The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness
Donald Opiz and Derek Melleby
Brazos Press, Grand Rapids, 2007
This is another great little book. A law should be passed to make it compulsory reading for all Christians starting university.
The sad thing is the title; that academic faithfulness is viewed as being outrageous shows how much we as Christians have become secularised. However, this book will enable students to see the necessity of bringing the lordship of Christ to their studies and give them some tools to do so. It will help Christians start to think Christianly about their studies.
It is an engaging read and only takes a few hours to read; it will however, takes more than a few years or even decades to engage with tools and turn back the tide of secularisation in Christian thinking.
The book comprises eight short chapters each of which concludes with a set of questions which make it ideal for small group study and a list of recommended reading.
Ortiz and Melleby develop the idea of a worldview and outline the Christian worldview through the story of creation, fall, redemption and consummation. I particularly liked the notion of 4 i-eyed learning: integration, idolatry, investment, imagination and how they linked these to the four part Christian story.
This is no 'mere' theological or philosophical tomb, though it does contain theology and philosophy, both authors have much experience working with students and this comes out in the book. It is practical and laced with biblical and contemporary examples as well as useful advice and wisdom. A nice touch is the brief interviews with students who have come to see the need for academic faithfulness.
If you are wondering what a Christian approach to study might look like - get this book. If you are a pastor - get several of these books and give them to students in your congregation. It will help equip them to be robust and faithful Christians in their studies.
There is a companion website that accompanies the book here.