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  • 2018 | Volume 3

    F A I T H F U L L I V E S Christian Reflections on the World – Faithful Education

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  • 2018 | Volume 3

    F A I T H F U L L I V E S Christian Reflections on the World – Faithful Education

  • The mission of College of the Ozarks is to provide the advantages of a Christian education for youth of both sexes, especially those found worthy, but who are without sufficient means to procure such training.

    Faithful Lives: Reflections on the World is an annual journal produced by College of the Ozarks. The goal of the publication is to foster deep and substantive Christian thought in all areas of life by publishing articles that assume and explore the truthfulness of the Christian worldview perspective.

    Editoral Board Eric W. Bolger, Editor-in-Chief William R. Osborne, Editor

    Advisory Board Brad C. Pardue

    Stacy A. McNeill Justin R. Carswell

    Andrew Bolger Richard W. Cummings

    Copyright © 2018 College of the Ozarks

  • Table of Contents

    Editorial 5 From the Editors: Wisdom Cries Aloud in the Quad

    by William R. OsbORne

    Essays 11 The Epistemological Vocation of the Christian University

    by Paul KaaK

    27 Teaching to Touch the Heart by Daniel J. estes

    35 Assuming a Posture of Care: The Role of Composition in Christian Formation by Paige Ray

    47 Cultivating a Biblical Perspective on Creation Care: Faithful Education in Agriculture by JOhn Daniel anDeRsOn

    59 Teaching to the “Controversy” by baRbaRa Fennell

    67 “Doing” History Well: Faithfully Educating in History by JOsePh WesteRn

    79 Truth, Excellence, & Service: The Christian and the Study of Music by ClaRa ChRistian

    93 Beauty & Elegance: Faithfully Educating in the Field of Mathematics by al DixOn

  • Reviews & Resources 105 Restoring the Soul of the University: Unifying Christian Higher Education

    in a Fragmented Age by By Perry L. Glanzer, Nathan F. Alleman, and Todd Ream. RevieWeD by bRaD PaRDue

    109 Why Study: Exploring the Face of God in the Academy by Fellowship of Evangelical Students, Singapore. RevieWeD by DaviD PeDeRsen

    113 Eschatological Discipleship: Leading Christians to Understand Their Historical And Cultural Context by Trevin K. Wax. RevieWeD by Daniel Chinn

    117 The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation by Rod Dreher. RevieWeD by bRaD PaRDue

    121 Interpreting Scripture with the Great Tradition: Recovering the Genius of Premodern Exegesis by Craig A. Carter. RevieWeD by Kent CaPPs

  • 5

    From the Editors:

    Wisdom Cries Out in the Quad

    Standing in line to receive her freshly screen-printed orientation shirt, Wisdom knew she had come to the right place. She had heard about universities like this—top-ranked scholars in every discipline, deep commitments to student learning, and pretty decent dorms as well. Wisdom had gone to college, and she could sense things were going to change.

    As the months passed, Wisdom regularly attended her new classes, where she learned that science and faith are entirely incompatible and that truth is simply a social construct which has no connection to reality. In fact, she was told absolute truth is merely a smokescreen for power- plays put together by those who want to be in charge. Even her philos- ophy class seemed not to like her, much less love her.

    By the end of the semester, Wisdom was reeling with confusion. What had happened? Her visions of the academy seemed fleeting, and her class instruction like grasping at the wind. Instead of finding coherence and understanding in her new institution, she found herself standing in the spitting snow one December day before finals, looking up at the bell tower. In that moment all of her frustration slowly built up to a scream that seemed to ring out through all creation . . . “WHERE AM I?”

