Why So Few Christian Intellectuals? A Response to Alan Jacobs

Alan Jacobs has just responded to my piece over at the Center for Public Theology, “Where’s Niebuhr? On Alan Jacobs’s Essay on Christian Intellectuals,” with one of his own. It’s called “A Response to Owen Strachan,” and you should read it. Typical Jacobs: very thoughtful, funny, and challenging on a personal level. In my piece, [Read More…]

Should Professors Stop Lecturing in Class?

This is a question Christine Gross-Loh of The Atlantic raises in a story about the decline of lecturing in college classes. The article provokes thought and includes some defense of the traditional lecture. I especially appreciated that aspect of the piece and found Molly Worthen’s comments commendatory. Here’s one snippet from the story that caught my eye: Today, the [Read More…]

What Do Evangelical Professors Do, Anyway?

I have a suggestion for a fun question you could throw out at your annual Christmas party. “Professors,” you could say vaguely. “What is it they do, anyway?” You’ll likely get a bunch of answers, many of them expressing confusion. Some will voice skepticism–the professorate is an escape from real life. Thinking, after all, is [Read More…]

You Don’t Read Homer to Become Smart

Just came across a great essay on the end of education and thinking. It’s over at Humane Pursuits, a website I just learned about, which features some of the nicest aesthetics I’ve seen on a website. Here’s what Liz Horst had to say about intelligence and its ends: We tend to see everything backwards. You [Read More…]

The Nation’s First Hipster President and the Promising Prospects of the Christian Mind

I just had the opportunity to write “A Hipster for King’s College,” a piece for the American Spectator on the recent appointment of Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury to the presidency of The King’s College in lower Manhattan (it’s located on Wall Street–how’s that for symbolism?). Thornbury, I suggest, is the nation’s first “hipster president.” More significantly, I [Read More…]

The Importance of An Actual Personal Lecture

Saw this in a terrific piece on class lecturing at The Atlantic. In an age gravitating toward online education, essays like this deserve careful consideration. Richard Gunderman, a professor at Indiana University, offers these thoughts on the unique contribution of a live, personal lecture: The core purpose of a great lecturer is not primarily to transmit [Read More…]

David Dockery Transitioning to Union University Chancellorship

Union University just issued a press release indicating that long-time president David S. Dockery will transition to a chancellorship in 2013 or 2014. Here’s a bit: “I am hopeful and prayerful for a good, smooth, joyful and positive transition,” Dockery said. “God has blessed the work of our hands and manifested his favor to this [Read More…]

Evangelicals Have Incredible Reasons to Engage the Life of the Mind

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all [Read More…]

Is Mark Noll Right? Is There No Evangelical Mind?

Paul Miller just wrote a fun post at Schaeffer’s Ghost, a blog I commend to you, reviewing Mark Noll’s Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Paul largely agreed with Noll’s polemic: But I have to say that I think Noll is basically right—or, at least, he was right when he wrote this twenty years ago. I say that [Read More…]

Do Academic Papers Matter, or Are They Pointless?

I just submitted a paper proposal for the 2012 meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.  In the course of doing so, and after seeing a Tweet from a friend indicating a stronger desire to preach than give a paper, I thought I would say something brief about this. In short, academic papers matter.  Too often [Read More…]