The Christ on Campus Initiative is a newly set up ministry of the Gospel Coalition for the goal of addressing the needs of university students with the truth and relevance of Christianity. One of the central purposes behind the establishment of Thinking Matters here is to see Christianity more rigorously defended in the marketplace of ideas and especially on the campuses of our universities, arguably a potential fountainhead of dialogue and inquiry.
With this purpose in mind, it is important that campus ministries have available the right resources and apologetic tools for meaningful engagement. And this week, in conjunction with the Henry center, two more articles were added to the CIC page that would be quite helpful to anyone wanting to be aware of some of the apologetic issues involved in student ministry. Each of the articles is over twenty pages in length (in pdf format) but are certainly worth the time invested.
“Do Christians Have a Worldview?” by Graham Cole.
This article discusses the frames of reference that shape our lives. Professor Cole examines what it is that makes up a worldview, the tests of explanatory power and existential livability. He looks at the touchstone of propositions that form the heart of Christianity and its central subplots (creation, fall, rescue, restoration), how these address reality and the human condition and then finally why Christianity claims to be more than merely a way to look at the world.
“Jesus of Nazareth: How Historians Can Know Him and Why It Matters” by Craig L. Blomberg.
Distinguished professor of the New Testament at Denver Seminary in Colorado, Blomberg surveys the historical evidence for Jesus and examines the reliability of the Christian documents. Comparing the “Christ of faith” with the actual data we have available, he weighs the non-Christian sources, the synoptic gospels, John’s gospel and the gnostic material. Blomberg argues that the Christian portraits do stand up to scrutiny and in fact enable the message of the New Testment to be seriously considered.
Birkett, from Oak Hill Theological College in London, discusses the worldview of naturalism and the Biblical response to it. In four parts, she first maps out the some of the significant figures in the history of the development of science and then in part two tackles the question of what is science: its methods and limits. The third segment explains the Bible and the Natural World; how Christianity can properly account for an intelligible and orderly universe and indeed encourages the flourishing of science. In the final part, Kirsten looks at Naturalism – the problems of power, morality and the inability of the worldview to explain the broad complex reality of human life.
“A Christian Perspective on Islam” by Chawkat Moucarry
Moucarry has served as the Director of Inter-Faith Relations for World Vision International since 2006, and in this massive 40 page article offers an insightful appraisal of the relevant issues invovled in the dialogue between Christianity and Islam. He responds to some of the central criticisms of the Bible from the Muslim perspective and sets out positive evidence for the trustworthiness of the Christian documents. He then addresses some of the central doctrines of both faiths (God, Jesus Christ, Sin and Forgiveness, Muhammed, and the kingdom of God) and defends the uniqueness and credibility of the Christian positions.