Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Being Right at University

On Friday I have been asked to give a talk for a group of Christian postgraduates and academics, "Being a Christian at University". I have not settled on the talk yet but here are a few preliminary thoughts.

In some ways being a Christian at University is no different from being a Christian in others contexts. In other ways there are unique opportunities and dangers. I looked at Romans which prompted the following thoughts.

There is no need to be ashamed of the Gospel. It saves sinners. (1:16) Physics, biology, philosophy, and economics are wonderful and fascinating. But, they cannot save us.

The world we live in and study (God's creation) testifies to the greatness and power of God (1:20). Christians should see this greatness in what they learn and research and praise God. But, some men will ignore this testimony.

People will suppress the truth (1:18)[whether it is about God or different scholarly views than their own] because of their sin. We should not be surprised when they do.

People will serve and worship the creation and creations of the creature (Science, Nature, Art, Music) rather than the Creator (1:25).

People will claim to be wise but believe foolish things [quantum consciousness, postmodernism, multiverses,..] because of their sin (1:21,22).
Intellectual and personal integrity cannot be separated.
People will believe what they want to believe rather than what the evidence before them suggests they should believe.

We all desperately want to be Right, whether it is about our morality, political views, latest scientific theory, or interpretation of the Bible. We want to justify ourselves, not just our views, but our very existence.
The only thing we can really be right about is being Right with God. This is not something we can achieve, either by cleverness or by effort. It is a gift from God, through Jesus Christ (3:24, 6:23).

How should Christian academics and postgraduates live? Just like Christians in other areas of employment. Because of God's mercy, be a "living sacrifice". Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. (12:1,2)

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