If our description of the integration of faith and learning is accurate, integration becomes a central part of ordinary Christian discipleship. It is not restricted to the academy because the “War of the Prepositions” is not restricted to the academy. Every facet of creation is contested. Every aspect of human endeavor is part of the contest. Specifically, the integrative task will range over each of the following domains of human endeavor:
Science, if understood as the study of the created order, is obviously an area where the Christian faith will have much to say. The created order is NOT a random purposeless entity but it is a product of intention. It was made by a maker for a reason. It is not self-generated, self-existent, and purposeless. How this vision of the created order effects the way one does science is the matter
of some debate. The nature of this debate will not be described here, but it is important to realize that there is no way in which the created order is “off-limits” to the Christian God. God in Christ is intimately involved in creation, originating it, sustaining it, participating in it, redeeming it, and ultimately transforming it. There may be religions which can be effectively compartmentalized from the understanding of creation, but Christianity is not one of them.
The arts and the imaginative capacity of see and create works of art, literature, and music is a gracious gift which is at least partially constitutive of the image of God in man. Art often involves imitating God as a creator
creation—making explicit connections which are hidden and finding patterns that are not immediately obvious to the observer. These connections and patterns often constitute what we call “explanations,” but they explain by means of artistically arousing the human imagination and enabling one to see a fuller vision of the world than our five senses alone can grant us. And art also comforts us in the pain of the fallen world. Songs of lament voice pain that is at once intensified through expression, but also cleansed and released. It helps to heal and make whole again what the fallen world has broken and destroyed.
And finally, perhaps most comprehensively, integration is expressed in human culture. I will define culture in this context as whatever creatures do with creation. Of course the arts and sciences could also be subsumed under this definition of culture. I mark them off separately because “arts and sciences” is a phrase commonly used to describe the scope of university education. Culture, however, goes far beyond the academy. It includes all of human institutions, not just educational institutions. Government, family, business, technology, traditions, languages, and religions are all part of what human beings do with the created order. All of these usages can be aligned or mis-aligned with the purposes of Christ. Integration must cover the entire scope of culture-making if it is to truly cover the entire scope of Christ’s purposes for the created order.