The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby

For past few years, I have been looking for that perfect book; a book I can share with college freshmen, which will help them through that difficult first semester. That book needs to cover the importance of academics, choosing a life path, owning your faith, and everything in between. It needs to provide sound research from experts yet be relevant to a recent high school graduate. It needs to see education as true companion and not an enemy.

This is a very tall order. Perhaps I am dreaming too big and expect too much. So unfortunately The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby is not the book I wanted it to be, which is why my review is not glowing.

I don't have any outstanding issues with the book, just a few small things that made the book underwhelming.

First, I did not really understand the book's structure; the was no unifying theme that helped the chapters flow together.

Second, it's hard not to get a feeling of anti-intellectualism, but let me explain before you rip my head off. I do not think the authors believe knowledge is evil or that we should downplay the importance of education. The authors obviously support higher education and the idea that all truth is God's truth. However, the book does seem to imply that anything you learn (especially from a non-Christian source) needs to be vetted by Scripture first. With this attitude, all new information gets classified as evil until Christian community approves it. Now, I know the authors would probably disagree with that statement, but that is how I felt when I read the first half of the book.

Again, I know those are two weak arguments against the book. Once again, perhaps my expectations for the book were so high that I was doomed from the start.

It is a solid book. The authors are respected in the field of Christian higher education. I am just not sure how to use this book.