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Engaging God's World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living Paperback – February, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Plantinga (former dean, Calvin Coll. Chapel; Not the Way It's Supposed To Be) has written a sage, mature, and avuncular even paternal guide to the essentials of the Christian life for the college student. Most valuable, perhaps, is the final section, where he holds forth a vision of how a student should use "knowledge, skills, and virtues" in the service of God. For most collections and all seminaries.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 169 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co; 1.8.2002 edition (February 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802839819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802839817
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Paul M. Dubuc on September 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
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 covers a very broad topic, but the author does a very good of generalizing and enticing the reader with references to more detailed works for further reading.
Many colleges and universities founded to serve Christian intentions have tended to fall into one of two extremes in their relationship to the world we live in. They either seek to provide a "safe" environment, insulating students from worldly influence, or they become indistinct from the world, compromising in an attempt to win acceptance and approval in the larger society. In this book Cornelius Plantinga Jr. attempts a vigilant third way. It is a Christian's calling to understand our world as God's good (though fallen) creation and to engage it and reform it according to a deep understanding of the implications of our Faith.
In this book, Plantinga articulates a Christian longing and hope toward the prevalence of "shalom" for the world in light of biblical understanding of the doctrines of Creation, Fall and Redemption. Then he goes on to discuss the implications of these for a Christian's vocation (or calling) to serve by employing his or her gifts and talents for the good of others and the revealing of God's kingdom.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dan Panetti VINE VOICE on June 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
What a great book! Plantinga picks up where Kuyper left off in educating people about a truly comprehensive biblical worldview that embraces all facets of life and seeks to engage and transform culture. Not since reading Kuper's classic Lectures on Calvinism delivered at Princeton in 1898 has anyone so succinctly summarized a biblical worldview. Using the classic Creation, Fall, Redemption paradigm, Plantinga does a great job of avoiding the deep theological debates and gets right to the heart of the issue on how these actually affect the way we live our lives. Writing from a strong Calvinist or Reformed perspective, Plantinga pulls from the great Christian writers and thinkers of the past as well as the present to present a compelling argument that Christians are truly saved for a great purpose and calling. As the Dean of the Chapel at Calvin College and also President of Calvin Theological Seminary, Plantinga extols the virtues of a good Christian education, but not merely for head knowledge and definitely not to retreat from the culture but rather to be equipped to engage the culture for Christ! The book is easy-to-read, but profound in its depth of insight. I would highly recommend this book, especially to any young person wanting a vision for the purpose of their lives!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Henley on January 11, 2011
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This book was the text for one of my introductory Bible classes in college, and I was not expecting much from it. However, I can say that it is an extraordinary book that I plan to keep for years to come. Plantinga tells the story of creation, the fall, redemption, consummation, and Christian vocation in a straightforward, intriguing manor for young and old audiences alike.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Book Blogger on September 18, 2011
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This book was straight to the point and clear and easy to follow. It was organized very well(Longing and Hope, The Creation, The Fall, Redemption, and Vocation in the Kingdom of God).

Platinga, thoughtfully drives home the reason why christian Education is so important. He engages the reader with his honesty about the plight and hope for the world's restoration-through vocation. However, Platinga and other writers out there believe that Christian Education(attending Christian colleges) is the only way to rebuild God's kingdom. He states: " But I fear that for most Christian students, mainstream higher education simply won't be adequate to help them understand the kingdom of God..."(123). I understand why he said this, but there are schools commited to the justice and social cause of the world like Walden University. Yet, even Platinga mentions that all could be advancing the kingdom without ever knowing it.

All in all this book is perfect college students taking religion or philosophy and its great to study at home on your own time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HS Mom of 4 on February 22, 2013
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Engaging God's World does a good job discussing why Christians need to be active in their sphere of influence, but does not help focus on the how.
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This book is definitely intended for students early in their education, more specifically, their Christian education. It also might be beneficial for a young person to read who is considering whether or not to attend a Christian college. The first chapter on longing and hope should be read side by side with C.S. Lewis's essay, "Weight of Glory." It is heavily referenced and is a wonderful read. It will help solidify what Plantinga is explaining. The rest of the book borrows from Calvin and Chesterton and is fairly straightforward. In those remaining chapters, the author gives the broad overview or big picture of scripture (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Vocation). After also having read his book, Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, I really appreciate how he emphasizes shalom and the complete harmony that accompanied creation before the fall.
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