One of the greatest challenges for Christians in the academic world is to think faithfully and consistently as Christians. Too often, the knowledge claims of the Bible and the intellectual resources of Christianity are ignored or squandered by Christians themselves. While many Evangelicals may be involved in the academic world and in the common human project of understanding ourselves and the world, many do not make an impact as Christians because of a failure to connect and integrate their theological beliefs with the knowledge claims of academic disciplines.
InterVasity Press have launched a new series of books aiming to address this need and equip Christians in the task of integration. Edited by J.P. Moreland and Frank Beckwith, the Christian Worldview Integration series will cover topics from economics to biology, showing how the knowledge claims of Christianity might be blended with the knowledge claims of one’s own academic discipline to form a coherent, satisfying worldview. So far, two in the series have been released: Education for Human Flourishing: A Christian Perspective by Paul Spears and Steve Loomis (read Frank Sanders’ good review here) and Psychology and the Spirit: Contours of a Transformational Psychology by John Coe and Todd Hall, with Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft by Frank Beckwith on the way. The other anticipated topics and authors are:
- Christianity and Biology – Paul Nelson and Scot Minnich.
- Christianity and History – John Woodbridge.
- Christianity and Literature – David Jeffrey.
- Christianity and Philosophy – Garry DeWeese.
- Christianity, Business and Economics – Scott Rae and Kenman Wong.
- Christianity and Communications – Timothy Muehlhoff and Todd Lewis.
Here are some of the questions:
- In its best and most sincere effort, how do Christian worldview integration endeavors with academic disciplines tend to go? How does the approach of the series differ from what is typically published in this area?
- Is “integration,” ultimately, a philosophical issue with bearing upon other disciplines? How should theology contribute to the conceptual work of philosophy in the area of “Christian integration”?
- The “integration of faith and learning” has become a slogan, if not a fad of sorts, for many Christian intellectuals and educators. But I get the sense that “integration” as a vision and an endeavor is far more than a slogan or fad for you and this series.
- Christian work at the intersection of the sciences is an important area of integration, especially given the authority that scientific knowledge has within Western cultures. Are the positions of “theistic evolution” and “Christian physicalism” the result of proper integration or a failure to understand genuine integration between Christian truth and other disciplines?
- How should Christians approach, use and present the teaching of scripture when engaging in genuine integration between what the Bible claims and what is claimed by extra-biblical sources of knowledge?
- Does the holistic character of discipleship and spiritual formation demand integration? If so, how and why?
- How and why is integration work interrelated with Christian apologetics work?
- If Christians neglect to engage in integration work, what are the costs or consequences?
- What are the top three issues or concerns that Christian faculty should confront when attempting to integrate their Christian beliefs with their discipline?
- In the years to come, what would you like to see happen in the area of integration and this series among self-identified Christian universities, colleges, and seminaries?