Great Blue Heron. Photo Credit: Ray Miller, Pixabay

We’re deeply excited by the response to the academic devotional so far. Over forty writers in at least five countries have gotten in touch. We’re delighted to hear from so many scholars who want to talk about integrating faith and academic vocation.

If you haven’t responded yet, we’d love to hear from you. We’d also love to receive your input on names. Which are your favorites? Any new suggestions? We’ll be deciding soon, so please tell us your ideas.

We’re so grateful for the many people who’ve offered to pray for the project, as well.

Please thank God with us for:

  • The number of writers who are willing to share their experience
  • The groups who’ve expressed an interest in engaging with the devotional as we’re writing
  • The great name input we’ve received so far

Please pray for:

  • More writers and communities who desire to collaborate
  • A deep sense of community among writers and readers of the devotional
  • Wisdom as we choose a name soon
Multiverse schematic showing universes colliding

This schematic of colliding universes comes from New Avengers #5 by Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting (Avengers and related characters are property of Marvel Comics and Disney)

Last week, we looked at this article on the quest for validation of a multiverse hypothesis. If each universe in the multiverse is physically distinct, they might interact with each other. Those interactions could leave telltale patterns in the cosmic background radiation. (Cosmic background radiation is an energy signal from the early days of the universe; it’s basically our universe’s very first baby photo.) Find those patterns — circular impressions, like you get when two bubbles bump into each other — and you might just have evidence of universes beyond our own.

Now, whenever the multiverse comes up, one of the obvious questions is how to reconcile the assertion that the only reality is what we can hear, see, or touch with the idea that most of reality, by the definition of the multiverse, can never be directly experienced. Or to put it another way, the only evidence we might hope to have of a multiverse is indirect, via influence on the world we can observe — which raises some interesting comparisons. But I’ll leave that particular metaphysical conversation for another place and time. What interested me most about this item was that I had read it before. Not in another scientific publication, mind you, but in that august periodical known as New Avengers from Marvel Comics. Continue Reading…

Why Read? by Mark Edmundson (Bloomsbury USA, originally published in 2004).

Why Read? by Mark Edmundson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

English departments are under attack in higher education. To be precise, courses that involve reading literature are under attack. Some people still prize being able to express oneself well in writing – maybe what we’ll have down the road is simply “Writing Departments.”

Not if Mark Edmundson has his way. Why Read? is an extended essay on the value of reading, an expansion of a widely circulated Harpers Magazine article [On the Uses of the Liberal Arts]. His answer might be quite surprising to those who have been around English Departments of late. He argues that reading is important for great writers’ exploration of the big questions of life:

  • Why are we here?
  • What is a life well lived?
  • Why should character matter?

He believes books can change us and the test of a good book is that we can live its truth.

Continue Reading…