Monday, November 16, 2009

OK, Book Idea to Throw Out There

I woke up with an idea for a book that I want to put together. But it occurs to me there might be something like this already. Soooo, if you know of anything like this let me know. I think I can do a good take on it so it might not deter me, but I would want to make sure I've read anything that purports to do the same task.

The book would be called An Evangelical's Guide to Surviving University. I'm convinced that we need more evangelicals in our universities, but I've seen the confusion and even devastation that can result in evangelicals entering into mainstream academia. I have some of the chapters mapped out in my mind already. I think this would be a great resource for potential and current students, helping them to get the most out of their university experience. I also think it would be a great aid to pastor's trying to help direct folks to appropriate educational experiences. I am thinking specifically of evangelicals in the soft sciences, hard sciences are a lot easier to navigate - but that is part of the discussion I'd have in the book.

What do you think? Would something like that be helpful in your communities?


Paul said...

Hi Frank

I thought this market was cornered by conservative Evangelicals and Reformed: James Sire, J. P. Moreland, Steve Garber, J. Budziszewski, Mark Tabb and Jonathan Morrow.

How would your work be different? What angle would you push?

One of Freedom said...

Hey Paul.

Thanks for this, I think there are a bunch of these I'll order as research. The reason this jumped out in my mind is my experience working with evangelicals who end up at the same university as me. I think my take would be different in that I'm not an apologist so my concern is not with keeping faith on campus. In fact I think that university is a place where we can strip our faith down to the core and build a strong personal spirituality. But there are certain tools that help a student navigate the academic setting. Their sense of calling (regardless of how they understand that) is a potential resource, knowing that you need to build your own intellectual support base and sometimes even your own faith support base, how to direct your studies towards issues that matter to you - as a way of really getting to know those issues, and how to manage the often tricky relationship with the local church so that studies become a gift to the church. I have a bit of an outline on the go and this was more of an idea that I thought I could do, keep simple and short, and could be helpful for students and churches.

Paul said...


In my opinion, Steve Garber's The Fabric of Faithfulness will be along the lines you are looking for from a gentle and nurturing Evangelical perspective. He isn't an apologist. And anyone who uses Alisdair MacIntyre, Stanley Hauerwas, Peter Berger and Leslie Newbigin to frame their analysis is worth reading!

Also, I'd encourage you to look at Sharon Daloz Parks' Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Young Adults in Their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith. It's a beautiful book written and probably along the lines you are after.

From a sociological perspective, you may also want to include Christian Smith's and Patricia Snell's newly released Souls in Transition from OUP (I haven't read this).

Brian said...

I think if you specifically titled it something like what your trying to say: The University: An Evangelical's Survival Guide, it would sell - then it in you can present your own thoughts and note the thougths of the other scholars Paul is referencing, maybe do a sythesis of the readings and arguments, etc.

Your book would be different because it doesn't seem like the other works references are as specific as what you are trying to get at though they touch on the issues.

Scott Bailey said...

If you need an example of what you are suggesting see "The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness"

However, it is a real piece of turd. You could definitely improve on it.