This spring I delve into interdisciplinary integration as an essential process within the integration of faith and learning. Each Saturday of this term, I shall post a 300-word reflection of the week’s ponderings. This is the first reflection.
I begin with a survey of the field, attempting to tease out some draft categories and a reading plan. After reading Porter, Wolterstorff, Machen, and Johnson, and scanning Poe, Strober, Wolters, and Kuyper, I arrive at the following.
- Content: The content is supplied by the two books of God, Scripture and Nature, though more specifically our human contemplations and conclusions regarding these two books. Scripture and Nature are not the same as theology and science, for Scripture and Nature are God’s communications, while theology and science are our understandings. His communications are true. Our understandings are tentative.
- Method: A Christian method of interdisciplinary integration must give primacy to Scripture, recognizing it as the definer of the paradigm in which we understand nature. A Christian method also gives priority to Nature, realizing that it provides the context in which we understand Scripture. Our human understandings of Scripture and Nature correct, complete, and inform one another.
- Context: The interdisciplinary integration about which I am concerned takes place in the context of interdisciplinary faculty gatherings, in which Christian faculty bring their disciplinary expertise and their trust in and beliefs about Christ into collaboration around issues of import.
- Outcomes: The outcomes of integration would be a collegiality that results from deepened connections between Christian siblings and of the siblings with Christ and a rich and robust communication of the glory of Christ.
These categories are preliminary and broad, subject to correction and expansion. I shall begin reading with method, move to content, followed by context. Outcomes may be left for another study.
- Dennison, W. D. Dutch Neo-Calvinism and the roots for transformation: An introductory essay, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 42(2), pp. 271-291.
- Johnson, D. E. “Between Two Wor(L)Ds: Worldview and Observation in the Use of General Revelation to Interpret Scripture, and Vice Versa,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 41(1), (1998).
- Machen, G. Christianity and culture, The Princeton Theological Review 11 (1913), pp. 1-15.
- Kuyper, Abraham. Christianity: A total world and life system. The Plymouth Rock Foundation (1996, 1898). .
- Poe, Harry Lee. Christianity in the Academy: Teaching at the Intersection of Faith and Learning (RenewedMinds) (April 1, 2004).
- Strober, Myra H. Interdisciplinary conversations: Challenging habits of thought. Stanford University Press (2011).
- Wolters, A. M., Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (1985, 2005).