Welcome. We think the new TELOS Program is kind of a big deal. Not because it’s new, but because we’ve been paying attention.

Listening intently, at Think Christianity, to the myriad voices and interests speaking in youth ministry and education.

People who define these areas a little differently, and don’t necessarily agree on things like goals and methods. Those who, nonetheless, have a passionate care for young people, and genuine wisdom and expertise.

In designing our program, we’ve listened to academics, including educators, historians, theologians and social analysts. We’ve put ourselves in the shoes of teachers, parents and pastors, to understand their unique situations and constraints. And of course, we’ve listened to young people themselves.

Wading through all of these areas was important, to uncover things that are true, things that work and things that are most urgently needed. The kinds of things you need to know, if you want to build a substantial student development program that achieves its goals and inspires a new generation of Christians.

So what did we come up with? Read on to find out...

Orthogonal Complexity

Multiple dimensions inanimal colouration

by Peter Grice

Something resembling Christianity must be true, in my view, due to a pervasive phenomenon I'd like to call orthogonal complexity. It is distinct from two related concepts, irreducible complexity and specified complexity, as elaborated below.

All three concepts fall under the general category of teleology. Telos is a mode of explanation described by Aristotle, where a physical object or system has a purpose that exists in prior causal relation to its features of form and function. In other words, its traits serve the interests of a goal.


A reflectionon the need for the TELOS Program

by Peter Grice

I vividly recall the day, as a teenager, that I read the first chapter of Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.

So provoked was I to contemplation that I couldn't tell you whether I even read any further.

What captured my interest so well was the observation that our language in unguarded moments might reveal our deepest convictions – although we may be reluctant to take ownership of those beliefs. Provocatively, the kinds of matters that surface are the ones we consider most important.