Pilgrimage: Journey to a Story Series (Scholar’s Compass)

What is it to have your heart set on pilgrimage? On one level Psalm 84 speaks specifically of traveling the highway to the temple in Jerusalem, God’s dwelling place, the courts of the Lord. However, the psalmist also reflects on the posture of the pilgrim along this path – the yearning for and the single-minded focus on God no matter what the circumstances. God, the focus of this posture, makes even the most dry lands a place of springs. In the 21st century, two millienia after Jesus himself declared he will be with us always and has sent his Spirit to the ends of the earth, such passages can seem irrelevant. But should we be so quick to forget this practice?Read more…

“To tweet or not to tweet?”: Selective empathy in a world of hashtag revolutions (Scholar’s Compass)

On the 7th January 2015 the world awoke to the harrowing news of an extremist attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris. News outlets across the globe covered this sad incident in intricate detail. Shortly after, political figures of all stripes and sizes marched the streets of Paris, showing solidarity with the people of France and the right to freedom of speech. Read more…

Sacrificial Listening (Scholar’s Compass)

David Vishanoff’s paper is a fascinating challenge to both Christian and secular academics to rethink the attitudes we have towards studying other cultures and worldviews. His model of ‘sacrificial listening’ has arisen from his study of Islam – as well as other world religions – and essentially consists in pursuing relationship rather than objectivity as an epistemological value.Read more…

Ruth: Advocating God’s Mercy (Scholar’s Compass)

God has not stopped working through the story of these individuals within his mercy. 
Neither has God stopped working through the myriad of other stories of mercy. We are called to continue in this path within our own lives – sharing God’s mercy in partnership with others. Often the presence of an advocate can make all the difference – whether someone is playing that role for us or we are doing so for another.Read more…

Risk on the Threshing Floor (Scholar’s Compass)

In Ruth’s journey in this new land, she moves from a place of blessing to a place of risk. She has seen God’s blessing in the fields as her mother-in-law’s relative, Boaz, provides her protection and an abundance of grain. It would have been easy to rest in this provision and create a comfortable home with Naomi. But she is called to do more . . .Read more…

Faithful Is Successful: Learn to Discern (Scholar’s Compass)

I left a highly secure job as a high school teacher in a beautiful suburban setting, teaching subjects that I loved most to share. Life was ideal and my income was strong. Yet, God had other plans. Within five years, my husband and I had four children and in the sixth year my mother had a paralyzing stroke the month before my husband was to start graduate school.Read more…

Staying Faithful to the Hidden Life (Scholar’s Compass)

The author first remembers rethinking models of success when he and his wife, also a professional historian, discovered they were having twins near the end of their respective PhD programs. The future was very promising then, with various competitive research grants won and a publishing contract obtained together, for a historical project they had been working on alongside their dissertations. Certainly a rare and exciting feat for two young married historians. At first the oncoming twins seemed the ‘first major speed bump’ towards this ‘fast track to success,’ but naturally, children are much more than that! Read more…

Ruth: An Unexpected Story (Scholar’s Compass)

However, at the same time, maybe only a week into a new program, our expectations for the story we thought we were entering often come crashing down. The students we expected to engage with in weekly face-to-face conversations have become remote avatars from around the world. The academic politics, the reluctance of others to share their research, and the generally inhospitable atmosphere of our departments are a struggle. Read more…

Re-Interpreting Our Explanation Systems (Scholar’s Compass)

Job’s colleagues explained his misfortune or calamity using moral causal ontology: they said that he was suffering due to his sin. This led several to put blame on Job, which compounded his suffering through his friends’ inability to lament with him and provide succor for him. The loss of Job’s flock, wealth, children, and health were used as evidence that he had sinned. Read more…

How to Be a Christian Grad Student (Scholar’s Compass)

My vivid imagination has created a wonderfully precise image of a Christian graduate student who talks, teaches, writes, and researches with faith, intelligence, and success. She is articulate about her beliefs among her colleagues, brilliant in her research, and is influential in her students’ academic and spiritual lives.Read more…