Welcome to The Lamp Post—a newsletter from InterVarsity’s Faculty Ministry. In November 2016, we relit what we believe is an important resource for faculty, trusting it will engage, inform, and encourage you.
As the name implies, The Lamp Post is about bringing light, helping us to grow in our understanding of God in the face of Christ (II Cor. 4:5-9). May you find encouragement from the articles linked below. Each issue features pieces we recommend from Graduate & Faculty Ministries, The Well, and the Emerging Scholars Network related to spiritual formation, integration of faith and work, and other relevant resources.
Please consider subscribing to The Lamp Post so that you will receive future editions of the Faculty Newsletter delivered directly to your Inbox.
I am grateful for your service to God on campus.
Debra Block Clark
Interim Faculty Ministry Director
Link to past articles from The Lamp Post.
This book is available as gift for new faculty and for anyone who requests the book before October 31, while supplies last.
What has Christianity ever done for us? What value is there in seeking to preserve its influence today? In this book, Jonathan Hill answers these questions with some questions of his own. For instance, why do we seal wine bottles with cork? Where did musical notation come from? How did universities get their start? And why was the world’s first fully literate society not in Europe, Asia or North America? As Hill tells the story of the centuries-long entanglement between Christianity and Western culture, he shows the profound influence that Christianity has had–from what we drink to how we speak, from how we write to how we mark the seasons. Employing a rich, narrative style packed with events and people and illustrated throughout in full color, he describes the place of Christianity both in history and in the present day. What Has Christianity Ever Done for Us? is an enlightening and often humorous tour of culture and thought, the arts, the landscape, education, society, spirituality and ethics, and social justice. Here is a rich, entertaining and informative read.
April 12, 2018 – Science, Religion, and Democracy
Presented by The Religion COMPAS Program and the Christian Graduate Student Alliance
3:30pm – 5:00pm
Thompson Library, 11th Floor
“What is religious belief, and what is its proper relationship to scientific inquiry?
Do science and religion represent incommensurable worldviews? If so, then how can people relate to one another as fellow citizens across that divide? If not, then how can we pursue a more constructive dialogue between religious and non-religious people? Should secularism be the “default” position in public debate about scientific issues?”
- Philip Kitcher (John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University)
- David C. Lahti (Associate Professor of Biology, Director of the Master’s Program in Biology at Queens College, City University of New York)
There is also a breakfast seminar from 9 – 10:30am in Thompson Room 202.
Dallas Willard wrote:
Today is often spoken of as the age of information. Information is vital to all we do, of course, but then it always has been. What distinguishes the present time is that there is a lot more information (and misinformation) available than ever before, and a lot of people are trying to sell it to us.
What happens to Jesus in the crush of the information pushers? Unfortunately he is usually pushed aside. Many Christians do not even think of him as one with reliable information about their lives. Consequently they do not become his students. What does he have to teach them? It is very common to find Christians who work hard to master a profession and succeed very well in human estimation, while the content of their studies contains no reference at all to Jesus or his teaching. How could this be?
A short while ago I led a faculty retreat for one of the better Christian colleges in the United States. In opening my presentation I told the group that the important question to consider was what Jesus himself would say to them if he were the speaker at their retreat. I indicated my conviction that he would ask them this simple question: Why don’t you respect me in your various fields of study and expertise? Why don’t you recognize me as master of research and knowledge in your fields?
THe webinar was recorded and can be accessed two ways:
- The video of the webinar is available here and can be streamed.
- An audio only file of the webinar is available here.
Greg is currently a philosopher at Talbot School of Theology. He is the author of several books, including A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism and Thinking About God, and he is the editor of God and Time. Formerly with the Rivendell Institute and a lecturer in the philosophy department at Yale University. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Syracuse University and an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Rhode Island.
