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St. Augustine’s learning for the glory of God: Adapting “faith-learning integration” terminology for the modern world.

Marie Balance, Jaliene Hollabaugh, and Thu Truong


The scholastic debate about use and interpretation of the phrase “faith-learning integration” has spanned over fifty years. Glanzer (2008) proposed that this phrase be discarded and that scholars adopt the terminology “the creation and redemption of scholarship.” This concept is not new to Christian dialogue: it can be found in the writings of St. Augustine. However, there needs to be further clarification of Glanzer’s language in order to make it accessible to people of all faiths, backgrounds, and education levels. This paper will attempt to support both Glanzer’s proposal and a new direction for the discussion and encourage educators to adopt this new language as faith-based scholars.

The use of the phrase “faith-learning integration,” as well as the debate over its proper interpretation and use within education, has spanned decades. The ‘integration of faith and learning’ terminology is commonly used today in many religious institutions across the United States and elsewhere. The concept of faith or religion and education working in tandem is one that appeals to academics from faith-based institutions; in fact, recently there has been an increase in the scholarship regarding the relationship between education and religion (Turner, 1998). Nevertheless, there is little consensus regarding the interpretation or use of the phrase “faith-learning integration.” Glanzer (2008) proposes that the phrase “faith-learning integration” be discarded due to its lack of clarity and that scholars adopt the terminology “[the] creation and redemption of scholarship.” Glanzer’s suggested terminology, “the creation and redemption of scholarship” implies that faith is inherent in learning and scholarship. While this may seem a radical new step in the debate over the relationship between religious belief and academe, this paper argues that the concepts found within Glanzer’s argument resonate with ideas from St. Augustine and early Christian thought. Through a look at the historical background regarding the term “faith-learning integration” a detailed analysis of Glanzer’s work and how it fits into the history of this discussion, and an in-depth examination of St. Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana as it relates to the connection between faith and learning, it will be apparent that the discussion surrounding this language has its roots in early Christian philosophy. However, within the latest development of this conversation, there needs to be further clarification of the language in order to make it accessible to people of all faiths, backgrounds, and education levels. For the purpose of this article the terms scholar and educator will be used interchangably. This article will attempt to support Glanzer’s proposal as well as a new direction for the discussion, which relies on scholars (educators) to create and redeem knowledge, scholarship, and truth for the glory of God.

Historical underpinnings behind “the integration of faith and learning” language

Although there is no way to precisely determine when the term “faith-learning integration” first came into being, Badley (1994) argues that while the desire to integrate religious faith with education is apparent in the late 19th century and questions about integration appear as early as the second century with the Christian apologist Tertullian, it is not until the 1950s that the Christian evangelical movement adopts this term as part of its vocabulary. The increased discussion of this terminology is perhaps due to the fact that 20th century scholars see a division between scholarship and religion, a division that is absent in the past. According to Turner (1998):

Until about a century and a half ago, scientists and scholars commonly assumed that knowledge formed a coherent whole; more precisely, they assumed that all parts of knowledge ultimately could be connected because every area of knowledge focused on some aspect of one single divine creation. (p. 39)

In the United States, the end of the 19th century saw the rise in modern universities in which “faculty in the leading secular universities and colleges came to regard religious commitments as private and irrelevant to the academic disciplines” (Ream, Beaty & Lion, 2004, p.
350). During that division, religious universities opened and began addressing the issue of faith and learning, distinguishing them from their secular counterparts.

The first person to provide a definition of “the integration of faith and learning” is Gaebelein (1968), who proposes that this term reflects the “union” between education and “the eternal and infinite pattern of God’s truth” (p. 9). This concept is quickly adopted by academics such as Holmes (1987), who sees this as a central tenet of Christian colleges. Yet finding ways to connect faith with certain academic fields, like math, can sometimes prove problematic. According to Gates (2006):

In the last twenty years, the challenges in arriving at consensus agreement and advice have become much greater. They are stretched both by the range of faiths needing to be represented and by the question of how best to be supportive of educational experience in beliefs and values, which is relevant in a rapidly changing world. (p. 586)

Mvududu (2007) points out that while some people think that integrating faith and learning is as simple as adding a Bible verse to a lesson, true integration requires something more fundamental, such as using these academic studies to understand more fully the purposes of God’s design. Hasker (1992) writes: “Faith-learning integration may be briefly described as a scholarly project whose goal is to ascertain and to develop integral relationships which exist between the Christian faith and human knowledge, particularly as expressed in the various academic disciplines[sic] (para. 3).

