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An Approach to Engaging with Mainstream Thought

This is intended for a Christian readership.

Over the past century, Christian academics have not really engaged much with mainstream thinking as Christians. In the main, either we have acquiesced to the world's ideas without much question, or we have taken an antithetical stance to it, seeing it as something to battle. Business and management, and technology are two disciplines where Christian academics tend to acquiesce. Biology and postmodernist or critical sociology are disciplines where some Christian academics see themselves as antithetical.

Instead, can we engage critically and fruitfully? How might we do it? The following are four attitudes and activities by which we might engage, being acronymed "LACE", each of which asks a question about their ideas:

That is for engaging with other thought that seeks to understand, but if we want to engage with those who wish to transform or act in the world, then we can add one more element to make it LACER:

These four elements of LACE need not be taken in sequence, but can proceed somewhat in parallel. Listening is perhaps a prerequisite to the others, but is also an attitude to adopt throughout, rather than an activity or process, so our understanding of what they are reaching for develops and deepens throughout. They are described in the following pages:

Author: Andrew Basden.

First created: 26 September 2020. Last updated: 16 January 2021 links. 18 January 2021 links; better intro to links. 7 February 2021 LACER. 29 May 2022 Questions for each.