Monday, May 4, 2009

Reviews

"We couldn't be more impressed. The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness is serious, well-written, charming and challenging. It does this job--explaining the contours and the importance of a Christian vision of life and learning--as well as any book in print. . . . This book deserves to be acclaimed as it will change the lives of those who take it seriously, and could revolutionize . . . young adult ministry, campus work, and even high school fellowship groups. . . . This little book is unlike any other, and will make a difference, underscoring a movement of thoughtful Christians relating vocation and calling, work and career, God's ways in the real world. It may be outrageous to say this, but this thin, fun book, may be one of the most important books of the decade."--Byron Borger, heartsandmindsbooks.com

"Looking for a meaningful gift for a graduating high school senior? Check out this new book intentionally written for those preparing to embark on college careers. . . . What makes this book so appealing is its specificity. . . . This book is written for young persons graduating from high school, preparing to enter college, and wondering what role their Christian faith should play in this next phase in their lives. Opitz and Melleby . . . write as though they actually are talking to college students. Their engaging and thoughtful book requires intelligent reflection from the reader, never descending into the cute, trite or pedantic. It is intellectually stimulating and challenging--and at times quite humorous."
--George C. Love, Presbyterians Today

"Opitz and Melleby have written a book that is long overdue. Here is a plea for students to take their academic pursuits as part of their faithfulness to Christ. . . . The book provides a map of what it means 'to take every thought captive to Christ'--in their own words, a 'fitness campaign for the Christian mind.' It is a book that pastors, youth leaders, and parents should place in the hands of every starting college freshman. I'm sending a copy to my nephew. The next step is getting them to actually read it. If they do, they will be exposed to a vision of college life beyond their wildest dreams."
--David John Seel, Critique

"The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness asks questions about formation and faithfulness. Filled with rich insights and probing questions, it encourages students, through its accessible chapters and group discussion questions, to connect their faith with their studies, through all the excitement and trials of academic life."
--Gayle Doornbos, Comment

"This is an easy-to-read, interesting book encouraging students to take up the challenge of marrying their beliefs in God with the commitments to academics. . . . My favorite question the book asks is, 'Does God care about academics,' and the book builds on that question, seeking to help the reader develop a level of academic study that relies on the truth of God as well as adopting the principles of God."--Tim Baker, Journal of Student Ministries

"The authors use key examples from Scripture and pop culture to insightfully maintain the 'outrageous' idea that students can use their studies to better connect with God. In addition to these practical insights, Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby offer sound ideas on developing a present-future worldview founded in 'His Story.' Their language is both humorous and unassuming, painting clear guidelines for the seasoned Christian as well as the unfamiliar seeker. Each chapter ends with interactive questions and suggestions for further reading to continue the journey. A great gift to college-bound senior or those already pursuing their degrees, the authors have presented a solid and relevant guide useful on both the Christian and secular campus."--Tony Miles, YouthWorker Journal

"By all means read this and give it to your teenagers, especially those headed for a college or university. . . . I appreciate the way the authors frequently reminded us throughout the book that knowing also involves doing. . . . I also appreciate their emphasis that knowing is also relational--good perspective on Christian epistemology. . . . Buy this book! Read it and discuss it! Give a copy to any teachers, preachers, professors, and students."
--Equip to Disciple

"A clarion call for students to step out of hiding, fully commit themselves to honoring God and His Word, and embrace the concept of scholarship as an honorable act of worship. This is a primer work, an easy read of eight short chapters with thought-provoking questions and recommended readings at the end of each chapter. . . . Practical suggestions are made to enable students to strengthen their minds and discern truth. . . . The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness would be appropriate for students, parents, those who minister to the 'y' generation, and college Bible study groups. . . . An encouraging, uplifting, practical, and inspirational read."
--Jon Forlines, Integrity: A Journal of Christian Thought

"This book is a must-read for students seeking the tools for success inside and outside the classroom during their time at the university. . . . Each of [the authors'] backgrounds is a clear contribution to the content and thoughtfulness of this work. . . . It is obvious that both experience and study inform their plea for Christian, academic faithfulness in the ivory tower. The format of the book is both useful and effective. Each chapter is introduced with a relatable story or pop-culture example and ends with questions for discussion. This book would be most helpful for students in a small group setting in the presence of a facilitator. However, it should also be considered for individual use. . . . Likely, this book would be of significant impact for a cohort of students entering into Christian higher education. However, since learning happens in a myriad of places, it would also be useful as a book study in any Christian sector because of the key idea it recognizes: that learning is full of impact and one should not enter into it passively. . . . The authors anticipate conflicting ideas that students will encounter in college and give them tools to navigate the conflict critically. . . . Christian professors, students, and staff members of any institution of learning will be glad they read this book. Short but thoughtful, The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness accomplishes its goal to challenge and inspire readers 'to love God and neighbor' through learning. For readers who have never explored the place that faith has in learning, this is a must-read, and for scholars who have long been thinking about these concepts, it is a refreshing look at how faith should inspire a true change in our lives that manifests faithfulness in academics."
--Jessica Rimmer, Christian Higher Education

"This book differs in several ways from some other recent volumes apparently addressing similar goals. First, it is genuinely written for the average beginning college student, rather than leaning to the highly academic and philosophically inclined. The prose is lively, readable, and very accessible, and is punctuated by anecdotes and comments from students. Second, it does not attempt to induct the student into particular theories of the academy or philosophical debates . . . but instead settles for pointing students in the direction of connecting their faith and their learning without prescribing many of the intellectual outcomes. Third, the task of being a Christian scholar is not presented solely in terms of developing Christian concepts and positions, but includes a focus on practices that span the devotional and the educational."
--David I. Smith, Journal of Education and Christian Belief

"Do you have a son, daughter, grandchild or friend who is heading to college for the first time or returning for another year? If so, the book The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness is the perfect read for them before they leap into academia. . . . This imaginative guide . . . offers practical support to college-bound students."
--Susan Aungst, Hershey Free Press

1 comment:

Gaines said...

I like how this website discusses the need to pray for my schooling. Many times I separate my school life from my spiritual life, but i think it is highly beneficial and even necessary to relate my faith to all aspects of my life, even education. Spending a few minutes each day praying for those who surround me 7 hours a day and praying for myself can not only lead to a mind change, but also a heart change. The nine steps given provide a simple way to link my learning to my faith, although I fail to do so many times.