Aug

07

2012

Justin Taylor|3:41 pm CT

Plantinga and Wolterstorff on Being Christian in the Academy

Some wise words from two giants in the field of philosophy on how to be a Christian in academia:

HT: Frank Beckwith

3 Comments

  1. there are plenty of ‘totem poles’ in the church unfortunately as well…. ive seen it all too often.

    i remember a particularly popular reformed pastor talking about how “some people just dont know how to go through the chain of command…”
    as if there should be such a thing….

  2. I appreciate the “totem pole” counsel offered in the Westminster Larger Catechism’s exposition of the 5th commandment:

    126. What is the general scope of the fifth commandment?
    The general scope of the fifth commandment is, the performance of those duties which we mutually owe in our several relations, as inferiors, superiors, or equals.

    127. What is the honor that inferiors owe to their superiors.?
    The honor which inferiors owe to their superiors is, all due reverence in heart, word, and behavior; prayer and thanksgiving for them; imitation of their virtues and graces; willing obedience to their lawful commands and counsels; due submission to their corrections; fidelity to, defense and maintenance of their persons and authority, according to their several ranks, and the nature of their places; bearing with their infirmities, and covering them in love, that so they may be an honor to them and to their government.

    128. What are the sins of inferiors against their superiors?
    The sins of inferiors against their superiors are, all neglect of the duties required toward them; envying at, contempt of, and rebellion against, their persons and places, in their lawful counsels, commands, and corrections; cursing, mocking, and all such refractory and scandalous carriage, as proves a shame and dishonor to them and their government.

    129. What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?
    It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love, pray for, and bless their inferiors; to instruct, counsel, and admonish them; countenancing, commending, and rewarding such as do well; and discountenancing, reproving, and chastising such as do ill; protecting, and providing for them all things necessary for soul and body: and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God, honor to themselves, and so to preserve that authority which God has put upon them.

    130. What are the sins of superiors?
    The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them, an inordinate seeking of themselves, their own glory, ease, profit, or pleasure; commanding things unlawful, or not in the power of inferiors to perform; counseling, encouraging, or favoring them in that which is evil; dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good; correcting them unduly; careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger; provoking them to wrath; or any way dishonoring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behavior.

    131. What are the duties of equals?
    The duties of equals are, to regard the dignity and worth of each other, in giving honor to go one before another; and to rejoice in each other’s gifts and advancement, as their own.

    132. What are the sins of equals?
    The sins of equals are, besides the neglect of the duties required, the undervaluing of the worth, envying the gifts, grieving at the advancement of prosperity one of another; and usurping preeminence one over another.

  3. This reminded me of Mark Noll’s great definition of Christian scholarship, ““The effort to think like a Christian is . . . an effort to take seriously the sovereignty of God over the world he created, the lordship of Christ over the world he died to redeem, and the power of the Holy Spirit over the world he sustains each and every moment. From this perspective the search for a mind that truly thinks like a Christian takes on ultimate significance, because the search for a Christian mind is not, in the end, a search for the mind but a search for God.” (The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, 253)

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