Introduction to the Portals

An Introduction to Faith & Scholarship & Its Projects on our Sites

Fides Quaren Intellectum - Faith Seeking Understanding (Anselm)

Credo Ut Intelligam - I Believe in Order to Understand (Anselm)

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    When one thinks about contemporary academe, it is hard to deeply understand it without the benefit of being aware of how many of its seminal notions find their roots at least as far back as the ancient Greeks.  The same could be said about our understanding of the present if we were without the benefit of reflection on how academe was organized in medieval times, in the formal division of the subjects--the seven liberal arts of the Trivium and the Quadrivium.  

    Today we are embroiled in issues as to why more minorities and women are not in the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) fields and maybe the thing to see is that over time what we call the university and how it is structured changes.  Having said that, in this introduction we wish only to speak of the university in the very general terms of the sciences and the humanities.  We will for this brief introduction bracket the question of the proper way to think about what university really is today and what it might be morphing into tomorrow.

    Both the sciences and humanities, at least implicitly, are deeply concerned about things like: what do we know, how can we expand knowledge, how do we justify our claims to know (even if we wish to undercut such claims), what is reality and maybe especially in the humanities, what is a good life and what role does the state play in obtaining that good life.  They are more concerned with knowing rather than merely believing or speculating--perhaps more so explicitly in science than in the humanities.

Caveat

    However, before we get deeply into the aim of this introduction--the broad strokes of what a faith and scholarship project might look like for the academic disciplines--we want to address a potential 800 lb. gorilla in the room.  The lurking primate in our living room is that a large majority of our colleagues might think of the whole idea of integrating one’s faith and with one’s professional scholarship as dreadfully outdated or out of place in academe, if not a paradigm example of an oxymoron.  

    It’s likely George Marsden’s 1994 book, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship, was titled as it was as a gesture to that concern.  One must wonder exactly how such a marginalized view of the faith and scholarship project came about in the academic setting, if only for the historical footnote.  But we think there is more here than deserves a mere footnote, there is a narrative of substance and that story and its history are something worthwhile to absorb and scrutinize very carefully.  We believe the Christian academic community needs to understand and address the concern by our own (Christian) analysis of it, but also chart a path to get beyond it.  (Resources on our site are committed to helping us better understand this received tradition.)  

    Nonetheless, there is this reality of incredulity among our academic friends that could put us in an uncomfortable place with our colleagues, especially if it is thought that we allow our religious or metaphysical commitments to make much of a difference in our research.  Times being what they are, who needs to lead with that?  

    Skepticism for this kind of project seems to be found more in the sciences than in the humanities, but even the humanities with its flirtations with various brands of postmodernism (and thus some skepticism of the objectivity of science) has had its own special hermeneutic of suspicion toward religious things.  This is despite the fact that parts of the humanities seems to want to both promote some sort of cultural if not cognitive relativism, while other parts want to ally in some way their fields with science and thereby borrow some of science’s ambiance of objectivity, credibility and gravitas.

    We are saying skepticism of religiously informed scholarship can be seen especially in the sciences, but in various ways and to some degree in almost all the disciplines.  After all the putative belief is that while there are many different opinions and values about what is a good life and what is worthy of pursuing, not every individual or community has a right to its own set of facts.  It seems that science quite openly claims (or maybe more accurately some scientists and philosophers make the claim about science) that science has a monopoly on the facts and a monopoly on what counts as facts.   However, there is a significant difference between claiming a monopoly (or something very nearly like that) on what the empirical facts say and claiming a monopoly on all of what counts as facts.

    Not everybody takes note of that fine a point and the idea of monopoly on the interpretation of empirical facts and a monopoly on what counts as facts seems to be a working assumption that few of us take time to carefully examine as to what it means; and fewer still examine, what is its justification?  Given the collegial context in academe, many if not most Christian scholars understandably merely do their best as honest scholars to use the bonafide tools of our trade and abide by the rules that our colleagues have agreed upon for research.  After all there is much to praise about the deliverances of the sciences and the humanities--including the precision with which we understand how our universe works, humanity’s insights into the human condition, and the spectacular success of the peer review process.

    Are not science and the rules of scholarship generally (even narrowly) speaking, thought to be neutral with regard to religion anyway—by the way, we do not think so?  Maybe the only thing to say after the ethical considerations is that we Christians should merely work hard to get all of the relevant facts and practice our craft with the integrity needed to allow science and the humanities to flourish.  What are we to say to those who think that scholarship and faith are like oil and water--they naturally separate and should be kept that way?  Is this the way to progress or the way to a truncated exploration of “the facts” under the banner of scientism?  

