Fall 2019, Volume 14, Issue 1
Does Prayer Matter? by Andrea Jenkins â€™20: p. 10
A Letter from the Editor Dear Reader, Why did you pick up this journal? Perhaps you are a faithful follower of Th e Dartmouth Apologia, and you read every article, so it’s only natural that you would pick up the journal. Maybe you saw the artwork on the cover and were simply drawn to take a closer look. Maybe you picked it up with a bunch of other publications that you amassed while touring Dartmouth’s campus. Maybe you have no good reason for picking up the journal, but that’s just what you did out of random chance. Any of these reasons would be perfectly valid. But perhaps they’re a little basic—a little too rooted in this material world. Could it be that this journal is an answer to prayer? Perhaps I’m flirting with the absurd, so please let me explain. As you can see from the cover, one of our writers, Andrea Jenkins ’20, wrestles with the question “Does Prayer Matter?” It’s a tough question to answer, because it’s hard to adequately encapsulate an individual’s response to the power of prayer. But when it comes to The Dartmouth Apologia, and Dartmouth College itself, it certainly seems as though prayer matters. I was first introduced to Apologia while I was still in high school. I was visiting Dartmouth’s campus, and I was hopeful for the future. But I was also in despair over the future. See, this campus visit came at a dark time in my walk with Christ. I had serious doubts about the existence of God. I had doubts that “smart” people could legitimately believe in him. I would wake up every morning with the fear—and sometimes the conviction—that it was all meaningless. I would pray every day that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. So I was in this dark tunnel when I visited Dartmouth’s campus. Then someone told me, “You might be interested in the Apologia. It’s a Christian apologetics journal that students lead. They wrestle with topics like the existence and nature of God and try to provide an academic defense from a Christian perspective.” A dim light appeared in the distance, and suddenly the tunnel didn’t seem so dark. I don’t need to tell you about all the events that transpired between then and now, as I write to you as the editor-in-chief of Apologia. But, I do need to tell you that my story is a small one. In the 90s, Dartmouth students prayed together and experienced what could only be called a revival on campus. In the 70s, Annie McCune (whose interview you can find in the following pages) prayed to see God raise up Christian leaders at Dartmouth, and she’s seeing the answer to that prayer to this day. In the early 1900s, the Reverend Lucius Waterman prayed “Let thy hand be upon [Dartmouth’s] officers of administration to make them strong and wise.” That very prayer is now emblazoned on the side of Parkhurst Hall, where the administration carries out the business of Dartmouth every day. And 250 years ago Eleazar Wheelock founded this college in large part to spread the Gospel. I can only imagine what fervent prayers he prayed, and how God is answering them now through the hundreds of Dartmouth students who work daily to spread His Word in truth and love. Every day a voice cries out in the wilderness. Every day a light shines at the end of the tunnel. So, does prayer matter? It just might matter a whole lot, and I invite you to find out.
Fall 2019, Volume 14, Issue 1
Editor-in-Chief Levi Roseman ’21 Executive Manager Maura Cahill ’20 Managing Editor Michael Steel ’21 Business Manager Michael Carlowicz ’22 Production Manager Natalie Marie Mendolia ’19 Editorial Board Jake Casale ’16 Sara Holston ’17 India Perdue ’19 Andrea Jenkins ’20 Hailey Scherer ’20 Contributors Maura Cahill ’20 Andrea Jenkins ’20 Rachel Gambee ’21 Paul Jeon ’21 Jacob Wesley Dell ’22 Jonathan Elliott, PhD Advisory Board Gregg Fairbrothers Eric Hansen, Thayer James Murphy, Government Lindsay Whaley, Classics Special thanks to Council on Student Organizations The Eleazar Wheelock Society
Levi Roseman Editor-in-Chief
SUBMISSIONS We welcome the submission of any article, essay, or artwork for publication in The Dartmouth Apologia. Submissions should seek to promote respectful, thoughtful discussion in the community. We will consider submissions from any member of the community but reserve the right to publish only those that align with our mission statement and quality rubric. Email: The.Dartmouth.Apologia@Dartmouth.Edu Front cover: Darley Sackitey ’21 Back cover: Michael Lin ’21
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR We value your opinions and encourage thoughtful submissions expressing support, dissent, or other views. We will gladly consider any letter that is consistent with our mission statement’s focus on promoting intellectual discourse in the Dartmouth community.
APOLOGIA ONLINE Subscription information for the journal or bi-weekly blog is available on our website at dartmouthapologia.org. Past issues of the journal are available online for archival viewing.
The opinions expressed in The Dartmouth Apologia are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the journal, its editors, or Dartmouth College. Copyright © 2019 The Dartmouth Apologia.
On Life and Dartmouth
Annie McCune ’79
WHY CHASTITY IS FEMINIST:
What Christianity Gets Right About Sex
Maura Cahill ’20
EARLY CHRISTIANITY AND THE STOIC TRADITION
DOES PRAYER MATTER?
Jacob Wesley Dell ’22
Examining an Iconic Religious Tradition
Andrea Jenkins ’20
LOVE IN VENICE:
Studying Shakespeare, Finding God
Paul Jeon ’21
LEARNING FROM OTHERS' MISTAKES:
Thomas as a Didactic Tool in the Gospel of John Rachel Gambee ’21
CRISPR APPLE Jonathan Elliott, PhD
he Dartmouth Apologia exists to articulate Christian perspectives in the academic community. A JOURNAL OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT
A Walk with Annie McCune '79 On Life and Dartmouth conducted by Levi Roseman
Annie McCune graduated from Dartmouth in 1979 with a degree in Geography and Urban Studies. After college she served as a campus minister with the Dartmouth Area Christian Fellowship and worked for the Town of Norwich. She is married to Lee McCune ’78 DMS ’81, a family physician currently specializing in geriatrics. They have four adult children (including David ’05, and Christopher ‘09), nine grandchildren, and are adopted family to internationals from Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. They have done over twenty years of medical missions, mainly in Honduras. Annie has been privileged to serve wherever God leads, including many boards, civic and sacred. She and her husband currently reside in Orchard Park, New York.
ANNIE’S DARTMOUTH STORY
any girl over 5’ 6” was recruited for the crew team, because they didn’t have that many girls. That was really fun. But I ended up getting very sick in the winter of my freshman year—so sick that they quarantined me when I went home in the spring for a quick break. I had to withdraw. So that’s how I ended up coming back in the summer of my freshman year.
Well, what happened then?
But I started out in North Mass Hall, an all-girls dorm—very safe place. And when I came back for the summer, the only room that was open to me was a fourth-floor walk-up in Hitchcock Hall, which was a co-ed dorm. And I had gone to an all-girls high school. So, the transition to Dartmouth, with a 3:1 ratio of boys to girls, was an interesting choice.
My father went to Dartmouth and played on the football team. We grew up seeing this great love for the college, and he would bring us by every couple of years, and it would somehow coincide with the Glee Club singing on the steps and things like that. So I grew up thinking, “Whoa, that’s a great college for men.”
Then, Dartmouth went co-ed. Shockingly, I got in. I started in ‘75, and I started out in engineering, because I was really good, I thought, in math and science. Yeah. In my first two weeks of school at Dartmouth, I was in way over my head, which was really scary. And then I joined everything. I was on the crew team. I realized afterwards that it was a water sport, so you practiced even when the weather was freezing. And
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I’m living in Hitchcock, and almost everybody else was a sophomore, but there was one other gal named Meredith, and she was going into her senior year because she had missed a term because her mother had died
"Okay, God, now I'm very scared. I don't know what's true. I don't know what's right. Are you there? Aren't you?" of cancer. And so we were sort of the two oddballs on the floor. But she was the first person I’d ever met who actually read her Bible for comfort. And growing up, I didn’t know anybody who read the Bible. But anyway, she had been part of something called the Dartmouth Area Christian Fellowship, which used to meet at Rollins Chapel on Monday nights. She and I were both former Glee Club-ers. So she loved to sing, and I love to sing. So we would go to these Christian Fellowship meetings during the summer, wtih some other Glee Club-ers, and when things got serious after the singing, we’d look at each other and leave. So we did that during the summer, and it was a fun group of people. And then in the fall of that year, Meredith was gone, all the sophomores were gone. And then my freshman friends were back. And I was trying to figure out, okay, who am I?
THE VOICE ON THE GREEN
I went to one of the Christian Fellowship meetings on a Monday night, just because that had been my tradition, but I didn't go with anybody. And when you don't have your group, then you don't know when to leave, because there's no one to say so. So after the singing, these people are getting up giving these testimonies of what God was doing. And that was very cool to hear. Then this guy got up and started talking about eschatology, and so that really scared me. And so I left, and I was right about here [at this point in our
conversation, Annie and I were standing in the middle of the Green, looking directly at our library’s Baker Tower]. It was an October night, and I was just like, “Okay, God, now I’m very scared. I don’t know what’s true. I don’t know what’s right. Are you there? Aren’t you?” And it was an audible voice in response: “I’m God. Jesus is my son. Figure it out.” I didn’t know what to do, so I stood there for a few minutes. And the only thing I kind of felt to do was go back into the chapel. Maybe some of these people were good and true. And so I went back in, and a student named Peter stood up and just said, “Hey, you know, it’s not about just calling God ‘Lord,’ not about wearing a cross, or about your denomination. You need to make Him Lord of your life. He needs to be Lord of all. And if anybody wants to do that, right now, this is a good night to do that.” I found my head still trying to decide whether this is what God was calling me to do, but my feet were walking forward. Then all of a sudden, I was up there and in tears and just knew, okay, my life is going to be different from this point on. Then it started. I just started reading scripture, and things just made sense. It was just the most exciting season of my life.
I still remember to this day, one girl bringing in her iron, and she talked about how she had ironed over something, and it melted on the iron, and then the iron was ineffective because of all this gunk on it. And God says that’s what your heart is like until you clean it off, you cannot be effective. So it was all of this: Just people were having these encounters where God was clearly speaking, building their faith, giving them things. So that was the rest of my experience.
ON A WOMAN’S PLIGHT AT DARTMOUTH
We saw so many students coming in with the same kind of questions that students are coming in with today. And especially for women coming in at that point, there was definitely a feminist movement going on in the United States, and especially on these Ivy League campuses, where it’s like “Ugh, we women are here.” And there’s an ugliness to that type of feminism, which I never really have identified with. I was as a very naive woman back in the day, but it was very clear that some people did not want us here. Every test you took, you're like, "Am I smart enough? Am I good enough? Do I belong? Do I not?” And that was hard. But I found that the women involved with the
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Christian Fellowship had a gentleness about their God-given intelligence, their God-given leadership abilities. And the same with the men that were part of the fellowship at the time. It was an understanding of, “Yes, I'm in this very historic, prestigious place, and yet, it's not a matter of pride; it is a matter of humility. It's a gift to be here. It does not make me any smarter than God; it makes it imperative to dig deeper into his word and into his truth to balance any other truths that I'm learning, and any other ambitions. I found within the fellowship there were these subtle warnings. Alumni who had left would come back and say, “Now, many of you will make great wealth in the world. Decide now, while you still are penniless: What are you going to live on? Is all of that yours to live on? Or is that something that God would have you steward?
And part of that is God giving us a nurturing gene that makes us more in tune with the fact that a fouryear-old cannot be on their own. They need oversight that many men just don't have. When I was four, I wanted to be on my own. So then, as a woman, you're getting equal education; you're getting offered equal jobs. How does family life work out? And is it about the job? Or is it about the family? Where is your legacy going to come from? These are issues that continue on 40 years later. Some of my classmates got pregnant and had to face that. “Do I have an abortion? Do I have a baby? What's riding on me? Who's hoping for me to be the next president? How does this happen?” And for women, those issues are still very, very tender. There
"Yes, I'm in this very historic, prestigious place, and yet, it's not a matter of pride; it is a matter of humility. It's a gift to be here." Those were such good questions to ponder and decide at college. You're busy now, how are you going to keep the Sabbath? Will you ever keep the Sabbath? How do you carve out time to hear the word of God? Decide now. How are you going to be in this balance that goes on for everyone? I think for women, it's still a much harder thing. How do you balance faith and family and career? I think the traditional model in America has always been that the women are primarily responsible for the children.
are smart women here, and smart men, making some foolish decisions, some foolhardy decisions, because they don't have the wisdom and truth to know how to make those decisions. But we have to be able to see the fellowship of believers that extends maybe 250 years and beyond, and we have to recognize that this is a place of redemption. This is a place of intelligence. It is a place of sin. This is a broken place. And it's wonderful place.
