The Voice: Spring 2003
Bakker earns Vander Stelt essay award
Matt Bakker, a senior from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was recently presented with a $250
cash award for his entry in the 2002 John C. Vander Stelt Essay
Competition in Theology and Philosophy.
Using the contest topic, Reforming the Reader as his title, Bakker says he
took a deliberate look at the act of readingto give consideration to its
practice and to uncover some of the principles that must underlie a mastery
of the art. Much of what passes for reading, he believes, misses entirely
the depth of engagement and participation that should be brought to the text.
Different forms of literature require the development of distinct habits and skills, but
all literature requires an active mind that will engage the material and respond
to it conversationally.
The contest is open to all Dordt College full-time students and is named
after long-time theology and philosophy professor Dr. John C. Vander Stelt. The competition
was set up at his retirement with an endowment fund honoring Vander Stelts
work. Its goal is to encourage student essays that develop a Reformed Christian
perspective on a range of issues. Each year a new topic is chosen
by members of the theology and philosophy departments.
Bakker received his award at the start of the spring semester, since he
was off-campus participating in an environmental studies program in Belize during the fall semester.