E-Newsletter 3 // September 2015
We Are Here - A Much Needed Update!
I was contacted by the University of Scranton in mid June. The chair of the philosophy department found me by doing a Google search and landing on the Addison's Walk website. It was there he found my name and asked if I was interested in teaching Ethics at "The U". The University offered me two sections of Ethics which I immediately took! This has more than doubled our exposure to students in the Scranton area and at a school where we had no contact. God is at work!
Please continue to pray for opportunities like this to engage college students with the life changing truths of Christianity. I am now responsible for over 120 students whom I have in the classroom for three hours a week. Yes, this is huge!
Issues of race, religion, sexual orientation, animal rights, politics, and the MTV Video Music Awards, to name a few, have all taken a prominent position in our culture. I have met several folks in local churches who are understandably upset about many of these issues that seem to be frontal assaults on Christianity.
Author and Speaker Walt Mueller recently wrote that he felt as though he was watching a live action version of Romans 1:18-33 while viewing the MTV Music Video Awards show. Mueller, like many of us, are aghast at what we are seeing but he does not think we should further tighten our proverbial ring of wagons. Instead, we need to relearn how to engage...respectfully.
I often tell my students that the university is (should be) the one place where ideas can be discussed without fear or hate. This kind of statement can sometimes bring some pretty wild things to the surface as you can imagine. But we work through them. We ask questions and try to give good answers so that we can minister to a people who are seeking truth.
Addison's Walk seeks to engage the academic community at the crossroads of faith, reason, and culture. We strongly believe the truth claims of Christianity radically change lives because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. What we want to avoid is outright hostility and anger. Instead we wish to engage people in these areas of truth but doing so with gentleness and respect. It is better to face insult with humility and to suffer evil for doing good (I Peter 3:15-17).
In the Classroom - But is it True?
Ellen** waited until everyone was gone and approached me as I was packing up my stuff. You never know what to expect when a student begins with, "may I ask you a question?" Ellen told me that one of her professors told her class that "there is no such thing as truth" and "anything is true if you really believe it." I asked some clarifying questions to make sure this is what the professor was saying (students have selective hearing sometimes). She assured me that it was and she wanted to know what I thought.
Ellen and I spent some time working through logically why these kinds of statements fall apart at the outset. She saw immediately (she's sharp!) that a truth claim is either true OR false but cannot be both at the same time. I think Ellen was relieved that she has a professor this semester who understands the objective nature of truth and that no one can really live consistently any other way.
What I didn't know at the beginning of our talk, and only found out at the end, is that Ellen is a Christian. She is a Christian who just had her faith attacked for the first time. I don't think her prof was angry or rude but he did make some rather unsettling claims. Ellen was on the verge of being a statistic. She could have easily given up Jesus Christ as a happy fairy tale. In about 15 minutes we sorted it out and she left with a smile on her face.
Addison's Walk exists to engage all students with the truth claims or Christianity. We exist for Ellen.
**Not her real name.
Personal Support Update
A question I am sometimes asked is "do you get paid for teaching at the universities?" Yes! but schools rely heavily on adjunct faculty because we are cheap. Its helpful for folks outside of academics to know what the scale is like. Teaching two classes at one school is equivalent to one month's salary. What that means is that I am teaching full-time (12 credits) for roughly two month's of living expenses. It certainly helps but its not quite enough.
Would you consider a one-time gift or a regular partnership with Addisons Walk? Your gift allows me to spend more time on campus, disciple students, and do the work of a Christian study center. We need you and a new generation of university students does too!
***Addisons Walk is a 501(c)(3) organization. You may send your tax deductible check to the address below or submit a gift via PayPal through our website. Please make checks payable to "Addison's Walk".
Addisons Walk Live!
Bring Addisons Walk to your church, youth group, school, or college. We have several seminars that will give you increased confidence in biblical Christianity.
Sept 4-6 Family Weekend - New Life Island - Frenchtown, NJ
Sept 19 Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches Saturate Conference - Elyria, OH
Sept 20 First Baptist Church - Elyira, OH
Oct 9-11 Young Adult Conference - Camp Fairwood - Westfield, WI