After Dartmouth, I did not take a traditional role. So I did not have my corporate story. I did not have a law degree. I did not have a business degree. I did not have an engineering degree. I took a very different tack as I listened, and sought God. I wanted those letters after my name. I wanted to be really important; I wanted to have that kind of influence. But as I yielded to what I felt like God wanted in my life, I took on a role in campus ministry, for two years. And I knew that I wanted to be a mom. So, it came to the question: Do I need a job right now? No, I don't need a job. Can I stay at home with the kids? Yeah, I actually can stay home with the kids, especially because my husband had very intense medical commitments. So, it was important that there was some stability in our home, and I was able to provide that. Then all of a sudden, there were more kids. And so I started letting go of some of those stories. Will I ever go on to get a degree? Will I ever be someone important in the corporate world? I didn't need those stories.
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I started letting go of some of those stories. Will I ever go on to get a degree? Will I ever be someone important in the corporate world? I didn't need those stories. I learned I was not a stay at home mom. And at times, I was very rarely home. We've had a hospitality ministry, where besides our own family, we've taken on lots of extras, from Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. We've done missions trips to Honduras for 25 years. And we've been able to do a lot of things that are very cool. I needed the flexibility, and again, it's not for everyone. But that was how God used my Dartmouth education. And now I'm on a number of boards, and I can hang out with important people. I can say my Dartmouth education has given me some credibility. But it's really only been in the last year or two that even anyone at the Eleazar Wheelock Society [the Christian alumni society at Dartmouth] wanted to know my story.
One time during our campus fellowship meetings, there was a question and answer session about PDA— public displays of affection. One of the questions was, “What about crushes?” And the answer was, scripture really speaks against vain imaginations. And that's so often what a crush is—it's a vain imagination. It is not based in reality. You see something—you see the outward appearance, and you're making assumptions, whether it's a rock star or a model. But basically, it's a vain imagination. So how do you combat that when
Show. And at the time, you had to go to Boston to get a radio license, because you were literally running the radio station. So, a number of the Christians had gotten approved with the radio license, but they were recruiting more people. I noticed that the guy with the red jacket was getting his radio license. And I was like, “Oh, I'm totally interested in Christian radio.” So, I went and got my license. So then I followed this guy to some meeting. On the way out, I just said, “Hey, you know, I don't know if you know who I am, but do you mind just spending a few minutes talking to me?” And he's like, “Sure, why?” And I said, “I know this was really stupid, but we had this talk and you know, the speakers said, ‘Speak the truth in love.’ And I just want to be blunt.” I said, “I've got this crush on you, and I just thought if I get to know you, then, at least I'll know whether I really do like you or not.” It took everything in me to say this. We were in front of the Nugget movie theater. I feel like I'm pouring out my life. He's real quiet. He goes, “Well, that's really interesting, because since that lecture, I've had three other letters from girls, but you're the first one to tell me in person.” I was like, “Oh
Speak the truth in love. Do not harbor vain imaginations, especially when it comes to love and marriage. you've got this vision of someone? And the answer at that particular time was, “Well, speak the truth in love.” That's another very solid Christian principle, make sure that you speak truth, and that you speak it in love. So, at the time, it made a lot of sense to me, because I had a terrible crush on this student that I did not know well, and I just kind of knew him by his red jacket. And so, some of these Christians on campus had gotten the idea of getting together a few Christian albums and maybe doing a radio show. At the time, none of the students wanted to do the midnight to 3:00 show, because they wanted to be out partying all night. So, the Dartmouth Christian Fellowship offered to take this three-hour chunk. They called it The Morning Star
my gosh.” And the crush was gone, but he gave me a lot of credit for being the only one to speak in person. I realized he's very honest, and he is not one to tell me anything that is not true. He is my husband now, and we've had a very honest, wonderful relationship for the last 39 years. But it all started with, speak the truth in love. Speak the truth in love. Do not harbor vain imaginations, especially when it comes to love and marriage. Before we got engaged, we were at a friend's wedding, and I was very busy helping with the wedding. My boyfriend wanted to take a walk, but I said, “I don't have time. I don't have time. We’re walking all these places. I need to clean up at the wedding.” And he got •
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so frustrated with me that he decided not to ask me on that walk. He was really mad. He didn't talk to me for about three weeks. Then he said, “Okay, let's take another walk. Sorry I didn't ask three weeks ago.” We ended up getting engaged down in front of the DOC house at the end of Occom Pond. I feel so passionate about the family. Just scripturally if you look at God speaking to Adam and Eve in the garden, he started with family. If you look at the book of Revelations, it's a wedding feast. But not all people are meant to be married. And I want to make sure that people hear that too, because it is a high and wonderful calling not to be called into marriage. But if you are called into marriage, it can't be the afterthought of your priorities. The one public vow we make before God and man is that marriage is a priority in our lives. But we don't act on that. We let other priorities really usurp that. When that happens, there is a shift and everybody in that relationship knows it. Those relationships are going to have to fight a whole lot harder. There is something sacred in marriage. I would love to see Dartmouth students in the future really understanding that, both male and female, that marriage is a beautiful thing. God has got a creative way of doing it with every
that you're doing it. Then if I want to do something, and even if it’s something as as silly as collecting soup labels for student council, if my husband is not going to cover me on that, I am a fool to even enter into that responsibility, because we would be divided in flesh and not one flesh. So, we instituted a policy in our marriage: (We didn't learn this for about 15 years.) Until we get the “Yes” from each other, we do not get involved in things. When you have that kind of oneness, you just see the fruitfulness that comes out of that.
At this point in our walk, I told Annie that the cover article for this issue would be “Does Prayer Matter?”So I asked for her take on the question. Does prayer work? Does prayer matter?
I would love to see Dartmouth students in the future really understand that...marriage is a beautiful thing. family. My daughter-in-law is an orthodontist. She raises four awesome children with my son, and they are a partnership. They have a wonderful nanny that helps out, but their priority is their family. It doesn't mean everybody is going to get married.
I guess the best answer is yes. But what is your definition of prayer? Is it a vending machine prayer? I've heard some people say, “Are you seeking his heart or his hands?” And is prayer is a conversation? Is it dependent on listening?
Something my husband and I learned after many years is that we are to be one flesh. What does that mean, besides getting together and having kids—or just having fun? I began to see that when he would take on responsibilities, there's a tendency for me to say, “Okay, you're going to be busy on Tuesday nights? I'll get busy on Tuesday nights. You're not going to be home? Then I'll get busy here.” Rather dividing. So, you go do your thing, make your friends, and I'll go do my thing. I started realizing that there's a oneness principle here that I have got to be so one in spirit with my husband that it's not only “You go do your thing”, but, “I'm going to be praying for you. I am invested in whatever you're doing.” I don't have to be there physically, but I have to leave margin in my heart to be glad that you're doing it, rather than just tolerating
If it’s a conversation, if it's about asking, you have to be ready for a variety of answers. So does prayer work? Absolutely. If you are willing to listen. God always answers. Does he always answer what you want him to answer now?
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On campus we saw some real miracles. There was one little girl of one of the staff members who had some kind of liver disease or something, and they went down to one of the Boston hospitals. Then we're all praying, praying, praying, and they went to surgery, and the sickness was completely gone. And we really saw these types of miracles. I guess the older I get, the more I can confidently say there is no prayer that God has not heard. I'm much
I guess the older I get, the more I can confidently say there is no prayer that God has not heard. more aware of how often I do not listen—or even look; sometimes the response is something we have to see. We have to look around and say, “Oh, he did answer that. Right.” Because he's not always going to answer audibly—but I also know sometimes he does. And I know a lot of people would never even take five minutes to be quiet and expect that he would answer in a good direction. There are so many prayers that God wants to answer. One is that “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.” That's what Jesus taught us to pray. If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask. That’s from James, and God loves to answer that prayer. “Deliver us from evil.” He loves to answer that prayer. So there are many, many, many prayers that God has already answered. He’s just waiting for us to ask, like a prayer that his kingdom would continue here on the Dartmouth campus. That's not my prayer. That's his prayer. And he lets us be part of it and speak to it. A lot of people look at prayers like co-signing a check that God already wants to cash. He's just waiting for your co-signature on it. Another answered prayer: I have had this real desire to go to Afghanistan, for 30 years. And it hasn't been able to work out for my family. And so that's been hard, and I’ve prayed, “Ok, God, how in the world can I fulfill what I feel you're calling me to do if my family is saying no?” Then God brings these two Afghan brothers into our lives. And now the whole family is no longer in Afghanistan. They're all kind of in our house, or nearby. Annie’s final story about answered prayer stunned me into silence. When my family and I went to Honduras for the first time, my husband was a family physician. We brought two big bags of medicine and our four children, ages 5, 8, 10, and 12. We are thrust into this country, where we were so stupid. I didn't speak Spanish. I was a French major at Dartmouth. My husband spoke some Spanish. We are going to these places, and we would have 200-300 people line up, and we’re handing out medicines, and the need especially 25 years ago was so overwhelming. I remember crying out to God and ust saying, “God, all we are doing is just putting BandAids on these people. We are not doing anything,
medically speaking." Again, the voice of God was so sweet. I don’t always hear His voice, but I always know it's his voice when it is so good, but it's not something I would think of. He said, “Annie think about being a little child and having a wound and somebody putting a Band-Aid on it, and for that time it feels so much better just because it’s covered. You were never going to do the healing. I am the healer. but these people are so wounded and broken that, for today, a Band-Aid is really a kind thing, and I will do the grander healing. Besides, if you want to do more, it's going to cost you a whole lot more.” On that particular mission trip, we had held out as the carrot on the stick that our kids could go to the rainforest, because they didn’t have one of those in Buffalo. One of the things we hadn't accounted for was that it rains in rainforests, and it was very slippery and wet and damp. Our 8-year-old tripped over something and cut his leg. It was gushing and bleeding. We took him to the guard who was very concerned about an American being hurt in his tourist area. My husband and the Spanish-speaking missionary reassured him. Then afterward, the guard said, "Now that I know you’re a doctor, there’s a very sick little girl in my village, and I was wondering if you could come visit her?" So this guard closes the national forest and jumps in the van with us and takes us down the hill. We pull off, and he takes us to this little house without electricity or running water. This woman brings a little girl out and they have papers that says that she's been to the doctor, but she has a congenital heart defect. She was 4 years old. There are
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no pediatric cardiologists in the country and the doctors had told the mother, “Take her home to die or pray for a miracle that somebody would take her to a place with a pediatric cardiologist.” And so they present this little girl to my husband and say, “Can you fix her?” But my husband is a family physician. He does not do pediatric cardiology. He’s like, “This would be a really good time for a miracle. We are praying, God. Show us what to do.” He says to
and we got her here. With a series of miracles, they fixed her heart. So, we were back two weeks ago, and this little girl is now 30 years old. She has an 8-year-old and a six-yearold. We had thought that maybe we were saving her for these great things. Maybe she’d be president of her country. When I found out she just wanted to live her life up on the mountain and have babies, I thought, “You saved her heart for that?” God said, “Yeah, I did.
