It seems like secularists these days are trying harder than ever to discredit sound Christian thought. Many within the church seem to be going out of their way to help them: by assuming an anti-intellectual attitude, these Christians make it difficult for their brothers and sisters to defend the truth claims of our historic faith, and so to establish a level playing field between Christian apologists and their non- and anti-Christian opponents.
Without entering into debate, the editors and authors of the Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition are quietly refuting decades of slander with scholarly, careful, well-reasoned short books by specialists in fields like literature, political thought, the liberal arts, and philosophy. Each "Student's Guide" is designed primarily for Christian college students, though they're excellent and accessible for anyone wanting to embark toward a deeper understanding of the humanities.
The text for each guide is around 120 pages, followed by reflection questions, a glossary and index, and occasional timelines and lists of recommended further reading. Uninterrupted, you should be able to get through these in a couple of hours, though you may want to take longer to really absorb the material. Unlike the similar series ISI Student Guides to the Major Disciplines, the books in the Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition series are solidly Christ-centered rather than merely intellectually conservative in approach.
High school students will get plenty out of these guides, though parents will probably want to discuss content with them, and probably read the guides beforehand themselves. There isn't anything inappropriate, but the ideas are complex and subtle, and kids who haven't done a lot of heavy thinking yet will likely need more guidance. Many adults will get as much out of these as younger students as well, and you could conceivably even work through the texts as group studies.
Series editor David S. Dockery isn't simply interested in creating a bunch of Christian intellectuals who retire to ivory towers and dispense deep thoughts closeted from the rest of the world. Using our minds to God's glory means being changed by what we learn and contemplate, and it also means affecting the culture and individuals around us, not for our own glory or advantage, but for the glory of Christ and the spread of His Gospel. These books are excellent resources to help better equip students for the ideological wars raging through our increasingly disjointed society.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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