This week, we have the privilege of hearing from Dr. Craig Bartholomew, who will deliver our spring lecture this Thursday. Dr. Bartholomew serves as Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, and is senior research fellow at Tyndale House (Cambridge, UK). Previously, Dr. Bartholomew has also served as H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy at Redeemer University College, and written a number of books including The Drama of Scripture (with Michael Goheen), Beyond the Modern Age: An Archeology of Contemporary Culture (with the Dutch economist, Bob Goudzwaard), and Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction. In his lecture, Dr. Bartholomew will explore the foundational role the Christian Doctrine of Creation plays in our engagement in the sciences.
Dr. Bartholomew's lecture is representative of the kinds of lectures that Areopagus seeks to bring to the university. In my time at Iowa State University, we have had speakers address the topics of race and the criminal justice system, delight in the academic pursuit, and the Christian notion of vocation. Of all the things we could do, we choose to bring in speakers, and address these topics, for two reasons:
1. Because Areopagus exists to minister to the university
2. As a witness to the all encompassing nature of the rule of Christ and the Kingdom of God
First, we see our annual lecture as a blessing to the university and one of the means by which we minister to it. In bringing top scholars and experienced practitioners to the campus to speak to their work, we strive to challenge students, faculty, and staff, and contribute to their intellectual, practical, and spiritual development. Our lectures serve to challenge those who come to consider their world and life view, and how it intersects with their studies, research, future plans, and end-goals (telos). Furthermore, our lecture functions as a window in the unique place of our reformed campus ministry at the university, and an invitation to further explore the Christian faith with us.
However, as the second point makes clear, our lectures seek to provide a witness to the fact that Christ has called his people to go out into every corner of the earth--and every sphere of life--witnessing to his already-not yet kingdom through faithful obedience and service. We have been called to unfurl the latent potential embedded in God's great created universe, to proclaim the good news of Christ, His Kingdom, and the restoration of all the cosmos to its intended purpose(s), and we have been renewed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do both of these things. So we invite speakers who reflect this holistic mission and grand vision--professors, lawyers, authors, teachers, ministers, ethicists, and engineers (and in the future, God willing, artists and athletes, politicians and businesspeople, and so many more)--and make it clear that the gospel is good news for everyone in every area of life for all of creation.
So if you are in the Ames area this Thursday, drop on by. We would love to have you and for you to hear about our great God, the beauty of His creation, the impetus it provides for science, and the hope of the gospel. Check out the Facebook advert HERE, or further explore our website to learn more about Areopagus at Iowa State.