William Wilberforce definedÂ ChristianÂ as â€œa pilgrim travelling on business through a strange country.â€ — Marc Baer
Through his presence at and presentations for a number of InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministry gatherings, it has been my privilege to get to knowÂ Marc Baer,Â Professor and ChairÂ of the Department of History, Hope College (Holland, MI). As such, it was with great enthusiasm I took up the opportunity to read his Mere Believers: How Eight Faithful Lives Changed the Course of History (Eugene: Cascade, 2013) for the Emerging Scholars Network.
To offer anÂ inside scoop to Emerging Scholars, I asked Marc a few questions regarding the inspiration, format, and intended purposes ofÂ Mere Believers.Â Note:Â As with previous interviews, I take full responsibility for the related pictures and links.
Tom: Marc, I’m excited to learn about Mere Believers: How Eight Faithful Lives Changed the Course of History. Please share with Emerging Scholars why you wroteÂ Mere Believers.
Marc: Tom, two decades ago I heard a piece on the poet W. H. Auden on the Mars Hill Audio Journal. Even though I had used his poetry in a modern British history course I taught, I didnâ€™t know he was a Christian. So I began thinking about a book that would tell the story of significant modern Britonsâ€”the society Iâ€™ve been studying for 45 yearsâ€”who were believers. In particular, because I came to Christ a few weeks after passing my Ph.D. comprehensive exams Iâ€™ve always been intrigued about adult converts. So I narrowed the focus of the project to such people. Because I teach a general education senior seminar at Hope called Exploring Faith and Calling I was also interested in revealing how my subjects discerned what work they were to do; and because itâ€™s my sense that the new atheists havenâ€™t bothered to carry out any historical research I wanted to show what positive cultural consequences resulted from my subjects coming to Christ. Finally, I had never before written anything for a general audience, and I wanted to try my hand at that.
Tom:Â Anything else that would be helpful to know about the format of Mere Believers? [Read more…] about Interview: Marc Baer on “Mere Believers”