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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Book review: Finding God at Harvard

            Finding God at Harvard, ed. Kelly Monroe Kullberg (Veritas Forum Books, div. IVP, 1996, 2007).
            Harvard University has the justifiable reputation of being one of the most difficult institutions of higher learning in the world, and, therefore, one of the most difficult to get into.  One irony is that it was founded by persons with Christian principles, but over the last two centuries has moved to a direction where it is even more antagonistic than most schools to a Christian worldview.  Still, there has been and is a committed Christian minority at the school, and in 1992 started a series of lectures titled the Veritas Forum.  Veritas, which means truth (think, as in the KJV, which has Jesus saying, “Verily, verily” and more modern versions saying “Truly, truly’) was the original motto (dated 1643) of Harvard.  The Veritas Forum lectures, which over time have spread to many college and university campuses, have speeches from Christian intellectuals on a variety of subjects dealing with the intellectual congruity of being a thinking person and believing in Jesus.
            To that effect, “Finding God at Harvard” is a group of 42 three to seven page essays written by persons who were students, faculty, or in some way connected to its campus and intellectual life writing on something connected to their spiritual journey.  Except possibly for a couple of essays near the end, they are all written in a style that doesn’t demand that the reader himself is college material to understand. 
            In my opinion, this is a good book for either a believer or non-believer in Jesus that is honestly struggling with the intellectual congruity of faith in Jesus and living on the intellectual cutting edge of the real world.  For the person, believer or non-, who doesn’t want to deal with intellectual issues, this book isn’t even close to something that person, except possibly Chapter 1, the first five essays.
            Since this book has been out for many years, one can probably find issues at www.half.com in addition to new book outlets.  I would not be surprised if this book is one of those IVP books that get updated and re-released every decade, a trait that imprint has with regard to their most timeless subjects.

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