Introduction & Orientation

   This site was developed for Christian professors on secular campuses. It’s purpose is to aid you when you enter into conversations with your colleagues that could lead to discussing the great things of the gospel of Jesus Christ. More details below….

Introduction and Orientation to this site:

    We do NOT believe that by merely constructing a site like this and putting together the resources we have for you, that this will necessarily motivate you to become involved in offering spiritual guidance (for faith in Christ) to your professional colleagues. We will address the issue of motivation on this site, but we think it is reasonable to expect that since you are here you are already motivated and interested to a degree to learn what you can. Such motivated people will most likely benefit from what we have to say and appreciate the resources we are gathering.  

    The resources on this website were developed as a result of an initial investigation into the barriers that university professors face when they wish to dialogue with their professorial colleagues about the great things of the gospel. That initial investigation produced a white paper report.

    As a result of that study we have come to hold that engagement with non-Christian colleagues at the university is best served (in that venue) by a relational, dialogical and conversational sort of evangelism. We also believe that such an approach needs to be sufficiently nuanced in order to have both theological sophistication and harmony with the gospel. Furthermore, we believe the gospel is best served when it is explained in an existentially relevant way and when it is done with communicative awareness, in the spirit of “seasoning our speech with salt.”  

    Implicit in the gathering and development of the resources on this site were the following orienting notions: 1) that it is ethical in certain (actually widely experienced) situations for Christian professors to dialogue with their colleagues about the gospel or elements of it; 2) that meaningful dialogue with colleagues about the gospel is (at least eventually) necessary to clarify the message of the gospel so that non-Christian colleagues have the opportunity to understand its essence and significance; 3) that great effort would be made to explain the gospel in language (and by means of stories and narratives) that would most likely be understood by our audiences (that is, we wish to contextualize our message to our audiences); 4) that if possible, we want to use various ways to reveal and emphasize the personal and cultural relevance of the gospel, and to do so in ways that comports with what we know about our audience; 5) and that objections to the gospel, both non-rational and rational, be handled in ways appropriate to those kinds of objections.

    We believe it is important to make it clear that we do not think non-believers can be “socialized” into Christian belief. That is, while we strongly encourage inviting outsiders to your Christian community where they can learn the meaning of the gospel in that context (by seeing your how you believe and behave), this is by itself is insufficient to be sure the gospel is communicated. We hold that there are also propositional elements to the gospel which need to be contextually and situationally proclaimed, explained and if necessary, defended rationally. So we’ve designed this site and its resources to meet those needs.

    Additionally these resources are organized in a way which allows adaption to both individual and community (corporate) witness. This can be done in a way that is sympathetic to the life journeys of those with whom we become engaged. © Academic Connections, International