Thursday, September 08, 2005

Following Jesus In School

Most Fascinating table-talk topics...

The latest score in EPL?
Juicy celebrity gossip?
The petrol price hike?
Counterstrike again?

When I was an undergraduate, 'BGR' is the undisputed winner. "Truth or Dare".
But if recent 'yam char' sessions are anything to go by. A new contender is in town.

Meet John, Ben, Allie and Keng, all Christian/Asian undergraduates. (not real names)

Keng reads literature in London. Here, he encounters lots of theories about deconstructionism, reader response etc. and wonders how much he could take in without compromising his faith. Hanging on for dear life, he found refuge in Doug Groothius' "Truth Decay". At the same time, he doesn't want to glorify or bury Derrida, but to understand him.

Allie did a similar course in california. Same story... she wonders if our reading of ANY book is based on our subjective 'glasses', as she was taught, getting to the 'true meaning' of Scripture is neither possible nor desirable. Nobody could answer the questions she was facing. But she persevered, read a bit of Geisler. To her surprise, she found tat her classmates were more than interested in her views when she presented it clearly in a "discussion" mode. (ie not preaching mode)

Given a choice for assignment topic, Ben (in Singapore) is considering to write about the 'anarchy of information technology'. He went asking around for resources that would give him a 'biblical worldview' to address such issues. (Ellul, Postman?) Rather than taking the road-more-travelled to get easy grades, he'd try to research on something that is closer to his heart and interests... and maybe a thesis that will bless the church?

Finally, John is doing philosophy in Bristol. Has been reading quite a bit of Kant lately. He always received cautions from well-meaning Christians...

"Be careful of philosophy, ar, boy. Dun lose your faith"

But coming back to Msia for holidays, he was disturbed by some pretty shallow assertions made in pulpit. (Unless ur a certain type of creationist, ur selling out to secular naturalists) Nevertheless, he's not arrogant or condescending. Instead he found a small community of pastor/mentors in UK church, who could help guiding him thru issues. Didn't the bible say that the church (not seminary, university) is the foundation of truth?

As we chatted our hearts out, we briefly mentioned the 'bf/gf' thingy. But quickly moved on... hehehe...

I look back on my own schooldays... Frankly I can't tell if Webber or Comte were the good guys or bad guys! (or shades of grey? heheh) The lecturer almost hoodwinked me to think that if Marx didn't say "religion is the opium of masses" Christians wud be Marxists!

But it's so heartening that these young people are already trying (falteringly, but honestly) to work out their faith in whatever they are studying in class.

Imagine if a whole generation of such youngsters come forth to integrate their chosen disciplines with what God has revealed in Scripture about reality.

This is what The Agora dreams of... labors for... finds inspiration from.

Weird as it may sound, the Bible does have answers to questions the world ask.
Legend has it, that when Schaeffer found this out, he couldn't sleep and pound his fists against the wall...

"The Bible has the answers... How am I gonna take it the people who are asking??"

May we be such ambassadors - informed, winsome and tactful!


Tin Tin said...

Dave, my church is plannin to hold an apologetics class! think we want someone not so threatening... u come to mind. Will keep u in the loop, ok?

The Hedonese said...

It's an honor, fren...

We have some good materials from which trains 'normal folks' to be winsome and informed ambassadors for Christ in marketplace...

ie having meaningful and effective conversations with our frens... listening emphatically... and manouver wisely in a coffee table talk. :D Soli Deo Gloria!