced to compromise our basic Christian beliefs in order to have the same campus presence as other organizations.  InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court decision fails to recognize this basic principle. However, over the next few days InterVarsity Christian Fellowship will be receiving further legal opinions on the ruling and its implications. The fact that the decision was remanded back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also means that its impact is still not fully known.

When I served at Carnegie Mellon U, although the InterVarsity Undergrad Chapter was recognized by the campus, the Chapter did not receive money from the school because of the religious nature of the organization.  This stemmed from a policy that no religious groups receive funding.  Although the Chapter secured office space in the new student center in 1996 (Note:  they had office space in the previous student center), they were charged a monthly fee for the use of office space.  (More)

Worst Paying College Degrees

Posted by tom | Jun 16, 2010

According to Worst-Paying College Degrees: We all know money doesn't buy happiness -- and that's good news for these new grads (Charles Purdy, Yahoo! HotJobs). ...

Theology (starting annual salary: $34,800; mid-career annual salary: $51,500)
This is the perfect example of a degree earned by someone who's "not in it for the money": people who choose to study theology often feel they're pursuing a higher calling (and often feel a strong desire to do good in the world, no matter the cost).
Quick comment:  Yes ;-)  Praise God for the gifts of the people of God (love, counsel, time, finances, basic household needs ...) and WIC!  Of course, I haven't made the full-time commitment to seminary, so my undergrad degree is in Biology* and my masters in Education (another low paying field, although 'higher education' is not the same as what's described in the article).
Education (starting annual salary: $36,200; mid-career annual salary: $54,100)
For the right people, teaching is an immensely rewarding career--and it's truly a noble one. The good news is, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment opportunities for primary, secondary, and special education teachers are expected to grow by 14 percent in the coming decade. And there will be plenty of new opportunities in continuing education for adults, as professional skill requirements change ever more rapidly. 
*Even though I took a lot of religion classes and could have graduated with a dual degree if I had stayed another year at Grove City College in order to subsitute classes for the six core curriculum classes, which you can't take twice ;-)  But I was ready to get into the "field" at Carnegie Mellon University.

Investing in the Lives of Scholars

Posted by tom | Jun 15, 2010

Thank-you to the many partners in ministry who invest their resources to enable me to give focused time and attention to the strategic, pioneering work of the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN).  You've all heard me share about ESN's growth in "identifying, encouraging, and equipping the next generation of Christian scholars who seek to be a redeeming influence within higher education" AND the amazing stories of of those whom I have had the opportunity to walk along with in the challenging academic journey. ... But to make sure I keep those who desire more specifics up-to-date, below's a teaser.  Note:  the full report (based upon our May 2010 member survey) will be available in mid-July.

ESN Members: 3,604 as of April 2010 (8.4% increase from June 2009).

ESN Blog for the last 30 days: 

  • 1,700 unique visits (42% increase from a year ago)
  • 2,795 page views (60% increase from a year ago)
  • Averaging 156 subscribers over past 30 days
  • A couple of quotes from our 2010 ESN member survey:
    • Graduate student: "[I have been] fed spiritually through the articles on the site."
    • InterVarsity staff: "An excellent resource to direct students and faculty to join!"
    • ESN Mentor: "I've been glad to be a mentor to younger, up-and-coming scholars."

What have I contributed to ESN since moving to South Central PA?

  • “In many ways, Tom Grosh’s ministry to students and faculty is a 'throwback' to the early days of InterVarsity, yet his vision always casts forward to the redeeming influence that Christians can have in the university. Through his visits to campuses throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, his writings on discipleship of the mind, and his concern for the whole of the Christian life, Tom consistently brings a word from God to the students and faculty he encounters. His gifts of reflection and discernment, as well as his deep love for the people and ideas of the university, are a great benefit to the Emerging Scholars Network and InterVarsity.” -- Micheal Hickerson, Associate Director, ESN, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

PS.  If you haven't visited the ESN Blog recently, I'd encourage you to swing by to check out an interview of a follower of Christ engaged with higher education:

Higher Education's Big Lie

Posted by tom | Jun 11, 2010

Although Higher Education's Big Lie (Ann Larson, Inside Higher Ed, 6/3/2010) is too strong, it compliments several articles which I've recently posted (e.g., College For All? Experts Say Not Necessarily, Worst Paying College Degrees) AND is a helpful warning as to how we can fall for "the education gospel."  It's much more complicated than that.  No doubt that's part of the rise of Helicopter Parenting Out in the Open, But what is the Origin & Purpose?  Below's the opening 2 paragraphs, be sure to read the whole article, http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2010/06/03/larson.

