Archive - September, 2013

How Many HS Students are “College-Ready”?

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION]Less than half, according to the College Board. Julia Ryan, writing in today’s Atlantic, reports:

Of the 1.66 million high school students in the class of 2013 who took the SAT, only 43 percent were academically prepared for college-level work, according to this year’s SAT Report on College & Career Readiness. For the fifth year in a row, fewer than half of SAT-takers received scores that qualified them as “college-ready.”

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The Challenges of College Life

Focus on the Family’s Jim Daly and John Fuller had an excellent discussion with three presidents of Christian colleges, Dr. Sandra Gray (Asbury University), Dr. Michael Lindsay (Gordon College), and Dr. Pete Menjares (Fresno Pacific University).  They discussed the common challenges facing college students (e.g., the dangers of the party lifestyle, the spiritual transition of making their faith their own, the financial costs associated with higher education, etc.).   The show was broadcast last month, and is just under 30 minutes in length.  

Live Like A Narnian: Christian Discipleship in Lewis’s Chronicles

This new book by Joe Rigney, Live Like A Narnian: Christian Discipleship in Lewis’s Chronicles, just in time it seems for the Desiring God conference The Romantic Rationalist: God, Life, and Imagination in the Work of C.S. Lewis, looks very interesting. Here’s the publisher’s description:

In Live Like a Narnian Joe Rigney shows that Owen Barfield was right–What C.S. Lewis thought about everything was secretly present in what he said about anything. From apologetics to his thoughts on education, from his view of science to the role of government, from Natural Law to true manhood and womanhood–the breadth of Lewis’s bright vision of life shines through in his beloved Chronicles. Come, learn to breathe Narnian air.

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Tim Keller – Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

I’ve only just received this book and started flipping through it, but I would not be surprised if Tim Keller’s latest book Walking with God through Pain and Suffering receives as wide a readership as The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. The publisher writes, “Walking with God through Pain and Suffering is the definitive Christian book on why bad things happen and how we should respond to them.”  And Keller writes “at the heart of why people disbelieve and believe in God, of why people decline and grow in character, of how God becomes less real and more real to us–is suffering.”

This is a meaty, 16-chapter, 356 page book, and the Table of Contents looks outstanding.  Since the “Look Inside” feature doesn’t seem operational yet on Amazon, I’ll just tell you. The book is divided into three parts: Understanding the Furnace, Facing the Furnace, and Walking with God in the Continue Reading…

Syllabus Shock

Reality is beginning to set in for college freshmen everywhere. A few months ago I wrote an article entitled Syllabus Shock for the Christian College Guide.  Here’s the opening:

One of the first surprises of college gets distributed during the very first meeting of every class: a syllabus. Students who know what’s on the syllabus usually earn higher grades than those who don’t. And they always make a better impression on their professors. I know this is true because I’m a professor at California Baptist University in Riverside, California. But I was once a college freshman too.

Here’s a link to the article.

The Trend Towards Luxury in Student Housing

What’s driving the trend towards more luxury in student housing?  Ingra Saffron gives an even-handed (albeit brief) analysis of the subject in yesterday’s New Republic:

Today’s student accommodations are being built to resemble the kind of apartments you would find in a new urban high-rise. It’s not unusual for a suite in one of these upscale dorms to include individual bedrooms with private baths and kitchens equipped with a full complement of stainless steel appliances—dishwashers and the obligatory granite countertops included. When admissions officers describe “amenities” to incoming students, their list now includes things like flat-screen televisions and tanning salons. At Drexel University, students are lining up for places in a new, privately built dorm designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects, a firm known for its Hamptons beach houses and a fabulously expensive apartment building on Central Park West. Besides stunning views of the Philadelphia skyline, full-size beds, and some duplex units, its residents will have access to a private gym with a golf-course simulation room and a 30-seat screening room for practicing presentations—or holding Superbowl parties.

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Rick Warren Speaks Out About His Son’s Suicide

Rick and Kay Warren opened up tonight to Piers Morgan (CNN) about the tragic suicide of their son Matthew (27), who struggled with mental illness throughout his life. The video is not yet available online, but a summary article from CNN has been posted. It’s gut-wrenching, but Warren’s message is also one of hope.  A few excerpts:

“I have cried every single day since Matthew died,” Warren said.

“If love could have kept my child alive, he’d be alive today, because he was incredibly loved,” the pastor said.

“I never questioned my faith in God; I questioned God’s plan,” Rick Warren said. “God isn’t the blame for my son’s death. My son took his life. It was his choice.”

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Russell Moore on Bill Bennett’s Show

Russell Moore was a recent guest on Bill Bennett’s radio program, Morning in America, discussing the status of Christianity, culture, and American political life.  Dr. Moore published an essay in the Wall Street Journal last month which began this way:

‘The Bible Belt is collapsing,” says Russell Moore. Oddly, the incoming president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission doesn’t seem upset. In a recent visit to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Moore explains that he thinks the Bible Belt’s decline may be “bad for America, but it’s good for the church.”

Why? Because “we are no longer the moral majority. We are a prophetic minority.”

Here’s the audio of their interaction.

Matt Chandler: To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain

This looks really good. The publisher’s description:

Using Paul’s radical letter to the Philippians as his road map, Matt Chandler forsakes the trendy to invite readers into authentic Christian maturity.

The short book of Philippians is one of the most quoted in the Bible, yet Paul wrote it not for the popular sound bites, but to paint a picture of a mature Christian faith. While many give their lives to Jesus, few then go on to live a life of truly vibrant faith.

In this disruptively inspiring book, Chandler offers tangible ways to develop a faith of pursuing, chasing, knowing, and loving Jesus. Because if we clean up our lives but don’t get Jesus, we’ve lost! So let the goal be Him. To live is Christ, to die is gain—this is the message of the letter. Therefore, our lives should be lived to Him, through Him, for Him, with Him, about Him—everything should be about Jesus.

A short video introduction:

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Highest and Lowest Paying Majors

Update: I don’t believe earnings prospects should be the major factor in how a teen goes about choosing a college major. They should look to the intersection of their God-given talents and interests, as I’ve explained here and here.   That said, studies show that many teens don’t have a realistic sense of their earning prospects when they choose a college major.  As a result, they might take on tens of thousands of dollars in student debt, and spend years struggling to pay it off.  I’m not suggesting Christians should avoid low-paying careers.   But we should decide how to pay for college in the light of day. To that end, the infographic below is interesting.

Income by major

This  NPR report discusses these findings. Note that earnings potential also depends on what field you enter. And passions often (and should) trump earnings potential.   But with regard to wages, although we obsess about what college to attend, the choice of major is much more determinative than the choice of college.

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