Dr. Lee C. Camp, author and professor of theology and ethics at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., delivered a pair of provocative presentations as the featured speaker at the Tabor College Exaudio Lecture 2019, Sept. 16.
Camp presented his first lecture, “How to Be Spectacularly Successful,” during the Monday morning campus chapel gathering.
“Dr. Camp’s chapel presentation questioned whether being excellent in our professions was a big enough goal,” said Douglas Miller, Exaudio coordinator. “Using the example of Albert Speer in Nazi Germany, he challenged us to live out our professions in service to Christ’s kingdom rather than for ourselves or some other entity.”
Camp challenged his listeners: “My friends, do not let yourself be caught in refusing to pay attention to the question, ‘What is the aim of my life?’ Don’t let anybody sell you a bill of goods. Ask yourself these questions: What is the point of life? What does a good life look like?”
He also encouraged students to find wise, trusted people to turn for direction. ”Don’t get stuck with some small, petty vision,” Camp said. “Do courageous things.”
Camp’s evening lecture addressed, “Reflections on Muslim-Christian Relations in America,” based on his 2011 book, “Who Is My Enemy?”
“Current discussion of Islam in America tends toward two polar extremes,” Camp said. “On one hand is the notion that Christianity is superior to Islam, and that Muslims are warmongers. On the other hand is the notion that all religions say basically the same thing and are peaceable.”
Camp said Christians and Muslims each have their own narrative when it comes to war and religion. Jesus demonstrated a loving and peaceful response to violence, and he was vindicated through the resurrection. For Muslims, Mohammed was vindicated by his victories against overwhelming odds.
Camp encouraged his audience to engage with Muslims by extending hospitality, practicing courage and learning new stories as the way to build bridges between the two religious groups.
“Dr. Camp’s evening presentation seemed to have the greatest impact on students,” Miller said. “I observed that they reflected deeply on our history as Christians and as a nation in light of Jesus’ life and teachings. They also were open to insights into the history of Islam as well as ways to respect those with whom one disagrees.”