Pursuing Holistic Discipleship on Campus | Comment Magazine | Cardus
Is it possible to renew Christian scholarship (at both the student and professor levels) as one aspect of holistic discipleship?
Education used to be so much more than a dreary means to a materialistic end. In fact, the university was originally intended to be a place where students came to a better understanding of themselves and God’s created world. That is, universities were founded as places of wonder, exploration, and service…
If Christians are going to find their voice in the academic discussions taking place on campuses today—and across our culture—we’re going to need to re-discover our sense of curiosity, delight, and wonder. And we will need to develop an interest for more than the easy answers or trite sound bites. If Christians really believe that a God bigger than our imaginations holds the universe in being, and accomplishes this through his will executed via a multitude of secondary causes, then we’d better be ready to roll up our sleeves and dig down into the amazingly complex stuff of reality. We must be deeply and passionately curious about the world…
These are the kinds of questions, the sense of inquisitiveness, that can equip a Christian on campus to make one’s faith and discipleship something that takes a place closer to the centre of the academic enterprise on campus—not in ways which baptize the status quo, but in ways which make the Christian faith a constructive conversation partner which seeks to bless and serve the common good, both on campus and throughout the world.
The purpose of this blog is to foster and facilitate dialogue about the integration of the Christian faith with the study and practice of music, specifically among young Christian music students and professionals – my peers. While this aim relates to the use of music in worship, this dialogue is meant to encompass a much broader understanding of the relationship between theology and doxology on the one hand and music in its variegated use and practice throughout Western (especially American) culture, along with the arts in general.
It is unfortunately the case that many young Christian musicians view their musical development as one branch of their lives and their spiritual development as a separate branch, sustaining only a vague notion of how the two might connect. This ambiguity often finds little clarification within the church, in part because many churches are suspicious of the arts and music, especially as vocational callings. The dialogue about music in the church is often limited to the use of music in worship services, an area that deserves attention, albeit less divisive attention, but this hardly addresses the problems facing the aspiring Christian musician.
Recently, some theologians within the church have responded with deep insight to this problem, which faces the arts in general (see the Resources page). It is the mission of this blog to bring this conversation to young Christian musicians, in order that we may equip ourselves with a practical theology of music and the arts, a theology that may perhaps be introduced and summarized by a quote from Philip Ryken:
As Christians, we should lead the way in reclaiming the arts and restoring them to their true purpose. We are living in a fallen and broken world; yet for all its ugliness, this world was made by God and will be saved by his grace. Therefore, we should devote our skill to making art for the glory of God, and for the sake of his Son – our beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ.
~ Art for God’s Sake, 58