Hi, my name is Dane Blount. I pastored a small church-plant up in Northern California. Before that I was a missionary to Russia for about ten years.
In 2013 I asked our church’s leadership for some time off to write. They graciously stepped up and we were able to work out a “soft sabbatical” of sorts, what basically amounted to a reduced preaching load for myself.
My son was in his senior year of high school and I could already feel the impending loss. Soon he would be off to college and on his own. I wanted to leave him with something if we were going to have to part ways. I wanted to communicate to him my deep love and admiration for the godly young man he had become, as well as somehow prepare him for the potential onslaught secular university could be to his faith.
For how many of our children had college become their spiritual grave? The stat was already beyond the count of number. So I wrote him an extended letter meant to extol the greatness and goodness of our God and magnify the Lord in both our hearts.
The text follows rather closely my meditations upon a certain psalm of David, something God gave me awhile back. But it also branches out where appropriate to deal with the kind of theological, apologetic, and practical issues young Christians face in academic settings today.
For example, we question in various ways the adequacy of the young, restless, and reformed worldview and offer what we believe to be a more biblical alternative. We ready ourselves for any and all intellectual ridicule of the faith and learn how to return doubt and hate with faith and love. And we lament the oversexed “hook-up culture” on today’s campuses and try to speak reason and offer hope to those bent on embracing homosexuality.
I am especially satisfied with Chapter Four’s intellectually honest approach to the Scripture vs. Science/Creation vs. Evolution debate and Chapter Eight’s altogether lively treatment of the many questions surrounding the resurrection of the dead.
These subjects and many more spring naturally from a discussion of God’s character as found in Psalm 143, which passage we take the time to exposit. I believe we gain a greater appreciation for the beauty and power of Scripture by plumbing its depths and letting it set the agenda.
The book is supposed to read more like a prayer than a lecture series anyway, more like a devotional than a how-to. Truth is communicated carefully and with vulnerability. That’s just where God has me right now.
Look, worst case scenario, my son is the only one to ever read this letter and he is further established in the faith once for all committed to the saints. I can live with that; that's why I wrote it. But spiritual things are always better when shared (Are they not?) and I would like to be of some benefit to you as well. So...
If you are a Christian in college (or thereabouts) who is struggling with doubts and looking for answers, if you are a believer of whatever stripe who feels beat down by the constant headwind that is the spirit of this age, then you need to read this book. It’s as simple as that. May it be a godsend of great encouragement to you, and that despite its many inadequacies.
If you are perchance an unbeliever toying with the idea, but unable to make peace with certain aspects of the faith, then my prayer is that a work like this might allay any reservations and welcome you to the family. Give me a chance, will you, to be convincing?
And for those of you on my heart, who like so many gone before “lost your religion” in college and say minored in apostasy, may the fresh vision of God described between these covers call into question that rash decision, and may you come to the joyful conclusion that you thought you knew but really had no idea.
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