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Engaging God's World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  287 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The Bible admonishes Christians to love God with the mind as well as with the heart. Engaging God's World clearly links this scriptural mandate with the pursuit of academic life, extolling the crucial role of Christian higher education in the intellectual and spiritual formation of believers.Chiefly intended to serve as a primer for students beginning college careers but v ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 7th 2002 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (first published January 1st 2002)
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Jason Leonard
Chapter 5 is worth the whole thing. The earlier parts are well written and I have highlights and ample notes to tell me they are worth reading, but it is a struggle to maintain a coherent flow to the whole book. Why the middle three chapters are so necessary to the bookends is a struggle. I think Plantinga was trying to communicate a worldview that naturally moved to chapter 5. It does, but not so clearly in the book.

In any case, a very exciting a compelling look at education.

My only real grip
...more
Joyce
Sep 29, 2009 Joyce rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any student
Recommended to Joyce by: Calvin Chen
Terrific book about Christian worldview and application for Christian living & discipleship in the university. Plantinga writes from the perspective of an orthodox faith in Christ & the Reformed tradition in Calvin, beautifully crafting an exhortation to see the goodness of creation, the expansiveness of depravity (in humans & all of creation), and then the greatness of redemption. He addresses how to be a redemptive influence, salt & light for the Kingdom of God in personal, ind ...more
Kevin Ressler
As with Plantinga's award winning book "Not The Way It's Supposed To Be" the prose is well and good and easy to read. The argument, again, is based in very sensible if challenging merits. But Plantinga's reluctance to become imaginative about the coming of a bodily resurrection while insisting on a bodily resurrection leaves the book very wanting. Everyone seems to be promised that things will be what they are intended to be whatever that means for individuals, but he doesn't give the specific a ...more
Paul Dubuc
Calvin College has their own special edition of this book, whose author is president of Calvin Theological Seminary. The book is required study for all 1st year Calvin students. I became interested in reading it after visiting Calvin this Summer. This book is a very fine statement of purpose for a Christian education from a Christian (Reformed) perspective. I expected a dry theological dissertation, but was pleasantly surprised to find the writing lively, clear and concise. This small book cover ...more
Ryan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzanne
Here's some quotes from the book:

p. 13 "We need faith in the resurrected Jesus, the Savior of the nations. But we also need love. Love gets us out of our shell. It lifts our interest not only toward Christ but also toward others, so that when we begin to hope, we naturally hope for them as well as for ourselves. To summarize this way of thinking, we might say (as Paul does at the end of his great hymn in I Cor 13) that biblical hope - the real thing - must have faith on one side of it and love o
...more
James
Plantiga's book is really geared toward convincing the reader that a Christian University is the best place for a Christian to go to school and be trained. As a staff of a campus ministry on a public university I highly disagree with him in this and believe that Christians need to engage the public university. With that said, much of his book is very practical for Christian students (and those who work with them) who attend public universities.

Plantiga writes that, "The Holy Spirit authors all t
...more
Jesse Larson
Greatly encouraged me and expanded my perspective on what it is to be a Christian in God's world. This should be required reading at all Christian colleges.
Mike Awtry
Plantinga is a gifted writer and communicator, and his book outlines a compelling vision of hope. Unfortunately, I find his means of getting there to be inadequate and problematic.
Tim Hoiland
After reading James Davison Hunter’s To Change The World, and then Ken Wytsma’s Pursuing Justice, I’ve kept thinking about the idea of “changing the world” and the extent to which such a thing is, or is not, possible.

In a section on vocation and the Kingdom of God in Cornelius Plantinga’s excellent book Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living (Eerdmans) he draws on the thinking of John Calvin, who noted that short of redemption and the experience of grace, we all
...more
Charles
Sep 24, 2008 Charles rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: College students
Recommended to Charles by: My Faith and Learning class
Shelves: theology
Was a great thought provoking book that was primarily aimed at Christian college students. The writer is connected with Calvin college and I was quite impressed. But the book makes me think of a lot of things I've already read in C.S. Lewis's philosophical books. If you haven't read any philosophy/theology by Lewis, this would be a great starting point. Although I think I would suggest Mere Christianity over the book.