The notion that education, particularly a college degree, is the key to career success is a particularly American idea. It is what the sociologists W. Norton Grubb and Marvin Lazerson have called "the education gospel," a national ethos of hard work in school paying off and of equal opportunity for all. Politicians of every stripe have addressed unemployment by advising the unemployed to take individual responsibility for their futures by learning new skills and by reinventing themselves for a global economy where opportunity will materialize for those with the right credentials.

And workers have responded to the call. As The New York Times reported recently, there are now more students enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education than ever before. Today, women attend college in record numbers, and, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2003, the number of African American, Hispanic, and other minorities enrolled in college reached the highest levels in history. -- Higher Education's Big Lie (Ann Larson, Inside Higher Ed, 6/3/2010)

Helicopter Parenting Out in the Open, But what is the Origin & Purpose?

Posted by tom | Jun 5, 2010

As Parenting Out of Control (Serena Golden, Inside Higher Ed, 6/3/2010) evidences, conversation about 'helicopter parenting' is now 'out in the open.'

A few days ago on Facebook, I pointed out that I don't agree with placing the burden of its rise on social class. Let's be sure to include a complex set of factors such as:

  1. the campus rejection of 'in loco parentis'
  2. lower faculty involvement/mentoring of students, which placed more of a burden on student life and parents
  3. responsibility being pushed by society to an older age
    • Thank-you to my friend who shared, "I think that some of it also has to do with the fear of failure from parents' perspective, and the lack of failure from the kids' perspective. I found the only comment to this book revealing on that note. Many of the kids I teach in the first few years at the U. have never failed at anything in their lives... Or never really had to work hard to succeed... I attribute that to both parents and schooling... So these kids don't really understand the consequences of failure, lack of effort, what it really means to "do your best"...  However, I think failing at something, or knowing the consequences of one's (in)actions, is a terribly important lesson. Too bad some of these "kids" only learn this lesson at age 20."  Note:  More comments have now been posted, it's ironic that one of the comments has a faculty confession of trying to help their kids with assignments in order to help them graduate.  What does this have to say about the passion for learning in that household?
  4. historic differences between residential/commuter perspective
  5. the increasing ability to communicate:  from mail/personal visits to phone to cell phones, email, texting
  6. And now as I come to think about it, a growing relationship between parents and children.  
    • In and of itself, this can't be viewed as all bad. Maybe we're developing a new form of apprenticeship.  Hmm. ... maybe I should revise some of my thoughts at College For All? Experts Say Not Necessarily
    • Teaser:  Nathan Foster and I talk about this over the course of our interviews, in particular how the Leave it Beaver Dad focused on earning money/success for the advance of the family but wasn't present for his children.  Maybe the Helicopter Parent to some degree is an overcompensation for the experience of parenting by some who are parents today.  Although we can critique this situation, there were some contexts in which it was necessary for the dad (and at times the mom) to work with abandon to enable the family to put food on the table.

The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to ComeI'll have to look at the book to see what material would be helpful to incorporate into Next Steps, my seminar on the transition from high school to college for parents, students, youth ministers.* I think that more parents should be concerned about and invest in the preparation for the transitions from an early age. As I've been telling my twins (who are 10), they're almost adults. It may be awkward, but they're already setting patterns and making big decisions in how their identity in Christ works out in daily life, in the coming years that will most probably include college. We pray for God's leading every day.  Maybe in a few years my college ministry will extend from children's ministry through dying well [Note:  currently reading The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come (Rob Moll, InterVarsity Press, 2010) for my work at PSU-Hershey Medical Center's Christian Medical Society (CDMA)].

*If your local congregation or youth ministry is interested, let me know.

College For All? Experts Say Not Necessarily

Posted by tom | Jun 4, 2010

Quick thought on College For All? Experts Say Not Necessarily (Alan Scher Zagier, Huffington Post, 05/13/10), which I initially sent via email to the friend who brought the article to my attention, followed by my friend's response to my quick thoughts.

