Welcome to our quarterly briefing. For the best experience, be sure to view this either by means of the weblink (upper right) or by downloading the remote content for this edition.
We've decided to send this quarterly to you after finals and after grades are turned in, because we think you'll have more time to read and think after Christmas...and having you read and think about these issues is what we like. We aim at "felt" needs, but also at "real" needs.
Page 1 Christian Doctrine of Creation
At Academic Connections, we are interested in trends in academe that affect you. Some of those trends were either started or greatly influenced by what goes on at the U. A few of those have migrated from academe to the larger cultural setting—but there are also interests outside of academe trying to change the spirit of academe. Good examples of the former would be tropes like Marxist analysis, Feminist analysis, “safe zones" and Postmodern critiques. Successful examples of the latter seem few and far between, but maybe the culture wars over college curicula can serve as an "attempted" case in point. It is probably fair to say that when it comes to the outside in sorties, the influence and results seems pretty much one way.
In this issue of CR we want to talk about one that's (still) coming from "outside" of academe, but not so far outside that it doesn't involve some credentialed participants. It's one that has and will for a long time affect Christian professors at secular universities and make many feel uncomfortable. It is what to do with the Christian doctrine of Creation.
Page 2 Human Rights & Social Justice
Of course, there are other important trends that we have documented and discussed in previous issues of CR. One fairly broad category of them found in academe is the social justice campaigns that include issues like 1) racial, ethnic and gender equality and rights, 2) harassment and sexual assault on campus, and 3) free speech.
We are sure you have not missed these issues because to do so might mean your career and more. There's hardly a day that goes by where another figure in academe (or for that matter in government, media and/or Hollywood) is brought down because they said or did something that crossed the line. Some of the crossings were many decades ago, others just a decade or two ago and still others, just since the last election.
What are Christian professors to think about all this?
At play, to name only a few, are things like: 1) there are clearly folks who are wrongdoers, who have predatorily crossed the line grossly and repeatedly; 2) what to do about due process, especially when the alleged acts happen in academe and are criminal--in what domain are these things settled and who is in charge of making things right? 3) are there rights of the accused and how do they play out--in the court of media and popular opinion, in appointed academic (workplace) panels and eventually in civil or criminal court? What happens if the accused is found guilty in the first two venues, but is exonerated by the last? Read on...
Page 3 Opportunity Knocks
As you finish up your planned giving for 2017 during this period, please consider giving to our ministry. This link will take you to our ministry's donation page where you can make a donation to our General Fund by secure on-line means, using either PayPal or a credit card of your choosing. Thanks for your consideration! Funds received will be used to help secure expenses for invited speakers for local Christian faculty fellowships and for administrative expenses.
If you wish to look at earlier issues of CR, check out the link below and the link to our main website. Be sure to also check out our regular columns (below the signature):
Here's a link to our Connections Review archive;
and a link to our main website.
Happy New Year!
James A. Cook
Editor, Connections Review