Blog | Topic: Vocation

Learning for the Love of God: A New (Revised) Resource from CPYU

LearningForLoveOfGodThe Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness, coauthored with Don Opitz, was published in 2007. Our hope was to provide a resource that would equip college students to be faithful to God in their academic pursuits. Thanks to the good folks at Baker Publishing Group and Brazos Press, we are releasing a 2nd edition with a new title: Learning for the Love of God: A Student’s Guide to Academic Faithfulness. It includes updates throughout, two new substantive appendixes, personal stories from students, a new preface, and a fresh interior design. The new book also comes with a fresh new endorsement from one of our favorite philosophers and theologians James K.A. Smith of Calvin College:

“What does discipleship have to do with learning? How do I follow Jesus as a student? What does the Lord require of me at university? This marvelous book answers just these sorts of questions. It’s one of a kind, an expansive vision of Christian learning written not for professors but for students. Best of all, this is a book that can profit students in any educational context, secular or religious. Buy a box of these and give them to every high school senior you know.”

Wow. Thank you Dr. Smith.

Just in case the release of a revised edition of a previous book with a different title is confusing, here are a few FAQs:

Why does it have a new title? Good question. (Thank you.) The old title was connected to a very important book by George Marsden, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship. While we really liked the idea of making the connection to that book, it was lost on most readers. Learning for the Love of God better describes the book’s content.

What is different about the new edition? Another great question! (Just doing my job.) There’s a new, short preface where we tell a few stories about how the first edition was helpful students. We didn’t want to change too much of the integrity of the original, so chapters 1-8 are very similar, with a few needed corrections and updates, making the text even more accessible to students. The interior design and layout make it easier to read, including a few pull-out boxes to highlight key terms and concepts.


Can you tell me more about the two new substantive appendixes? Of course I can. I’m glad you asked. The first appendix, “Deeper,” is an annotated bibliography, suggesting books for students looking for the next step. It’s also fun and a little funny, we think. A little different from most bibliographies we’ve read. The second appendix, “Liturgies for Learning,” was inspired by Jamie Smith’s book Desiring the Kingdom. Smith argues that deep learning is never merely cognitive. When our emotions and our bodies get involved, learning tends to sink in and stick. Turning on the emotions and tuning in the body can happen in the classroom, but it sure helps to practice good liturgies of learning outside the classroom. So, we offer six learning exercises to put into practice!

If I already have a copy of The Outrageous book, should I buy a copy of Learning for the Love of God? Yes, in fact you should buy 5 copies of the new one.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the new book? Just this… the new book includes this dedication:

“For our friend and favorite bookseller, Byron Borger, whose love for God and learning exemplifies a life of faithful service to the King.”

Thank you Byron for your friendship and encouragement in this project! And thank you to all the readers who have made a 2nd edition possible!

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How Does God Fit Into My Plans for College?

College1“I never would have thought much about how God fit into my plans for college. I would have just gone to class and tried to graduate.”

This was said to me last week by a student, shortly after a talk I gave at Brice’s Creek Bible Church in New Bern, North Carolina. The student’s words were so clear and compelling, I thought he was reading from a script. I even looked over his shoulder to see if someone was behind him telling him exactly what to say to me to encourage me the most! The student continued:

My head is really spinning. You really have me thinking. The thought never occurred to me that I could serve God or follow Jesus with a career in math and accounting. You’ve given me a whole new way to look at my faith and what I should be doing now to prepare.”

I spend a good amount of time speaking to teenagers, so hearing any kind of feedback is always encouraging. This student really seemed to “get it.” And, as my high school teacher friends like to tell me, if one student says something, he or she is probably speaking for many more students in the room. I hope so!

How does God or faith or the Gospel fit into plans for college? This question is at the heart of the College Transition Initiative (CTI), and it will be at the center of several talks I will be giving this week. Here’s the busy CTI schedule… I hope to see you there! Prayers appreciated.

Monday, October 7: College Fair, Lancaster, PA (details)

Tuesday, October 8: College Fair, Milton, PA (details)

Thursday, October 10: College Fair, Old Bridge, NJ (details)

Saturday, October 12: College Choice Seminar, East Earl, PA (details)

More upcoming events.

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5 Videos & 5 Books for Navigating Life After College

FNArticle1“And what will you be doing after graduation?” asked the president of my alma mater the night before commencement. My parents and I were at a special “invitation only” party at the president’s house. When the president asked me this question, the room went silent. Other students and their parents, holding paper plates and plastic cups, stopped talking, stared at me with inquisitive expressions, and leaned in to hear what I was going to say.

My dad said loud enough for everyone to hear, “We’d like to know too, actually.” Big gulp. Deep breath. This was my response: “A degree in political science from a state university has really only prepared me for one thing: seminary.” Some people snickered, most people slightly tilted their heads and raised their eyebrows (like a confused puppy) and I think one guy coughed up a potato chip. My parents did one of those half smiles. They were proud that I said something amusing in front of all those people, but were both wishing I hadn’t said something so amusing in front of all of those people.

I remember dreading the “what are you going to do?” question during my last three months of college. Like most seasons of deep anxiety, however, when I look back I realize that most of it was unwarranted. It makes sense to be apprehensive about the future, to be sure, but as Kierkegaard famously quipped, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” What I needed more than anything was perspective and a few ideas for ordering my daily life.

For those in a similar situation, what follows are five videos to watch and five books to read to help guide you as you transition out of college and into work. It’s not an exhaustive list, of course, but I’ve found them to be helpful. Feel free to add your suggestions to improve my list… Read the rest at Fieldnotes Magazine here.

Fieldnotes Magazine is a publication of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary.

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Fieldnotes Magazine: “How To Make a Life”

FieldnotesImageStarting a career? Do you want to “help” people? The New York Times columnist David Brooks offers young adults some counter-intuitive advice in his recent, provocative article “The Way to Produce a Person.”

Mr. Brooks opens his column by pointing readers to a story in The Washington Post about a young man, Jason Trigg, who desires to help fight malaria in Africa. Trigg’s solution to the African crisis is to take his MIT degree to Wall Street, work for a hedge fund, live a simple life and give his money away. It may sound noble, but Mr. Brooks wonders if it is plausible to sustain this commitment over the long haul. And, Mr. Brooks is not convinced that it is the best way to actually assist hurting people on a different continent…

Read the rest at Fieldnotes Magazine here.

Fieldnotes Magazine is a publication of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary.

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