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My Advice to Students — Mark Strauss Says, “Learn to Think Critically”

Jeremy Bouma on November 6th, 2014. Tagged under ,.

Jeremy Bouma

Jeremy Bouma (Th.M.) has pastored on Capitol Hill and with the Evangelical Covenant Church in Michigan. He founded THEOKLESIA, which connects the 21st century Church to the vintage Christian faith; holds a Master of Theology in historical theology; and makes the vintage faith relevant at

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9780310243588Mark Strauss, author of the new ZECNT Mark commentary, says the one thing students must learn is critical thinking.

He calls it “so essential in terms of doing advanced study…and being a Christian in today’s complex world.”

Critical thinking’s fundamental for us, like a protractor is for an architect. Strauss suggests two ways to sharpen your critical thinking:

  1. Write book reviews. Read books, seek to critically analyze them and map their strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Read broadly. “One of the mistakes students make,” Strauss says, “is they have an idea and they take that idea into the marketplace, but no one cares!” Without surveying the landscape of ideas, you’ll talk past people.

Not only is learning to think critically basic to your life as a student, it’s basic to your future ministry, too. So listen to Strauss and consider how you can apply his advice today.


“My Advice to Students” videos advise and guide students studying for a future of ministry in the Church, whether in the academy or in congregations. In these specially curated videos, leading scholars of biblical studies share their wisdom to help you navigate this important season of preparation.