How the Lutheran Worldview Can Sustain the Life of the Mind?

Hughes, Richard. "How the Lutheran Worldview Can Sustain the Life of the Mind?" Unpublished paper. Annual meeting of the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America. Washington, D.C., February, 1997.

Richard Hughes describes how the Lutheran worldview can sustain the life of the mind at Lutheran colleges and universities by comparing its perspective with that of the Reformed and Mennonite traditions.
<p>According to Hughes, the Reformed tradition seeks to integrate faith and learning by bringing all of reality under the sway of a Christian worldview. This approach has its strengths, not the least of which is its comprehensive perspective. But it is also vulnerable to collapsing into forms of triumphalism, conformity and fundamentalism. Mennonite higher education, in contrast, practices radical obedience to the teachings of Jesus. As such, it fosters a vital life of the mind by building community around service to others and demanding respect for others’ views. The Lutheran tradition in turn stresses a paradoxical relationship between the sacred and secular world which, Hughes believes, fosters a dialogue between the sacred and the secular that enriches the life of the mind. But he warns that Lutherans can lapse into forms of absolutism or of relativism if they do not maintain the tension within this paradox. To be successful, then, Lutheran institutions must "find some way to keep alive the heart and soul of Luther's original vision, namely, the paradox of the Gospel and the affirmation of the sovereignty of God and the finitude of humankind." (LT)