No, not necessary.  But we must be satisfied with having less.  Can we move back in the direction of enjoying handmade/crafted items (e.g., clothing, furniture), sustainability through home grown food/animals even in the cities (e.g., community gardening, chicken coops), shared life (e.g., communal living)?  Can we scale back the prevalent sense of 'right' to inordinate levels of consumer products, technology, travel/vacation, health care?

Response: "but discipleship training would need to include teaching on supporting ourselves from God's resources where we live..so we wouldn't be dependent on stuff sent from china to walmart...the mennonites and others do better at raising enough to store away or freeze for the coming year...and developing recipes that are inexpensive yet with good nutritional value...with grains, beans, etc...the first step is to get off addiction to expensive fast foods, and mcdonalds type stuff...less expensive clothing from thrift stores...more walking (many students at x [the college where I teach] drive five blocks to class)...."

What do others think?  Would such a perspective lead to a widening of the gap between a wealthy, educated class and the craftsman?  I've always found it of interest how much the aspirations of societal/individual success through education downplays the value of skills in the practical trades, crafts, home, kitchen.

Note:  3 related posts on the ESN blog. 

Chasing Wisdom with Nathan Foster

Posted by tom | Jun 2, 2010
Cover of Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet. Nathan Foster. InterVarsity Press: 2010.

As I have mentioned in several places including Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet and Wisdom Chaser: Insights on Parent-Child Relationships, I found reading Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet (Nathan Foster. InterVarsity Press. 2010) to be a great blessing.

In follow-up, I contacted Nathan Foster (Assistant Professor of Social Work, Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, MI) to chat about some topics which I thought would be particularly applicable to members of the Emerging Scholars Network.  Check out the first in the series at Chasing Wisdom with Nathan Foster.

Teaser: 

Thomas B. Grosh IV:  Talking about openness.  How did you share with your Dad that you have this project?  What was your Dad’s first reaction to the project? Was it awkward to mention the idea to him?

Nathan Foster:  I lived in Kentucky and I talked to my dad one day on the phone and he said he was going to Nashville for a conference.  And I said, “Hey. I’ll  meet you and hang out on the hotel floor.”  He said, “Great.”  I went down and he spoke.  And we got to hang out and do a bunch of stuff.  … The two of us were casually sitting down with a publisher and we were cracking jokes about our trips and talking about some of things we had done and I made some joke about “I’ll write a tell all book about Richard Foster.”  And the publisher said, “I’d be interested in that.”  And the agent said, “I’d be interested in that.”  And I’m like, “Hmm.” ...

 

ESN Post: Where did you find your megaphone?

Posted by tom | May 7, 2010

If you haven't already, I'd encourage you to take a few minutes to swing by and wrestle with Where did you find your megaphone? -- http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2010/05/where-did-you-find-your-megaphone  It's the first post in an Emerging Scholars Network Blog series on cultivating your voice and finding your audience while in graduate school.  Great to have another blogger involved with the Emerging Scholars Network Blog and I'm really looking forward to what challenging material Janine Giordano* has to share with us over the course of the next several weeks!

*a graduate student and ESN member from the University of Illinois. When she is not teaching, she spends most of her time working on her dissertation, Between Religion and Politics: The Working Class Religious Left, 1886-1936.

 

 

Recent Emerging Scholars Network Blog Posts

Posted by tom | Apr 21, 2010

Even if you don't regularly follow the Emerging Scholars Network Blog, you might find one of these articles of interest ...

 

Supreme Court hears Christian Legal Society v. Martinez

Posted by tom | Apr 19, 2010

Pray for the U.S. Supreme Court justices to render a wise decision that does not limit campus ministry as they deliberate the case of the Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which will be heard today (4/19).  InterVarsity has an extensive article on the case and how it potentially impacts our ministry at Campus Ministry Threatened.

The Supreme Court’s ruling regarding Christian Legal Society v. Martinez will clarify conflicting decisions between two federal circuit courts about whether the U.S. Constitution “allows a state law school to deny recognition to a religious student organization because the group requires its officers and voting members to agree with its core religious viewpoints.” The American Bar Association website indicates that nearly 100 parties have filed briefs in support of the CLS position, including 14 state attorneys general. InterVarsity joined a brief with 15 other individuals and organizations which have, as the brief states, “encountered resistance, at various public school campuses, to organizational recognition or equal benefits based upon their supposed violation, by insistence upon religious standards, of official non-discrimination policies.” -- Campus Ministry Threatened (InterVarsity News, 4/13/2010).

