J.S. Bach often scribbled Soli Deo Gloria at the end of his music: glory to God alone. His humble dedications are beautiful—and striking because of his genius—but they have always left me with niggling questions. We are all called to dedicate our work to the glory of God, but what if we don’t have any glittering keyboard suites on hand? What if all we have to offer just…isn’t great? After all, it doesn’t seem quite the same typing Soli Deo Gloria on an under-baked thesis as it would writing it at the end of a masterly cantata…
learning and teaching
In my work as a lecturer over the past year, I've had the privilege of working particularly closely with students from a number of different nationalities and cultures. This has been especially exciting for me because it fits into a lifelong love for other languages and other places. As a student I loved being part of the meetings of international students at my university Christian Union, and seeing how people from very different parts of the world (and with wildly contrasting life-stories) could come together in worshipping Jesus and encouraging one another.
Michael Faraday delivering a Christmas Lecture at the Royal Institution in 1856. From a lithograph by Alexander Blaikley (1816-1903).
At the recent Faith-in-Scholarship conference, ten participants spent an intensive 22 hours with the six FiSch Fellows and two guest speakers: Jonathan Chaplin and Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin. This post is the first in a short series giving you a flavour of the three main talks.
Academic scholarship prides itself on rigour and objectivity. Science is considered the most reliable body of rational knowledge about the natural world, while the arts and humanities pursue unbiased investigation of social phenomena, penetrating what it is to be human. Let the life of the mind flourish, and truth will prevail!
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
It has been said that a specialist is one who knows more and more about less and less … until he knows everything about nothing!
Bruce Wearne presented this paper at the Faith-in-Scholarship Postgraduate Leaders’ Conference in Leeds, February 2014
For it is not the one commending himself who is accepted, but the one whom the Lord commends.
2 Corinthians 10:18
Let’s engage our imaginations for a minute with respect to the event at the end of your search for academic qualifications. What is to happen? What has been the purpose of all this striving?