Ep 318 Jesus, Politics, and the Academy with Andrew Syed


An interview with an activist, musician, and former professor on what happens when academic freedom and interest in addressing global poverty runs into power, celebrity, and university politics.

While Dan was out creating content for the 1517 Academy, for which he has recently become Dean, Jeff interviews an old friend and colleague from his days at Colorado Christian University, in order to discuss a controversial series of events that involved the intersection between Christianity, conservative politics, and collegiate liberal arts education. Whether you agree with Andrew’s ideas or not, it may help make sense of Jeff’s aversion to heavy handed political moves from the religious right, given his proximity to this story. It also gives a glimpse into a period of time in which folks rightly realized that the university is a sort of ideological battleground. Finally, Jeff and Andrew discuss ways in which trauma affects our society and how to begin healing from it.

Here’s Andrew’s website: https://www.andrewsyed.com/

The following are some news stories about the events of the time (note, Andrew used the surname Paquin until reconnecting with his biological father in London).




Colorado Christian University Strategic Objectives mentioned on the show (which faculty eventually had to endorse to get hired) are as follows:

  • Honor Christ and share the love of Christ on campus and around the world

  • Teach students to trust the Bible, live holy lives, and be evangelists

  • Be a magnet for outstanding students and prepare them for positions of significant leadership in the church, business, government, and professions by offering an excellent education in strategic disciplines

  • Teach students how to learn

  • Teach students how to think for themselves

  • Teach students how to speak and write clearly and effectively

  • Give students significant opportunities to serve our Lord while they are at CCU and to help them develop a lifetime habit of such service

  • Impact our culture in support of traditional family values, sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, Biblical view of human nature, limited government, personal freedom, free markets, natural law, original intent of the Constitution, and Western civilization

  • Be seekers of truth

  • Debunk "spent ideas" and those who traffic in them

  • Ask God to multiply our time and ability to the glory of His great name

  • Be a servant of the Church

  • Become a great university

Daniel van Voorhis