Catholic schools and universities were the first to adopt “the integration of faith and learning” language. In fact, “the connection of intellectual and moral development has been a consistent consideration in Catholic universities since the Middle Ages” (Trainor, 2006, p. 16). According to Trainor, while Protestant universities were dividing religious studies from other, more secular pursuits, Catholic universities “committed to making theology and philosophy central to undergraduate education” (p. 15). Trainor also notes that at Catholic universities, lessons derived from the Bible are given respect on par with peer-reviewed articles, incorporating faith and religious teachings into all classes. While the terminology used is “integration,” implying that faith and learning are somehow separate, Trainor believes the language used when describing what happens at Catholic universities shows the belief at these academic institutions that all learning and knowledge are connected to and created by God. One would assume that having over fifty years of scholarship related to this terminology would provide cohesion among academics, but that is most certainly not the case.

Part of the issue surrounding the debate is that even among scholars who purport to have religious faith there is no agreement over what role, if any, faith should play in the field of academia. A group studying faculty views about faith and learning discovered that even at large religious institutions there is a wide range in the interpretation of the roles of faith and learning (Ream, et al., 2004, p. 354). This study, which surveyed over 1700 faculty members at four distinct religious research universities, finds that there are eight major patterns of perspectives on college campuses. Pattern I suggests that faith and learning are completely separate and should remain that way, and some faculty members even go so far as to say that there is no possible way to integrate faith into some curricula. Pattern II suggests that there should be limited integration so that students see faith on campus but not within curricula, which is similar to Pattern III that believes faith is private and should not enter the public learning sphere. Pattern IV suggests that faith could be public but not addressed in curricula whereas Pattern V shows faculty members who said one could permit faith in curricula in a very limited fashion. This is slightly more restricted than those in Pattern VI which shows that faith should have a specified, albeit limited, role in curricula only at religious universities. This contrasts sharply with those in Pattern VII who believe that faith should be throughout curricula because “it is ethics” and those in Pattern VIII believe that faith and learning are completely intertwined and faith “makes possible the connectedness or unity of all truth” (Ream, et al., 2004, pp. 364, 366). With such a broad spectrum of belief even within four Christian universities, it is easy to see that the terminology regarding faith and learning is too vague to provide common ground for religious academia. Even without the research regarding the patterns of perspectives at faith-based institutions, the difference between demoninations is profound. Al Wolters (1985) states that there are “deep divisions within the Christian church” reflecting differences in worldview and theology but “all accept the Bible as God’s Word” (p.10). Thus, using scripture instead of cultural or historical tradition has the potential to unite Christian educators and scholars in the field of academia.

There may be additional reasons to incorporate faith or faiths with learning in an educational setting. Gates (2006) proposes that in order for students to be well-educated citizens, they should be exposed to the faiths and beliefs of others. This respect for diversity may be beneficial to a globalized society. Within the course of education, specifically citizenship education, Gates makes two points:

Firstly, citizenship depends upon beliefs and values, and these are both religious and moral….Secondly, religion is too important – with its transformative capacities for both good and evil – to be left to separate faith communities to tend in isolation from each other. (p. 589)

This contention differs from the arguments purporting the traditional interpretation of integration of faith and learning, which are more exclusive to Christianity. In a post-modern world in which being inclusive is increasingly valued, it would behoove institutions to find a phrase other than “the integration of faith and learning” that more accurately depicts the beliefs and practices therein.

The integration terminology proves to be problematic when closely examined. Outside Catholic and Evangelical Protestant circles, there is strong disagreement over the place that faith has (or does not have) within teaching and learning. Turner (1998) claims “[t]he prevailing view within academe is that religion properly has nothing to do with research – except, of course, in fields where religion provides the subject matter under study, as in theology, philosophy of religion, or religious studies” (p. 36).

