Missio Dei: The Context of Our Callings (Scholar’s Compass)

What, if anything, does my spiritual life have to do with my work life? Better yet, what does my spiritual life have to do with my life’s work? Is my specific vocation incidental or irrelevant to my spiritual formation? Or do these aspects of my life converge somehow? Similarly, are evangelical witness and the integration of faith and scholarship mutually exclusive concerns, one activity being suited to dynamic extroverts and the other to bookish introverts? Or is there a way in which these go together?Read more…

Final Week: Double your ESN Gift with Matching Grant

For July only, we’ve received a matching gift opportunity to raise $2500 towards sharing Scholar’s Compass teaser booklets at summer conferences. As we enter the final week, it’s a perfect time to give towards putting Scholar’s Compass in the hands of academics and Christian leaders this summer. Read more…

Sleep and the Graduate Life (Scholar’s Compass)

Normally, I’m a heavy sleeper. But I woke up the other night and rolled over to a more comfortable position. But I did not fall back asleep. Instead, I began to think about the rent on my new apartment due in a month. I began the math of incoming paychecks and other bills and repeated the infinite lament of the graduate student stipend. I did not sleep for another hour. Read more…

Feasts and Revelry: Good Food and the Grad Life (Scholar’s Compass)

I visited the Trade Winds Asian Market on a rare summer evening where time slows and places itself like infinity in your hands. I wanted to make green coconut curry before the summer ran out; summer always seems to run out before it has any right to do so. A friend and I drove to the market and wandered the aisles of unfamiliar labels and food types. We pondered the notations in Chinese characters of which green stalks were lemongrass and which was the Thai basil. Read more…

Surely the Lord Was in the Rare Books Room, Part 2 (Scholar’s Compass)

Christians in university settings can all too often find in the church and in academe two cultures that lead us to discouragement. The most uptight Pharisees can miss Christ just as easily as the most ardent skeptics by failing to see the God that they have misdefined in the first place. Read more…

Seeking God’s Wisdom in Strange Places

The author guidelines for Scholar’s Compass posts advise beginning with “a quotation from Scripture or a Christian writer”. The first quotation above is neither. It is an extract from the Instruction of Amenemope (variously named Amenophis, Amenemopet, or Amen-em-apt), an ancient Egyptian work of uncertain date giving advice of a practical and ethical kind from a father to a son. Read more…

Gates and “Keys” (Scholar’s Compass)

Most days, on my way to the library, I have to pick my way through a narrow passageway between Senate House (the ceremonial headquarters of Cambridge University where degrees are conferred) and Gonville and Caius College, dodging speeding cyclists, tourists stopping to take photos, and long crocodiles of schoolchildren. Read more…

Wisdom: Cosmic, Practical and Playful (Scholar’s Compass)

In the first post in this series, I introduced the mysterious figure of Lady Wisdom, a key character in the nine chapters that introduce the book of Proverbs. This figure, gendered as female, stands in the streets and calls the passers-by to feast at her house, eating her bread, drinking her wine, and learning from her to “walk in the way of insight” (Proverbs 9:1-6). Read more…

Navigating the Rapids, Part 3 (Scholar’s Compass)

Of course there have been other “tragedies” in my life since the one described in the first entry of this series. Through a more recent trial, God convicted me of the need for accountability in my life, something I’ve avoided in the past because of pride and independence. I thought, “I’m not doing anything wrong and I don’t want people in my business.”Read more…