Last week I had the opportunity to hear “the one and only” Byron Borger (owner of Hearts & Minds Bookstore) spend a night informally chatting with his good friend Steve Garber, director of the Washington Institute and author of Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior (IVP. 2007). What did Byron and Steve explore on a Friday night over coffee with a 100+ friends from South Central PA?*
Steve started by sharing his story of growing up in the large agricultural valley of San Joaquin, California, and how the orientation of the Appalachians confuse him. With a smile Steve remarked
“Jesus choose to be incarnate in a place much more like California than here” [i.e., Pennsylvania]. Note: He mentioned this more than once ;-)
Not surprisingly, Steve quickly turned to worldview:
About the time I met my wife I heard the word “worldview” for the first time, about 17 or 18 years old. My whole world could be made sense of by what was true. … If faith could shape anything, then it had to shape how I treated girls. …. I was drawn into what it would mean to relate to women. … I found it hard to find anyone who agreed with me. …
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, that’s romantic material for Emerging Scholars. Don’t worry, more to come on this topic ;-)
To wrap his mind around “worldview,” Steve dropped out of college.First he lived in a commune in the bay area of California for a year. With his father being a University research scientist, Steve traveled between campuses thinking through what his life was going to be about, “seeking a better reason to be in college than passing a test and doing it again. ”
Steve wanted to know, “What is the point of learning?” While spending a year at the commune in Palo Alto, he wrote for the commune’s magazine and listened a lot. He began to see behind every person he met and experience he had that
how we answered “Who am I?” wasn’t a silly, stupid thing.
Eventually Steve went to L’Abri to answer the question “Who am I?” He was looking for a place he “could ask an honest question and get an honest answer.”
Take a few minutes to consider/discuss with a friend, colleague, InterVarsity staffworker, faculty mentor.
- How does my faith inform how I treat men, women?
- What is the point of learning?
- Who am I?
- Where have I found a place to ask honest questions and get honest answers?
More notes, reflections, and challenges from the evening “in process.” If you’d don’t have a copy of Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior, I encourage you to find a copy. I particularly recommend the new expanded edition.
*Note: For Byron’s summary of the evening and Saturday’s conference, visit Reflections on a local Summit: Your Work Matters to God. Thank-you for all your good work Byron and Steve! I truly enjoyed the evening. Keep pressing on in the upward hope of Christ Jesus.