This whole village sees this woman as a symbol of what God can do when moms pray. the mother, “We will take your papers, but we don’t do this type of work.” His first day back in his office, he has this woman who returned so he could check on her cat bite. Her first question is, “I hear you were in Honduras, did you happen to see any pediatric heart patients?” He said, “Excuse me?” She goes, “Oh don’t you remember? I work for the chief cardiologist at Children’s Hospital. He loves to do international kids. He’s worked with kids in Honduras, so when I heard you were there, I was wondering if you ran into any of our kids." He said, "No, but we have this other one." Within three months this little girl got down off her mountain with no passport and no birth certificate,
But you don't know the end of the story.” We were able to do a clinic there 25 years later. Because of her heart condition, her lungs were like those of a 20-year smoker. So, when they fixed her heart, they thought her lungs were going to implode. So, the missionaries taught us how to make chimneys out of coffee cans. Almost all the houses now have chimneys. This whole village has better health. This whole village knows this miracle. This whole village sees this woman as a symbol of what God can do when moms pray.
I asked Annie what she would like to say to Dartmouth students who are ready to see God move in a big way on campus. We really did pray that we would see a continual legacy of students who know and love God and who grow and have a purpose. We prayed that it would happen for generations on this campus. Does he want you to do well and to influence many people? Absolutely. Why else would he have created you? He’s given you a brain, and he’s given you an amazing education. He’s given you contacts. Does he want us to be totally insular? Absolutely not. That's so counter to his word. He wants us to be engaged. Sometimes, does God have a different plan than the traditional plan that Dartmouth sets out for you, or corporate recruiting sets out for you, or your parents set out for you, or your guidance counselors have set out for you? Absolutely. And that's where you walk and talk with God. Ask for direction for your life that day—that week. He cares about those things. The Bible says that wisdom from above is, first of all, peaceable and pure and humble. I very wrongly had
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this sense of, “We are God's chosen on this campus. And he loves us more, and we have a fuller understanding than anybody that came before us or will come after,” and that just changed in my heart, so that I say, “I have a purpose and a plan, because he has placed me here and I am just a part of his plan.”
Images Natalie Marie Mendolia, May 2017. Darley Sackitey, September 2019.
And it's not even a four-year plan. It is a 250-year plan. I just find that so freeing on the one hand: It's not all on your shoulders. You are riding on 250 years of prayer. But should you stop, you will let go of the chain. So, it's very important that there is always a remnant, and hopefully an in increasing presence, because that is what changes the world. Then we need to embrace humility. We've come, hopefully, to a time where Christians understand that, yes, we battle the world, but we don't battle as the world battles. We don't battle with abrasiveness. We courageously embody compassion. We embody hospitality. We embody a listening position that applauds, celebrates, and embraces those with broken stories, stories that can be redeemed, renewed, restored, and revived. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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Why Chastity Is Feminist: What Christianity Gets Right About Sex
by Maura Cahill
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by Maura Cahill
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In the Western world post-sexual revolution, the anticipated markers of sexual emancipation have been largely fulfilled. Feminism in the latter half of the twentieth century promised to lift archaic sexual prohibitions, liberate women through the increasing availability of contraception, normalize nudity and pornography, and relax social taboos on sex outside of marriage; in short, it offered total sexual freedom. For the most part, the past century has seen that promise of freedom fulfilled: restrictions on sexuality have exponentially decreased, extramarital sex is not so much common as it is expected, and due to the prevalence
has notliberated liberatedwomen womenfrom fromit.it.Instead Instead of realizing has not of realizing the the promised sexual freedom, modern secular sexualpromised sexual freedom, modern secular sexuality has ity has continued to objectify by turning their continued to objectify womenwomen by turning their bodies bodies into tools of consumption. Sexual objectificainto tools of consumption. Sexual objectification tionexpressed is expressed most explicitly the modern modern world world is most explicitly ininthe through the the usage usageofofpornography, pornography,which which nathrough byby its its nature ture separates the sexual act from the bodily and spiriseparates the sexual act from the bodily and spiritual tual of two persons. While While pornography pornography may may unionunion of two persons. portray narratives and interpersonal relationships portray narratives and interpersonal relationships to to aa limited degree, ultimately porn places the individual limited degree, ultimately porn places the individual sexual sexual pleasure pleasure of of the the viewer viewer above above representation representation of of personhood and the perpersonhood andrelationships. relationships.Consequently, Consequently, the son who becomes thetheobject person who becomes objectofofsexualization sexualization isis used used
When an amoral approach towards sex is adopted by an individualistic and materialistic society, sexuality is transformed into a tool of consumption. of artificial birth control, sex is for the most part divorced from the act of procreation. Yet in the face of a “liberated approach” to sexuality, complications have arisen. Women face threats not merely in spite of secular attitudes towards sex, but rather because of them. Although the sexual revolution has certainly brought unprecedented freedom to a previously private and socially regulated sphere, the extent of this “liberation” has not necessarily contributed to human flourishing. By promoting a hyper-sexualized culture with few guidelines and even fewer moral limitations, our society has cultivated an attitude towards sex that holds personal desire as the ultimate good, and one that objectifies human beings, particularly women, rather than valuing their inherent dignity and worth. In this paper, I will argue that while secular society promotes a limited and often harmful understanding of sexuality, Christian chastity offers a viable and holistic approach which elevates the human person and better aligns with the purported feminist aim of equality of the sexes.
COMMODIFICATION AND OBJECTIFICATION When it comes to sex, modern secularism upholds only one consistent ethical tenet: consent of both (adult) parties. However, modern feminist critiques such as the #MeToo movement point to the need for a greater sexual ethic beyond consent. The consent criterion is particularly limiting because it does not adequately address the issue of sexual objectification, or the skewed perception of the body as a sexual object. While objectification has been a feminist concern throughout history, the sexual revolution
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and thethe source of another’s pleaand thereby therebyperceived perceivedas as source of another’s sure rather than recognized as a holistic individual. pleasure rather than recognized as a holistic individual. While thebiologically biologicallyharmful harmfuleffects effects porn usage While the of of porn usage are i are concerning , it is more alarmingly insidious on a i concerning , it is more alarmingly insidious on a societal societal level. Besides the harmful of sexual violevel. Besides the harmful risks risks of sexual violence lence against women in the production of porn, statisagainst women in the production of porn, statistics tics consumptionofof pornography pornography can can showshow thatthat thetheconsumption fundamentally alter how men perceive women. Men fundamentally alter how men perceive women. Men
who frequently watch porn or other sexually explicit material are statistically more likely to view women as sex objects, and a causal link has been proven to connect frequent male porn use with greater objectification of women.ii As I will discuss further in the article, a prominent feminist school of thought has fought the acceptance of pornography and prostitution because of the harm it does to women. When an amoral approach towards sex is adopted by an individualistic and materialistic society, sexuality is transformed into a tool of consumption: exchange of pleasure is often valued over relationships between persons. Sex permeates every aspect of consumption in the Western world. Commercials, advertisements, movies, musical performances, art, books, TV shows, and social media posts are all designed to appeal to sexual desire and to stimulate the (generally) male gaze. While objectification of men has also been on the rise in marketing, media, and adult entertainment, sexual objectification is for the most part a female experience. Objectification has threatened women across the globe in countless ways since
tion, body image issues, and disordered eating among women.iv While sex radicals might argue that women’s freedom to use their bodies as they wish might outweigh the possible negatives of self-objectification, the mental and physical toll of self-objectification presents compelling evidence that it does not lead to human flourishing. Just as the secular world has promoted the self-objectification of women in the wake of the sexual revolution, so too has “emancipation” encouraged male objectification of women. While artificial contraception freed sexuality from the constraints of marriage, the destigmatization of extramarital sex has fostered an attitude of entitlement for men. As instances of sex outside of marriage have exponentially increased, many men have learned to view sex as a an easily available commodity and women as the means of satisfying their physical desires. As writer David Quinn puts it, “The only sexual rule today is ‘consent’, and men have been taught that women are potentially always sexually available because that is what ‘liberation’ means.”v As seen with the rise of the incel (“invol-
[T]he sexual freedom that was supposed to guarantee women an escape from lives of objectification has merely transformed it into a different beast. time immemorial. In many countries, crusades for human rights have undoubtedly paved the way for greater equality between the sexes. However, sexual objectification has slipped under the radar of the sexual revolution and has morphed into a consumerist monster masked under the cloak of “liberation.”
FEMINISM AND OBJECTIFICATION
Criticism of the effects of the sexual revolution has long been a part of feminist discourse. In the sixties and seventies, the so-called “Feminist Sex Wars” pitted the anti-pornography, anti-prostitution feminist minority against “sex radicals” who believed sex work could be an empowering form of creative expression and legitimate work.iii Andrea Dworkin, an ex-sex worker, worked alongside Catherine McKinnon to publicize stories of sex trafficking and join the legislative push to end all pornography and prostitution. Sex radicals, on the other hand, argued that the so-called sexual objectification of women is permissible in pornography and prostitution as long as it is their choice. However, research shows that the kind of self-objectification pornography promotes is actually harmful to the well-being of women. Self-objectification leads to greater occurrences of depression, lower sexual func-
untary celibate”) movement online, many young men feel entitled to sex from women in part because of certain media (including pornography) that presents sex as a given and sexual conquest as a rite of passage for young men. Sexual objectification itself is not a new problem, but the sexual freedom that was supposed to guarantee women an escape from lives of objectification has merely transformed it into a different beast.
WHAT IS CHRISTIAN CHASTITY?
Objectification of women can only be effectively countered if it has a viable alternative. In place of modern sexuality’s promotion of objectification, Christian chastity provides a model for a sexuality centered around respect and cherishing of the dignity of the whole person. What is Christian chastity? The concept of chastity in the Christian context has been profoundly misunderstood over the years by both the secular world and by Christians themselves. The secular world perceives chastity as rigidly prudish at best and horrifically misogynist at worst, and many Christians have certainly propagated this understanding throughout history. The corrupting and pervasive influence of misogyny has infiltrated the Church as it has every aspect of human life. So-called “purity culture,”
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for example, has been used by Christians as a tool of misogyny: it is “fraught with sexism, stressing male protection of female virginity as fathers pass along “unblemished” daughters to husbands.”vi Likewise, some Christians have wrongly interpreted chastity as despising the body and promoting shame around all things sexual. However, Christian chastity in its orthodox context is neither misogynistic nor sex-hating. Christian chastity does not simply mean celibacy, nor does it promote the kind of toxic “purity culture” that holds women to a higher standard of virginity than men. Rather, chastity refers to a certain understanding and enactment of sexuality’s place within human nature. Chastity, according to Pope St. John Paul II, refers to the “successful integration of
also considers the body should not astonish or surprise anyone who is aware of the mysteryviii and reality of the Incarnation.”ix For a religion centered around the idea of God Himself taking on a human body and glorifying it as an instrument of salvation, it would be strange indeed if Christianity did not revere the human body. If God Himself became a human, body and soul, then who would dare separate the two and declare the body unclean? In defiance of sects like the Gnostics or Albigensians who believed in the wickedness of the body and material world, early orthodox Christians asserted the holiness of the body by worshipping the body of Christ itself in the celebration of the Eucharist, upholding the sacramentality of marriage, and proclaiming a future bodily resurrection of the dead, among a
Far from denigrating the flesh, Christianity has revered it as perhaps no other religion has done before. sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being.”vii Contrary to common misconceptions, chastity is not the same as virginity and can be practiced by single people, married people, and clergy. Outside of marriage, couples can engage in physical acts of affection, but sexual acts are not permitted within the bounds of chastity due to the Christian understanding of the sanctity of marriage. However, even marriage is not wholly exempt from lust and objectification; beyond the call to fidelity, Christian spouses are called to practice the virtue of chastity by refusing to use the body of the other instead of loving and respecting the whole person. Married persons, like unmarried persons, are encouraged to exercise chastity in order to cultivate love, selfcontrol, and dedication. Chastity is not simply expressed through actions like avoidance and participation in sex; chastity is also expressed in the attitudes through which one relates to the people around him or her. Through chastity, Christians are encouraged to actively acknowledge the human dignity of everyone around them and to reject the temptation to limit people to their sexual functions or bodily attributes. Thus, chastity at its core is neither misogynistic nor prudish and simply refers to the virtue of integrating body and spirit through human sexuality.