Glanzer (2008) points out one of the largest flaws in the use of this terminology: “When scholars ‘integrate faith and learning,’ they have already admitted that the original learning failed to demonstrate ‘faith’ and therefore the faith must now be integrated” (pp. 44-45). Furthermore, Jacobsen and Jacobsen (2004) found that “the integration model often promotes conflict rather than conversation” (p. 23). Marsden’s (1997) argument seems to bear out their conclusion. He states that Christian scholarship should be combative, it should “wage war for the faith” (p. 23). This desire to be combative rather than conversational tends toward a narrowing of perspective, denying the truth that can be found outside Christian faith-based scholarship. The terminology should embrace truth wherever it can be found. Christian educators can aspire to be more like Thomas Aquinas, who recognized “that the search for truth is a shared one…[and] there is no point in arguing from authorities that are not accepted” by others (Boland, 2007, p. 30). It is clear that the language of “faith-learning integration,” can be seen as a specifically Christian metaphor and therefore unable to fully encompass everything within the realms of faith-based teaching and learning.

However, one cannot focus on merely Christian terminology when addressing the issues that arise within faith and learning. After all, there are many religions around the world that also discuss how faith interacts with life and academia, so a thorough discussion must include these. The fastest growing religion in the world today is Islam, which stresses education and scholarship. The Islamic scholar Alavi (2008) states that “education is one of the highest responsibilities of religion” (p. 5) and that Islamic education “incorporate[s] all aspects of the human personality” (p. 6). The word education in Arabic means “‘to increase, to grow, to actualize. . .to be refined or enlightened’. . . .on the basis of these meanings, some of the definitions of ‘education’ are to realize, foster, nurture, or purify human beings” (Alavi, 2008, p. 6). Alavi writes that Muslims believe that to be educated they must completely surrender to God and that “to surrender to God is to surrender to truth” (p. 6). Instead of the idea that faith and learning are separate and must be integrated, Alavi states that Islamic education “rejects the duality between God and the world” and thus all studies, from sciences to history to languages, “have the same religious status as theosophy [sic] and philosophical divinity” (p. 7). Although Alavi writes from the perspective of a Muslim scholar, his views are similar to those of St. Augustine, who expresses in De Doctrina Christiana the philosophy that all truth is God’s truth.

St. Augustine is one of the first Christian scholars to show no distinction between his philosophical discussions and religiosity. In De Doctrina Christiana, St. Augustine writes the following:

If those, however, who are called philosophers happen to have said anything that is true, and agreeable to our faith, the Platonists above all, not only should we not be afraid of them, but we should even claim back for our own use what they have said, as from its unjust possessors. (1996, p. 159)

According to Mills (2004), St. Augustine believed that “all truth and understanding are the result of a divine light which is God himself” (pp. 56-57). As a highly respected contributor to early Christian belief and practice, St. Augustine’s example paves the way for the twentieth century faith and learning integration debate. It is now time to move beyond the latter half of the twentieth century to find terminology that adequately represents the true mission of the religious scholar.

Glanzer and “rearticulating the mission of the Christian scholar”

Glanzer (2008) is one of the most recent published scholars on the language debate regarding the terminology, “the integration of faith and learning.” Glanzer firmly believes a terminology change is needed, partially because of “the habits of thinking that the language fosters” (p. 41). His concerns can be summarized in two points: there is no consensus among scholars or laypeople regarding the interpretation of the phrase “the integration of faith and learning,” and the mention of scholarship with regards to seeking the truth is not anywhere in the language. Glanzer quotes Hasker (1992) who provides what might be considered the most common interpretation of “the integration of faith and learning” that faith means the cognitive content of a person’s faith and integration means discovering the integral relationships between faith and knowledge. Part of the problem with “the integration of faith and learning” language is that it inherently means that the original learning failed to show faith, so faith had to be inserted back into the original learning. The challenge with this interpretation is the implication that the cognitive content of faith and the knowledge of “other” disciplines are two separate things. Glanzer’s ideas represent traditional views found in St. Augustine – that all Christian scholarship by its very nature incorporates faith, regardless of the subject matter. In De Doctrina Christiana, St. Augustine explicitly states that “all good and true Christians should understand that truth, wherever they may find it, belongs to their Lord. . .” (1996, p. 144). Faith and knowledge, when taken in St. Augustine’s context, are one in the same – all truth is God’s truth.