    Thus we can see pretty early on that a project like we are suggesting, even with the inherent and intrinsic value that we might see in it, could likely face strong and principled opposition from some of our colleagues.  Indeed, that can include some of our Christian colleagues.  That is a concern we must surely have and must address (it could be, in part, simply a problem of identifying ambiguities and potential confusions like the one cited above), and clearing some of this up might mollify the anxiety of some of our colleagues, be of great benefit to the Christian community and to our own need for intellectual coherence.  We must remember that we are in no way setting ourselves against good science or good scholarship--whether we are perceived that way or not.  Rather we are trying to be sure we are acquainted with the subtleties that are imbedded in any integration of Christian theism with our scholarly work.

Integrity

    For us this academic integration is also about a coherence and wholeness not only of our intellectual life, but also of our whole lives as we seek to live out the truth we are pursuing and have found.  And we do that believing the life of the mind--with all that it implies--plays a substantial role in our faith seeking understanding.

    So having noted those two things, including a potentially serious difficulty with some of our secular colleagues, we wish to soldier on and dip our toes further into the shallow end of the pool.  In so doing we also intimate there is a deep end of the pool that requires some courage and some expertise to navigate.  With these words out of the way, we can continue our introduction as to what it means to integrate our faith and academic scholarship and the resources we are providing for that on our sites.

Moral & Ethical Considerations in Science & the Humanities

    How should a Christian scholar properly (and generally) approach the integration of her theological knowledge with what she knows from the academic disciplines?  Initially the most natural ideas that come to mind concern, what things deserve to be investigated, reflected upon and more practically, what research projects are worthy of serious engagement?  Surely these notions have an obvious relationship to ethical and moral considerations--things that serious Christians reflect on: what is a good life, what is it to be a good person and for a community to be a good community and what should a good person and a good community pursue?  Would not these things relate directly to the integrity and integrality of our work and to our attempts to be fair and objective?  Of course, for serious Christians this integration would need to be rigorously thought through academic domain by academic domain with those considerations in mind including what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  

    These things may not have been the first consideration for many of us when we were introduced to the reality of publish or perish.  It is likely we hardly had time to think that deeply or that much about all the moral issues involved—at the time, many had to get producing, and in order to do that, we had to focus to understand what our colleagues thought and were interested in; and the expediency of survival in academe pushed us in the direction of working along those lines.  Maybe we did not toss our moral compass or moral lives to the wind, but at the start few of us have the luxury to think as deeply about this as we might want.  Few of us start out too far from the herd.  Maybe now is the time to begin to do so if we have not  already.  There are important resources on this site to help in thinking about that.

Metaphysical & Methodological Considerations in Science

    That’s good for starters but that’s not nearly all there is to say even on that topic.  Let’s first talk about the sciences side of academe.  We are not arguing we need to disagree with everything or even most of what our secular colleagues have to say.  Neither are we arguing for a flat earth or even 6,000 year old earth and the like of that.  Nonetheless, is that all there is to say on the matter?

    Surely, it is thought, there must be areas of common ground with our colleagues in the sciences.  We Christians do hold that there is an empirical world “out there” independent of our minds and do hold that our study of it does not require us to reject out of hand well-done empirical studiesFor instance, does our belief in God directly affect our calculations on the trajectory of cannon balls fired with such and such a force and at a certain angle, with a projectile of a particular form and weight?  In a narrow construal like that it’s hard to see how a “Christian perspective” has that much relevance.  Further, and especially in the sciences, doesn’t observation of conventional methodology permit a large number of people from many diverse backgrounds and differing points of view into the great conversation?  Hasn’t the progress of science even rolled back religious claims to authority in matters scientific?

    Even if we say yes to all of that, we want to discuss other general things to pursue, some of which will still almost certainly still raise some eyebrows.  What about those other reasons we hinted at for thinking that faith and scholarship is somehow an oxymoron?  There are more than a couple of things to say about that, but in this introduction where we are restricted by length considerations, we will only be able to offer a gesture.  Resources within our site(s) speak to this in some detail and we encourage you to drill down into our materials as you consider the issues.  

    Here’s a starter, consider this quote from Jack Mezirow about the general nature of critical reflection.  He speaks of: 

“...challenging the validity of presuppositions in prior learning...questioning the  justification for the very premises on which problems are posed or defined in the first place...?”