THE THEOLOGY OF THE BODY
Throughout the religion’s history, Christianity’s fascination with the human body has been expressed in various ways, from Eucharistic adoration to the consecration of clergy and sisters to a celibate life. As Pope John Paul II said, “The fact that theology
14 The Dartmouth Apologia
host of practices, doctrines, and beliefs pertaining to the body. Far from denigrating the flesh, Christianity has revered it as perhaps no other religion has done before. Christianity is unique because of its doctrine that God became flesh; if God himself took on a unified human body and human soul, then the human body and the human spirit must be intricately connected in a metaphysical way. Because Christianity holds the body in such high regard, it is not surprising that sexuality is a matter of serious theological consideration. The sexual revolution and its aftermath demanded a thorough Christian response to changing social mores surrounding sexuality and issues of the body. From September 5, 1979 to November 28, 1984, Pope John Paul II gave a series of speeches about human sexuality and marriage that were eventually compiled into a work called The Redemption of the Body and Sacramentality of Marriage, commonly known as the Theology of the Body. The Theology of the Body was not new Catholic doctrine; it was simply a compilation of biblical teaching and natural law drawn from centuries of Christian theology and philosophy and reframed for a modern audience. The pope’s speeches and writings in Theology of the Body were often intricately biblical and complex theological analyses, but the underlying message of the work was clear: human bodies are to be cherished and not used or objectified, and chastity is the foremost way to ensure love and respect of the body and the soul. According to the Christian paradigm, both men and women are made (body and soul) in the image of God Himself. They are made by God through an outpouring of pure, self-giving, and procreative love. The body in the sexual act, as Pope John Paul explains,
participates in a similar kind of selfless love, “reveals the living soul,” and is offered as a gift. Sex is an imitative “gift of mutual giving,” x an act so intimate and sacred that it binds two bodies and souls together in a remarkable way. The body-as-gift paradigm stands in direct opposition to the dominant ethos of our day: hypersexualization and its result, objectification. Christianity has always promoted chastity as an alternative to objectification, but historically objectification was called by the name “lust.” Lust is defined according to the Catholic Church as the “disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure.”xi This disorder is expressed, as Pope John Paul II explains, when desire for the body overcomes self-giving love of the whole person. Lust, he says, “in a way… depersonalizes man, making him an object ‘for the other.’ Instead of being ‘together with the other’—a subject in unity, in the sacramental unity of the body—man becomes an object for man, the female for the male and vice versa.”xii Chastity, on the other hand, fosters true unity by recognizing the sanctity of the body and its relationship with the soul, recognizing that the purpose of sex is not to use another body to receive pleasure but rather to give and receive selfless love. Chastity in practice is the virtue through which a human being places sex in the context of marital love and commitment instead of trying to isolate its physicality. In a world of constant female objectification, chastity offers an alternative lifestyle in which both men and women hold each other to a high standard of mutual respect and recognize that the body and spirit are inextricably connected.
procreation, the unification of bodies becomes literal when one child is born from two persons. Sexuality is an integral part of a healthy marriage; through sexual intercourse, Pope John Paul says, spouses express through their bodies the verbal choice they made to become one flesh in their marriage vows.xv Outside of marriage, the bodily unification of sex lacks a corresponding metaphysical reality, and sex becomes more material than holistic. According to this paradigm, the physical connotations of sex should mirror the metaphysical, and without marriage—without that
Chastity...offers women a legitimately empowering lifestyle in which sex...is love for the whole person. WHY MARRIAGE?
According to Christian doctrine, marriage is the proper channel through which sexual desire can be harnessed and used to strengthen love. Marriage entails a sacred, life-long commitment to another person. In the Christian paradigm, this commitment is not just a legal contract but rather an indissoluble unification of two people, a bond so intimate that two become one. The two parties retain their personhood and individuality, but they are joined in a way that is permanent; in Genesis, Adam exemplifies this when he calls Eve “flesh of my flesh,”xiii which Jesus affirms in the New Testament when he says, “They are no longer two, but one flesh.”xiv In the sexual act, this metaphorical unification becomes a physical reality. Through
binding commitment — the physical is not backed up by a metaphysical reality. Because marriage is an absolute, sacred commitment, no other commitment can imitate divine self-giving love as well as marriage does. Because sex imitates that self-giving love, it can only fully contribute to human flourishing within the sphere of marriage. Thus, true Christian chastity offers a viable understanding of sexuality that limits sexual objectification by celebrating the holistic person.
Unlike the current ambiguity of sexual ethics, Christian chastity rejects objectification by recognizing the integral link between the body and the soul. While modern sexual morality does not specify a positive good or stress a holistic integration of the body •
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recognizing the integral link between the body and the soul. While modern sexual morality does not specify a positive good or stress a holistic integration of the body and the whole person, chastity promotes a sexuality rooted in a divine selfgiving love and mutual respect. Despite the revolutionary effects of the sexual revolution, modern manifestations of sexuality have merely redistributed the oppression of women and have not adequately responded to the problem of sexual objectification. Chastity and the Christian understanding of sexuality offer women a legitimately empowering lifestyle in which sex is seen not as a male entitlement or tool of consumption but as a metaphysical union and an expression of love for the whole person. Christian chastity is not â€œsexshamingâ€? but sex-valuing; it is not anti-feminist but rather elevates the woman by liberating her from objectification.
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Park, Brian, Gary Wilson, Jonathan Berger, Matthew Christman, Bryn Reina, Frank Bishop, Warren Klam, and Andrew Doan. "Is Internet pornography causing sexual dysfunctions? A review with clinical reports." Behavioral Sciences 6, no. 3 (2016): 17. ii. Peter, Jochen, and Patti M. Valkenburg. “Adolescents’ Exposure to Sexually Explicit Material on the Internet.” Communication Research 33, no. 2 (April 2006): 178–204. iii. Comella, Lynn. "Revisiting the Feminist Sex Wars." Feminist Studies 41, no. 2 (2015): 437-62. iv. Tiggemann, Marika, and Elyse Williams. “The Role of Self-Objectification in Disordered Eating, Depressed Mood, and Sexual Functioning Among Women: A Comprehensive Test of Objectification Theory.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 36, no. 1 (March 2012): 66–75. v. Quinn, David. “Lost in the Maze of Sexual Morality.” The Times, (December 31 2017). vi. Kelly, Conor. "2012 Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza New Scholar Award First-Place Winner: Sexism in Practice: Feminist Ethics Evaluating the Hookup Culture." Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 28, no. 2 (2012): 27-48. vii. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2337. viii. The Incarnation refers to the phenomenon of God becoming man through the person of Jesus Christ. ix. John Paul II. The Redemption of the Body and the Sacramentality of Marriage (Theology of the Body) (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2005), 59. x. John Paul II, 37. xi. Catechism, 2351. xii. John Paul II 83. xiii. Genesis 2:23 (NABRE). xiv. Matthew 19:6 (NABRE). xv. John Paul II, 292. i.
Images White Lily Flower by Trina Snow, April 6, 2018. Gray Wooden Paper Decor by Francesco Paggiaro. Man and Woman Holding Hands by Andres Chaparro. Person Holding Hands by Pixabay, December 21, 2019.
Maura Cahill ’20 is from Wayne, New Jersey. She is an English and Government major.
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Early Christianity and the Stoic Tradition An Historical Exploration
by Jacob Wesley Dell 18 The Dartmouth Apologia
While Jesus brought undeniable ideological turmoil to first century Palestine, a complete understanding of the growth of early church philosophy must acknowledge the influence of Stoicism, which helped focus the thoughts of early Christians even as they sought to carve their own niche. Jesus’ inversion of social structures and rejection of ingrained order are the central themes of the Gospel of Mark and appear throughout the New Testament. Jesus is the head of the faith, but this textual emphasis may often dominate our thinking on how intellectual Christianity developed without allowing for more context. But neither Jesus’ arrival nor the ways in which he fulfilled the prophecies of the Scriptures were the only contribution to the rise of Christianity. Amid persecution and uncertainty, Stoicism and other secular philosophies served to protect, ground, and legitimize Christian ideology. Without this link to the universally credible, early Christianity would likely have suffered from greater inconsistencies among teachers. Fewer intellectuals would have been drawn to Christian principles. Most significant is the lack of clarity and conviction that likely would have plagued New Testament writers and other church fathers, leaving us without the sure-footed theology and admonitions that undergird our understanding of Christianity. Without giving rise to a syncretic mess, Stoicism helped facilitate the intellectual development of Christianity in the years after Jesus’ death and left only faint textual traces.
treated as a deity, youth and the wisdom of such a mentor may be the only checks on one’s madness. Nero is well-known as a sour emperor whose unrestrained onslaught on Christianity tore early believers to pieces. From the gladiatorial arena to the spheres of politics, he was a prime persecutor, making sport of Christians’ suffering and exploiting their unpopularity publicly.ii Stoicism, and Stoics themselves, likely shielded Christians from such tyranny during Nero’s earlier years. Stoics declare “that the wise man should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submissive to natural law,” according to Merriam-Webster. Seneca would have abhorred the passion that led Nero to his persecutory rage. With Seneca at the emperor’s side, the fledgling religion flourished for a time and established itself throughout the empire. Persecution existed, but Nero’s later hatred has no rival. Before Seneca’s writings made their way into church consciousness, Stoicism indirectly gave Christianity space to take hold. The growth of Christian communities during and after Nero’s persecution may have been slowed or quashed for generations if not for this grace. Stoicism did not filter into Christian writings until later, but Stoics made a positive impact on those who would write in Christians’ behalf. Seneca’s actions as a tutor to Nero may not have been apparent to the Christian community in the first century, but his influence could be felt later. Whether he was even visible in that capacity is doubtful. Christians would not have been looking for role
Stoicism and other secular philosophies served to protect, ground, and legitimize Christian ideology. The relationship between Stoicism and Christianity did not begin in a time of peace for all, but the advantageous position of one Stoic philosopher suggests a reason for the alignment. Imagine: it is less than thirty years since Jesus’ death, and Nero reigns over Rome. His brutality toward Christians leaves them defenseless within the Empire. Those who peacefully adhere to Jesus’ teachings and seek to grow their communities flounder. It hardly takes an ancient sage to remember when times were better: believers gathered in peace and traveled freely. What accounts for the change? Allow for the introduction of Seneca, one of the most prominent Stoics and a member of the postHellenic wave. He was a member of the royal household when Nero was younger.i Could his tranquil disposition have tempered Nero’s whim? The minimalist, self-improvement-focused philosophy to which Seneca adhered must have calmed this violently inclined regent. When one expects to be
models outside of church leadership, the Apostles, and Jesus himself, knowing that they were to be separate from the pagan and secular world (Romans 12:2). But writers like Paul were aware of important contemporary scholarship like Stoicism: as the church fathers sought to build up their early following and begin to lay down apologetic frameworks, some of them leaned on Seneca and his philosophy even as they drew on Platonic and Jewish traditions.iii, iv The notion of the Stoics—and even of Hellenic philosophers like Plato—being a major influence on the writing of the canonical New Testament is somewhat controversial in Christian orthodoxy. Verses like 2 Timothy 3:16 make clear that “Scripture” ( ) is a product of God’s inspiration ( ). But Athenian Christians had adopted Platonic soul imagery by the sixth century,v suggesting that early believers could set aside qualms to embrace existing Classical philosophy. There is no need to exclude all earthly re-
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sources from contribution to the Bible. Neither should we discount the principle of . Rather, as we examine the interactions of early first millennium philosophies, their contemporaneity and sympathetic viewpoints should suggest how human interpretation
marketability to a pagan audience since Stoicism itself sprang from Greek and Roman communities. It is important to place Stoicism within its proper context as a Hellenic and post-Hellenic philosophy of the turn of the millennium and the Greek
Christians capitalized on proximity to help grow their communities by reaching out to enthusiastic Gentiles. comes to overlay the basic tenets throughout available texts. Stoicism and Christianity had enough in common that widely respected Stoic language could validate Christian ideas and render them more understandable. For our purposes, Stoicism will be the focal point of post-Hellenic philosophy and early Christian influence. It was likely the greatest extra-Jewish influence on the early church,vi and as the Platonic thought of Classical antiquity faded from novelty, Stoicism gained traction. This popularity helped guide church fathers to a better understanding of how to disseminate their ideas in a culturally relevant manner. But before discussing intellectual exchange, it is valuable to acknowledge the position of Christianity in the Mediterranean world of the first century. The relationships between Jews and Gentiles varied greatly, from brotherhood to agonism. Some early Christian communities showed tolerance toward the Gentiles (Galatians 3:28), while some drew more heavily on their Jewish heritage to uphold the ancient opposition between Jews and others.vii Amiable mutual relationships were also far from nonexistent: whole secular kingdoms gave official status to Christianity without vilifying Gentiles or nonbelievers by the early fourth century.viii There was sometimes a sense of forced cooperation, since Gentiles were firmly planted in Hebrew cities long before Jesus arrived,ix but many Christians capitalized on this proximity to help grow their communities by reaching out to enthusiastic Gentiles. Jewish Christians in the first century may have been actively seeking to include Gentiles in their new churches. The letters of Paul—which, along with all biblical references here, serve as context-rich primary sources in exploring influences on Christianity— address Gentiles and demonstrate an ethnic mix and culture-crossing elements in newly planted churches.x Not all was well, though, as 1 Corinthians 11:18-19 indicates that schisms plagued the church, perhaps due to social incongruency.xi Gentile philosophy stood to help heal the divisions and turn the church’s diversity into an asset—Christian doctrine could be grounded in the familiar. Stoic philosophy enhanced Scripture’s
