Scandle of the evangelical mind
TWU negotiates faith and reason.
In an effort to unite the campus body in the common struggles for higher education and higher understanding, Trinity Western University has created a Faith and Reason Task Force.
Dr. Jonathan S. Raymond, President of Trinity Western University, says that the Faith and Reason Task Force “has been established to facilitate opportunities during the current academic year for the students, staff, and faculty of TWU to engage in [an] important conversation.” With this new team, the university can challenge and address tensions that intersect the world of religion and academy. No longer are we limited to dis cussing these issues in the confines of our social circles; we can now find the answers together as a unified campus.
In Monday’s chapel, Professor Calvin Townsend spoke on the “big questions” that confuse and challenge Christian university students regularly, such as “Why are there two creation accounts at the beginning of Genesis?” and “How old is the Earth?” The two ideologies that guide students through these big questions of university, and the rest of life, are the principles of faith and reason. Townsend states that “the idea of a ‘university’ is grounded on the principle of reason, so the idea of a ‘Christian university’ intersects both of the principles.” As university students negotiating their faith, they cannot ignore the principle of reason, or else we are “turning our back on the pursuit of knowledge”— not only factual knowledge but also a relational knowledge of God.
TWU seems to be at the epicentre of a conversation about where the balance lies between faith and reason. On a weekly basis, students negotiate Religious Studies classes that question the foundation of their beliefs; even the faculty are struggling with these questions, as some research seems to reveal new scientific evidence that challenges the literal interpretation of the Bible.
After Townsend’s chapel speech, the newly created Faith and Reason Task Force handed out a survey to staff, faculty, and students. They may not yet be able to answer TWU’s most difficult questions, but they can certainly point us in the right direction.