Go With God–An open letter to young Christians on their way to college
前言：引用Robert Louis Wilken的話，Hauerwas說基督教本身具備不可避免的儀式性（ inescapably ritualistic，由於「洗禮」）、不可妥協的道德性（uncompromisingly moral –「你們要完全，因為天父是完全的」），以及無須辯解的智識性（unapologetically intellectual )。
Undergraduate life on college campuses tends in the direction of neopagan excess. The contemporary American secular university is largely a place of unbelief. there is a group of unchurch people today asking for a sophisticated, contemporary intellectual makes faith impossible. offering the reasonable defense Peter asks (1 Pet 3:15) for may at least make someone think twice before he rejects the risen Lord.
Situation today: Pastors consider preaching and evangelizing the most important thing. Teachers consider education the most important thing. Social activists argue for the priority of making the world more just. Still others insist that internal spiritual renewal is the key to everything. St. Paul, however, reminds the Church at Corinth that it comprises a variety of gifts that serve to build up the Church’s common good. »
For the most part, our intellectual friendships are channeled through books. C.S. Lewis has remained popular with Christian students for many good reasons, not the least of which is that he makes himself available to his readers as a trusted friend in Christ. Francis Schaeffer also can be a point of contact—something to agree with or argue about. To a great extent, becoming an educated person means adding lots of layers to your relationships. Sure, going to the big football game or having a beer (legally) with your buddies should be fun on its own terms, but it’s also a reality ripe for analysis, discussion, and conversation. If you read Mary Douglas or Claude Levi-Strauss, you’ll have something to say about the rituals of American sports. And if you read Jane Austen or T.S. Eliot, you’ll find you see conversations with friends, particularly while sharing a meal, in new ways. Books are like the fine threads of a spider’s web. They link and connect.
There is an insidious anti-intellectualism abroad in academia. Some professors have convinced themselves that all knowledge is just political power dressed up in fancy language or that books and ideas are simply ideological weapons in the quest for domination. But if you’re clear about your calling as a student, you can avoid this delusion despite Christians, of all people, should recognize that academia indeed contribute to the [re]production of power relations that are unjust,. You are called to the life of the mind to be of service to the gospel and the Church.
A certain kind of Christian teacher can lead you astray: the temptation is to compartmentalize, to relegate faith to the heart and carry on academic work in a faithless manner dressed up by ‘professionalism’. Don’t compartmentalize. The best teachers for a Christian student aren’t always Christians. Studying with a professor who avows atheism may be their first encounter with a teacher who thinks faith is relevant to the intellectual life, albeit in a purely negative way. Many Profs also display a piety especially relevant to the academic life that serves the subject matter rather than treating it as information to be mastered.
Then American undergraduate education will force you to begin to specialize– select a major. The more you know about less and less should teach you humility. To combat a tendency toward the complacency that comes from mastering a discipline, it is particularly important that you gain historical insight into the practice of your discipline. Too often, though, students have no idea how and why the scientific fields’ research agendas developed into their current form of practice. To go back and read Isaac Newton can be a bit of a shock, because he interwove his scientific analysis with theological arguments. It should, however, make you realize that modern science has profound metaphysical and theological dimensions.
Don’t let your intellectual life be defined by your discipline. It is important for you to interrogate theologically what you are learning. You may major in economics, a discipline currently dominated by mathematical models and rational-choice theories. Those theories may have some utility (to use an economic expression), but they also may entail anthropological assumptions that a Christian cannot accept.
You need good mentors—men and women who are dedicated to their work and for whom a fitting humility about the limits of their expertise leads them to read broadly and thus become intellectuals rather than specialists.
Only a man or woman who has undergone a long period of spiritual discipline can reliably pray in the solitude of a hermitage. You’re young. You need the regular discipline of worship, Bible reading, and Christian fellowship. Don’t underestimate the moral temptations of the contemporary college scene. To worship God and live faithfully are necessary conditions if you are to survive in college. But as a Christian you are called to do more than survive. You are called to use the opportunity you have been given to learn to construe the world as a creature of a God who would have us enjoy—and bask in—the love that has brought us into existence. God has given your mind good work to do. As members of the Church, we’re counting on you. It won’t be easy. It never has been. But I can testify that it can also be a source of joy.