Book List for Summer Term 2017

Oxford Study Centre
Book List for Summer Term 2017

Our reading list changes a bit from term to term, not only with the books but also with the other readings (chapters, essays, excerpts, etc.). New books are published, others seem less pressing, and there is a steady stream of articles and chapters on subjects that beg to be included. Sometimes the core content makes its way into my presentations or becomes the centerpiece for a set discussion session and an entire book no longer is necessary.

For the upcoming coming Summer Term (6 June–7 August)—in addition to a selection of articles, essays, and other items that are not listed here—we are using the eight books listed below. I have placed them roughly in the order we will read them. (I’ve provided links to Amazon for any who care to chase up the volumes.)


Jesus and Universal Healthcare

Jesus and Universal Healthcare

I am again hearing people say that Christians should support or lobby for universal healthcare…because Jesus would have. Somehow, to be unpersuaded is to be rather unChristian.

To my mind, healthcare is a good but is not a right. And that leaves me conflicted. However, I do not have the right to demand of anyone that they provide me healthcare unless it has been contractually promised.

Of course, a government may promise universal healthcare and then be obligated to such promises. But governments are notorious for growing bureaucracies, lining their own pockets, equivocating, hesitating, and rationing. And the latter shouldn’t surprise us as the relevant resources are radically limited; they are scarce.


ANNOUNCING • Oxford Study Centre Partnering with Ratio Christi

Oxford, U.K. — The Oxford Study Centre is pleased to announce a partnership with Ratio Christi, an international apologetics alliance.

What is Ratio Christi?

Ratio Christi is a global movement that teaches students and academics the historical, philosophical, and scientific evidence for following Jesus Christ. Their goal is both to bolster allegiance to Jesus and to be equipped to present Christian convictions intelligently and respectfully to atheists, skeptics, and practitioners of other religions.

Ratio Christi is humbled and privileged to join forces with the Oxford Study Centre in offering quality apologetics and worldview content in such an acclaimed academic setting,” says Tyler Geffeney, Direct of Ratio Christi International. “Kevin is a seasoned educator and we are confident in his ability to equip students to effectively engage in the marketplace of competing worldviews. The merger of our two organizations is a big step forward in Ratio Christi International’s quest to champion the Christian worldview as intellectually and academically viable.”

Ratio Christi supports apologetics groups at over 200 universities, colleges, and high schools, including a growing number of international chapters.

“I have watched Ratio Christi grow since its inception,” noted Mr. Bywater. “Being able to link up with Ratio Christi promises to be beneficial all around. It is an honor to be part of the Ratio Christi team!”

“The Oxford Study Centre puts students in a position for long-term success, helping them integrate academic and vocational pursuits with a spiritual depth in worldview and character. Kevin James Bywater has a proven track record of leading and mentoring. The new partnership with Ratio Christi is a perfect.”
~John Stonestreet, President, The Colson Center for Christian Worldview


Not My President!

Not My President?!

Oh, I know the frustration of not having the candidate of your choosing win an election. That’s right, the results of the elections in 2008 and 2012 were struggles for me. I took the results, and the resultant years, in as much of a stoic fashion as I could muster. And I’m not at all satisfied this time around either.

I keep hearing voices proclaiming, despite his apparently legitimate electoral success, that Donald J. Trump is “not my president.” Of course, this would work perfectly well for any Canadian, for any citizen of a European or African or Asian nation (that is unless they have dual citizenship). But will it work for American citizens? I find that prospect rather doubtful. Since the refrain continues to resonate, here are a few of my own thoughts.


Sexuality and Gender – A Special Report

Sexuality and Gender – A Special Report

I think this report is essential reading here at the beginning of 2017. I don’t say that lightly. Given the pressing nature of these and related subjects, and given the ongoing politicization and social threatenings, being ignorant of reigning academic, psychological, and political claims, as well as their critics, is to do a disservice to ourselves and others. Here is the online blurb (borrowed from their website) by the editor of The New Atlantis:

Questions related to sexuality and gender bear on some of the most intimate and personal aspects of human life. In recent years they have also vexed American politics. We offer this report — written by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, an epidemiologist trained in psychiatry, and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century — in the hope of improving public understanding of these questions. Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence. The report has a special focus on the higher rates of mental health problems among LGBT populations, and it questions the scientific basis of trends in the treatment of children who do not identify with their biological sex. More effort is called for to provide these people with the understanding, care, and support they need to lead healthy, flourishing lives.


10 Presentations You Must See

10 Presentations You Must See

Lists like this are a bit of a gimmick. “Click bait” is the term, I believe. But I’m listing them here out of a conviction that the presentations that follow are, in fact, worth your time. While other presentations surely are just as worthy of your time, these are ten that have impressed me as worth hearing here at the end of 2016 (and, no, these aren’t necessarily presentations made or posted in 2016).

Now, I struggled with even the thought of attempting to rank these, or even to put them here in any particular order. Different considerations would result in a different ordering. But I’m not ranking or ordering them in terms of importance. I feel like each is important is significant and notable ways. So, I offer you ten presentations I believe you’ll want to watch or hear.


Book List for Hilary Term 2017

Oxford Study Centre
Book List for Hilary Term 2017

Our reading list changes a bit from term to term. New books are published, others seem less pressing, and there is a steady stream of articles and chapters on subjects that beg to be included. For the upcoming coming Hilary Term (January-April)—in addition to a selection of articles, essays, and other items—we are using the titles listed below. I have placed them roughly in the order we will read them. (I’ve provided links to Amazon for any who care to chase up the volumes.) Before getting to the book list, permit me a moment to explain the purpose of our course.



The End of Summit Oxford • Launching the Oxford Study Centre

The End of Summit Oxford

(Telos: end, purpose.)

There are times when events present us with significant changes. As such, we have an important announcement to make – several, in fact – as well as much gratitude to express. But first things first.

As of 31 December 2016, Summit Oxford will come to an end.