When I arrived at Fuller in 1968, the teacher of Christian ethics was a man in his mid-thirties with the electric eyes of a recent convert, which he was—not from the world to Christ, but from Christ back to the world. Jaymes Morgan had the magnetic makings of a new breed of evangelical leader in a tumultuous time. But he had cancer, had had it for some months before I came on the scene, and he died hardly more than a year after I arrived.
Morgan's death left us with a big hole in the curriculum. I was by this time a tenured faculty member still learning how to teach the philosophy of religion—which deals with such things as how a powerful and good God could let the world get into the mess it seems always to be in.
Now we needed someone to teach ethics—which deals with how weak and sinful human beings can know what is right and what is good. But evangelicals with scholarly credentials to teach ethics were rare at that time. We looked everywhere and found no one to match our needs. During one more futile meeting of our search committee, and after thinking about it for no longer than thirty seconds, I offered myself for the job. I proposed that we look for candidates in both the philosophy of religion and in ethics; if we found a philosopher before we found an ethicist, I would switch over to ethics. A generous offer, I thought; others were probably more impressed by my presumption!
The next thing we knew we had found a fine philosopher of religion, and there I was, at fifty, leaping into a complex and controversial subject for which I had few academic qualifications to recommend me. I did not have the time to make myself over into the sort of bona fide scholar who writes articles in academic journals and gives learned lectures ...1
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