    Should Christians not reflect on the presuppositions they inherit in their disciplines, questioning the justification for the very premisses “...on which problems are posed or defined in the first place...?”Can we not also think about our discipline from what we know as a Christian or can we not allow our theological conclusions (even if held defeasibly) to influence in certain ways the “control beliefs” we bring to our research?  (Compare with Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Reason Within the Bounds of Religion.) 

Metaphysics

    For instance, should we ignore the alleged ambiguities of the term “naturalism,” which despite some of its vagueness, remains all the rage in academic work--especially in domains like ethics, philosophy of mind and our current topic: metaphysics?  

    What can be taken as truly natural? 

    Let’s leave aside for the moment the nuanced and sometimes frustrating details of which particular school of thought contextually constitutes the definition of “naturalism” (those who speak for naturalism do not always speak with one voice), and what distinguishes it from its close cousins and what it means to “naturalize” explanations.  We can ball-park the definition of naturalism for the time-being in this introduction as being very close to metaphysical naturalism (“MN”).  The practical problem in an essay like this is that the initials MN can be confused with another set of initials MN, which could belong to methodological naturalism!  We don’t want to make a difficult situation even messier.

    To avoid that confusion in this essay introduction, instead of using the term ‘metaphysical naturalism,’ we’ll use the term ‘philosophical naturalism’ (PN) as equivalent to metaphysical naturalism and the use of PN should help with any confusion with methodological naturalism and its initials.   So PN, as we are using it here, means that whatever exists if it exists, is in some sense physical or supervenient on the physical--no God, acts of God, gods or ghosts are thought to be denizens of the physical and there are no supernatural or spiritual causes in the spatiotemporal world.  For now we just want to get a rough and ready sense of the contours of this puzzle because there are three concerns we want to highlight.  (This can be a little confusing!  We are using PN as an equivalent to metaphysical naturalism, but that equivalency is only a ball-park approximation to the term ‘naturalism.’  We reiterate this because this ball-park of the term ‘naturalism’ will not do when we get down to the details of a rigorous integration--because even if they are potentially close to the other uses of the term “naturalism,” they might well not be identical.)

    Our first concern is that it is easy to slide into a conflation of “naturalism” with PN, which can lead to serious misunderstandings.  That’s because PN strictly speaking is not compatible with Christian theism or for that matter any kind of respectable theism; but “naturalism” per se, may not mean the same thing when used in certain contexts as PN, and one has to be careful about how the term “naturalism” is precisely construed lest we claim foul too quickly.  The confusion can lead to an unwarranted skepticism of science born of a definitional caricature.  In this case, clarity can cover a multitude of sins.

    Here is an example of how that confusion could come about: would scholarship done from the perspective of PN be neutral with respect to religion?  Is not the philosophical naturalism we are talking about transparently inconsistent with Christian theism and would it not follow that we should expect that scholarship deeply integrated from that sort of philosophical foundation (and what it implies) could lead us somewhere astray from the truth?  Wouldn’t adoption of an PN framework for research require Christian scholars to carry PN and only that commitment into the historical and critical study of the Bible--wouldn’t such a commitment lead us a priori to give up even the possibility of miracles and what would be left of Christianity if we rejected supernaturalism?  

    I think the basic intuition is that such a commitment would force such things and produce from our point of view some radically constructed misfires.  It’s pretty clear that PN won’t do, but until we get the term “naturalism” contextually pinned down in the conversation it’s hard to interact with it effectively.  Even though the term “naturalism” can be confusingly close to PN, we cannot too quickly assume that it is equivalent with PN, and thus be as clearly toxic.  Here close, unlike in horseshoes and hand grenades, isn’t close enough--and we wanted you to be aware of that.

    The second closely related concern has to do with the ubiquity of the term “naturalism” in certain spheres in academe--as we said, it tends to be all the rage.  We have suggested, however, that it doesn’t carry its meaning on its face as some who speak of it apparently think it does.   So not only do you have to be prepared for ambiguity, you might have to ask many questions to get to the bottom of things about its use.  That process of getting clear on it (or distinguishing it from PN) might come across as tedious to some of your colleagues who may not see (or perhaps want to countenance) our concern about how the term is being used.  They may think, what does this have to do with the price of eggs and is not it the case that this imprecision is good enough to do the work we wish to do?  

