This week wraps up our Scholar’s Compass series on Faithful is Successful. When we started way back in February, my area was looking like Narnia’s hundred-year winter, and now trees have burst into leaf all around us, while flowers spring from the ground. The growth I see all around me is a great image of all the ways God has grown the conversations at ESN through this series, and we’re delighted and thankful.
And the growth isn’t over. Here are several ways conversations or paradigms started through the series are encouraging us toward further growth. We welcome you to join the conversation:
1. New possibilities for ESN interviews.
We’ve been delighted to see the Faithful Is Successful interviews unfold. The interviews have become wonderful moments of conversation between scholars from a wide range of fields, asking and addressing questions that are important to Christian academics at every career stage.
We’re excited about this model, and are planning more interviews along these lines as the summer unfolds. If you’d like to be an interviewer or have suggestions for scholars we should interview, drop us a line.
2. A wider community of conversation.
We’ve been so glad to widen the Scholar’s Compass and interview conversations to include reflections on political science, anthropology, business, early modern history, and more. We want to continue expanding that range of conversations through summer Scholar’s Compass entries and the fall series on the theology of various subjects in higher education. Interested in writing about your subject? Thinking of a subject you’d like to see us address? Drop us a note!
3. An engagement with ongoing themes.
We’re also deeply grateful for the way this series has invited us as a community to wrestle with ongoing themes. We’ll be featuring some reflection on the themes of the series from the book’s editors later in the week. In the meantime, I’ll note a few that are likely to continue on the blog. The struggle to understand how (or if) faith and scholarly ambition fit together has been a central question of the series: how do we strive for excellence in our careers and yet also remember that we follow a God whose Wisdom is expressed in humility?
Another large theme of the series provides at least a partial answer to this question. Listening to others and serving them faithfully has been another theme of the series: the role of the Christian scholar is not just to speak but to listen, and to be open to interruption. Supporting our spouses, children, colleagues, and students are integral parts of an academic vocation for many Christian scholars. Yet another theme has been the great gift that it is to serve Christ in an academic vocation, and the thankfulness that believers feel for the chance to do that. I’m sure we’ll continue to engage with these themes on the blog for a long while to come. If you have any reflections on these things, feel free to get in touch.
We’re thanking God for the wonderful conversations and next steps this series has prompted. We’re also saying a huge thank you to the writing and editing team who put together Faithful Is Successful, and a huge thank you to all the ESN writers who engaged in the conversation. We’ll have a few followup interviews to keep these conversations going, and we pray that God will continue all this growth in other ways as well. Being faithful is about being strongly rooted, about continuing to thrive through the seasons because we are planted near the rivers of God’s mercy. May that be the case here.
What themes/topics/ideas/stories will you take with you from the Faithful is Successful series?
What is one practical step you might take to grow in response to something you’ve read in this series?
In what ways is God showing you a path to growth as the summer begins?
Oh Father, as we strive to be faithful, let us see Your great mercy and generosity to us. Let us recognize how deeply You want to give to us, and let us be like trees planted by Your river. Let Your water refresh us and Your strength nourish us. Let the things we have thought about this spring grow into faithful action as we enter the summer and beyond. Thank You so much. In Christ’s Name, amen.
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