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and Roman Empires. This outlook of imperturbability gained importance when Rome overtook Athens as the seat of government in the known world and that ancient forum no longer dominated all spheres of thought.xii Platonic ideas still reigned, but only partially overshadowed the strong Stoic current in later philosophy.xiii The Stoic streams of the Pauline epistles suggest that a Roman Stoic dogma was well-developed by the latter portion of the first century, when it would xiv make its way into the burgeoning Christian tradition. To explore the continuity between the Stoics and the earliest Christian texts, one comes first to both Christian ethics and the interactions among Christians and pagans in first-century Rome. “Benefaction” or “beneficence” is the principle of gift-giving, generosity, and benevolence; Seneca and Paul seem to share large portions of their views on the topic. Seneca’s teaching was certainly accessible to Paul as the apostle traveled and ruminated: Seneca was of the previous generation and enjoyed the high profile and good repute of the emperor’s employ.xv Paul’s and Seneca’s treatment of benefaction in their personal lives and in their general literature seem to mirror one another, but the direction of influence is unclear.xvi In fact, the earlier writings of Aristotle and Thucydides could receive credit for swaying both later scholars’ opinions. As for substance, Seneca and Paul both endorse benefaction as inherently good; since there is actual benefit derived from giving, no reciprocity is necessary. They embrace benefaction as its own virtue and encourage others to shy from glory-seeking competition.xvii Paul’s messages concerning generosity toward the poor reflect the teaching that Seneca imparted. His epistles were also more compelling to pagans because these concepts match, with the help of Seneca’s influence, popular Gentile thought on the subject. Another nexus connecting the two ideologies is language. Rome was pervaded by Stoicism at the time of the Paul’s writing, making a Stoic tack highly valuable as the New Testament authors attempted to reach a Gentile audience.xviii Stoic and Pauline writing share styles of treating ethical issues: Paul appeals to the (humans) and (God) dynamic
of Stoic rhetoric and the concern for φιλανθρωπία (clemency and humanity) shared by Seneca.xix Ethics are among the most basic principles governing any person’s conduct, so it is significant that their linguistic details in Paul’s authoritative writing line up so well with those of the Stoic mainstream. Ethical instruction strikes at the core of how an individual treats those around him or her, and these interactions belie the philosophy by which the individual lives. That direct relationship gives a special weight to language similari-
root and that reason unifies the existence of all people highlights the value of equality to the philosophy.xxi The Pauline household codes echo the standard of fair and just treatment of slaves that Stoics promoted.xxii Christian propagation of these tenets to others likely would have been more difficult if Gentile scholars like Seneca had not set a precedent for their sensibility. The evidence for connection is not isolated to Paul here. Christian scholars and influencers long after the Apostle invoked Seneca’s ideas about slavery—some change
Th[e] direct relationship [between ethics and general philosophy] gives a special weight to language similarities among change agents’ writings when the authors deal with ethical imperatives. ties among change agents’ writings when the authors deal with ethical imperatives. A third significant juncture in linking Stoicism with Christianity: they share divergence from Aristotle concerning slavery. The ancient Hellenic philosopher argued for a difference in nature between slaves and masters that renders slavery indispensable. xx While Stoics and Christians alike fail to promote unequivocal freedom across all humanity as we would like to see in the modern West, the clear articulation in Stoicism that all humans proceed from the same basic
agents went so far as to suggest manumission for slaves. These striking similarities, almost all of which break egregiously from Platonic and Aristotelian standards, solidify the connection between Christianity and Stoicism. Epictetus, a Stoic contemporary of later apostolic writers, delineated his own philosophy in such a way that highlights Stoic influence in, for instance, the recommendation of thriving in a given social position without envy of higher ranks.xxiv But analysis of any ancient philosophy must acknowledge that there were no word processors or
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Internet connections to disseminate information. The picture of Stoic-Christian connection handed down to the modern generation could be blurrier than it began because of the nature of communication. In order to understand the transfer of Christian and Stoic ideas among their respective communities and beyond, it is important to address the modes by which this was accomplished: oral and written traditions shared importance.xxv Oral messages and written texts depended on one another and could each contribute to understanding of the same passage. Since the culture of the time relied on oral transmission,xxvi preservation relied on scribes or others who would commit to gathering and using the resources necessary for transcription.xxvii Authors in the first century AD, then, would likely have interacted with one another through hearing each otherâ€™s scholarship read aloud or recited from memory, and even reading would not have been infallible as written sources came merely from copying down the words spoken by a messenger. The discrepThe discrepancies in philosophy between any two likeminded parties could have been due in part to each group having to fill in for themselves the gaps left by imperfect transmission of a text.xxviii Perhaps the oral tradition of the ancient world contributed to the differences in Stoics and Christians. But Stoicism and
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Christianity were both preserved in their effect on subsequent generations of Christian thinkers, and we can see their intertwining today. While we cannot perfectly recreate the philosophical climate of the first century, the intersection of Stoicism and Christianity is worth investigation. There is unfortunately no guarantee that Paul or any early Christians consciously drew on specific Stoic writings. But it is apparent that an ideological exchange led to significant influence on the manner in which Christians applied their intellect to their theology. The relationship matters because our knowledge of Stoicism can inform our understanding of church history. When we study the ideological climate in which Christianity matured, we can start with Stoicism as a secular value system through which the Gentile world could more easily accept the faith of Christian Jews. As we do not exegete in a vacuum, Scriptural authors did not disseminate in a vacuum, and context that surrounded them help us see their influences more clearly.
Donfried, Karl P., and Peter Richardson, editors. Judaism and Christianity in First-Century Rome. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1998 at 202. ii. Tabbernee, William, editor. Early Christianity in Contexts: An Exploration across Cultures and Continents. Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2014 at 390. iii. Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth, editor. Aspects of Religious Propaganda in Judaism and Early Christianity. University of Notre Dame Press, 1976 at 99. iv. Rasimus, Tuomas, et al., editors. Stoicism in Early Christianity. Hendrickson Publishers, 2010 at 4. v. Tabbernee, 337. vi. Rasimus, Tuomas, et al., editors. Stoicism in Early Christianity. Hendrickson Publishers, 2010 at vii. vii. Sim, David C. and James S. McLaren, editors. Attitudes to Gentiles in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. Bloomsbury, 2015 at 250. viii. Tabbernee, 9-10. ix. Donfried, 119. x. Sim, 149. xi. Tabbernee, 7. xii. Rasimus, 2. xiii. Rasimus, 3. xiv. Rasimus, 9. xv. Joubert, Stephan. “‘Homo reciprocus:’ Seneka, Paulus en weldoenerskap.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, vol. 55, no. 4, Dec. 1999, pp. 1022–38 at 1024. xvi. Joubert, pp. 1022–38 at 1023. xvii. Joubert, pp. 1022–38 at 1025-1026, 1029, 1031. xviii. Rasimus, 19. xix. Rasimus, 27. xx. Rasimus, 152. xxi. Rasimus, 155-156. xxii. Rasimus, 166. xxiii. Rasimus, 153. xxiv. Rasimus, 45. xxv. Achtemeier, Paul J. “Omne Verbum Sonat: The New Testament and the Oral Environment of Late Western Antiquity.” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 109, no. 1, 1990, pp. 3–27 at 7. xxvi. Achtemeier, pp. 3–27 at 10. xxvii. Achtemeier, pp. 3–27 at 12. xxviii. McDonald, Lee Martin, and James H. Charlesworth, editors. “Non-Canonical” Religious Texts in Early Judaism and Early Christianity. T & T Clark, 2012 at 165. i.
Images Church Interior by Francesco Ungaro. Sculpture of Aristotle by Couleur. Crucifix on Top of Bible by Pixabay.
Jacob Wesley Dell ’22 is from Colchester, VT. He plans to major in Biophysical Chemistry with a minor in French.
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Does Prayer Matter? Examining an Iconic Religious Tradition
24 The Dartmouth Apologia
by Andrea Jenkins
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In 2014, according to a Pew Research Center poll, 55% of Americans prayed daily, 16% prayed weekly, 6% prayed monthly, and 23% never or almost never prayed. Of different religious groups, the num-
bers of people that prayed varied greatly, from 20% of religiously unaffiliated people praying daily to 90% of Jehovah’s Witnesses.i It is clear that prayer is common regardless of religious affiliation, which is surprising. Why are non-religious people praying, and to whom or what are they praying? No one is surprised to hear about the high percentages of Evangelical Protestants and Muslims that pray, but two-fifths of non-religious Americans pray at least monthly. This means that, in the most non-religious environments in America, more than one out of five people are praying daily, and another one out of five are praying weekly or monthly. When we consider both religious and non-religious en-
worst, a crutch for those that need a safety blanket. When someone prays, either nothing changes and people cling to the idea that prayer is a “feel-good” activity, or something appears to happen and this “answering of prayers” is explained to be coincidental and not due to divine intervention. To determine the value of prayer, many begin by asking, “Does prayer change anything?” If someone prays for a job, will he get it? If someone does pray for a job and is hired the next day, or even the next hour, did she receive that job because she prayed? Can prayer really make the blind see? Can someone receive healing for a chronic health issue solely because he or someone else prayed? If someone receives healing after praying and it can be explained scientifically, would it have happened whether or not she prayed? If someone prays for healing or for money or for anything, and he doesn’t receive it, why? In our age of facts and scientific research, these questions have been examined through studies exploring the effectiveness of supplicative prayers—prayers requesting God’s intervention in some aspect of the person’s or another’s life. The results of these studies have been mixed—one study examined complications and major events in patients that had recently had
Prayer is thought to be, at best, a nice placebo to boost a person's happiness and, at worst, a crutch for those that need a safety blanket. vironments across the country, two in four Americans are praying daily, and another one in four are praying at least monthly. With these statistics in mind, it is worth exploring why prayer is so common and why there might be a natural inclination toward prayer. Although a high percentage of people pray, prayer is often perceived as silly and ineffective in the grand scheme of life. Prayer is thought to be, at best, a nice placebo to boost a person’s happiness and, at
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a specific heart surgery, and the act of praying itself had no significant effects, but patients that were aware they were being prayed for had an increased number of complications,ii while another study found that cardiac patients that were prayed for had objective health benefits.iii In addition to these, a study of breast cancer patients that prayed for several months and reported on their mental state revealed that prayer had a positive impact on the patients’ mental health.iv This last study,
however, could be explained as a placebo effect, which may mean that the prayer is only a means for people to make themselves feel happier. These mixed results indicate that, at least some of the time, supplicative prayers go unanswered. Critics of biblical prayer can easily use this to denounce passages of Scripture that promise prayers will be answered. While it may be true that some supplicative prayers go unanswered, these results cannot determine the value of prayer for a simple reason: Supplicative requests are not the sum and substance of biblical prayer. The question, “Does prayer change anything?”, while worth exploring, ignores the complexity and richness of prayer as it is outlined in the Bible.
and Intimacy with God, prayer is not “merely a way to get things from God but...a way to get more of God himself.”vi Keller offers many definitions of prayer in his book, but this one is the most relevant to emphasize that supplicative prayer only scratches the surface of prayer on the whole. To “get more of God” may be a higher concern than getting a job or even healing the sick, in the grand scheme of life. So if prayer is larger than merely requesting services from God, does that mean there are different types of prayer? Different types of prayer are not categorized explicitly in the Bible, but the Bible does reference prayer in different contexts and Biblical scholars have noted these differences and divided prayer into
The examples of answered prayer in the Bible mock the person who waits for a response. So, what is prayer, and does it really matter? What is it meant to be? When we pray for things, does it matter if we receive those things or not? These are questions we should ask in order to understand the full purpose of prayer. But questions regarding the tangible outcomes of prayer do not give a full picture of what prayer really is, nor do they prove whether or not prayer is valuable. If we look to the Bible and its scholars to determine what prayer is, we find that prayer is more than a tool that people can use to get what they want—or what they think they need.