Jacobsen and Jacobsen (2004) reinforce Glanzer’s belief that the integration language is flawed; they claim that “the integration approach often promotes conflict rather than conversation” (p. 23). One of the conflicts the Jacobsens note is the reality that some Christians or Christian groups display a lack of respect for secular scholars and ideas. Sawatsky (see Jacobsen and Jacobsen, 2004) expresses concerns with how Christians today often view the word faith as being simply a synonym for being a Christian. He writes that the Apostle Paul uses the three words of faith, hope, and love to describe the Christian identity, and notes that “Christian scholars need to pay more attention to that three-part formula – a holistic formula for wisdom – and not limit their metaphors to faith alone” (Sawartsky as cited in Jacobsen and Jacobsen, 2004, p. 4). While faith, hope, and love are understood within a Christian context today, these concepts are not exclusive to Christianity. Badley (1994) describes five main paradigms of “the integration of faith and learning” interpretations in current literature, summarizing that “[f]aith can mean ‘life of faith’ or ‘body of doctrine’. . . .learning can mean ‘process of learning’ or ‘body of knowledge’. . . .integration of faith and learning could imply any four combinations of these elements” (p. 28). As Badley’s perspective suggests, Glanzer is not alone in his critiques of the current “faith and learning” language.

Glanzer (2008) proposes a language change to replace “the integration of faith and learning,” saying Christian scholars should “interpret and live all of life within the Biblical drama of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration: to rearticulate the Christian scholars task as the creation and redemption of scholarship” (p. 43). The essence of Glanzer’s statement, “the creation and redemption of scholarship,” means that Christians should actively seek to discover the truth in all aspects of scholarship and actively seek to challenge, improve upon, discard, or replace faulty assumptions or untruths of the past. Sawatsky concurs, noting that “faith as a verb, faith understood as trust or seeking and discovering meaning, unfortunately is not usually part of the conversation” with regard to the current understanding of faith and scholarship (as cited in Jacobsen and Jacobsen, 2004, p. 4). Glanzer’s language presents a difficult concept for some Christians to grasp, as it requires challenging their doctrine and traditions and recognizing the possibility that what they currently believe may not be the full truth.

Glanzer (2008) justifies his proposed terminology, “the creation and redemption of scholarship,” as more appropriate than “the integration of faith and learning” by saying that “. . .this language communicates the Christian scholar’s highest calling to imitate the model and actions of the triune God” (p. 43). Glanzer believes that “God is in the business of creating and also redeeming his fallen creation,” therefore, Christian scholars should also strive to be like Him in this way (p. 43). Glanzer’s language also helps to clarify the Christian scholar’s task: to create scholarship and to redeem scholarship. Since God is the ultimate Creator, the creation of scholarship on the part of academics would include making, inventing, and establishing new lines of thinking and reasoning which have foundations in religious faith and understanding through the discovery of what God has created. Glanzer’s understanding of mankind’s fallen nature prompts his assertion that the redemption of scholarship is necessary to atone for or liberate flawed or misguided learning. Christian educators have the responsibility to incorporate truth into all aspects of teaching and learning in order to reveal God to students, and Glanzer’s terminology for “the creation and redemption of scholarship” more adequately addresses this charge. In contrast to Glanzer’s proposed language, the older integration terminology fails to grasp the complete task of the Christian scholar and educator – to use all aspects of academia to bring glory to God.

A positive contribution of Glanzer’s (2008) newly proposed language is that it allows for – and asks for – anyone to contribute to scholarship and acknowledges that scholarship can always be improved. It is a frustrating concept to comprehend – that scholars must constantly search for the best representation of the truth, even though complete truth may be elusive. For people who want to know the whole truth immediately, the ideas behind Glanzer’s language can generate frustration. Glanzer believes that “the creation and redemption of scholarship” relates to all Christian scholars – conservative and progressive – and that it encourages the acknowledgement that creation is not static, that scholars need redemption, and that new discoveries can possibly provide a greater insight into God.