As a department chair, I could pick up my kids at 4:45 p.m. each day, put them to bed at 8, and then neglect my husband while I spend the next 2 to 3 hours catching up on more chair duties or grading. Occasionally, I do do this, but I try to make it once a week and not the rule. I plan 1 to 2 hours each weekend working, and that time slot doubles a couple times a month. These hours are piddly for a chair, but to live a life where I’m present to my family and rested, I’ve had to prioritize a few strategic things and damage control the rest. This decision has been tough because I tend to compare myself to my colleagues. I see them already on task in their office when I walk in at 7:30 a.m. and still there when I leave, and I receive emails from them at night (which I never answer unless a crisis exists).
I’ve come to believe that when I had lived attempting to do all things well, ironically I was treating God as a God of scarcity instead of a God of abundance. By not following God’s command to rest, I was like the children of Israel trying to collect manna on the Sabbath when I needed to have gathered a little extra the day before. If God is a God of scarcity, I am required to do more and do it well for him (and me) to look good, but if he’s a God of abundance, then I must trust that I can take risks, listen for discernment, and focus on what I discern as the most important.
This semester I’ve put off a new adjunct observation until the end of the term (not the best timing to view instruction) and the completion of credential information for adjunct files. I trust that I was wise in my hiring, and I believe that my department’s overhaul of its assessment plan and revision of promotional materials have been more important. God of abundance who intimately knows my frailty at discerning priorities, will you surround my work with your grace, rubbing smooth the hard edges I may have left?
Image courtesy of Felix Mittermeier at Pixabay.com
Link to the original blog post. There is a link there to subscribe to the blog which has a variety of good content.
Saturday, November 4
Audio only recordings are much smaller and suitable for playing when you don’t want to or can’t watch the screen. Like when listening in a car.
Friday Evening. Session for Pittsburg Area, St. Cloud, Northwestern, University of North Dakota, Washington University
Saturday Morning. Session for Pittsburg Area, University of Cincinnati, University of West Virginia, Case Western University, Bismarck State University, Miami University, The Ohio State University
Shaped by How We Engage
We’ll explore the Christian practices that form us, the academic practices that shape us, and points of commonality between the two. Featured speaker Tish Warren will speak about concepts in her book, The Liturgy of the Ordinary, adapting and applying them to academic life.
Tish will unpack the word “liturgy” and how it impacts working academics. You’ll learn encouraging strategies to live more like Jesus.
We’ll discuss how common, everyday practices and issues of the academic life shape those who engage in them. And we’ll examine practices that might address those issues and shape grad students, faculty and staff in other ways; e.g. sleep, loneliness/friendship, tight finances, mental rigor, and more.
During our time, Tish will offer short presentations followed by Q&A and local site discussions. We invite lively discussion to facilitate an environment of learning together!
Featured Speaker: Tish Harrison Warren
Tish Harrison Warren is a priest in the Anglican Church in NorthAmerica and author of The Liturgy of the Ordinary (IVP, 2016). After eight years with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries at Vanderbilt and The University of Texas at Austin, she now serves as co-associate rector at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She writes regularly for The Well, CT Women (formerly her.meneutics), and Christianity Today. Her work has also appeared in Comment Magazine, Christ and Pop Culture, Art House America, and elsewhere.
Hosted by the Christian Graduate Student Alliance
Tuesday, October 24th from 7:30 – 9 PM in the US Bank Conference Theater in the Union
We’re all familiar with love—our culture is saturated with references to it. But what is it exactly? Is it just a matter of the mind? Is it nature’s clever way of promoting selfish interests? Is there anything transcendent about it? We’ve invited four experts from a diverse set of disciplines—biology, psychology, theology, and philosophy—for a conversation on what this all-important concept is, and on how the difficult work of loving others is realized. Speakers include geneticist Praveen Sethupathy (Cornell University), psychologist Carrie Bedrow (Hope College), theologian Lisa Sung (Mundelein Seminary), and our moderator, philosopher Steve Brown (OSU). Please join us on Tuesday, October 24th from 7:30 – 9 PM in the US Bank Conference Theater in the Union.
Our theme verse for the academic year 2017-18.
And Jesus said to them (and by extension us, those who work at The Ohio State University)
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
“No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16 New Living Translation