Scandle of the evangelical mind

Scandle of the evangelical mind

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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.

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