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

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  455 ratings  ·  45 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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Average rating 3.77  · 
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Jesse Larson
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Plantinga writes the purpose of his book in his preface: to encourage students to receive Christian education and engage the Scriptures as they form their own personal worldviews and prepare to enter the “secular” world, ready to defend their faith and be prime citizens of the kingdom. As he describes the common themes of the Christian faith, however, that purpose is sometimes forgotten. He thoroughly explains the meaning and significance of creation, the fall, and redemption, but at times it se ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Had to read this book for my Foundations of Worldview class. Every Christian college student should be reading this book to better understand Creation, The Fall, and Our Redemption. Plantinga ends the book challenging students on how we 1) view the Kingdom of God 2) are we even living it out and 3) are we allowing the truth of the Kingdom penetrate our every day lives and actions. Convicting, humbling, and very encouraging!

Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
I read this book for class and I thought it was very insightful. Plantinga supported his ideas with good references. He talked about the different aspects of humans and gives many explanations that science has not been able to make claims to answer. It hold the human responsible for the outcomes of their choices, while also speaking from a place of hope. I would recommend this book!
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, enlightening book. It is very truthful and convicting. Plantinga Jr. writes with purposeful and direct language. I had to read this for a class, and ended up enjoying it and learning a lot from it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in becoming more christlike and a true servant of God.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Traditional outlining of the Reformed understanding of creation, fall, redemption in the world. The final chapter on how it ties to vocation was the most interesting to me. The appendix has questions on each chapter that encourage deeper thinking and I think they would be useful to discuss in a group or class setting.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every Christian educator should read this book!
Phillip Nash
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is beautifully written, simple and clear yet captures the profound and mysterious story of God so well. A must read for Christian school teachers.
Jill Hudson
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very useful introduction to university life for American Christian students! Less relevant in other contexts, but it does include some worthwhile insights into reconciling Christian faith with rational thought. It shows the importance of thinking out your beliefs rigorously rather than letting your education quietly erode them while you try to keep them locked up in a separate box.
Scott Guillory
Good. A sound foundation to build a life of learning on.
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
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Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book about how mankind is to fit into God's great plan in all their actions. What surprised me most about this book is the amount of HOPE I found in it. Seeing an awestruck description of exactly how our little kingdoms are meant to mesh with God's kingdom filled me with both wonder, for how great a God we serve, and hope that there IS a right way for this fallen, dirty, broken, train wreck of a planet we live on to operate.

Some have said that this book is only valuable for the fift
Andy Hickman
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cornelius Plantinga Jr. “Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living.” Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002.

Fantastic overview of the bigger picture.

Shalom covers well-being in the widest sense of the word incorporating notions of contentment, health, prosperity, justice, unity and salvation.
… and …
We are placed, we have a point of reference, our identity and relevance is derived from God's identity. (p40)

Jan 03, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Sep 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
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, individual lives as ...more
Kevin Ressler
Oct 11, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: highly-recommend
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
Jason Leonard
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Tim Hoiland
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
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
Sep 01, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Dec 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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's also a Christian English major's dream since Plantinga quotes from every imaginable realm of literature..
Aug 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melanie by: RUF Internship
Shelves: nonfic
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
Jun 15, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
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.
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Clare Graaf
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Bob Wolniak
Aug 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
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.
John Yelverton
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
John Henry
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-library
Darrell Guder said the evangelical church has understanding of justification and sanctification. What has been forgotten in the Modern period is vocation. This book outlines how we can remember our story and become missional again, engaging our world.
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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

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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”
“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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