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brilliant thinkers who helped me survive grad school

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

I shared a little bit about my experience studying the humanities on my Instagram, as well as some of my favorite deep thinkers. I'm sharing it here as well so that I can include links.

Tim Keller: Dr. Tim Keller, a pastor in New York, recently passed away. He's well-known for his illuminating sermons on the stories in the Old Testament of the Bible and how they connect to the New Testament, and his entire sermon library is now freely available on most platforms like YouTube and Spotify.

Clay Jones: For me, the most important questions have always been, "Why does such a good God allow so much horrible evil?" and "How does our free will work alongside God's power?" Dr. Clay Jones happens to specialize in both of those subjects, among others, and his arguments are extremely compelling.

William Lane Craig: Dr. Craig is a philosopher and apologist best known for his riveting debates. His most recent area of focus has been on the origins of humanity.

Mike Winger: Mike Winger created his now very popular YouTube channel Bible Thinker to help answer common questions people have when interacting with the Bible. He has extensively researched series on topics like "How Do You Know the Bible is Accurate?" and "A Non-Calvinist Interpretation on Romans 9," among many others.

Neil Shevni: Dr. Neil Shevni is an extremely valuable voice when it comes to various cultural trends because of his willingness to dive deeply into recent scholarship and carefully (and kindly) examine it. Modern humanities are muddled with all kinds of pseudo-psychology and jargon that can make it difficult to interact with, but Shevni makes it accessible. Personally, I really like his essay titled: "Science and Religion. Is it Either/Or or Both/And?"

Coleman Hughes: Coleman Hughes is a writer, podcaster, and opinion columnist who specializes in issues related to race, public policy, and applied ethics. I discovered him through Quillette (an excellent resource for any curious reader, but especially for those in college) and I've been following him ever since.

Rosaria Butterfield: Dr. Butterfield has perhaps one of the most interesting biographies ever written: "Rosaria fell in love with the world of words. In her late twenties, allured by feminist philosophy and LGBTQ+ advocacy, she adopted a lesbian identity. Rosaria earned her PhD from Ohio State University, then served in the English department and women's studies program at Syracuse University from 1992 to 2002. Her primary academic field was critical theory, specializing in queer theory. Her historical focus was 19th-century literature, informed by Freud, Marx, and Darwin. She advised the LGBTQ+ student group, wrote Syracuse University’s policy for same-sex couples, and actively lobbied for LGBTQ+ aims alongside her lesbian partner. In 1997, while Rosaria was researching the Religious Right “and their politics of hatred against people like me,” she wrote an article against the Promise Keepers. A response to that article triggered a meeting with Ken Smith, who became a resource on the Religious Right and their Bible, a confidant, and a friend. In 1999, after repeatedly reading the Bible in large chunks for her research, Rosaria converted to Christianity. Her first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, details her conversion and the cataclysmic fallout—in which she lost “everything but the dog,” yet gained eternal life in Christ."

Liz Jackson: Last but not least, my friend, Dr. Liz Jackson who is now a professor in Toronto! I knew her back when she was a philosophy student at Kansas State. She introduced me to the KSU Theological and Philosophical Club. At the time, most of their discussions went way over my head, but now I see that it was my first introduction to actual intellectual debate. She specializes in Pascal's wager and has a YouTube channel that any curious would-be philosopher should check out.

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