We were assigned one project to do over the summer, and that was to read and review Andreas J. Kostenberger’s Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue. So far, I have found the book to be very edifying and encouraging and it makes me look even more forward to our return to school in September. Here’s a passage that contains the central, valuable message of the book:
“The pursuit of holiness on the part of the Christian scholar, I contend, of necessity ought to result in a pursuit of excellence. As Christians who have been set apart for God’s use and called to the vocation of scholarship, we do not engage in our research as disinterested, detached observers but as individuals who have been separated from the world and made holy by a holy God. We passionately pursue the truth wherever it leads because we know that God is truth. Our interest in scholarship lies not simply in exploring a topic academically. It is fueled by a quest for God’s truth for the sake of arriving at important insights, clearing up prevailing misconceptions, or both.
“For this reason we need not be embarrassed by our faith, nor should our faith commitments be considered a necessary obstacle to our academic work. Instead, our faith should motivate us to pursue academic excellence, attaining to the highest scholarly standards on the basis of publicly accessible evidence. Our status as those who have been set apart by God and our pursuit of excellence in the investigation of truth should result in a level of scholarship that nonconfessional scholars, if they are at all fair-minded, will readily recognize and acknowledge as excellent, even though they do not share some or any of our faith commitments” (p. 63).