Although there are benefits to Glanzer’s (2008) proposed language change, there are two ways in which it is limited. First, it may be intimidating language for those less scholastically inclined. It is this language that provides insight and proper direction for leaders, teachers, and academia, among others, but for the person who may not want to further their education, “the creation and redemption of scholarship” terminology could be considered overwhelming. That limitation being noted, the ideas behind Glanzer’s terminology need to be taught and eventually adopted by those concerned with redeeming scholarship.

Glanzer’s (2008) proposed language change is also limited in that it is Christian-specific. Glanzer makes the case that secular scholars can create and redeem scholarship when he writes:

The historian who creates a masterful biography of a historical figure and the one who corrects an unjust critique of a historical figure that was poisoned by a heavy dose of Marxism are also involved in the creation and redemption of scholarship. (p. 45)

His article is not as clear when it comes to the religious redemption of scholarship. Would religious scholarship that is “redeemed” by Jews, Muslims, etc. not actually be redeemed until it is reclaimed by Christian scholars? If the secular stance and example that Glanzer gives regarding historical figures is applied, then Christians would have to accept that their tradition and doctrine may not always reveal the complete truth. Thus, they would have to consider that the scholarship of other faiths might provide insight into having a more redeemed world – and a redeemed Christian faith. This is a view consistent with common grace and supported by St. Augustine’s implied philosophy in De Doctrina Christiana, that Christians and non-Christians alike can discover truth. Since all truth is God’s truth, then truth that is discovered by non-Christians is redeemed already because of its very nature.

How Glanzer’s language confirms the writings of St. Augustine

De Doctrina Christiana is a theological text written by St. Augustine of Hippo consisting of four books offering instruction on how to interpret and teach holy scripture. Although St. Augustine writes specifically to teachers and preachers of Christianity, he also believes that the duty of interpreting and teaching Christian doctrine belongs to all good Christians. St. Augustine provides guidance to helping Christians redeem their scholarship despite differences in their own various theological interpretations. It is the task of Christian scholars to discover the divine truths because “[a]ll scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17 NKJV). Thus, St. Augustine charges Christians with the tri-faceted task of first discovering the truth in the contents of the scriptures, then teaching the truth learned from the scriptures to others, and whenever necessary defending scriptural truth.

In each of the four books of De Doctrina Christiana, St. Augustine addresses specific rules for the interpretation and teaching of scripture. Book One is comprised of two parts, discovery and expression of the truth; specifically, St. Augustine focuses on “things which are objects of our faith” and signs (1999, p. 29). He explains further that there are two types of things and signs, that which is used (things) and that which is enjoyed (signs). St. Augustine defines things to enjoy as those which are good in themselves, and things to use as those that are good for the sake of something else. Given this definition, he concludes that the only object which ought to be enjoyed is the triune God. In fact, according to Rine (2007), St. Augustine’s entire “hermeneutical system depends” on this belief: “Everything else – including other people, angels, objects, and the like – are to be either enjoyed and used, or simply used” (p. 42). It may seem harsh to say that everything, including individuals, should be “used,” yet this is not necessarily negative, for as West (2009) pointed out the opposite of being used is being useless and very few people want to be considered useless. According to St. Augustine, in the search for redemption all things and signs, except for God, are to assist us in the discovery of truth.

In Book Two, St. Augustine continues his discussion of signs, particularly how to decipher unknown literal signs and unknown figurative signs. He begins by identifying the difference between natural signs and given signs. A natural sign is one that causes something else to come to mind through “observation and consideration of things previously experienced,” such as smoke indicating a fire (St. Augustine, 1999, p. 30). A given sign is one that is communicated by people to share their thoughts and ideas, such as beckoning someone to walk in a particular direction by giving them a hand signal. St. Augustine (1999) points out that words have gained a dominant role over other given signs in our society and thus must be carefully studied and scrutinized. One solution to the obstacle of understanding and interpreting scripture is to have the knowledge of languages, specifically Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. This allows for a comparison of translations, for insight into the context of an obscure passage, for using known passages as a cipher for the unknown one, and for the reader to study scripture in its original languages. Another solution to the problem of correctly interpreting scripture is to commit scripture to memory to aid in understanding. As a final point in this book, St. Augustine (1999) states the seven steps that lead to wisdom: fear of God, loyal obedience (faith), scientia (knowledge), strength, good counsel, purity of heart, and then wisdom. In contrast to current Christian integration language, which implies that faith and learning are separate and must somehow be forcibly merged, St. Augustine implicitly states that faith and learning are partners on the path to wisdom.

