This morning, Erskine Students had the pleasure of listening to a panel discussion about calling and vocation. This unique convocation was pretty eye-opening into the personal lives of Dr. Brad Parker, Dr. Robyn Agnew, Tobe Frierson, Cliff Smith, and Mark Peeler.
THRIVE, if you don’t know, stands for The Human Restoration InitiatiVe at Erskine. Its goal is to have a conversation about human restoration and social entrepreneurship. Interestingly, there’s been a whole lot of nothing said about THRIVE, and its goals. Specifically, there has been no definition of what a “restored human” looks like. THRIVE, as far as many students are concerned, is a joke.
I wouldn’t say I’m one of those students, but that doesn’t mean I have a positive view toward THRIVE either. It has this tendency to be a conversation we have during convocation rather than outside convocation. The conversations that typically happen about THRIVE are how this student disagrees with what was said, or how that student thinks the whole thing is ridiculous. I’m on board with human restoration and flourishing, but Dr. Norman and I are going to diverge, I think, on how to accomplish that.
For example, a restored human, in my eyes, is someone who has accepted Christ as his or her savior, and is undergoing sanctification. We are only restored in Christ, for He is the one who brings us back to the being we were created to be. He is our restoration, and the organization that makes money and gives that money back to the community (the social entrepreneurship aspect) is the Church.
Think about it for a second; Erskine is a school that has ties to the ARP Church. It receives almost half a million bucks a year from this organization to teach young people in the liberal arts fashion–with faith added in there. This organization, this church, exists to point people to Jesus as their physician and restorer. It makes money and it seeks to serve people in need–both generally in our collective need for restoration in Jesus, and individually to orphans, widows, the poor, and others. It’s the perfect organization to team up with for this THRIVE initiative.
So why are we moving away from it?