Week in Review: Faith, Reason, and YouTube Edition

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. Mike will write a longer post about this on Monday, but Bruce Waltke’s departure from Reformed Theological Seminary – following his appearance in a video posted on the Biologos Foundation’s website – has been making big news.  (In case you don’t follow Biblical studies, Waltke has been a leading OT scholar for decades.) More links to come on Monday, but Scot McKnight tipped me off to Michael Bird’s discussion, not just of Waltke’s situation, but other OT scholars who have left institutions because of conflicts over historicity.

2. Wired Campus: Lehigh Professor Advertises Course on YouTube (Mary Helen Miller, Chronicle of Higher Education, 4/15/2010).  What do you think about this idea, click here to see the video.  Is it transferable to classes beyond journalism and social media?  Do you envision competition for students?  How does this mix with posting other YouTube material, i.e., should one choose to a solid line between public and private identity when providing posts?  Is it helpful/appropriate to have family or religious video under the same identity/name?

3.  Join us in prayer for the Ohio State University (OSU) Price of Life which begins on Sunday, April 18.  Click here for The Three Events which will Change History.  Note: More activities are listed under the schedule under the header About the Price of Life. For Emerging Scholars at OSU and in the area, don’t miss Price of Life Seminar on Human Trafficking: What Difference can a Fledgling Scholar Make? by Dr. Wayne Barnard, International Justice Mission.  For Emerging Scholars on other campuses, consider exploring this topic and other materials found in the website.

4. The Chronicle recently devoted an entire issue of the Chronicle Review to the problems facing graduate education in the humanities. Most of it is behind a paywall, but check out Katherine Polak’s “Letter from a Graduate Student in the Humanities.”(And, of course, you can compare the Chronicle‘s coverage with our own series, “Why Get a PhD in the Humanities.”)

5. German philosopher and sociologist Jürgen Habermas has written a new book, An Awareness of What’s Missing: Faith and Reason in a Post-Secular Age, in which he tempers his previous judgment of religion and admits that religion isn’t going away any time soon. Stanley Fish reviews the book, and Chelsea Carlson reviews Fish’s review at the Harvard Ichthus’s Fish Tank blog, and both find Habermas’ treatment of religion as ultimately lacking. From Fish:

As Norbert Brieskorn, one of Habermas’s interlocutors, points out, in Habermas’s bargain “reason addresses demands to the religious communities” but “there is no mention of demands from the opposite direction.” Religion must give up the spheres of law, government, morality and knowledge; reason is asked only to be nice and not dismiss religion as irrational, retrograde and irrelevant.

Once again, a discussion of the relationship between “faith” and “reason” fails to bring up Douglas Sloan’s Faith and Knowledge. Sloan’s book analyzes the (failed) student and faculty ministries of mainline Protestantism between the 1930’s and 1970’s, and identifies a key factor in their collapse as the rejection of religion as a true area of knowledge fit for inclusion in the university.

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Tom Grosh IV

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 South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is 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!

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