Book Three discusses ambiguous signs that may be literal or metaphorical. Ambiguous signs are those whose meaning is unclear, so St. Augustine suggests first determining things from signs. Once they have been determined, figure out the literal meaning and see if it makes sense. These obstacles to understanding are at times exacerbated by uncertainties of punctuation and pronunciation. Such uncertainties can be remedied, in part, by rules of faith, insight gleaned from easy passages to illuminate more obscure and difficult passages, and surrounding context. St. Augustine (1999) asserts that it is more important to understand the general message if the motive of the interpreter is good than to understand one small passage and miss the point. Nevertheless, he would rather have the scholar of Christian doctrine understand both the nuances of all passages, even the obscure ones, and understand the general message of the passages.

Finished with his discussion of things and signs, St. Augustine (1999) switches his focus to the relationship between Christian truth, eloquence, and teaching Christian truths eloquently. He defines eloquence as the ability to use classical rhetorical rules and styles to communicate effectively the knowledge that has been gained through the studying of appropriate subjects previously mentioned to demystify God’s truth in scriptures. He makes his argument by using rhetoric to teach classical public speaking skills and appealing to Christians to use it in defense of the faith. St. Augustine (1999) emphasizes the purposeful consideration of eloquence, audience, word choice, organization, aim, style, and others for preachers and teachers. They must communicate the truths that they have come to understand, motivate others to embrace this truth, and inspire them to live and act based on these truths. As Christian academics create and redeem scholarship based on the progressive revelation of truth, the dissemination of the new scholarship brings glory to God as He is more perfectly revealed. According to St. Augustine (1999), faith and scholarship go hand in hand; that is, through study and reason, one’s faith reveals itself and becomes stronger. Scholarship should focus on that which assists us in the understanding of scripture, that brings us redemption from the fall, that helps us live and behave like good Christians, that gets us closer to the truth, and that brings us closer to God.

Throughout the four books of De Doctrina Christiana, St. Augustine (1999) is very specific about the things and signs that should be studied because they serve the scholar’s task. For instance, the knowledge of numbers is critical to understanding their significance in scripture. Similarly, logic is “of paramount importance in understanding and resolving all kinds of problems in the sacred texts” (St. Augustine, 1999, p. 58). Grammar is also of utmost importance because many ancient texts are not punctuated, leaving the reader responsible for punctuating and thus allowing many different interpretations to be possible. A solid grasp of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew allows the scholar to read texts in its original language as well as compare different translations in order to gain a better understanding of their intended meaning. Additionally, fluency in these languages also assists in differentiating and decoding literal signs from metaphorical ones. Proper pronunciation also reduces the margin of error in interpretation. What should not be studied are superstitious human institutions such as magic, astrology, incantations, and amulets. The purpose of all studies, ultimately, is the discovery of a more perfect truth.

Generally, St. Augustine (1999) accepts the subjects that discover and relate what God has created. All subjects that can reveal truth should be valued by Christians and educators and scholars. Consistent with this belief, secular sources of knowledge are therefore acceptable because all truth is God’s truth and it assists in the scholarship of scripture, for “[a] person who is a good and true Christian should realize that truth belongs to his Lord, wherever it is found, gathering and acknowledging it even in pagan literature” (St. Augustine, 1999, p. 47). For instance, the narration of history assists in the interpretation of holy books by revealing the sequence of past events and since what has already happened is considered part of the history of time, whose creator and controller is God, the study of history is therefore acceptable too and necessary for the scholarship of scripture.

