Christ and the Good Life

Christ and the Good Life2018-08-27T09:44:42+00:00

Fall Discussion Group
Tuesdays, 3:30-4:45pm, September 4 – October 23
The River’s Edge  •  209-D College Ave  •  Blacksburg, VA

Some formal studies indicate that primary goal of college students is to get a good job that will secure their financial future. Last year, I heard several high-level university administrators reinforce that message to an audience our university’s brightest undergraduates. However, when I ask students their reasons for choosing a major, their answers often include the desire to live a fulfilling life and to make a positive difference in the world.  Are those sorts of normative desires realistic?  Can what we most-believe-in be related to what we do so that it makes a difference in our careers and lives? Or, is Ut Prosim empty rhetoric?  Are these questions we can/should entertain in the domain of higher education? How might the Christian faith contribute to answering such questions?

Professor Dean Bork will lead a series of discussions focused on the Good Life in Christ. Each session will begin with a 10 to 15 minute recap of the week’s reading. The remainder of the time will be devoted to discussing questions that participants bring to the group. It is not necessary to complete the suggested readings in order to participate, but, doing so will help to focus and enrich our discussions (Note: weekly topics and suggested readings shown below may change depending on the interests of the participants.)

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SCHEDULE

Tuesday, September 4
What’s the Problem? – how postmodern homelessness impacts our lives
Suggested Reading:
Carl Watson, “Postmodern Homelessness and the Distribution of Selfness or The Mind
Blown, really”, Williamsburg Observer, March 2010.
Mary Poplin, Chapter Two: “Confessions of a Professor” from Is Reality Secular: Testing
the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews

Tuesday, September 11
We All Already Want Something – how desires and rituals shape our lives
Suggested Reading:
Neal Samudre, “What Whole Living Means and Why It Matters for 2016”, Huffington Post,
December 2015.
David Neff, “You Can’t Think Your Way to God” an interview with James K. A. Smith,
Christianity Today, May 2013.

Tuesday, September 18
What is a Person? – how our views of the human soul influence our lives
Suggested Video:
J. P. Moreland, “Neuroscience and the Soul”, Biola University YouTube, July 2013.
Suggested Reading: Dallas Willard, Chapter Two: “The Heart in the System of Human Life” from Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ

Tuesday, September 25
Whole Thought and Whole Life – how our minds direct our lives
Suggested Reading:
J. P. Moreland, Chapter Three: “The Mind’s Role in Spiritual Transformation” from Love
Your God with All Your Mind.

Tuesday, October 2
What do Ya Know? – knowledge and the good life
Suggested Reading:
J. P. Moreland, Chapter Four: “Harassing the Hobgoblins of the Christian Mind” from
Love Your God with All Your Mind.

Tuesday, October 9
A Virtuous Life – outside-in and inside-out living
Suggested Reading:
J. P. Moreland, Chapter Five: “Clearing the Cobwebs from our Mental Attics” from Love
Your God with All Your Mind.

Tuesday, October 16
‘Be’ing a whole person – integrating feelings, thoughts, commitments and action
Suggested Reading:
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Chapter Eighteen: “Learning for Shalom” from Reason with the Bounds of Religion
Dallas Willard, Chapter Eleven: “Transforming the Soul” from Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ

Tuesday, October 23
Life in a Healthy Community – what you need and what you have to offer
Suggested Reading:
Dallas Willard, Chapter Twelve: “The Children of Light and the Light of the World” from Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ

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