Photo by outlier*

Abundance (Scholar’s Compass)

The first time I saw a passionflower I very nearly tripped over my own astonishment. There was something unaccountable about that firework of purple— an unnatural, extravagant beauty. It was the only bloom in an otherwise untended scratch of dirt, and it seemed to be staging a cheerful rebellion against its uninspired surroundings, as if enjoying the irrational pleasure of hurling splendor into the world.Read more…

Photo by Morten Brekkevold

Science Corner: You’ve Got A Lot of Nerve(s)!

My favorite recent story is the sequencing of the octopus genome. . . . Speaking of learning, I’d like to learn more about my readers so I can better serve you. I’ve created the following survey, and I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d complete it. As an extra incentive, we are offering prizes to 5 randomly selected respondents.Read more…

Photo by Philerooski

The Courageous Christian Scholar (Scholar’s Compass)

Often, in the Old Testament, the familiar refrain, “Be strong and courageous,” is given by God to such leaders as Moses and Joshua. Biblical courage is not psycho-babble; it is based on the presence and favor of God, on behalf of His people, and is predicated upon God’s promises in the present concerning His future intervention.Read more…

Photo by kevin dooley

Journey (Scholar’s Compass)

Everything in life bends toward change, which is why I suppose there are so many travel narratives in the Christian Bible. In fact, the world “pilgrimage” in Psalm 84 is more literally translated as “highways” or “paths”—blessed is he whose heart is set on travel. But the truth is, the travel of the pilgrims in Psalm 84 looks nothing like the travel that I’m used to. In my experience, travel is an uncomfortable business, filled with lumpy beds and exhausting days. Read more…

Photo by Sean_Marshall

Vocatio Christ: The Contours of Our Callings Part 2 (Scholar’s Compass)

It seemed like the whole world was on fire when C.S. Lewis stepped into the pulpit of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Oxford in the autumn of 1939. Only a few weeks earlier Germany had invaded Poland, provoking declarations of war from Great Britain and France, igniting the great conflagration that would be the Second World War. Across the United Kingdom out of a sense of duty and urgency young men were enlisting in the armed services and citizens were preparing for the war effort. And Lewis, the great Oxford don, had been tasked with addressing a room full of anxious young men beginning their autumn term at Oxford University.Read more…

Photo by Soil Science @ NC State

Loving Our Neighbors Through Research (Scholar’s Compass)

It’s easy to imagine an academic vocation as a solitary one, full of brilliant and prickly eccentrics who publish famous monographs but have no idea who lives on their street. But in addition to reminding me how deeply an academic life can be centered in love of God, the scholars at the Lausanne Creation Care and the Gospel Conference also reminded me how deeply it can be about love of neighbor.Read more…

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The Earth is the Lord’s: Worship as Vocation (Scholar’s Compass)

I had an amazing week at the Lausanne Creation Care and the Gospel conference. Many of those present were involved in very active work to care for God’s creation, whether that meant working for a missions organization that helps communities improve agriculture and care for the environment by planting trees, or facilitating Christian academics to partner with local organizations in ecological research.Read more…

International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World Assembly: 22-30 July 2015, Oaxtepec, Mexico. Photo posted by IFES.

The University Today: Challenges and Opportunities

Transcript (with minor edits) of a talk given at the IFES World Assembly in Oaxtepec, Mexico on July 22, 2015. The topic was “The University Today” and the talk addresses four “change” forces in the university that present both challenges and opportunities for mission in the university. Each section includes the reflection questions shared during the talk. Many asked for this transcript so that they could get these questions and further discuss the implications of these “change” forces.Read more…