To further “flesh out” Is Reality Secular? Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews? (InterVarsity Press, 2014), I asked Mary Poplin, PhD, Professor of Education, School of Educational Studies, Claremont Graduate University, to offer a follow-up series focused upon practical illustrations, stories, and resources. This is the “teaser” which includes a call to join the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) in refining our resource material over the course of the coming academic term.
Mary Poplin: Many students, particularly in the humanities and social sciences are being taught that truths are nothing but individual or social/cultural constructions of reality that change over time and are used to wield power over others. A skeptical young coed asked Dallas Willard in one of his last talks, “What is truth?” His answer was that truth is reality and reality is what you run into when you are wrong.
In every field, we can engage students in reflecting on truth – what is truth, is there such a thing, what is the alternative, are the laws of physics are true, are there any other laws that might be true, for example, what about the laws of the effects of alcohol on human beings? Are there things we can know in our field that are true, how do/could we know? We can develop strategies to walk through thinking about truth by exploring truth as represented by physical laws, natural laws of nature, laws of human flourishing, moral laws, health laws, laws that govern relationships, such as forgiveness.
Tom’s request: Below are some of the resources ESN has gathered over the years to assist Emerging Scholars in reflecting on truth. Please join Mary and our other contributors/readers not only in refining this material over the coming term, but also in creating/suggesting new resources, e.g.,
- ESN resource pages out of ESN blog posts/categories
- ESN Blogroll
- Regular Alerts on Calls for Papers/Reviews, Conferencing, Job Opportunities
- Updates in disciplines and/or academic life stages along the lines of the Science Corner/Review by Andy Walsh
First step: pick one topic/thread which is of interest and benefit from the material found in it. Second: use the comment feature (or email) to share recommendations on how to revise/update the material and its presentation. Third: share with some others to do likewise. If you and your fellowship/small group has interest in “adopting a page” (and/or being involved in creating the content for a new page) as a 2014-2015 project, please let me know 🙂
- Academics as Mission
- Advice to Those Who Would Be Christian Scholars (Nicholas Wolterstorff)
- Book Reviews/Discussion including series on books such as Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Introduction, Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service,Head, Heart, and Hands: Bringing Together Christian Thought, Passion and Action, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship, Your Mind Matters.
- Campus Resources: InterVarsity Press ’14 (Update: 10/25/2014)
- Christian Professional and Academic Societies — is your field covered? If so, please check the link to confirm that it works. If not and if you have a recommendation to add, please let me know.
- Christian Publications
- Christianity and Science Series (Tom Ingebritsen)
- Core Bibliography — I’m really looking forward to sharing Mary Poplin’s list, which will be of significant benefit in helping us with this task. Stay tuned 🙂
- Questioning Christianity 2014: Suggested Reading List (Redeemer Presbyterian Church) recently caught my attention. Other recommendations?
- Devotionals . . . Scholar’s Compass launched this fall.
- Faith & Academic Commitments in a Post-Modern World. More from Alan G. Padgett.
- Getting Ready for Graduate School Curriculum
- Interviews of those who have gone before us and/or are currently engaged in the journey with us
- Loving God in the Flesh in the Real World (Thomas B. Grosh IV)
- Marks of a Christian Scholar (Mark Eckel)
- Serving Christ as a Professor: Suggested Readings from Urbana 12
- Suggested Readings for Undergraduates — most definitely time to update this list!
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!