WHAT IS PRAYER?
Prayer is a common practice in many religions around the world and throughout religious history. Prayer is defined as an address (such as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought.v Religious traditions often have different practices and purposes for prayer. Prayer, in the Christian sense of the word, is communication with a personal God. In the Bible, we see examples of prayers and instructions from Jesus Christ on how to pray. As Tim Keller, Christian pastor and theologian, states in his book Prayer: Experiencing Awe
different categories, though the common lists are not concrete nor extensive. These categories are helpful, as long as we do not forget that all prayers still fit in the basic definition. In the Bible we see both instructions on how to pray, such as in New Testament letters, and examples of people praying, such as in the Psalms or the Gospels. These verses help categorize some types of prayer, which are:vii prayers of adoration, which are praises for any good that God has accomplished, from God’s impact on the life of the one praying to God’s creation of the world;viii prayers of confession, in which the one praying expresses his or her sins to God and asks for forgiveness;ix prayers of thanksgiving, which
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are similar to prayers of adoration but focus on the gratitude of the one praying;x prayers of lament, in which the one praying tells of their sufferings, mourns, and sometimes wrestles with God;xi prayers of supplication, which can include requests for healing, forgiveness, tangible gifts, or relationships (supplicative prayer can also be split into intercessory prayer, as in prayer for others, and petitionary prayer, as in prayer for oneself );xi and prayers of invocation, which are similar to prayers of supplication and may be considered to have more of a focus on God’s power and presence. xiii These different types of prayer certainly have hazy boundaries, such as supplication versus invocation or thanksgiving versus adoration. On top of these types of prayer, many Christians recite prayers that are in the Bible, such as certain Psalms or the Lord’s Prayer. When we ask whether or not prayer matters, it is important to consider all these types of prayer. Most cannot be measured by a tangible outcome, but are just as critical in the biblical narrative, whether demonstrated in the Psalms by a Jew such as King David, before Christ came to earth, or the Gospels by Jesus Christ or others who knew him, or by Paul in one of his letters to an early church. These prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, lament, and more are beneficial to people in indeterminable yet not discountable ways, serving to connect people with a personal God “as a way to get more of God himself.”
While we have noted that the purpose of prayer is not only to receive something, it is still mysterious, even suspicious, that prayers go unanswered— both when a tangible outcome is expected and hoped for, and when God is silent after confessions and laments. In the Bible, we see many examples of people asking God for help and God giving them what they asked for because they asked for it.xiv We see instructions in the New Testament claiming that requests to God will be answered. Matthew 21:22 (ESV), a quote
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from Jesus, reads, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Jesus gives a similar instruction again in John 15:7 (ESV), “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” That God answers prayers is reiterated in many places throughout the New Testament, such as John 14:13-14, 1 John 5:1415, and 1 John 3:22.xv God invites his followers to pray to him, cast their anxieties upon him, ask for things, and all will be given to them. In our modern time, people, even people that have been Christian for years, are outraged when prayers are not answered, whether that prayer is for a baby, inner peace, the healing of a loved one, wisdom, or anything at all. The examples of answered prayer in the Bible mock the person who waits for a response. But what is not often discussed are the examples of unanswered prayers in the Bible, and the connection between prayer and God’s plan. Some of the best examples of God’s silence in the Bible are in Job and Psalms. The Book of Job follows Job, an upright, innocent man in the eyes of God who loses most of his family and possessions and cries out to God. He accuses God of being silent to his suffering, and his friends wrongly believe he is being punished for wickedness. Several Psalms echo this dynamic—lamenting to God, desiring God, and feeling as though he is not responding.xvi These parts of the Bible where God is silent are either not well known or are well known but not considered when interrogating the definition of prayer. If prayer is communication with God, then God’s silence in Job and the Psalms has to be a clue to the nature of prayer. While the examples of answered prayer may mock the person waiting for a response from God, these examples can serve to ease the suspicions of that person. Perhaps silence is not always out of character for the Christian God. But if that is so, then what is the purpose of his silence, and why do some prayers stay unanswered indefinitely? Augustine wrote a letter to a wealthy Roman widow name Proba in the year 412, explaining his considerations on prayer.xvii Timothy Keller summarizes Augustine’s letter in four points: First, in order to pray well, the Christian must recognize how desolate he is in this world, no matter his riches or lack thereof, knowing that true glory is in Christ; second, the Christian should pray for her life so her priorities are straight (meaning she cares first about following God and second that her life serves to honor God, instead of first going to God only to receive what she wants through prayer as a transactional duty); third, the
Christian should check prayers alongside the Lord’s Prayer, which is found in the Gospels and believed to encompass multiple types of prayer in one poetic piece; and fourth, the Christian will never fully understand what to pray for and how to pray.xviii Augustine’s letter on prayer connects into a full circle, his final point being that the Christian must admit, as Romans 8:26 (ESV) says, “We know not what to pray for as we ought,” which connects well with the first point of our utter desolation regardless of our prosperity or lack thereof. Augustine recognizes that, in difficult circumstances, “we pray, with a desire which is common to mankind, that they may be removed from us,” even though elsewhere in the Bible it is claimed that trials and struggles strengthen our relationship with God.xix This is a sobering example of a reason why prayers may not be answered: Due to lacking full understanding, the Christian may pray to God according to human desires that are not lined up with God’s plan. That reasoning is easy to apply to some prayers, but trying to use it for all prayer sidesteps the issue of God’s silence. Another explanation for unanswered prayer is that some prayers aren’t answered yet. If a person prays that his her son will be healed, she may feel dejected in a month or even a year when he is not. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
I laid the foundation of the earth?” and “Will you even put me in the wrong? / Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?”xx He describes the complexity of the natural world and the universe, and the effect on Job is profound—he realizes that God has a perspective that operates at a scale beyond any human’s. If this is true, then God hears all prayers, but his response may be incomprehensible to man. However, that does not indicate that he is volatile or insensitive—it means that he is considering a reality that we, as limited beings, cannot fully grasp.
Prayer is a regular part of life for many people, even people that don’t claim a religion. Despite the commonality of prayer, popular culture describes it as silly or merely a placebo.xxi Yet because of the surpris-
The Bible illustrates that God, being wise and all-powerful, uses time to its maximum potential. The Bible illustrates that God, being wise and all-powerful, uses time to its maximum potential. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV) states, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven[.]” Prayers do not have expiration dates, and each one can be fulfilled at a time that God deems it the most beneficial. We have considered unanswered prayers that are prayed by someone with an impure heart or that are answered at a later point in time, but what about prayers that are prayed purely and remain totally unanswered? There is one final explanation, presented in Job. At the end of Job, after Job’s friends accuse him of being wicked and Job accuses God of being unjust, God speaks to Job—breaking his silence at long last— and asks Job questions such as “Where were you when
ing pervasiveness of prayer, it is worth asking: Does prayer really matter? As we’ve seen, before we can attempt to determine the value of prayer, we must first determine what prayer is. While prayer is often described as transactional or akin to making a wish, the Bible depicts prayer as a way to get to know God and have a personal relationship with him. There are types of prayer that do involve asking God for something tangible, but there are many biblical prayers that only involve gratitude, awe, or other conversational dynamics with God. If we hold even to a slight belief that God is real, personal, and as the Bible describes him, then we can accept that certain prayers do not require a direct response from God, and by their nature serve as tools for believers to
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ates adoration, desires to help his people, knows mankind better than any other, is ultimately good and just for all creation beyond manâ€™s perspective, and is able to engage with individual people in the form of a personal relationship. Discovering God and forming a relationship with him is made possible through prayer. If this is the true purpose of prayer, then prayerâ€™s value to mankind is not only objective and real. It is immeasurable.
engage with God. While the value of prayer should not be contingent on the fulfillment of supplications, it is valid to ask why prayers go unanswered and why God goes silent at times when someone wants a response from him. There are real examples of this in the Bible, especially in Job and Psalms, to prove that this has been a felt tension since the foundation of the Judeo-Christian tradition. In Augustineâ€™s letter on prayer, his final, and perhaps most relevant, point is that the Christian never fully knows how to pray or what to pray for. This is one rationale for why prayers can be unanswered: the (not necessarily ill-intentioned) ignorance on the part of the one praying. It can be easy to take this rationale and use it to dodge the issue of unanswered prayer, but we also find in Job that prayers can go unanswered for reasons beyond human perspective. This is perhaps the most important point against using unanswered prayer to trivialize the act of praying at all. At the end of the day, the Christian faith articulates the purpose of prayer as building a relationship with God. In the Christian worldview, relationship with God is the ultimate end of human existence, and this explains the impulse toward prayer that extends even to those who claim no religious belief. Christianity claims that this impulse leads to a God who desires connection with mankind, hears the sufferings of his people, appreci-
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“Frequency of Prayer - Religion in America: U.S. Religious Data, Demographics and Statistics.” Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, May 11, 2015. https://www.pewforum.org/religiouslandscape-study/frequency-of-prayer/. ii. Benson, Herbert, Jeffery A Dusek, Jane B Sherwood, Peter Lam, Charles F Bethea, William Carpenter, Sidney Levitsky, et al. “Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) in Cardiac Bypass Patients: a Multicenter Randomized Trial of Uncertainty and Certainty of Receiving Intercessory Prayer.” American heart journal. U.S. National Library of Medicine, April 2006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pubmed/16569567. iii. Harris, William S. “A Randomized, Controlled Trial of the Effects of Remote, Intercessory Prayer on Outcomes in Patients Admitted to the Coronary Care Unit.” Archives of Internal Medicine. American Medical Association, October 1, 1999. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/ jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/485161. vi. “Praying Online Helps Cancer Patients, Study Suggests.” ScienceDaily, January 4, 2007. https://www.sciencedaily. com/releases/2007/01/070103201245.htm. v. “Prayer.” Merriam-Webster. Accessed September 3, 2019. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prayer. vi. Keller, Timothy. Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. New York: Dutton, Penguin Group USA, 2014, 6. vii. Thompson, Andrew C., and J.D. Walt. “ACTS: 4 Kinds of Prayer for the Christian.” Seedbed, September 18, 2016. https://www.seedbed.com/acts-4-kinds-of-prayer-forthe-christian/; “Four Basic Forms of Prayer.” Archdiocese of Boston. Accessed September 3, 2019. https://www. bostoncatholic.org/Being-Catholic/Content.aspx?id=11444. viii. Psalm 111:1-4 (ESV). ix. James 5:16; 1 John 1:9 (ESV). x. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV). xi. Lamentations 1:1; Psalm 22 (ESV). xii. Philippians 4:6 (ESV). xiii. James 5:13-15 (ESV). xiv. 1 Kings 17:21-22; Genesis 18:20-32 (ESV). ESV. xv. Psalms 28; 109 (ESV). xvi. St. Augustine. “Letter 130 (A.D. 412).” New Advent. Accessed September 3, 2019. http://www.newadvent.org/ fathers/1102130.htm. xvii. Keller, Tim. “4 Principles on Prayer from Saint Augustine.” The Gospel Coalition, March 25, 2019. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/saint-augustineon-prayer/.Augustine, 26; James 1:2-3 (ESV). xviii. Job 38-41; 38:4; 40:8 (ESV). i.