    Indeed, where is wisdom in today’s institutions of higher learning? Unfortunately, the concept of wisdom is hardly more celebrated and championed in Christian classrooms than in government supported universities, but it should be. The Bible’s wisdom tradition reflects a coherent, integrated, and faith-filled view of the created world. Daniel Estes writes, “In Proverbs, wisdom (ḥokmâ) is skill in living as Yahweh intends, and often it is connected with understanding and knowledge. As in the rest of the Old Testament, wisdom has been embedded by Yahweh in his world, so it embraces all of life” (Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005], 221-222). Grounded in

  • 6


    the fear of the Lord, growing in wisdom is increasing in our under- standing of the world God created and our ability to live faithfully in accordance with what he has commanded.

    For these reasons, wisdom breaks down our commonly held sacred/ secular divides and biblically motivates Christians to pursue knowl- edge, truth, beauty, and goodness wherever they may be found in God’s good creation. In the essays included in this issue of Faithful Lives, our contributors have wrestled with how to faithfully educate in the Chris- tian college classroom. While different perspectives with regard to different fields of study are evident, there remains a unified focus and vision for seeing students’ lives transformed through faith, knowledge, and applied skills. In the world of Christian higher education, where institutions are longing for definitions, demonstrations, and concepts of integration, wisdom cries out in the quad . . . “HERE I AM!”

    Soli Deo Gloria William R. Osborne



  • The Thinker Auguste Rodin bronze modelled 1888, cast.1910

    If I were to ask you to conjure up an image of Auguste Rodin’s, The Thinker, I believe that you would envision the colossal, bronze figure of a seated man (naked) resting his chin upon the back of his hand. Perhaps you first saw this impressive figure outside of the majestic Pantheon on a trip to Paris. Perhaps while in Kansas City, you noticed the brooding figure of The Thinker prominently displayed outside of the Nelson Atkins Museum. I believe that I was first introduced to Rodin’s The Thinker as a child one Saturday morning as I watched a cartoon cat be thrown into a vat of concrete. As the cat emerged, the quick-setting concrete formed him into The Thinker. Thank you, Looney Tunes® for bringing my life into direct contact with art.

    What is less known about The Thinker is that the colossal bronze that we have come to know is a later enlargement of Rodin’s more modest (70mm) figure known as The Poet. The Poet sits upon the tympanum of another famous Rodin sculpture, The Gates of Hell.1 This figure actually represents the Italian author Dante, whose Inferno was the source from which Rodin drew his inspiration for the Gates.

    As I rehearse my thoughts on The Thinker, which I usually visit at least once per year, I am reminded of how sad I am for the seated figure. His deep musings seem to bring little satisfaction to him as he passes the years in thought. The historical context that this figure was originally Dante pondering the inferno of hell explains the mood. Without the historical context, however, the figure becomes a universal personification, one that lacks the specificity of identity but morphs into an ”everyman” figure that one can identify with. As I view The Thinker, I am reminded that knowledge without purpose leads to a life of dissatisfaction. True knowledge of the world and the satisfaction of knowing it comes only through knowing the person and source of this world’s creation.

    — Richard Cummings

    1 Creative Commons Public Domain

  • 11

    The Epistemological Vocation of the

    Christian University Paul Kaak*

    “We will never encourage bright and talented students to fear God and serve him in humility until we put aside piety that is sentimental and man-centered and bend all of our mental gifts to understand the

    riches of the Christian faith that we profess.” –Nathan Hatch1

    Faithful education requires clarity about what education is and what the educator’s faith is directed toward. If the focus is Christian education then that idea needs to be made particu- larly clear. When Christian colleges and universities ascend to this difficult definitional task, they can properly direct their institution’s faithfulness, even as they support instructors seeking a meaningful match between their respective disciplines and the vocation of Chris- tian higher education.

    Colleges and universities are unique among the spheres of society. They engage undergraduates, graduate students, and doctoral students for a short period of time in concentrated study. This privileged space in a person’s life is focused on learning and, for most, learning about

    * Paul Kaak, PhD serves as Executive Director of the Office of Faith Integration at Azusa Pacific University. Additionally, he teaches in the Honors College, the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He is the Faith I