Books of Interest for the Integration of Faith and Learning
Robert A. Harris
Version Date: January 5, 2005
In the process of writing my book, The Integration of Faith and
Learning: A Worldview Approach, I have made use of many helpful books.
I thought some of them might be of interest to others engaged in the process
of integration. In addition to the books I consulted while writing my integration
book, I include here other books I have since come across or learned about
that might be helpful.
Books about Integration
This section lists books specifically about the integration of faith
Claerbaut, David. Faith and Learning on the Edge: A Bold New Look at
Religion in Higher Education. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004. The
first part of the book provides a very helpful overview of the issues,
from postmodernism to the need for a Christian mind and scholarly activity.
The second part of the book addresses some practical issues, especially
in making the connection between faith and the various disciplines, such
as art, science, and philosophy. This book should be in every integration
Dockery, David S. and Gregory Alan Thornbury. Shaping a Christian Worldview:
The Foundations of Christian Higher Education. Nashville: Broadman
and Holman, 2002. Includes chapters applying the Christian worldview to
Eckel, Mark. The Whole Truth: Classroom Strategies for a Biblical Integration.
Xulon: 2004. The process of integration for the K-12 classroom.
Heie, Harold and David L. Wolfe. The Reality of Christian Learning:
Strategies for Faith-Discipline Integration. 1987, rpt. Eugene, Oregon:
Wipf and Stock, 2004. A festschrift with two chapters each on several disciplines.
Books Related to Critical Thinking
The books in this section are helpful for developing critical thinking
skills, the skills of analysis, interpretation, and evaluation. They will
also help you gain ain understanding of how information is created, processed,
and accepted or rejected. These books cover thinking skills in general
and do not relate to the integration process specifically.
Books Related to the Christian Worldview
Cialdini, Robert B. Influence: Science and Practice. 4th edition.
Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2001. This highly readable book covers six techniques
of compliance used to manipulate people's thinking and behavior. The techniques
are reciprocation (I give you something and you feel obligated to give
me something), commitment and consistency (you already did that, so you'd
better do this or you'll be inconsistent), social proof (everybody, or
at least your friends, are doing this, so you should, too), liking (I believe
that newscaster because he's so good looking), authority (studies show
that our product is good for you), and scarcity (act now while supplies
last). You won't be shocked to learn about these techniques, since you
probably already knew that they are being used against you, but learning
about how pervasive they and how powerful they are makes the book worth
reading. Recommended as one of the basic books for any critical thinking
education. I used it in my critical thinking classes and students really
enjoyed it and (I think) profited from it.
Fischer, David Hackett. Historians' Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical
Thought. New York: Harper & Row, 1970. These three hundred pages
of fallacies and their examples provide a sobering revelation of what can
go wrong with the interpretation of evidence in any field, not just history.
Fischer lists dozens and dozens of logical fallacies and explains how historical
thinking goes awry. The book includes fallacies of inquiry (question framing,
factual verification, factual significance), explanation (generalization,
narration, causation, motivation, composition, false analogy) and argument
(semantical distortion and substantive distraction). The book is out of
print but some used copies might be available. It would be worth while
to get one.
Huck, Schuyler W. and Howard M. Sandler. Rival Hypotheses: Alternative
Interpretations of Data Based Conclusions. New York: Harper & Row,
1979. This very famous book is also unjustly out of print, but you may
be able to get a used copy. The authors present 100 cases where an experiment
or a collection of data has been interpreted in a logical way. You are
then asked to generate one or more rival hypotheses, alternate explanations
for the same data. In the back of the book are criticisms of the original
interpretations and suggestions for rival explanations, often accompanied
by additional facts that explain why the original (and official) conclusions
were suspect or plain wrong. The point is, of course, that interpretation
is subject to a number of complex challenges, including problems with representative
data, investigator bias, flaws in experimental design, and so forth. This
book might also be recommended as a source for developing creative thinking
skills because it encourages the reader to generate multiple, logical explanations
for the same data.
MacDougall, Curtis D. Hoaxes. 1940. Reprint New York: Dover Books,
1958. This book is a classic tour of the many reasons why people are so
easily led to believe false information. Whether from the prestige of the
presenter, pet theories, the cultural climate, or other reason, MacDougall
presents us with both theory and examples of many hoaxes. There are four
chapters on why we don't disbelieve (indifference, ignorance and superstition,
suggestion, prestige), seven chapters on incentives to believe (financial
gain, vanity and conspicuous waste, promoting a cause, chauvinism, prejudices
and pet theories, the thirst for vicarious thrills, cultural climate) and
nine chapters on how hoaxes succeed (historical, governmental, religious,
scientific, literary, journalistic, public relations, hoaxes of exposure,
hoaxes on the wing). The book is out of print but copies are avaiable via
Amazon or other used sources. The book is old, but its lessons are contemporary.
The books in this section cover some aspect of the Christian worldview
Boa, Kenneth D. and Robert M. Bowman, Jr. Faith Has Its Reasons: An
Integrative Approach to Defending Christianity. An Apologetics Handbook.
Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2001. This book provides an excellent contextualization
of the various apologetics strategies and thier adherents. It covers four
schools or emphases: classical apologetics (emphasizing reason and deductive
method), evidentialist apologetics (emphasizing historical evidence, interpretation
of fact, and inductive method), presuppositionalist or Reformed apologetics
(emphasizing revelation and "the belief in God as basic" or assumed), and
fideist apologetics (emphasizing the personal relationship with Christ
instead of intellectual persuasion). A fifth, integrative, approach is
also discussed, pointing out that techniques and ideas from all four approaches
can be combined or used effectively depending on the circumstances. The
strengths and weaknesses of each approach are discussed. This book could
be used as a reference, where you just look at the overviews and tables,
or you can do as I did and read through all 275,000 words.
Chesterton, G. K. Orthodoxy. 1908. Reprint San Francisco: Ignatius
Press, n.d. There are several editions of this great classic. I've just
listed the one I have. Chesterton, writing just after the turn of the twentieth
century, is a surprisingly astute commentator of both modern and postmodern
intellectual errors and their irrational hostilities toward Christianity.
There is much good sense and great wisdom in this book.
Colson, Charles and Nancy Pearcey. How Now Shall We Live? Wheaton,
IL: Tyndale, 1999. Award winning book about connecting faith and living
by applying the Christian worldview to every aspect of life.
McCallum, Dennis, ed. The Death of Truth. Minneapolis: Bethany House,
1996. The essayists in this volume cover the challenge of postmodernist
thinking in several areas of learning and practice (health care, literature,
education, history, psychotherapy, law, science, and religion). The book
also provides a good discussion about what postmodernism is, its relation
to modernism, and some ideas for communicating with those infected by the
relativism at postmodernism's core. Readable and enlightening.
Moreland, J. P. Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason
in the Life of the Soul. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1997. In this
book, Moreland calls Christians to action--to intellectual action. This
book is a manifesto for the life of the Christian mind, developed and put
to use for the service of God. I used this book in my critical thinking
class for several semesters and students enthusiastically reported how
it changed their whole view of education, making them more serious about
learning and serving God with their minds. A lengthy appendix (Appendix
2) offers many resources relating to integrating faith and discipline.
Moreland, J. P. and William Lane Craig. Philosophical Foundations for
a Christian Worldview. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003.
Peterson, Michael L. With All Your Mind: A Christian Philosophy of Education.
Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2001. The book discussed
many approaches to and theories of education, from the traditional to the
postmodern, and develops a Christian response and philosophy along the
way. Good book for those who plan to teach at any level.
Veith, Jr., Gene Edward. Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to
Contemporary Thought and Culture. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994. This
book provides a good introduction to (and critique of) postmodernism. The
book is divided into four parts: postmodern thought (a definition of what
the pomo worldview is all about), postmodern art (a look at the art world),
postmodern society (tribalism, multiculturalism, power, gender, race, class),
and postmodern religion (from the Eastern influenced empty spirituality
to the effect of postmodernism on Christianity). Like McCallum's Death
of Truth, this is a great introduction to the pomo influences now infesting
Books Related to Hermeneutics
An accurate understanding of the Bible is crucial for good integration.
The following books provide guidelines for interpreting biblical texts.
Bullinger, E. W. Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, Explained and
Illustrated. 1898. Reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1968. Figurative
language plays a major role in Scripture, so understanding its use is important
to understanding the meaning of many passages. This enormous book is the
classic explication. This is not strictly a book about hermeneutics per
se, but it belongs in the category of books helpful for accurate interpretation.
Fee, Gordon D. and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its
Worth. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993
Virkler, Henry A. Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical
Interpretation. Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 1981. Includes coverage
of historical and theoretical interpretive trends as well as the types
of analysis (historical-cultural, lexical-syntactical, theological) and
special methods (for dealing with figurative language, for example) of
proper interpretation. A good accessible introduction.
Zuck, Roy B. Basic Bible Interpretation: A Practical Guide to Discovering
Biblical Truth. Colorado Springs: Victor/Cook, 1991. Another useful
book. Zuck's steps are to discover what the text says, discover what is
means, and then discover how it applies to us.
Books Related to Bridge Issues
The key intellectual and cultural struggle today is over what it means
to be human. Are we the accidental products of a mindless material process
or have we been created in the image of God and by God? Currently, Darwinian
evolution is the main proxy issue used to fight the conflict over this
answer. Here are some books of interest relating to that and other similar
Johnson, Phillip E. Darwin on Trial. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway,
1991. All of Johnson's books are readable, entertaining, and informative.
This one covers some of the weaknesses in evolutionary theory.
Johnson, Phillip E. Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism
in Science, Law, and Education. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press,
1995. Here Johnson exposes the naturalistic metaphysics behind much of
what passes for scientific knowledge and discusses the weaknesses of naturalism
Johnson, Phillip E. Objections Sustained: Subversive Essays on Evolution,
Law, and Culture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998. A collection
of essays further exploring the fact that evolutionary theory is actually
grounded in metaphysical commitment.
Johnson, Phillip E. The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of
Naturalism. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000. Here Johnson
argues that the battle over what is sometimes described as "religion and
science" is really a culture war, between two religions (materialism and
theism). It is important to understand that materialism and its buddy naturalism
(terms often used interchangeably) are not required as part of the definition
of science. The wedge idea is to separate materialist/atheist metaphysics
from the definition of science.
Johnson, Phillip E. The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning, and Public
Debate. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002. Here Johnson asks
some new and provocative questions about the relation between scientific
investigation and theological ideas.
2003 by Robert Harris | How to cite this page
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About the author:
Robert Harris is a writer
and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college
and university level. RHarris at virtualsalt.com