by Dr. Elizabeth Clarke
Louisiana College announces a redesign to its Schaeffer Scholarship program to address some of the critical challenges facing today’s college students.
President Rick Brewer, who has started several lecture series and conferences over the last six years to address current spiritual and political issues facing today’s church and young people, has enlisted four professors to really dig deep into some of the hot-button crises in today’s culture.
“We want our students to be presented with a strong biblical worldview on current issues,” Brewer said.
Professors Joshua Joy Dara, Wade Warren, Justin Langford, and Natalie Maxey have created video lectures on four different cultural topics for Schaeffer scholars, as they go through A Student’s Guide to Culture by John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkle.
“Louisiana College is passionately devoted to the intersection of faith and learning through academic instruction and spiritual and cultural events each semester,” said Langford, dean of the School of Mission and Ministries.
To that end, Langford said, the format of the scholarship requirements has been redesigned to align with this focus more closely. The approach, taken from Stonestreet and Kunkle’s 2020 book, centers on how Christians today can understand and influence culture, covering foundational topics like worldview, dangerous undercurrents of our culture, and even practical chapters devoted to cultural challenges everyone faces.
Dara, associate vice president for engagement and enrichment, said he was charged with defining culture, discussing different types of culture, and pointing out how culture can influence and/or shape our lives in his video lecture.
“The book identifies what we are facing in today’s culture, why we should care, and how to navigate culture for the glory of God,” Dara said. “The book is full of Biblical truth, wisdom, and insight. We examined all the major issues in our culture, especially the critical and immoral ones. The goal is to show my listeners how they can navigate culture through love, truth, and courage,” Dara said. “We should be shaped by God’s story and not by culture. Our moral compass is the Bible. It is true, real, and authentic. The Bible is the story of God, and we can live that story amid a worldly culture.”
Langford addresses the information age, the loss of identity and loneliness in his video lecture.
Maxey, assistant professor of engineering, covers the third section and said it is as important as it has ever been for young adults to be equipped to engage with culture and navigate the tough issues — including issues not yet anticipated that the future will bring — with love and Biblical wisdom.
“In my video, I covered Part 3 of the book, “Our Guide to Culture,” and it has the goal of speaking to specific cultural challenges that students face, including issues around sex and sexuality, race, consumerism, and addiction,” Maxey said. “At the heart of all of these issues are the basic worldview questions of identity and meaning. I attempted to provide students with a systematic framework for approaching each issue which involves (1) identifying the main Biblical truth that applies to that issue, (2) working from that truth to an accurate understanding, and then, (3) determining an appropriate response to that truth, primarily with regard to one’s own life, decisions, and beliefs, and then with respect to the lives, decisions, and beliefs of others.”
The final topics — how to read the Bible and why to trust the Bible — covered by the Stonestreet and Bunkle book, will be taught by Warren, professor of biology.
Warren said he dives deep into these questions from a scientific perspective. “Naturalism and Darwinian evolutionary thinking dominate the philosophy of science in our modern cultural settings, and these ideas have led many young people to regard the Biblical narrative as myth,” he said. “Learning how to read the Bible and developing reasons for trusting it are foundational for students as they develop worldview regardless of their chosen area of academic study.”
The Schaeffer Scholarship awards $1250 per semester to recipients. Incoming 2022 freshmen 2022 may find more information and application materials on the Louisiana College Schaeffer Scholarship webpage.
“We believe this new approach will help students not only expand their thinking about how Christians should interact with culture,” Brewer said, “but also prepare them for the faith-infused academic instruction they will receive from LC faculty.”
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