    However, for us if its use is explicitly as a term for PN, then that needs to be noticed.  On the other hand, if it isn’t we need to know how it’s being used because in some construals there might not be an integrative problem with Christian theism...we, too, believe there is a natural world and for the most part (the vast majority of our investigations) we look for natural explanations in it.  Of course, the rough and ready construal of naturalism we talked about above, even if it is all the rage, is not the only potential metaphysical contender that Christian scholarship may need to interact with these latter days--but it remains a perennial competitor and source of potential confusion in the realm of ontology.  

    It also should be said that for many in academe the general notion of metaphysics qua metaphysics is passé and naive.  For these folks, science (and more generally scholarship) is no longer seeking the real or necessarily “closing in” on big “T” truth, but rather science qua science is best understood as instrumental.  When spoken of in that context “truth” is more like this: we “know” because it is thought that our theories are broader and more coherent than previous ones or in some sense “work,” or it is thought to fit into a useful and fecund au courant paradigm among the people in the appropriate field who count.  And to round out things further, there are also those non-instrumentalists who affirm that the proper metaphysical stance would be to take the results of “properly conducted” science as our de facto metaphysics.  This group sounds a great deal like the traditional philosophical naturalists spoken of above, with the exception that they wish to side-step the onerous task of justifying first principles.

Methodological Considerations

    Not too distant from this discussion of surveying ontological options is the fact that theists (scientific realists or instrumentalists), philosophical naturalists, other non-theistic instrumentalists as well as the non-instrumentalist de facto scientific realists, share the convention of methodological naturalism when they do science.  What is important about this convention is that it is typically pointed to as a significant demarcation point for what counts as science.  What are Christian scholars, especially in the sciences, to think about that?

    This practice leads to our third concern, which is the putative belief that the results that emerge from employing methodological naturalism provide in some important way confirmation for philosophical naturalism (PN).  This is certainly the message our students seem to take away from a university education.

    What should Christian scholars have to say about that unhappy consequence?  Might it be that this apparent confirmation of PN is based on an illusion and is instead due to some sort of unrecognized circular reasoning where, what you see (by way of methodology) is what you get; or might there be some dreaded Kantian category error at fault, like inferring from the phenomena to the noumena?  Moreover, when that is cleared up there often remains the problem C.S. Lewis describes in his 1947 book, Miracles:

“If the Naturalists do not claim to know any truths, ought they not to have warned us rather earlier of the fact?  For really from all the books they have written, in which the behaviour of the remotest nebula, the shyest photon and the most prehistoric man are described, one would have got the idea that they were claiming to give a true account of real things.  The fact surely is that they nearly always are claiming to do so. The claim is surrendered only when the question discussed in this chapter is pressed; and when the crisis is over the claim is tacitly resumed.”

    To understate things a bit, given the impact of apparent confirmation of PN and the potential confusion that surrounds it, shouldn’t Christian scholars reflect more than a bit about these metaphysical and methodological first principles? What sort of responsibility does the Christian scholarly community have to reflect on these questions and to inform the Christian community and perhaps the wider public about these issues?

    Such analysis is integrally connected with the questions of whether religion and science (and scholarship) are separate magisterial domains that do not overlap--if they do seem to overlap, it is said, it is because we haven’t realized that they are merely different ways of speaking about the same phenomena.  For example, one might reply to the question of why there exists a particular car in terms of the physics of internal combustion engines and certain physical laws, etc. or one might properly answer the same question a different way by saying Henry Ford was responsible.  Both could be considered “true” non-overlapping descriptions or explanations of the same phenomena--the first a description of secondary causes, the second in terms of agency.  Nevertheless, is this the proper construal of the relationship between faith and scholarship that should be held universally and without exception?  Granted there are some if not many true but non-overlapping accounts of the same phenomena, the harder question is, does that extend to all cases where faith and scholarship might vie for the same ontological space?  These are important questions to consider.  Our sites take this question seriously and there are resources for exploring that.

    What’s important here to see is that those of us who want to do high level faith and scholarship integration must have or acquire the skills to recognize whether seminal ideas in our integrative projects comport with each other, so that we remain consistent among our metaphysics, epistemology and our theories of morality and value.  It does not hurt either to keep an eye on secular integrations, too, because sometimes we see that their notions do not nicely comport with their own foundational ideas and that can be fun to point out.

    A rough and ready, though admittedly challenging example of the latter might be when some theorists try to “explain” human rationality--here we are thinking of John Searle’s “libertarian naturalism”; and how does an entirely naturalistic or physicalistic explanation of the mind/body problem include the libertarian freedom he concedes it must have to be coherent?

