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Conceiving the Christian College (Eerdmans Religion Ethics And Pub) [Paperback]

By Duane Litfin (Author)
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Item description for Conceiving the Christian College (Eerdmans Religion Ethics And Pub) by Duane Litfin...

Overview
This book is designed to help those who are interested in Christian higher education explore anew the unique features, opportunities, and contemporary challenges of one distinct type of educational institution - the Christian college. What distinguishes Conceiving the Christian College from the many other books on this subject is its incisive discussion of a set of crucial ideas widely misunderstood in the world of Christian higher education. Now serving in his eleventh year as president of one of the nation's foremost Christian colleges, Duane Litfin is well placed to ask pressing questions regarding faith-based education. What is unique about Christian colleges? What is required to sustain them? How do they maintain their bearing in the tumultuous intellectual seas of the twenty-first century? Litfin's themes are large, but they are meant to refocus the conceptual challenges to Christian education in ways that will strengthen both the academic environment of today's Christian colleges and their impact on culture at large.

Publishers Description
This book is designed to help those who are interested in Christian higher education explore anew the unique features, opportunities, and contemporary challenges of one distinct type of educational institution -- the Christian college.What distinguishes "Conceiving the Christian College" from the many other books on this subject is its incisive discussion of a set of crucial ideas widely misunderstood in the world of Christian higher education. Now serving in his eleventh year as president of one of the nation's foremost Christian colleges, Duane Litfin is well placed to ask pressing questions regarding faith-based education. What is unique about Christian colleges? What is required to sustain them? How do they maintain their bearing in the tumultuous intellectual seas of the twenty-first century? Litfin's themes are large, but they are meant to refocus the conceptual challenges to Christian education in ways that will strengthen both the academic environment of today's Christian colleges and their impact on culture at large.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   296
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.64" Width: 6.5" Height: 0.81"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2004
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Series  Eerdmans Religion Ethics And Pub  
ISBN  0802827837  
ISBN13  9780802827838  


Availability  61 units.
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More About Duane Litfin


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Duane Litfin (DPhil, University of Oxford; PhD, Purdue University) is president emeritus of Wheaton College where he served for seventeen years. He is the author of numerous articles and books.



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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > College & University > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > College & University
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Education > By Level > College
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Education > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Education


Christian Product Categories
Books > General Interest > General Topic > Reference



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Reviews - What do customers think about Conceiving the Christian College?

Advancing Truth in a Postmodern Age: the Case of Christian Academia  Aug 23, 2005
Duane Litfin, president of Wheaton College for the past 12 years (2005), makes his plea here for advancing the quest for truth among Christian colleges and universities. The book addresses challenges to Christian academic life such as:

- "To understand more clearly our own identity."
- "To keep [Christ] the center actually at the center."
- "To strengthen the foundations of Christian thought."
- "To preserve the idea of truth."
- "To understand the integrative mandate."
- "To sustain our commitment to the integrative task"
- "To reconcile institutional commitments with individual freedoms."

These (and more) he calls "a handful of salient ideas that currently need . . . special attention" (1) in these modern/postmodern times.

Declaring the fact/value split inherited from Immanuel Kant and David Hume to be the greatest foe of Christian integrative thinking, he calls for an academic life fully committed to the truth of both facts and values under a Christ-centered mandate for education.

The core of the book may be chapter five, "It's All God's Truth," wherein Litfin lines out ten foundational ideas essential to Christian thought:

1) God exists.
2) Through the agency of the Son, God created the universe and all that is in it.
3) We can therefore entertain an intellectual construct called "reality."
4) This reality is complex and multi-dimensional.
5) This reality, though complex and multi-dimensional, is also coherent and unified, centered upon the person of Jesus Christ.
6) God has created humans with the capacity to apprehend, however fallibly and incompletely, this reality.
7) Genuine knowledge is therefore feasible for humans.
8) Human knowledge of reality stems from two prime sources: special revelation and discovery.
9) We can therefore maintain a distinction between truth and error.
10) All that is truthful, from whatever source, is unified, and will cohere with whatever else is truthful. (85-98, seriatim)

The book's final three chapters grow out of Litfin's response to secularist Alan Wolfe's October 2000 _Atlantic Monthly_ article on "The Opening of the Evangelical Mind." In that article Professor Wolfe, Boston College, prasied the newish rapprochement between Evangelical Christian scholars and the wider academy, but decried the alleged sectarian narrowness of schools like Wheaton, which hire only evangelical Christians for faculty posts.

Here Litfin defends the integrity of Christian scholarship, and calls for fair play in the marketplace of ideas. Christian colleges have important contributions to make to this broader marketplace, he writes. Academic freedom is not only an individual right; institutions also have a right to academic freedom, that is, the right to define their own character and direction. Hence, it is not wrong for a college or university to define itself as confessionally Christian, and thus to hire only Christian professors on its faculty.

He envisions for the broader academy, however, "an arena where all ideas are required to compete on their own merit, coercion is disallowed, and no reigning dogma is imposed" (273). He writes this in response to attempts to censor Christian thought in academia or to oust Christian colleges and universities from the wider academic community. "This marketplace must remain an environment of civility, where people educated for freedom render their best judgments" as to where they think the truth resides (273).

A worthy book. Secularists who oppose Christian academia would do well to read the last 15 pages.
 

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