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…

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…

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…

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…

Vocatio Christi: The Contours of Our Callings (Scholar’s Compass)

“Follow me.” With these two simple words Jesus turned the worlds of Peter, Andrew, James and John upside down. Jesus called them away from the life that they knew in order to be apprenticed into a new Way, a new Truth, a new Life. He extended this call to Matthew the tax collector, to a rich young ruler, and to many, many more. Some followed. Some didn’t.Read more…

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…