A Review of Andreas KÃ¶stenbergerâ€™s Excellence
When posted, guest contributor and ESN member David LeonardÂ had recently completed a Ph.D. in philosophy and was teaching a wide range of courses at several universities in the Twin Cities.Â His project at the time involved developing a taxonomy of the intellectual virtuesÂ to be used in college-level philosophy courses. David’s scholarship on virtue gave him particular insight to review the book under consideration,Â Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue byÂ Andreas KÃ¶stenberger, Director of PhD Studies and senior professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Now David serves as anÂ Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics at Luther Rice University in Atlanta, GA. Learn more in his bio below (Update: 4/30/2014).
Nearly twenty years ago, the esteemed Alvin Plantinga wrote the following words, in offering his advice to Christian philosophers:
The Christian philosopher who looks exclusively to the philosophical world at large, who thinks of himself as primarily belonging to that world, runs a two-fold risk. He may neglect an essential part of his task as a Christian philosopher; and he may find himself adopting principles and procedures that donâ€™t comport well with his beliefs as a Christian. What is needed, once more, is autonomy and integrality. [1. Alvin Plantinga, â€œAdvice to Christian Philosophers,â€ Faith & Philosophy, Vol. 1:3 (1984), p. 264.]
In similar fashion, according to Andreas KÃ¶stenberger, the field of biblical studies desperately needs more evangelicals that are firmly committed to the â€œnarrow path of scholarship and integrity.â€ His latest book, therefore, represents a unique and challenging contribution to the broader theme of the relationship between Christian commitment and the academic disciplines.
Excellence in Evangelical Scholarship
If George Marsdenâ€™s aim, in his provocative work, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship, was to convince secular universities to take Christian scholarship more seriously, then KÃ¶stenbergerâ€™s objective, very generally, is to encourage Christian scholars to take themselves more seriously, by insisting that the terms â€œevangelicalâ€ and â€œscholarshipâ€ can be wonderfully wedded together (25). In particular, he directs his attention to young and aspiring theological students, who are â€œoften tempted to sacrifice their integrity for academic respectabilityâ€ (103). [Read more…] about Evangelical Scholarship and the Pursuit of Excellence