I recently returned from my daughter's college freshman orientation at her chosen Christian liberal arts school. Aside from my subtle beginning-of-the-empty-nest crisis, I'm stoked to see the opportunities for intellectual, spiritual, and emotional growth sprouting all along my daughter's path.
I was especially thrilled to read some of the orientation materials that read almost as a manifesto for Think Christian. An introductory essay lays the foundation for why Christians should pursue the life of the mind. I would summarize it, in short: God's call on Christians to engage God's world is deeply rooted in the simple fact that our world belongs to God, in both creation and redemption.
The essay explains, "One way to love God is to know and love God's work. Learning is therefore a spiritual calling: properly done, it attaches us to God." In other words, the more one knows about God's creation, the more there is to glorify God about. The authority over all the heavens and the earth belong to Christ, so we should be all the more eager to engage all subjects of the sciences, humanities, arts, economics, and politics.
Furthermore, we are not called to only absorb knowledge, but to use it. We are called to demonstrate, in word and deed, in all areas of life, what God's Kingdom is supposed to be like. Getting an education is a way to prepare for service in God's cosmos. We Christians think and learn in order to add our own contribution to God's supreme restoration project, reclaiming all things that have been corrupted by evil. As redeemed people, we work to restore the flourishing shalom of peace to a world and culture disfigured by sin. Christ himself makes "all things new," so our efforts are always Spirit-driven yet humanly incomplete. Meanwhile, we serve in active anticipation of a world re-created by God as he intended it to be.
So, we learn, think, and work, using all our gifts in all areas of culture, to show everyone the glory of God.
Amen, and amen!