Images Human Standing Beside Crucifix Statue on Montain by Pixabay. People Raising Bibles Worshiping God by jaefrench. Hands Holding Rosary by Myriams-Fotos. White Angel Sitting Figurine by Pixabay. White Ceramic Figure of Angel Illustration by Pixabay. Selective Photo of Teal Cross Decor by Pixabay.
Andrea Jenkins ’20 is from Longview, Texas. She is majoring in computer science.
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Love in Venice: Studying Shakespeare, Finding God
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My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee
The more I have, for both are infinite Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
by Paul Jeon â€˘
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Can love be bought and sold? What function does (should) reciprocity play in our relationships to one another? In his song “Love isn’t Made,” Jon Foreman sings: "So I arrive at the conclusion / Love isn’t made / Love doesn’t sell or pay / But we buy and sell our love away."i While Foreman’s lyrics assert that normatively, love should not be manufactured nor exchanged (“Love isn’t made / Love doesn’t sell or pay”), they concede that in reality, much of our “love” appears transaction-oriented (“we buy and sell our love away”). This last line especially evokes anthropologist Marcel Mauss’s famous and now widely accepted claim that “reciprocity motivates gift giving” and is the basis for all individual and communal relationships.ii Mauss argues that in all societies and relationships, there is no such thing as a voluntary or free gift; though a “gift”
Douglas begins by observing how Mauss’s theory opposes aspects of Christianity, particularly its privileging of charity––the “voluntary, unrequited surrender of resources”––as a virtue.iv Indeed, the Christian message seems predicated on the possibility of a free gift: God’s free gift of His Son which impels His followers to freely give of themselves. Paul summarizes this message in Romans, writing: “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.”v The good news of Christianity is that God did not repay humanity based on what it deserved, but instead freely gifted us salvation in Christ, that we might follow in His example and love Him and those around us. Does God’s gift of Christ come with an expectation or requirement of response?
In Christian theology, God himself is love, and in his love, God perfectly models grace and mercy for humans to follow. might ostensibly appear free, it always comes with the obligation and expectation of return. As Russell Belk and Gregory Koon observe, Mauss’s ideas have propagated widely to other disciplines since their formulation in 1925. For instance, Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker’s 1991 Treatise on the Family uses a Maussian framework to rationalize “choices involving marriage, children, and family,” concluding that they are “essentially economic decisions, understandable through exchange forces found in the marketplace.”iii Within a Maussian paradigm, all relationships––between husband and wife, parent and child, friend and friend––are transactional and built on exchange. Can God’s relationship to humanity similarly be understood as one based on transaction and reciprocity? In her foreword to Mauss’s The Gift, Mary
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Within this conversation, I believe it is valuable to examine a classic work of literature: Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, which grapples with the tension of living as a Christian in a pervasively exchange-oriented society. Critic James O’Rourke observes that the words “Christian” and “Christians” appear twenty-seven times in The Merchant of Venice, “which constitutes over a third of all their appearances in Shakespeare’s works.”vi Indeed, the titular Venice where the play is set is populated by Christian characters espousing Christian values, all in contradistinction to the Jewish merchant Shylock. Yet, Venice is also a bustling mercantile port city, and the ethic that dominates the play is one of economic exchange, of “reciprocal favors, gifts, and donations” that pervades even the language of love.vii Scholars observe that the play’s emphasis on reciprocity seems inherently at conflict with Christian notion of grace (or “agape love” or “mercy,” used interchangeably in the critical discussion) which should normatively reach “beyond the economics of deserving.”viii Such scholarly conclusions seem to align with our own gut instinct: Grace should not be transactional. However, I would like to scrutinize the critics’ (which may very well be our own) un-
derstanding of grace to locate exactly where the tension between grace and exchange lies. Taking Christian grace to indicate gifts or favor given freely without regard for their recipients’ merits, the critics develop two criteria for biblical grace: (1) Grace must be given irrespective of what the recipient has done to deserve it, i.e., independent of the recipient’s past merits. (2) Grace must be given without expectation of return, i.e., independent of the recipient’s future merits or expected ability to reciprocate. In David Schalkywk’s words, the critics interpret grace as an “aneconomic” concept which first, is “freely given…without deserving,” and second, “can be recompensed with no exchange.”ix While the first condition is essential to grace by its biblical definition,x I nuance the second condition that grace carries with it no expectation of a future response. While grace is not given to us conditional on a response, Scripture paints God’s grace as having the power to teach and enable its recipients towards a response. Put another way, God’s free gifts of grace often do not exist in isolation but are also accompanied by the grace to see those gifts as gifts, the grace to learn from them, and the grace to respond, among other graces. Therefore, while it is ultimately a distortion of God’s grace to say that His relationship to us is driven by ex-
pectation of response, precisely because it has the power and capability to create the response. In The Merchant of Venice, Portia disguises herself as a lawyer and entreats the merchant Shylock to forgive the debt owed him by Antonio through her famous discourse on “the quality of mercy.” Drawing from this biblical framework, Por-
tia builds her appeal on this understanding that mercy is defined by God, that it is foremost "an attribute to God himself / And earthly power doth then show likest God’s / When mercy seasons justice."xii In her speech, Portia uses the metaphor of mercy dropping “as the gentle rain from heaven / Upon the place beneath,” directly alluding to an example of God’s mercy from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount which teaches that God “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righ-
God's grace is powerful, able to not only teach humanity to respond, but also to guarantee and yield a response. change, it would also be negligent to ignore the power of God’s grace to create in us a response––an aspect that the play and other biblical passages at times illustrate through economic metaphors and language. In this essay, I will examine God’s grace and its capacity to generate response through the play’s famous discourse on “the quality of mercy.”
MERCY AS AN ATTRIBUTE OF GOD
In Christian theology, God himself is love, and in his love, God perfectly models grace and mercy for humans to follow.xi As such, any understanding of normative agape love, mercy, and grace must find its reference in God, their author and pioneer. In this section, I show that God’s love is not absent of the ex-
teous and the unrighteous.”xiii Schalkwyk, referencing Luther’s own meditation on mercy as rain, acknowledges that this portion of Portia’s speech is coherent with the biblical understanding that mercy is “given us of God without our works or deservings.”xiv However, he contends that the speech soon “degenerates into the language of exchange” as Portia transitions to directly entreat Shylock to forgive the debt owed him xv by Antonio: Therefore, Jew, / Though justice be thy plea, conTherefore, Jew, / Though justice be thy plea, consider this, / That, in the course of justice, none of sider this, / That, in the course of justice, none of us / Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy; / us / Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy; / And that same prayer doth teach us all to render / And that same prayer doth teach us all to render / The deeds of mercy.xvi The deeds of mercy.
In “her rhetorical need to persuade Shylock,” Schalk-
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wyk interprets Portia espousing the problematic notion that “good works – extending mercy to others – will induce God to be merciful to us,” concluding that she turns “the free gift of grace which is beyond
for those who persecute you.”xviii While God will not withhold the sun and rain based on our response to His gracious gifts (i.e. if we refuse to show mercy to others), His provision itself instructs us to respond by
God's grace similarly not only instructs and teaches us to resopnd, but also enables and empowers us to that response. the economics of deserving…into the debilitating calculation of a tit-for-tat.”xvii He reads Portia as telling Shylock to show mercy because God will show mercy
on humans only after witnessing their own acts of mercy––violating the legitimate condition that grace be given irrespective of the recipient’s previous actions. Schalkwyk’s argument, however, appears to reverse Portia’s chronology. In Portia’s speech, the prayer “for mercy” comes first, which then “doth teach us all to render / The deeds of mercy.” According to
showing mercy to others. But God’s grace is not merely instructive in a human sense––able to persuade some but not others. Unlike human instruction, it is not ineffectual, at the mercy of its recipients’ will and capacity to understand and apply the teaching. Instead, God’s grace is powerful, able to not only teach humanity to respond, but also to guarantee and yield a response.xix Given that Portia’s speech is to the Jewish Shylock, when she employs the figure of mercy as rain, I suspect she is alluding toAsyet one from fromheavthe theanother rain and biblical the snow passage, / come down Hebrew en, Scriptures with which she can fairly assume / and do not return to it / without watering the Shylock isearth familiar. the book Isaiah, God/ declares: / and In making it budofand flourish, so that it yields thethe sower and /bread the eater, As theseed rainforand snow comefordown from/ so is my word fromtomyit mouth: / It heaven, / andthat do goes not out return / without will not return to me empty, / but willitaccomplish watering the earth / and making bud and what I desire and achieve purpose for sower which flourish, / so/ that it yieldstheseed for the I sent it.xx and bread for the eater, / so is my word that goes out from my mouth: / It will not return to me empty, / but will accomplish what I dec In this passage, God’s word is like rain not necessarily in that He gives it indiscriminately, but primarily in that it cultivates a response; as stated in the King James Version, it will not return void (note that both “return” and “void” can hold economic connotations). As demonstrated in the metaphor of the plants and the rain, God’s grace itself has power to infiltrate and transform its recipients. Heaven gives the earth’s plants rain, and the plants respond by shooting upwards and producing fruit, enabled precisely by the rain. God’s grace similarly not only instructs and teaches us to respond, but also enables and empowers us to that response. What exactly is God’s word? Specific to the book of Isaiah, it likely indicates God’s message to Is-
While God's grace is free and comes with no conditions, we must recognize that His grace is also powerful. Portia’s chronology, mercy is initially given unconditional of our showing mercy to others, but it then instructs us to extend mercy to others. Jesus’s own teaching about God’s mercy of providing the sun and rain is, after all, a teaching; in the context of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus invokes God’s example of indiscriminate mercy to command his followers to also love indiscriminately––to “love your enemies and pray
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rael and the nations as spoken through the prophet Isaiah. In Jewish culture, moreover, the mention of God’s word would have been associated with the creation narrative in Genesis, when God creates the world through His word, by speaking: “Let there be light.”xxi However, as the Gospel of John later makes explicit, this passage can also be read to anticipate God’s ultimate expression of grace in Christ, for the Hebrew
word for “word” (dabar) in Isaiah 55:11 translates in the Septuagint to logos ––the very term John enlists when he introduces Christ as the word become flesh, out of “whose fullness we have received grace upon grace.”xxii Paul reinforces of Christ being For the grace of this Godnotion has appeared that offers the salfull and vation whole toembodiment of grace in his all people. It teaches us to sayletter “No” to to Titus: ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live selfFor the grace of God has appeared that ofcontrolled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for people. It the blessed teaches hope—the fers salvation to all us apto pearing of of our great and Savior, say “No” the to glory ungodliness andGod worldly pasJesus Christ, who himself for us to redeem sions, and to live gave self-controlled, upright and us from all wickedness and purify forwe himself godly lives in this present to age, while wait a people that are his very own, eager to do what for the blessed hope—the appearing of the is good. glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, “the grace of God” embodied, has appeared, and for Paul, this grace not only encompasses salvation, but also the daily power to abstain from sin and “live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” In other words, grace is not a one-time event (such as the moment of salvation or hearing the word of God), but as Luther expresses in his own exposition on grace, God’s grace takes many forms and is in constant supply in a “continuous flow.”xxiii Christ coming to earth to die for our sins is a gift of grace, but so is our opportunity to hear that message, so is our capacity to believe and trust in that message, so is our
transformation in our day-to-day existence as a result of that message. Thus, when Portia tells Shylock: "we do pray for mercy; / And that same prayer doth teach us all to render / The deeds of mercy," I read her as spelling out another dimension of grace beyond its ability to teach and instruct. In Portia’s construction, God’s answer to our prayer “for mercy” is to cause us to “render / The deeds of mercy.”xxiv In other words, it is a mercy of God to show us mercy when we have wronged Him. But it is also a mercy of God to allow us to show mercy when others have wronged us. A fundamental assumption in Mauss’s exchange paradigm is that there are two distinct parties who at distinct moments insert themselves into the role of giver or recipient, creating a reciprocal relationship. However, in the Christian message, God is always giving to us, even in what might strike us as our own giving back to Him. Despite the presence and fulfillment of a return, God’s relationship to humanity resists being categorized as an exchange relationship because God never ceases giving to humanity. To compartmentalize some elements of the faith as God’s doing and other parts as ours is a delusion; it is all God’s doing.