    That’s not so easy to do given the “naturalistic” language he uses, because to get this theory off the ground, brain states cannot be casually sufficient to determine the state of the brain.  According to Searle, changes in states can only be explained by features of the conscious self, which is also by the way, at any given time entirely determined by the state of the “microelements, the neurons, etc. at that instant.”  

    The problem as some have pointed out, lies not that this cannot be worked out someway(for example, by non-natural, non-physical mental causal power--substance dualism); the problem is that if the conscious self is entirely determined by physical entities or properties, in what sense is consciousness free to choose?  Some attempts are being made to attribute the required freedom to quantum properties of certain parts of the brain. But, it’s hard to see how his account could legitimately include conscious libertarian freedom because those quantum properties are not under the direct control of the conscious mind.  Mutatis mutantis, we need to be sure in our theorizing not to paint ourselves into those kinds of corners.

    By way of reminder, we didn’t set out to settle these issues in this introduction, but rather to point out that these issues are important because they are seminal and that they will be taken up at various times and places and by different people on our faith and scholarship sites.  We are ready to ask, are there similar and related sorts of concerns we might have in the humanities?  Surely there are.

Metaphysics and Epistemology in the Humanities

    Alas, because of space, let’s take only a minute to say something about metaphysics and epistemology in the humanities.  Suppose, as we think it does, one’s view of metaphysics critically shapes what counts as an acceptable epistemology?  There is at least one world class philosopher who argues that it can.  For instance, if we hold that the only existing things are physical objects and their properties and at the same time hold that humans came about as a result of unguided evolution, should not we wonder how reliable our cognitive faculties would be?  Moreover, if such a scenario would undercut the confidence we have in our cognitive faculties should we not consider a metaphysic that supports instead of undercuts the requisite faith needed in our faculties to do our research?

    These sorts of issues have immense importance when one considers the “claims” of some postmodern positions taken on the meaning of texts.  What exactly is postmodernism and its supposed relationship to relativism?  Are there epistemic and/or metaphysical distinctions that could and should be made regarding the level of skepticism instantiated in particular postmodern assertions?  We think these kinds of distinctions should be made and if they are, then some of postmodernism claims can be seen as falling into the “nothing new” category--a tempest in a teapot--while other more radical claims of some postmodernists, metaphysical constructionist claims, have severe problems with self-referential incoherence.  The point is that these sorts of concerns are rife in the humanities and Christian scholars ought to be thinking about those things.  

    Further, we do wish to say that we think Christian scholars have some of their own fish to fry when it comes to thinking about the academic disciplines.  We think Christian scholars need to take their faith seriously and how it relates to the underpinnings of the methodology, metaphysics and epistemology they use in their work.  Additionally we want to encourage the shaping of our academic work and research by axiology and ethics that are distinctly Christian.  Further, we think that each generation of our best and brightest Christian scholars in the particular disciplines ought to be the ones who do that.  That implies, that neither a Sunday School theological education will do nor eschewing the best of what Christian philosophical sophistication can bring to the table.

    There are some other things we wish to say in this introduction.  We wish to provide a few disclaimers and to define some terms we may use on our sites.  Further, we wish to lay out our objectives for this family of sites and why we think they fit into our ministry’s goals.  Then we conclude with what we think are the implied benefits for the faith and scholarship project and finally, a word to encourage you to take advantage of the resources we have organized for you.

Disclaimers

    First of all we want to make clear that we are neither the first nor are we anywhere near the best to have thought about these issues.  (But for what we do say we take responsibility.)  Thankfully we neither start from scratch nor lack contemporary exemplars for the kind of work we think needs to be done.

    Leaving to Christians a great legacy have been such luminaries as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas who in their time and place grappled with the sophisticated secular works of both Plato and Aristotle and their followers.  There is also the too numerous to mention contributions of other Christian scholars during the middle ages, especially their discussions relevant to metaphysics.  These are important contributions because metaphysics and epistemology are important.  In contemporary times there are people like Alvin Plantinga, George Marsden, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Mark Noll, and William Alston, to name a few who have made contributions.  There are others still (too numerous to mention) who have weighed in on this inter-generational conversation and have made noteworthy contributions.  We would not want you to miss any of the interaction, ancient and contemporary, and we will do our best to provide resources that cover the terrain.