St. Augustine seems to anticipate the intent of Glanzer’s (2008) “creation and redemption of scholarship” language. Using St. Augustine’s language, both believe “[t]he interpreter and teacher of the divine scriptures…has the duty of both teaching what is good and unteaching what is bad (1996, p. 203), so “…when these Christian values are corrupted by the wicked, it is the duty of the Christian to redeem them and apply it to their true function of preaching to the gospel (1999, p. 65). Similarly, Glanzer realizes, as St. Augustine did, that the truth should be honored, wherever it is found. St. Augustine writes, “[b]ut all such human institutions which contribute to the necessary ordering of life are certainly not to be shunned by Christians; on the contrary indeed, as far as is required they are to be studied and committed to memory” (1999, p. 150). Glanzer (2008) hopes that his terminology, “the creation and redemption of scholarship,” helps to “…reshape views about the limited relationship between Christianity and disciplines not always seen as amenable to integration such as science, music, and engineering” (p. 47) because the “…language allows for better incorporation of non-Christian insights and knowledge” (p. 47).

Despite the many centuries that divide them in time, it is remarkable how Glanzer’s views are quite historically traditional and rooted in St. Augustine’s philosophy. It is more noteworthy how this perspective has not been the predominant perspective in recent Christian scholarship and there remains faith-learning integration terminology that divides faith-based academia. According to Mills (2004), “[i]n Augustine’s theology, human life was to be directed towards God, memorably summed up in the opening to his Confessions: “you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you”. (p. 50). Glanzer (2008) hopes that “[t]aking language drawn from God’s actions in the Bible also helps specify what is meant by the creation and redemption of scholarship” (p. 43). To illustrate what this means for the Christian scholar, Glanzer uses Wolters’ (1985) “biblical understanding of creation” and quotes him as follows:

Creation is not something that, once made, remains a static quantity. There is, as it were, a growing up (though not in a biological sense), an unfolding of creation. This takes place through the task that people have been given of bringing to fruition the possibilities of development implicit in the work of God’s hands. The given reality of the created order is such that it is possible to have schools and industry, printing, rocketry, needlepoint and chess….We are called to engage in the ongoing creational work of God, to be God’s helper in executing to the end the blueprint for his masterpiece. (Wolters as cited in Glanzer, 2008, p. 43)

The Christian worldview must be shaped and tested by scripture. Wolters (1985, p. 6) says that “Christians must constantly check their worldview beliefs against Scriptures…” thus redeeming scholarship so that it is inline with God’s Word. The scriptures, therefore, provide a type of Christian checks and balances system for faith-based institutions and academics. Glanzer’s language and that of Wolters is therefore confirmed not only by St. Augustine but by the Bible.

The “integration of faith and learning” terminology has served its purpose in bringing the issues of faith and learning to the table; however, the usefulness of this phrase has run its course. Religious institutions need a phrase that more accurately represents their beliefs and practices – one that exemplifies increased understanding and truth. Glanzer’s suggested terminology of “the creation and redemption of scholarship” can meet that need. This phrase does not imply that faith is separate from learning and must be integrated; it implies that faith is inherent in all scholarship that focuses on creation and redemption. Furthermore, this language can open up education and scholarship to all religious faiths, for Christianity is not the only religion that addresses the issues of faith and learning. The phrase, “the creation and redemption of scholarship,” allows for scholars to build on one another’s work and promotes the improvement of scholarship for increased understanding. St. Augustine, who Turner (1998) rates as one “…who rank among the most profound, prolific, and creative minds of all eras…grappling with the problems of human psychology, social organization, political power, and aesthetic imagination,” believed all truth is God’s truth, regardless of the religion of the person who discovered that truth. Therefore, if Glanzer’s phrase can include St. Augustine’s truth, then the creation and redemption of scholarship from people of all religions would be for God’s purpose and glory.


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Wolters, A. M. (1985) Creation regained: Biblical basics for a reformational worldview. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Williams B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Ms. Ballance, Ms. Hollabaugh, and Ms. Truong have worked within education in a variety of capacities for a number of years. They are currently doctoral students at George Fox University’s School of Education.