Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A New Arrival at CPYU! . . . .

Those of you who know us know that we love books. We also like to write books. . . it's not always a fun process, but we do it! We've got a new one that arrived here at CPYU this week that I'm very excited about. Derek Melleby - Director of our College Transition Initiative - has just released a new book with Baker Books, Make College Count: A Faithful Guide to Life + Learning.

I know I'm biased, but this is, without a doubt (in my opinion), the best book yet to put in the hands of a college-bound high school student or a college student already involved in campus life. All too often we send our kids off to college with a handful of well-intended warnings that all begin with the word "don't." Then, we pray that they will survive their college years without caving in to the many negative pressures students face while on campus. But that's not the approach Derek takes in this book. What Make College Count offers is a positive, encouraging, and hope-filled challenge to make the most of the college years by embracing those things that bring glory to God.

Here's what I wrote in my endorsement for Make College Count: "Perhaps there's not a more significant watershed event in a young person's life than high school graduation and the transition to college. But research and experience point to the fact that many transitioning students either forget to or consciously decide not to pack up their faith with the rest of the stuff they are taking to college. The university years are the perfect time for students to grow in their faith. But by the time they have a diploma in hand, many have allowed the distractions of life and the idols of our culture to grow them away from their faith. Make College Count offers an accurate preview of college life. It encourages and equips students to thoughtfully make the most of college (and the rest of their lives) by embracing a real and vibrant faith that's not an extracurricular add-on but a foundation for all of life. This could be the most important book students read during their college years."

For years I had a burden regarding the sad and sorry state of the transition to college for so many of our students. God answered that burden with the addition of our Derek and our College Transition Initiative several years ago. The seminar and resources Derek provides through the College Transition Initiative are outstanding. . . second-to-none. They are resources marked by the excellence, depth, and practicality that we value so much here at CPYU. Now, we've got Make College Count as another valuable tool in our College Transition Initiative toolbox. I'm really excited!

If you'd like to know more about Make College Count and how to get your own copy, you can click here.


Trevor said...

I commend Derek on his ability and accomplishment in writing his book. I’m sure that only one who has written a book can appreciate the work and time involved. I was also greatly impressed with his credentials, worldliness, and extensive experience abroad, including a demanding tenure of teaching a college course in Russia. He is definitely a highly qualified staff member.

Perhaps due to his vast array of worldly experiences I was quite disappointed and actually shocked, to read in his introduction – “There will be pressure to engage in …intellectual activity that could be detrimental to your … faith”. NO intellectual activity can be detrimental to a VALID belief. Intellectual activity will only strengthen a valid belief. Any belief that cannot withstand the scrutiny of intellectual activity is not worthy of belief e.g., the earth is flat; epileptic seizures are caused by satanic possession; a low-calorie wafer magically turns into the actual body of Christ, etc.

If a belief must be shielded from intellectual discourse are we not admitting to its weakness and most probable errancy? If a belief is built on sound, logical and reasonable grounds, it will hold up. If not, there should be no fear in seeing it totally obliterated. Let the truth prevail, whatever it may be.

If we as Christians were sure and confident in our beliefs, we would have no fear of them withstanding differing views and opinions. Our paranoid insecurity of outside intellectual influences completely blows our legitimacy, and infers, “The emperor is wearing no clothes”.

I also respectfully question his several awkward references to his mother in just the introduction alone. Something doesn’t quite sound right about them, but perhaps I’m reading too much into it.

In reference to your site Walt, I must say, it is the most open, inclusive, and opinion-tolerant youth oriented site I’ve encountered. Kudos!

Walt Mueller said...

Trevor - while I appreciate your feedback, I would ask you to read Derek's entire book if you haven't done so already. In addition, I would ask you to critique in light of the entire body of work we're doing here in terms of our College Transition Initiative. Regarding Derek's Intro to the book. . . I'm not sure what you're reading into regarding his comments in the intro and his mother. Finally, regarding engaging in intellectual activity that can be detrimental to your faith. . . you would have to agree that there are many direct challenges facing Christian students in the classroom. Derek and I would both agree that if one's faith is not thoughtful and mature, then it stands on shaky ground and could come crashing down or be questioned, not because it is placed in the wrong object, but because the one holding the faith has not taken the time to go deep. Make sense? That's certainly who I was and where I was when I was 18 years old and heading off to college. I encourage you to read the entire book and learn more about who Derek is and what he's doing. Thanks.

Trevor said...

You switched the light bulb on in my thick head with,“… not because it was placed in the wrong object, but because the one holding the faith has not taken the time to go deep. Make sense?” Yes it does make sense, a lot. Thanks Walt.