O and the book is filled with a lot of amazing quotes that must have taken mont
...more
Amy
Dec 26, 2007 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone who has breath
incredible book...i'm learning(again) how much i need Jesus and how amazing it is that He fills my every need and satisfies the longings of my heart..this book is required reading for most reformed seminaries...Plantinga, within these pages, manages to marry Theology and reality while opening your eyes to the Truth of Christ and he makes it all make sense...it's also a Christian English major's dream since Plantinga quotes from every imaginable realm of literature..
Melanie
Aug 22, 2008 Melanie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melanie by: RUF Internship
I think Plantiga is a little over-enthusiastic about undergraduate education in a Christian college setting (I'd argue that point with him), but as a whole, this is a really good presentation of a Christian framework for education and vocation, examined through the main themes of Christian faith--creation, fall, and redemption.
Aaron Buer
I thought the first half of this book was phenomenal and then the second half was terrible. What Plantinga had to say about the fall and redemption was powerful and moving but he basically ended the book by saying, "this is why you should go to Christian college" and I thought it was lame.
Lynley
This book makes many interesting points. Some of which I agreed with with, some I did not. I found the authors discussions on shalom invigorating and inspiring. However, I would differ with him on application of the principle. Occasionally it seemed elementary, but it was well written.
John Yelverton
Though some parts of this book leaves a bit to be desired, the overall premise is wonderful. The author express how Christians are to appropriately engage the world, while at the same time avoiding the trappings of living a sheltered life separated from the world.
Bob
A fine foundational set of essays for students entering into college concerning theology and vocation. He is certainly advocating a Christian College but along the way makes a challenge for those in the secular college setting to be Daniels entering the lion's den.
Jeremy
I had started this book probably five to ten years ago and never finished it. It's one of the best books on the subject of serving God in every legitimate field, not just "ministry." I believe that this book is required reading for freshmen at Calvin College.
Clare Graaf
Neal Plantinga is one of the most beautiful writers I know. His thoughts are cogent, thoughtful and theologically enlightening. I've read this book a half dozen times and still stop to read some sentences over and over.
Dave Intlekofer
Great review of Creation, Fall, Redemption. This is well written and informative (many Reformed references and quotes). I particularly liked the chapters on Creation and Vocation.
Brad Dunson
Plantinga casts a clear vision for the Christian in engaging culture in this summary, although I would recommend "Not the way it's supposed to be" over this.
Chuck Bonadies
A decent book on Christian worldview. Plantinga explains and applies the classic "Creation, Fall, Redemption" paradigm.

CB
Kirk
Written for college students, but appropriate for anyone who is new to the idea of a coherent Xian world and life view.
Seth
A must read for Christian educators!
The chapter on vocation, as opposed to career, should shape the way we teach.
Eric Chappell
I agree with a lot here, with a few exceptions and reservations.
Brian Cawley
Super strong book -- much more than just a book about higher ed.
Dan
Good read brilliant insights but a little thick at parts
Chris Theule-vandam
Pretty good for a freshman, Christian college course.
Joseph Workman
Interesting overview of the reformed theology
Hope
Apr 21, 2009 Hope added it
ehhh, i've read better
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  • Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview
  • Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition
  • Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling
  • Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World
  • Lectures on Calvinism
  • The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity
  • When the Kings Come Marching in: Isaiah and the New Jerusalem
  • Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good
  • The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, From the Civil Rights Movement to Today
  • The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story
  • Conformed to His Image: Biblical and Practical Approaches to Spiritual Formation
  • The Transforming Vision
  • Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World
  • The Doctrine of the Christian Life (A Theology of Lordship)
  • The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism
  • The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life
  • A Place for Weakness: Preparing Yourself for Suffering
  • Dynamics of Spiritual Life
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Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church and has served as a pastor in Webster, NY and supply preacher in Cliffwood Beach, NJ. Before joining the faculty at Calvin Theological Seminary, Cornelius Plantinga Jr. taught at Princeton Theological Seminary (1976 - 78), Fuller Theological Seminary (1985, 1987) and Regent College (1997). From 1996 to 2002 he served ...more
More about Cornelius Plantinga Jr....
Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin Reading for Preaching: The Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists Beyond Doubt: Faith-Building Devotions on Questions Christians Ask Discerning the Spirits: A Guide to Thinking about Christian Worship Today Place to Stand: A Reformed Study of Creeds and Confessions

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“When one gives up Christian belief one thereby deprives oneself of the right to Christian morality.... Christianity is a system, a consistently thought out and complete view of things. If one breaks out of it a fundamental idea, the belief in God, one thereby breaks the whole thing to pieces: one has nothing of any consequence left in one's hands.... Christian morality is a command: its origin is transcendental ... it possesses truth only if God is truth - it stands or falls with the belief in God. "
Friedrich Nietzsche5”
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“To be a Christian is to participate in this very common human enterprise of diagnosis, prescription, and prognosis, but to do so from inside a Christian view of the world, a view that has been constructed from Scripture and that centers on Jesus Christ the Savior, "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Christian hope centers on Jesus Christ, the Lord of the whole cosmos, the one "through [whom] God was pleased to reconcile to
himself all things" (Col. 1:20). Moreover, classical Christian hope centers on Jesus Christ alone, rejecting his rivals as pseudo-Saviors. Christians trust "no other name under heaven" (Acts 4:12).”
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