Note:  NPR's coverage posted at Supreme Court To Hear All-Comers Policy Case (4/19/2010) and Court To Hear Arguments On Campus Christian Group (Associated Press, 4/19/2010).

New resource: Center for Gospel Culture

Posted by tom | Mar 29, 2010

Recently came across the Center for Gospel Culture. Check it out.

How did this start? What was the vision/dream behind CGC?

A core value that we have at our church at Citylife, is to have everyone understand not only the truth of the gospel, but the implications of that truth into every dimension of life. It’s not merely about the gospel being preached and received, but how it can be lived. As a council member of the gospel coalition, I have been thinking, praying, wrestling, and having conversations with others on how we can recapture the center of evangelicalism, which is the gospel. I believe that the center exists to establish the centrality of the gospel as the basis for developing a gospel culture worldview in renewing every dimension of an individual’s life –spiritual, social, theological, ecclesiological, ministerial, psychological, corporate, and professional –so that individuals would be able to think, act, and live in line with the truth of the gospel (Gal 2:14). We want to establish a gospel central worldview for people who want to live out a life that revolves around a gospel culture. I also had a burden to bring some of my background training in biblical theology to help people to have an inter-canonical, diachronic, historical-redemptive, reading the scriptures along its big story plotline. -- http://centerforgospelculture.org/about/faq/

3/26: Alleviating Global Poverty Using Technology

Posted by tom | Mar 25, 2010

Walter Bradley, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Baylor University, will be speaking on Friday, 3/26, 7:30 pm, Messiah College.  Some graduate students from PSU-Hershey will drive over to hear him address Alleviating Global Poverty Using Technology:  How Can I (or You) Possibly Make a Difference? ... http://www.messiah.edu/godandscience/spring10/bradley.html.

If you're in the area and interested, come and join us. If you're interested, but can't make it ... don't worry, notes will be coming ;-)

Culture of Education, Commitment to Learning, Community

Posted by tom | Mar 24, 2010

Inner city prep for college, which goes nearly year round!  Lots of excellent pursuits, but I was particularly impressed by the commitment to learning (vs. teaching to the tests).  Not surprising that the same friend who I quote in The Purpose of Education passed this along.   

Role model school in Detroit (Video, 3/20/2010, 2:36)
A Detroit school serves as a role model for a failing school district, reports CNN's Allan Chernoff.

PS.  How about casting vision by hanging university banners in the hallways.  Must be fun during March Madness!

Prayer for Spring Team Meetings

Posted by tom | Mar 23, 2010

Heading out to join the prayer team for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Spring Team Meetings. 

Pray for

  • Safe travel to/from Madison, WI, for all delegates
  • Lord's discernable Presence and direction in all discussions and decisions
  • Clarity in vision for the future, one which is founded upon the Word of God, led by the Spirit, and aligned with our particular call within the Body of Christ
  • Opportunity for me to make several important connections

InterVarsity covering Harvard Basketball

Posted by tom | Mar 15, 2010

Just came across Harvard Basketball Takes Off (March 12, 2010) on InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's website.  Here's the first two paragraphs of the article.

Harvard has never seen anything like Jeremy Lin. In fact U.S. college basketball has never seen anything quite like Jeremy Lin, an Asian American basketball player who became a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award as he led his Harvard team to its best record ever this season.

But Jeremy is just as committed to leading his weekly Bible study with the Harvard Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship (HRAACF) as he is to leading his basketball teammates to victory. He’s also begun a Bible study with some of his basketball teammates.

Note: One of my earlier posts on Jeremy Lin: How does your faith shape the way you behave on the court? 

Coming back from Spring Break to study in the boring library

Posted by tom | Mar 15, 2010

Today Penn State returns from spring break.  But I'm afraid that none of the students on the various campuses (or on many other institutions in the system of American higher education) will return to a library such as those found in Librophiliac Love Letter: A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries (Note: there are a few American libraries which make the compendium). 

Do you think working in such libraries opens up the life of the mind, imagination? How do utility and beauty vie with one-another when considering the construction of institutions in higher education?  Are such libraries a thing of the past, the dark ages from dead traditions which gave more space and placed more value upon beauty ;-)  Any votes on which library posted on the site should be listed as most beautiful or is comparision not even possible? 

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