    Incidentally, some of these more recent folks we’ve just named above can be tracked back to a legacy that was formed and nurtured at Calvin College.  Another interesting and promising development has taken place recently at Biola University.  They have established a Center for Christian Thought (CCT) using a three million dollar endowment from the Templeton Foundation and right now Biola seems be a locus of a younger generation of promising Christian scholars who are apparently making progress on various aspects of this project.  It’s something our family of websites wants to take advantage of by organizing some of CCT’s accomplishments for you.

    Second, we want to disclaim any grandiose extrapolations that good work on metaphysics and epistemology will neatly solve all of the Christian scholarship problems.  There are sophisticated and differing schools of thought within Christian theology and Christian philosophy and one would not expect all this to be neatly resolved by integration with the disciplines.  However, we do think that good work in Christian theology, Christian philosophy in the disciplines will help a great deal to move ahead on this project, but how all this fits together remains open to criticism even from within our own ranks.  Still, implied in this is that not all of our integrations are going to be as credible as others--both to the outside community and within our own community.  Believing in the possibility of miracles and holding to supernaturalism (as we do) will not make flat earth cosmology credible nor more likely than not, lead us to reject heliocentricity.  Nonetheless, we are concerned with what is called scientism--the view that science or the scientific method has the only access to knowledge.  We are also concerned as to whether “good” science, when it gives us the truth as it often does, gives us the whole truth.

    Third, we want to disclaim a possible mistaken inference that might be drawn from what has been so far said.  It is not our intention to say that the features of the domain of philosophy are the only tools one needs to do this integrative work or that it in principle always trumps other considerations.  On the contrary, we think that this work should be done domain by domain by intellectual leaders in those domains--bench scientists, historians, art critics and the like of that--but that there is also much to gain by reflecting on the philosophical part of each domain.  That is, we think that there is a place for philosophical tools and concepts to be used in each of these domains because there are secondary questions (they are typically called “about questions”) that need to be asked about the domains themselves and philosophy is properly all about those secondary questions.

Definition of Terms

    There has been more than one way to speak about the project we are engaging in.  For instance, sometimes what we are discussing  has been called “thinking Christianly;” other times we hear the term “Christian academic integration” being used.  What we mean by our technical use of the term “Christian faith & scholarship” on these sites is the following: 1) the rigorous investigation of the underlying metaphysics, epistemology, axiology and research methodology involved in each of the particular academic disciplines including Biblical studies, 2) the investigation of proper hermeneutical principles mutatis mutandis for each of the disciplines and the relevant genres within the discipline--including Biblical studies, 3) reflection on how certain “influential” beliefs that emerge from our study of the canonical Scriptures should be properly used in our consideration of what to investigate, which would include determining how these “influential beliefs” might have an impact on our theorizing within the disciplines and whether such “influential beliefs” are defeasible or not, and 4) whether and possibly how knowledge in other fields plays a similar “influential belief” role in our understanding of theological knowledge.

Objectives for the Portal

    We have constructed our faith and scholarship gateway site and its sub-sites with the intention of creating a useful and fecund tool to aid Christian professors. Our intent is to make Christian scholars more broadly aware of the work that has been done on these projects, to encourage and stimulate thoughtful integration of the Christian faith within the academic disciplines with sophistication and rigor.  We wish to especially offer to young professors who have not given this a great deal of thought, a place to begin their reflections and investigation.  We see this fitting within the overall goals and objectives of Academic Connections International, the parent organization that created, edits and sustains this family of websites.  To review their overall goals and objectives, use this link.

Conclusion

    These sites were constructed and the resources organized for Christian faculty.  We think that Christian scholarship--understood as integrating the academic disciplines with relevant “influential beliefs” which emerge from within the Christian faith--is an extremely worthwhile project in and of itself.  That is, we believe that knowledge of this sort is inherently valuable for Christians to possess but that it also has significant instrumental value in that can provide greater noetic coherence in the whole of life and in that it provides us in a profound sense a significant means to love the Lord holistically--especially with our minds.  We also hold that progress on this project can produce an increase in the credibility of the great things of the gospel and thereby increase the credibility of the Christian community’s proclamation of it--again, especially in academe.  How this is done can vary from generation to generation, from culture to culture, and from discipline to discipline, but as stewards of the resources God has given us, we believe in all cases we should do our work as unto the Lord and leave the results and impact to Him.

    Finally, we share this site and its resources for this project in the spirit of C.S. Lewis when he said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”  In that spirit, we encourage you to explore these growing and evolving materials to see what help it might bring you for glory of God and the advancement of the Kingdom of God.  

-Editor    

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