Last week I had the opportunity to hear “the one and only” Byron BorgerÂ (owner ofÂ Hearts & Minds Bookstore) spend a night informally chatting with his good friend Steve Garber, director of the Washington Institute and author of Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and BehaviorÂ (IVP. 2007). What didÂ Byron and SteveÂ explore on a Friday night over coffee with a 100+ friends from South Central PA?*
Steve started by sharing his story of growing up in the large agricultural valley of San Joaquin, California, and how the orientation of the Appalachians confuse him. With a smile Steve remarked
“Jesus choose to be incarnate in a place much more like California than here” [i.e., Pennsylvania].Â Note:Â He mentioned this more than once 😉
Not surprisingly, SteveÂ quickly turned to worldview:
About the time I met my wife I heard the word “worldview” for the first time, about 17 or 18 years old.Â My whole world could be made sense of by what was true. â€¦Â If faith could shape anything, then it had to shape how I treated girls.Â â€¦. I was drawn into what it would mean to relate to women. â€¦ I found it hard to find anyone who agreed with me. â€¦
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, that’s romantic material for Emerging Scholars. Don’t worry, more to come on this topic 😉
To wrap his mind around “worldview,” SteveÂ dropped out of college.First heÂ lived in a commune in the bay area of California for a year. With his father being a University research scientist, Steve traveled betweenÂ campusesÂ thinking through what his life was going to be about, “seeking a better reason to be in college than passing a test and doing it again.Â ”
Steve wanted to know,Â “What is the point of learning?”Â While spending a year at the commune in Palo Alto, he wroteÂ for the commune’s magazine andÂ listened a lot. He began to see behind every personÂ he met andÂ experienceÂ he had that
how we answered â€œWho am I?â€ wasnâ€™t a silly, stupid thing.
Eventually Steve went to Lâ€™Abri to answer the question “Who am I?” He was looking for a place he “could ask an honest question and get an honest answer.”
Take a few minutes to consider/discuss with a friend, colleague, InterVarsity staffworker, faculty mentor.
- How does my faith inform how I treat men, women?
- What is the point of learning?
- Who am I?
- Where haveÂ I found a place to ask honest questions and get honest answers?
More notes, reflections, and challengesÂ from the evening “in process.” If you’d don’t have a copy of Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior, I encourage you to find a copy. I particularly recommend the new expanded edition.
*Note: For Byron’s summary of the evening and Saturday’s conference, visit Reflections on a local Summit: Your Work Matters to God. Thank-you for all your good work Byron and Steve! I truly enjoyed the evening. Keep pressing on in the upward hope of Christ Jesus.
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!