The Phone Call that Changed the Course of My Life

 

I was sitting in seat 26A just before the cabin doors closed on my flight to Denver when I received the December 2023 call. Dr. Dondi Costin, newly installed president of Liberty University, alerted me to an academic opportunity in Lynchburg Virginia. Dr. Costin and I did our PhD work together. We have been friends for two decades. At Dr. Costin’s request, I spoke to his faculty in 2019 when he was then president at Charleston Southern University. Now he was asking me to consider a position, serving in a field I have been working in most of my life: faith-learning integration.

In Christian higher education the phrase “faith-learning integration” means the institution is committed to teaching from a distinctively Christian point of view. In Dr. Costin’s inaugural address he clearly described biblical thinking, “If it’s ‘Christian’ it ought to be Christian.” Simply stated, a Christian university should seek to understand the world through The Word of God. All of life should be viewed through the lens of Scripture.

From the earliest lines of Genesis the phrase, “And God said” sets the authority for the Christian thinker. Teachers in Christian education should be in submission to Scriptural authority, what Deuteronomy 4 calls, “Your wisdom and understanding in the sight of all people.” Even before Earth’s creation Proverbs 8 declares that personified Wisdom gives direction to Christian educators, where we find the paths of knowledge, prudence, insight, and counsel, which is the synthesis of our instruction.

So, from seat 26A into the future I am honored to be named the Executive Director of the Center for Biblical Integration at Liberty University. I am grateful for Dr. Costin’s invitation to submit an application, prompted by God’s Spirit, to support Christian professors as they help the next generation to see the world through the lens of the Word. For the Comenius Institute, this is Dr. Mark Eckel, Executive Director of the Center for Biblical Integration at Liberty University, personally seeking truth wherever it’s found.

[First published at MarkEckel.com]

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There are 10 comments.

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  1. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    This is very good news. That integration is what America had that made it great. We lost it and that’s the reason for our present descent from greatness.

    Go help fix it, with the help of the one who walks alongside you.

    • #1
  2. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Liberty University!?!

    I have spent many nights in Lynchburg on business. I never even considered the possibility that you were there. My trips are now much less frequent, but on my my next trip,  i would be truly honored if you would meet  for a coffee or dinner. 

     

     

    • #2
  3. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    This is wonderful news. Our very best wishes on the move and change and challenge. Now we have more reason to look forward to one of our grandchildren doing college work at Liberty. Excellent news!  

    • #3
  4. jmelvin Member
    jmelvin
    @jmelvin

    Excellent news!  I hope you come to find this area a great place to call home like my family and I have for the past 16 years.  I don’t have any particular tie to Liberty University other than attending the occasional game and knowing plenty of staff and students, but if I can be of help some way, please ask away.

    Welcome!

    • #4
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Indiana’s loss is Virginia’s gain. Congratulations!

    • #5
  6. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Liberty University!?!

    I have spent many nights in Lynchburg on business. I never even considered the possibility that you were there. My trips are now much less frequent, but on my my next trip, i would be truly honored if you would meet for a coffee or dinner.

     

     

    lol, rereading the post, I missed the significance of the December 2023  date and fixed  on the 2019 date, and my brain linked that you have been there since then. I thought I had missed years of opportunity. Hah.  Congratulations on your new position. 

    Lynchburg is a delightful city. Liberty University has come to dominate the landscape and ethos of the place.  The downtown has seen a wonderful resurgence while still maintaining a quant small town feel.  It is a nice mix of artsy chic, and old time family owned businesses. 

    I do hope my business ventures allow me to return to Lynchburg, and that we have a chance to meet. 

     

    • #6
  7. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Liberty University!?!

    I have spent many nights in Lynchburg on business. I never even considered the possibility that you were there. My trips are now much less frequent, but on my my next trip, i would be truly honored if you would meet for a coffee or dinner.

    lol, rereading the post, I missed the significance of the December 2023 date and fixed on the 2019 date, and my brain linked that you have been there since then. I thought I had missed years of opportunity. Hah. Congratulations on your new position.

    Lynchburg is a delightful city. Liberty University has come to dominate the landscape and ethos of the place. The downtown has seen a wonderful resurgence while still maintaining a quant small town feel. It is a nice mix of artsy chic, and old time family owned businesses.

    I do hope my business ventures allow me to return to Lynchburg, and that we have a chance to meet.

    Sadly, I am not so sure about the downtown revitalization. Over the last several years 2 of the better downtown restaurants have closed- the most recent casualty is Greys (probably due to Bidenomics). I will really miss their Old Fashions and the peanut romseco sauce on the burrata…not to mention their specials.

    • #7
  8. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    MiMac (View Comment):

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Liberty University!?!

    I have spent many nights in Lynchburg on business. I never even considered the possibility that you were there. My trips are now much less frequent, but on my my next trip, i would be truly honored if you would meet for a coffee or dinner.

    lol, rereading the post, I missed the significance of the December 2023 date and fixed on the 2019 date, and my brain linked that you have been there since then. I thought I had missed years of opportunity. Hah. Congratulations on your new position.

    Lynchburg is a delightful city. Liberty University has come to dominate the landscape and ethos of the place. The downtown has seen a wonderful resurgence while still maintaining a quant small town feel. It is a nice mix of artsy chic, and old time family owned businesses.

    I do hope my business ventures allow me to return to Lynchburg, and that we have a chance to meet.

    Sadly, I am not so sure about the downtown revitalization. Over the last several years 2 of the better downtown restaurants have closed- the most recent casualty is Greys (probably due to Bidenomics). I will really miss their Old Fashions and the peanut romseco sauce on the burrata…not to mention their specials.

    MiMac, are you also in Lynchburg?  I sense a Rico meetup in the future. 

    • #8
  9. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    This is very good news. That integration is what America had that made it great. We lost it and that’s the reason for our present descent from greatness.

    Go help fix it, with the help of the one who walks alongside you.

    That “one” is clearly not Joe Biden…

    https://dailycaller.com/2024/03/05/joe-biden-administration-department-of-education-liberty-university-14-million/

    • #9
  10. Mark Eckel Coolidge
    Mark Eckel
    @MarkEckel

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Liberty University!?!

    I have spent many nights in Lynchburg on business. I never even considered the possibility that you were there. My trips are now much less frequent, but on my my next trip, i would be truly honored if you would meet for a coffee or dinner.

     

     

    Glad to do so @nohaaj

    My email there: meckel3@liberty.edu

    • #10
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