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Books for collegians explore faith & scholarship

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) -- A new book series to help collegians integrate faith and scholarship will make its debut in April.

In "Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition: A Guide for Students," published by Crossway, Union University President David S. Dockery and other Christian leaders aim to demonstrate that vibrant, world-changing Christianity is not anti-intellectual but assumes a long tradition of vigorous Christian thinking and a commitment to the integration of faith and scholarship.


Dockery, the series editor, said this integration is essential to the preparation of the next generation of leaders in the church, the academy and the world.

"This a timely series that meets an important need as secular culture grows in its indifference to Christianity," Dockery said, "and as the Christian world continues to be confused about its own beliefs, heritage and tradition."

Thomas Kidd, a history professor at Baylor University, called the series "an exciting project that will freshly introduce readers to the riches of historic Christian thought and practice."

"As the modern secular academy struggles to reclaim a semblance of purpose, this series demonstrates why a deeply-rooted Christian worldview offers an intellectual coherence so badly needed in our fragmented culture," Kidd said. "Assembling a formidable cohort of respected evangelical scholars, Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition promises to supply must-read orientations to the disciplines for the next generation of Christian students."

Robert Sloan, president of Houston Baptist University, said the series meets a significant need both for students and for ministers and academics who are "charged with the responsibility to help us all think and live faithfully as followers of Christ in a deeply flawed world. ..."


The first book in the series, "The Great Tradition of Christian Thinking: A Student's Guide," co-written by Dockery and Timothy George, dean of Samford University's Beeson Divinity School, will be released in April. The book introduces an approach to the Christian tradition that is not simply a historical overview, but one that will help students engage with contemporary challenges to their faith in various academic fields.

Four other books in the series also will be released in 2012: "The Liberal Arts: A Student's Guide" by Gene C. Fant Jr., Union's vice president for academic administration, in May; "Literature: A Student's Guide" by Louis Markos, professor of English and honors at Houston Baptist University, in June; "Political Thought: A Student's Guide," by Hunter Baker, associate dean of arts and sciences at Union, in July; and "Philosophy: A Student's Guide," by David Naugle, philosophy professor at Dallas Baptist University, in September.

Additional books in the series on other academic subjects are expected to be published after the first five.

"Each book in the series is written with an emphasis on the distinctive Christian approach to the subject and will include an overview of how significant Christian thinkers have addressed the subject throughout the history of the church," Dockery said. "Each volume will focus on engaging the culture and the academy by reclaiming the best of the Christian intellectual tradition."


Tim Ellsworth is director of news and media relations at Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

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