June 7, 2020

Review: Finding God Beyond Harvard

Finding God Beyond Harvard: The Quest for VeritasKelly Monroe Kullberg’s Finding God Beyond Harvard is several good things. It’s an account of the author’s own journey into a significant ministry that is touching the core of universities around America, while at the same time keeping her focus on the spiritual hungers and thirsts of university students. Kullberg is a gifted writer who does an outstanding job of making the reader feel the spiritual wreckage and emptiness that dominates a generation of university students. She’s buoyant and brave; thoughtful and filled with wonder. She’s also one of us- a person growing and learning as God moves faster than she can sometimes keep up.

Kullberg’s own expression of growth in Christ is a missionary story for our time, particularly appropriate for those who tend to forget the romance and adventure that ought to be at the heart of Christian discipleship. Kullberg is a brilliant mind, but her great gifts are drawing you into the energy of the Christian mission and the joy that lies at the heart of knowing Christ.

Beyond Harvard is also a book about the growth of what can only be called a major spiritual renewal in the unlikeliest of places: America’s hostile universities and colleges. Going into schools that have forgotten, hidden and long denied their Christian roots, Kullberg and her compatriots have facilitated cooperation between thousands of campus groups to bring hundreds of Christian intellectuals to campuses to present the Christian vision in an intellectual setting. Kullberg infects her writing with a love of “veritas,” the light of truth that once shone from places like Harvard and Princeton.

Veritas Forums are a “party with a difference” in Kullberg’s vision; a place where intolerance is replaced by communication, community and listening to the human journey of students and professors who live in the midst of spiritual emptiness. Veritas is a movement that has united ministries across deep divides in theology and style for the proclamation of an intellectually challenging, spiritually provocative message to hungry university audiences.

[If you are a Ravi fan, you will surely love this book, as Kullberg has the same love for the university that carries Ravi, and the same boldness in taking the Gospel to the pagan academy with love, gentleness and tenacious proclamation.]

Finally, this book is a primary document for demonstrating missional discipleship. This is one person’s journey into Jesus and his Kingdom, expressing itself as a movement into the university campus. This isn’t the growth of a church, but a description of the work of the Spirit going into classrooms, auditoriums, coffeeshops and dormitories with the inclusive, transforming message of Christ. Veritas is everything a missional movement ought to be, and far from being a “parachurch,” it is the church doing- finally- what Jesus intended all along: going into the world as Christ was sent into the world.

This is an exciting, uplifting, intellectually interesting, challenging book. I commend Kelli for writing it, IVP for publishing it and hope we see many other books from Kelly in the future.

The Veritas website is a treasure trove of media and information. A copy of this book was provided to the author for review.