Scripture and Ministry Interview

October 27, 2010
Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding - Trinity Evangelical Divinity Seminary

October 26-28, 2010, Dallas participated in the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding's  "Scripture and Ministry" series at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. During this event, Dallas engaged in a Scripture and Ministry Interview that highlighted his dual roles in academia and the church. His dialogue vividly outlined how his philosophical pursuits and his Christian faith not only coexist but enrich each other, offering a deeper exploration of the essential questions about God, the soul, and the nature of human understanding.

Dallas discussed the significant impact of his philosophical work, particularly in epistemology, on his theological writings and teachings. He emphasized the importance of scripture memorization as a transformative practice for personal and communal spiritual growth. By integrating scripture deeply into daily life, believers can achieve a more profound connection with God and a better understanding of their spiritual journey. Dallas argued that such practices are not just academic exercises but are vital to nurturing a vibrant, lived faith that engages the intellect and the spirit.

Throughout the interview, Dallas also critiqued the modern educational system's approach to knowledge and truth, suggesting that a disconnect from these foundational elements could weaken spiritual and intellectual growth. He advocated for a reintegration of rigorous, truthful inquiry into both the academy and the church, proposing that a robust engagement with scripture and philosophy can equip individuals to face contemporary cultural challenges with wisdom and integrity. His insights during the interview encouraged a holistic approach to faith that embraces deep intellectual and spiritual rigor, fostering a community that is both knowledgeable and spiritually nourished.

Resources

Scripture and Ministry Interview

Dallas, a distinguished USC philosophy professor and pastor, discusses the intricate relationship between academic philosophy and Christian faith. Dallas explores how his deep philosophical inquiries and his spiritual practices enrich each other, offering profound insights into life's most enduring questions. He passionately discusses the transformative power of scripture memorization, the relevance of classical philosophical questions to Christian teachings, and the essential role of knowledge in faith. 

Scripture and Ministry Interview

Highlights:

  • Integration of Faith and Philosophy: Dallas describes his journey from being an assistant pastor to pursuing philosophy, influenced by his desire to deepen his understanding of God and the soul. This leads him unexpectedly to a career in academia, where he can maintain connections with the church.
  • Academic and Pastoral Synergy: Dallas reflects on his 45 years in academia, noting how his role allows him more frequent speaking opportunities than a typical pastor might have, benefiting from not being tied down by church administration.
  • Impact of Epistemology on Spiritual Writing: Dallas explains how his focus on epistemology, the study of knowledge, informs his writings on spiritual disciplines, emphasizing the importance of understanding God and the soul in spiritual literature.
  • Power of Scripture in Daily Life: Dallas advocates for the practice of scripture memorization as a means to deeply integrate biblical truths into daily life, highlighting its transformative potential on the mind and spirit.
  • Philosophy's Relevance to Ministry: Dallas argues that the questions addressed by classical philosophy are closely aligned with those answered by Jesus Christ, which makes philosophical inquiry highly relevant to Christian ministry.
  • Role of Knowledge in Faith: Dallas emphasizes the crucial role of knowledge in faith, critiquing the trend of positioning Christian faith outside the realm of knowledge and into mere belief.
  • Educational and Spiritual Authority of Scripture: Dallas stresses the importance of scripture in forming a foundation for knowledge and truth, critiquing modern educational trends that shy away from these concepts.
  • Transformation through Biblical Engagement: Dallas details practical steps for pastors to encourage congregational engagement with scripture, such as memorization and group study, to foster a deeper, transformative connection with biblical teachings.
  • Historical Christian Practices: Dallas laments the loss of intensive scriptural engagement in modern Christianity, reminiscent of earlier church practices where clergy were expected to memorize extensive portions of scripture.
  • Christianity's Intellectual Tradition: Dallas argues that Christianity provides answers to life's fundamental questions—about reality, morality, and personal transformation—that are superior to those offered by other philosophies or religions.