I met John Mulholland, who works at the University of Chicago Law Library, back in 2007. Over the years John has been a consistent proponent of a holistic Christian worldview, including its relevance for the university, and has organized many conferences on the subject, helping many to reflect on what it means to serve Christ in academia.
At John’s invitation I came to speak at an event called “The Redemption of Reason” at the University of Chicago in October 2007; I gave two talks, one on God’s validation of Job’s lament in the speech from the whirlwind, a second on the meaning of the imago Dei as God’s call for whole-life service.
Recently I became aware of a Facebook page that John has been involved with, that is grounded in the heritage of Charles Malik, the Lebanese Christian intellectual and diplomat who was president of the UN General Assembly.
Malik, who was Eastern Orthodox, studied with Alfred North Whitehead and Martin Heidegger and earned a PhD in philosophy from Harvard, and later taught in both the US and Lebanon. He entered the civil service in Lebanon and besides service to that country he was instrumental in developing the UN charter of rights and served as president of the UN General Assembly from 1958-59. Malik also wrote in the area of theology and I have heard his name dropped and seen his works cited especially when I was a campus minister with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, back in the 1980s.
One of my M.A. students (Cord Sullivan), who is coming on staff with IVCF at the University of Buffalo, has a Malik quote as the byline for his email: “more potently than by any other means, change the University and you change the world.” Now you can see why this Facebook page is called the “Charles Malik Society for Redeeming Reason.” I’m glad I discovered it.
Recently, John posted some comments there about the talk on “Restoration” I gave at Jubilee 2015.
A gift of Shalom from Professor J. Richard Middleton for this little venture, where we seek to engage the university and culture as Christians with the Good News of Jesus. Middleton, NT Wright and others now see an holistic message of salvation, which empowers us to do both deeds of mercy, but also deeds of creation in science, art, medicine, et al.
Nicholas Wolterstorff echoes this work by Middleton and others with remarks about God’s call to us all to be messengers of Shalom in this world, agents of God’s mission – see esp. p.72
Then John quotes some of my blog post on the Jubilee conference, and concludes by saying:
Click around Middleton’s blog to find more resources. Here is the table of contents for his new book, A New Heaven and a New Earth.
I recommend the postings on the Malik/Redeeming Reason Facebook page for inspiration and enlightenment on seeking God’s kingdom in the academic realm.
Thanks, John, for your service in the cause of Christ that goes back a long way!