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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Biola Educators Symposium--Part 2

I thoroughly enjoyed both sessions by Dr. John Mark Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is my kind of academic. He spoke clearly and didn’t pull any punches. Frustratingly, thanks to the cursed 91 freeway, we missed most of his first session. I was fortunate enough to have heard Dr. Reynolds deliver a similar session at the ACSI convention, so I can at least guess at most of what he had to say at Biola.

Reynolds' theme was the need for an integrated Christian world view. Since all of creation was the product of one mind, all of our disciplines should cohere together. His way of examining this was through the lens of truth, beauty and goodness.

Dr. Reynolds rightly pointed out that we are almost all relativists when it comes to beauty. We’ve bought into the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is not an option for Christians. Although we can identify fads and fashions, there are some things that are timelessly beautiful and timelessly ugly. To believe otherwise is to deny the reality of the way in which God has created the world.

So why is this important? Reynolds argues that we are neglecting our students who are gifted in the arts. He points out that we often have the most discipline problems with artistic students. When students discover that we do not value beauty, they make themselves as ugly as possible. As funny as I find the pretentiousness of the goth kids, it is a tragedy that they mar themselves in every way imaginable.

Convincing students that most of the things they like are ugly is not easy. They are especially leery of claims that Bach is better than Beyonce. But this is our task.

Reynolds' larger point is that we have given into the world's idea that science holds the position of the only objective arbiter of truth. If we believe that everything else is relative, we are not going to produce virtuous students who will choose the good, beautiful, and true.

Category: Theoblogia


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