CCO staff and the extended Coalition for Christian Outreach family -- that is, nearly anyone who was at the historic Jubilee conference the last weekend of February -- surely must feel...well, thrilled and exhausted. The conference no doubt left you giddy at times -- all the things to think and do to extend God's reign! And nearly bewildered: how does one continue to develop a Christian perspective in the vocational arenas of business, education, nursing or painting, now that we've heard workshops giving us a start?
From Luci Shaw's lovely poetry to the hard-hitting calls for justice in the public square, we all have much to consider. We need to form communities that talk and think, pray and work, worship and argue around these kinds of themes. What does the Kingdom of God look like when lived out across the whole spectrum of culture, professions and neighborhoods? We will need all the help we can get. Following up the conference in educationally-significant ways that empower ongoing whole-life discipleship is essential.
I can think of only a few authors and books that I would say are absolutely critical to help campus ministry folk struggle with the big questions of living faithfully, integrating faith and learning in a way that truly connects belief and behavior. That phrase, I trust, gives you a hint at one of the serious-minded and evocative works that can be a companion for you: I refer, of course, to Steve Garber's The Fabric of Faithfulness: weaving together belief & behavior during the university years.
And so, my own exhaustion being only a partial excuse, I really want to wait until next month to tell you about brand new books that have come in to Hearts &
Minds. Rather, I invite you to again read my previously published reflections on Steve's good book and encourage you to pick it up again, work with it, and ask the Big Questions. Do you believe in true Truth? Do you live in character-forming ways? Do you have a mentor, and are you intentionally mentoring others? Are you forming counter-cultural communities who can, together, remain hopeful in ways that bear fruit for Godly reformation?
I hope my ruminations on this book are instructive. More, I hope they remind us why Fabric has been so very influential in so many institutions of higher learning.