Archives For theology

A Review of Matt Perman’s What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done (Zondervan: 2014)
By David H. Leonard, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics, Luther Rice University, Atlanta, GA

It might be tempting to think that productivity is a topic more suitable for business leaders and entrepreneurs, for whom it’s essential to “get things done” as efficiently as possible.  As Matt Perman argues in What’s Best Next, however, productivity is mainly about loving others by putting their needs first.  Such an emphasis results not only in greater productivity, but is also consistent with a Christian view of such matters.  Indeed, the implication is that all Christians, regardless of their vocation, are called to excel in their productivity.  To achieve that goal, it’s not sufficient that we’re merely aware of the relevant skills of productivity; rather, our employment of these skills must be motivated and informed by a proper theological foundation.  In this regard, Perman’s book offers readers a unique and insightful perspective on the topic of productivity, explicitly informed by the Christian faith.

Christian scholars, in particular, ought to take seriously Perman’s insights on productivity, for the ideas and principles he develops have direct relevance for the quality of their teaching and research.  Whereas Andreas Köstenberger, for example, has challenged scholars to pursue their work with excellence, in terms of demonstrating boldness amidst the pressures of “academic respectability” and displaying integrity in their scholarly activities, Perman highlights for readers the practical steps that might be taken to clear the way for such excellence to be achieved.  Continue Reading…

The Reason for God. What then is the nature of apologetics and why do we participate in an apologetic task at all?

In my last post, I said that as an academic teaching religion, I should not consider that my role as a teacher is apologetic in its nature. And by that I mean that I can teach religious systems (in my case Catholic theology) as religious systems without feeling like I have a responsibility to point out where these religious systems do not agree with the basic tenets of Christianity or with my own position as an evangelical Protestant. But this raises the question, what then is the nature of apologetics and why do we participate in an apologetic task at all?

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Ard Louis[1] The calling of Christian postgrad students and academics (1/29/2012) from oxfordchristianmind (52 min, 52 sec).

Description: What does our calling to be disciples of Christ mean for our academic vocation (whether temporary as students or longer term as a career)? What are some of the promises and pitfalls of the scholarly life? How can academics and postgraduate students serve and relate to the wider body of Christ (the Church)?

Getting to know Ard Louis (Reader in Theoretical Physics at the University of Oxford): Last spring I had opportunity to connect with Ard Louis at a conference. I appreciated extended conversation with an InterVarsity alumnus who brought international perspective to graduate studies in the United States, was blessed by participating in an InterVarsity fellowship, and continues following Christ with passion as an academic in another country. In addition to checking out the resources available at Developing a Christian Mind at Oxford [2], I also took time to soak in his excellent Veritas Forum presentations, e.g., Does Science Make Faith Obsolete? at Johns Hopkins University and Science and Spirituality at Swarthmore College. Continue Reading…