Thursday, June 21, 2012

Neglected mission field: The academia


Atheist blogger, Leah Libresco, at Patheos portal has recently decided to become Christian. Her reason? It seemed to her that Moral Law 'loves' her and hence it couldn't be something abstract but a 'person'.
"I believed that the Moral Law wasn’t just a Platonic truth, abstract and distant. It turns out I actually believed it was some kind of Person, as well as Truth."
Libresco is familiar with the works by C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton. She attributed Christian philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre for helping her in understanding morality.

From Libresco's story, I think this is why churches should support Christian academic pursuit. Christian academics like all other disciples of Christ share the evangelical mission. Their specific task is to proclaim the gospel in ways that are sensible to those who are academically-inclined. We need to be aware that the academia is also a mission field.

The sad thing is that on one hand, churches often failed to see the academia as mission field. The prevalent type of missiology among churches in this part of the world is so narrow that they can't see that even intellectuals need to know who's the true sovereign in the world and what he wants us to do with our life.

On the other hand, Christians who are in the academia have lost this vision. Either they have grown up in churches with the narrow missiology mentioned above, or they have been so influenced by some non-Christian manners within the academia that they simply become incompetent to proclaim the gospel via their vocation anymore.

The mission of God in reaching out to the world requires the likes of C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, Alasdair MacIntyre as much as the Wesley brothers, Jonathan Edwards, and Hudson Taylor. Churches need to know this. They should not neglect this mission field. We need academic missionaries as much as frontier missionaries.

1 comment:

Benjamin Ho said...

Thanks Josh for the insightful comments. Small nitpick: I wouldnt consider Jon Edwards anything less of an intellectual compared to the likes of Chesterton or Macintyre. He is after all, widely considered to be America's greatest minds and not to forget his Princeton presidency!