Evangelical Philosophical SocietyArticle Reprint

An Essay on Academic Disciplines, Faithfulness, and the Christian Scholar

by Paul Gould

In this essay, it will be argued that an academic discipline is best understood as a social practice composed of guiding principles, a guiding methodology, a data set and a collective narrative (with characters, acts and various sub-stories throughout its history).

Mission takes place at the point of intersection between the dominant western stories (scientific naturalism and postmodernism) and Christianity. Within the academic discipline, these intersections are at each level: the Christian professor will utilize her own set of guiding principles and methodologies (which might or might not agree with those of the dominant story within the discipline); she will approach the data set of the discipline from her own unique point of cognitive access, which may lead her to ask a different set of questions than those who embrace the dominant story of the discipline would ask; and she will look to her own set of Christian mentors and guides within the discipline (historical and contemporary) for leadership.

As a missional professor who always has the progress of the gospel in view, she will seek "missional connections” within her academic discipline so that Christianity will be viewed as plausible and gain a hearing in the secular university and in culture.

The full-text of this paper is available for FREE by clicking here.

Readers may also be interested in an EPS interview with Gould regarding his recent book, The Outrageous Idea of the Missional Professor.

©2018 Evangelical Philosophical Society. All rights Reserved.  

This article is made public for personal, non-commercial use only.  You must obtain prior written permission for any other use.  The Evangelical Philosophical Society  (EPS) is an organization of professional scholars devoted to pursuing philosophical excellence in both the church and the academy. Interested laypersons can join as full, associate, or student members.  The EPS journal, Philosophia Christi, is a scholarly publication containing discussion of a variety of topics that are of interest to the philosopher and to the philosopher of religion.

For membership information, please visit www.epsociety.org or you may contact us by phone or e-mail.