What are you reading, watching, thinking about this week? As usual, here’s a few which have been on our mind. Let us know your thoughts on any/all of them. If you have items you’d like us to consider for the top five, add them in the comments or send them to Tom or Mike.
1. All-Nighters: Failing to Fall (Siri Hustvedt, NY Times Opinionator, March 3, 2010): Do you find your imagination flourishing as you fall asleep, so much so that you fail to fall asleep? How do you address not being able to fall asleep when you have a lot of work?
2. Learning From the Sin of Sodom (Nicholas Kristof, NY Times Op-Ed, 2/27/2010): A liberal columnist looks as the influence of evangelicals on U.S. support for international health, development, and humanitarian activities. It is an interesting comment on the changing tone of many secular commentators toward faith-based organizations. — Link/comment passed along by a post doc at whose Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF) a Political Theory PhD student shared (among other things) that he didn’t think human rights were possible without a theistic, i.e, Christian framework.
3. Religion Among the Millennials: The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life recently a report in February detailing the religious beliefs and practices of “Millennials” (people ages 18 to 29). Here’s how Pew introduces their report:
By some key measures, Americans ages 18 to 29 are considerably less religious than older Americans. Fewer young adults belong to any particular faith than older people do today. They also are less likely to be affiliated than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations were when they were young.
4. InterVarsity’s History on Campus: Two recents events brought InterVarsity’s history on college campuses into the present. First, one of our earliest campus planters, Grace Koch Belden, passed on to glory at the age of 93. Grace’s story was told on IV’s website in 2007 – she organized Swarthmore’s InterVarsity chapter as a student, then traveled throughout the East Coast as a staff member, touching other campuses you might have heard of – Harvard, Johns Hopkins, places like that.
Second, InterVarsity held its Asian American Ministries Staff Conference this past week. Check out this post on the event from Kathy Khang. Kathy notes that InterVarsity hired Gwen Wong in 1948 . Like Grace, Gwen was a true pioneer, launching student work in Hawaii before moving to the Philippines in 1953 to found the IFES campus ministry there. Praise God for these two faithful women who laid the groundwork for our ministry today.
Tom’s been digging into Life in the Trinity: An Introduction to Theology with the Help of the Church Fathers (Donald Fairbairn, InterVarsity Press, 2009) and finding it to be an engaging combination of Scripture, quotes from the Church Fathers, and author commentary. Tom will be sharing some quotes in the coming weeks, but if you can’t wait, swing by Google Preview. HT: Dan and Miller.
Mike is pretty excited about the new book from Gerald McDermott, The Great Theologians. McDermott profiles 11 key theologians in the history of the church, such as Augustine, Origen, Aquinas, Luther, and more recent thinkers like Hans Urs von Balthasar. If it’s as good as his 2007 book, God’s Rivals, it will be a great introduction for anyone who wants to be introduced to these important thinkers and pastors.
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!