WHY THIS MATTERS
To compartmentalize in relationships is a nat-
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ural tendency of ours. Mauss’s work is valuable because it illuminates the mechanisms and motivations which drive and sustain human relationships; to sustain a healthy relationship with another human, there must be some give-and-take reciprocity. Yet, as our discussion has displayed, in understanding God, we must acknowledge His thoughts are not are thoughts and His ways are not our ways. In his 2004 article “The Centrality of the Gospel at Redeemer,” Tim Keller identifies what he views as the two default tendencies in humans in approaching God: religion (or legalism) and non-religion (or antinomianism). Keller presents the two brothers depicted in Christ’s parable of the prodigal son as exemplary of these tendencies: The older brother, self-righteous in his “absolute compliance” and obedience, represents a human tendency towards legalistic rule-following, while the younger brother, who abandons home and squanders his father’s wealth, is emblematic of a tendency towards rejecting and rebelling against rules and religion. Though the two brothers may seem to espouse opposing attitudes, Keller traces their behavior to the same root––a com
mon desire to control their father’s property. Religion and irreligion, Keller argues, are similarly linked by a desire for control over one’s life and salvation, whether by rebellion or rule-following.and irreligion, Keller argues, are similarly linked by a desire for control over one’s life and salvation, whether by rebellion or rulefollowing. The discussion surrounding our proper response to God’s gifts similarly seems to vacillate between the poles of legalism and antinomianism. On one hand, those who emphasize the freeness of God'sgrace may fall into the faulty thinking that this means we may go about business as usual and resume our sinful ways. Paul responds to such claims in Romans 6, contending: Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
The Gospel, instead of being another extension by which we try to seize control over our lives, invites us to rely and depend on that grace.
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through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.xxvi
While God’s grace is free and does come with no conditions, we must recognize that His grace is also powerful, putting to rest our former sinful nature and empowering us to “live a new life.” On the other hand, those who emphasize our need to repay God for His gifts impose the burden of self-surveillance and behavior modification which God’s gift of Christ was meant to free us from. We cannot and should not attempt to repay God; God never desires repayment in the first place. As Paul tells the Athenians, “he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”xxvii These arguments forget that God is continually giving to us “life and breath and everything else,” and even our actions in “response” are further extensions of His grace––for when we live in a manner consistent with God’s commands, the Bible argues we who are designed by Him benefit and experience the fullest life. The Gospel, the wonderful, glorious, freeing, empowering alternative to these two tendencies is the message that we, on the path from sinning to salvation to sanctification, are always dependent on and receiving God’s grace. The Gospel, instead of being another extension by which we try to seize control over our lives, invites us to rely and depend on that grace. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–– yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”xxviii As demonstrated in this passage, as well as in Titus 2, God’s grace is not isolated to salvation, but it is also His grace to cause us to work and live uprightly. The
Christian walk does not begin with God’s grace and in our response, as Paul admonishes the Galatian church for falsely believing (see Galatians 3:4). Instead, the Christian walk begins and ends with God’s grace, and His grace to us is not without effect.
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Foreman, Jon. “Love Isn’t Made,” Spring (San Diego: Lowercase People Records, 2008). ii. Belk, Russell W., and Gregory S. Coon. "Gift Giving as Agapic Love: An Alternative to the Exchange Paradigm Based on Dating Experiences." Journal of Consumer Research 20, no. 3 (1993), 393.; see Mauss, Marcel, The Gift, trans. W.D. Hall (London: Routledge, 2002). iii. Belk and Coon, 393; see Becker, Gary S. A Treatise on the Family (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993). iv. Mary Douglas, foreword to The Gift, by Marcel Mauss, trans. W.D. Hall (London: Routledge, 2002), ix. v. Romans 6:23 (NIV) [italics mine]. vi. O'Rourke, James. "Racism and Homophobia in "The Merchant of Venice"." ELH 70, no. 2 (2003): 376. vii. Lawrence, Sean. Forgiving the Gift: The Philosophy of Generosity in Shakespeare and Marlowe (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2012), 41. viii. Schalkwyk, David. "The Impossible Gift of Love in the Merchant of Venice and the Sonnets." Shakespeare 7, no. 2 (2011), 143. ix. Schalkwyk, 151, 143. x. In the Bible’s most definitive statement on grace, Paul explicitly describes it in opposition to past “works”: if salvation is “by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6 KJV). xi. 1 John 4:8 (NIV). xii. Shakespeare, William, Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan. The Merchant of Venice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). 4.1.189-191. xiii. Shakespeare, 4.1.179-180; (Matthew 5:45 (NIV) xiv. Schalkwyk, 142. xv. Schalkwyk, 143. xvi. Shakespeare, 4.1.191-6. xvii. Schalkwyk, 143. xviii. Matthew 5:44-45 (NIV). xix. Calvinists will here draw a distinction between “common grace” and “special grace.” Common grace, namely God’s creation of the world and His sustaining of it (as in Matthew 5:45), is given indiscriminately to all of humanity and can be rejected by its recipients. Therefore, not all people who experience creation or the sun and rain will necessarily respond in faith or by loving their enemies. However, special grace, namely God’s gift of salvation through Christ, is only given to the elect and is guaranteed to generate a response of faith (as some have termed it, it is “irresistible grace”). I have chosen to address this in the endnotes and not in the body of the article in order to avoid complicating matters. xx. Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV). See also the King James Version of this passage. xxi. Genesis 1:3 (NIV). xxii. John 1:14 (NIV). xxiii. Luther, Martin, quoted in Schalkwyk, 142. xxiv. Shakespeare, 4.1.191-6. xxv. Keller, Timothy. “The Centrality of the Gospel at Redeemer,” Redeemer Church, June 2004, accessed 26 August 2019, 4.; see Luke 15:11-31 xxvi. Romans 6:1-3 (NIV). i.
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Acts 17:25 (NIV). 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV). xxix. I am indebted (unironically!) to my editor, India Perdue and to Levi Roseman for their support, challenges, and encouragement throughout the writing process. xxvii.
Images Crucifix Illustration by Pixabay. Three Male Carvings on Arch by Fancycrace.com. Reading the Bible by Riala. Jesus Christ Stained Glass Artwork by Pixabay. Hear Shaped Book Paper by Pixabay. Jesus Christ Decor Embossed on Gray Surface by Pixabay. Man in Black Long-sleeved Shirt and Woman in Black Dress by Jasmine Wallace Carter.
Paul Jeon ’21 is from Fairfield, CT. He is an English and Economics double major.
Learning from Others' Mistakes: Thomas as a Didactic Tool in the Gospel of John
by Rachel Gambee •
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“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’” — John 20:27-29 The purpose of the Gospels is to cultivate belief in Jesus through a description of his life on Earth. This purpose is stated explicitly in the Gospel of John: “These are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name,”
passage’s placement—directly preceding John’s declaration of the Gospel’s purpose—is evidence that it has already earned this superlative.iii Thomas did not come to believe that Jesus has resurrected by seeing him, but rather by touching him. Thomas did not make the declaration “‘My Lord and My God!’” until after he had touched Je-iv sus. Given the interaction, it is assumed that Thomas followed Jesus’s directive—“‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side’”—by reaching out and putting his hand in Jesus’s wound.v Immediately following this tactile experience, Thomas acknowledged Jesus’s resurrection, signaling the exact moment that he came to believe in Jesus’s divinity—the moment he touched Jesus, not the mo-
Thomas did not come to believe that Jesus has resurrected by seeing him, but rather by touching him. where “these” refers to the individual stories of Jesus’s signs that compose John’s Gospel.i These stories are lessons in Jesus’s divinity. John’s Gospel contains a proliferation of such lessons, but there appears to be one that John regards above the rest: Jesus’s revelation to Thomas.ii This passage’s content alone—Jesus’s response to Thomas doubting the resurrection—makes it a worthy candidate for John’s highest regard, but the
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ment he saw him. This point is highlighted by the fact that, until that moment, Thomas did not acknowledge Jesus at all, though he presumably saw Jesus when he entered the room and stood among the disciples before addressing Thomas individually.vi The pivotal nature of this moment of contact between Jesus and Thomas was emphasized by Jesus himself. When Jesus asked Thomas—“Have you be-
Thomas's experience in this passage is a confluence of every possible piece of evidence pointing to Jesus's divine nature. lieved because you have seen me?”— he was aware that it was a tactile experience, not a visual one, that caused Thomas’s belief.vii Jesus chose to ask this question to highlight the action required for Thomas’s belief: the act of seeing. That said, in this case, the verb “seen” refers to a personal revelation, as opposed to the specific act of seeing something. It is unimportant that Thomas “saw” Jesus in the most basic understanding of the word, but it is rather highly important that Thomas required Jesus to fulfill his request for a tactile experience in order to believe. This experience is termed a personal revelation, as Jesus had to reveal himself to Thomas personally in the exact manner Thomas requested. This substitution of personal revelation for the act of seeing does not diminish the hierarchy of sensory-based belief that John establishes in his Gospel. This hierarchy puts the senses in order from least to most significant in their revelation of Jesus’s divinity: hearing, seeing, and feeling, respectively. In other words, seeing Jesus’s divinity is more profound than simply hearing of it, and feeling Jesus’s divinity is more profound than seeing it. Additionally, the experience of one sense is often preceded by the experience other senses beneath it on the hierarchy. For example, even though it is more compelling to see Jesus’s divinity as opposed to hear of it, those who see Jesus’s divinity have frequently already heard of it. In our passage, Thomas reaches the summit of this sensory hierarchy.
Given that the resurrection is proof of Jesus’s divine nature, Thomas not only feels Jesus’s divinity by feeling his fatal wounds, but he has also already seen Jesus resurrected and heard of his resurrection both from Mary Magdalene and his fellow disciples prior to this tactile experience.,,viii,ix,x Thomas’s experience in this passage is a confluence of every possible piece of evidence pointing to Jesus’s divine nature. As an apex of John’s Gospel, it deals a fatal blow to Thomas’s doubt and attempts to do the same to that of the reader. The fact that John chose to write his intention for the Gospel immediately following this passage only further supports this argument.xi John could have just as easily stated his purpose at a more logical location, such as the beginning or the end of the Gospel. Instead, John chose to put it in the middle of the text, when the reader is most prepared to absorb its message—after she has just had her doubt assuaged by the compelling story of Thomas. This passage, however, does not simply assuage doubt; it encourages faith. The final sentence in the passage, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe,” simultaneously admonishes Thomas and encourages others to learn from his mistakes.xii Thomas was not simply given every possible piece of evidence to strengthen his faith; rather, he required it. Thomas demands a tactile experience as a condition of his belief stating, “Unless
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“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails in my hand in his side, I will not believe.” I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails in my hand in his side, I will not believe.”xiii Though Jesus chooses to grant Thomas’s demand, his statement about those who are blessed reveals what John believes is an appropriate understanding of the sensory hierarchy. Jesus’s statement, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” is comparative rather than superlative.xiv He compared those who believe without seeing to those who believe by seeing, with the implication that those who believe without seeing are more blessed than their counterparts. This declaration establishes a gradient on which one’s blessedness is inversely proportional to the amount of evidence required for one to believe. Thomas was quite low on this gradient, though he had ample opportunity to deposit himself at a higher position. John wrote that “Thomas, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came” in reference to the first time in John’s Gospel that Jesus reveals himself to the disciples following the resurrection.xv Thomas, not having been there with them, could have chosen to believe the testimonies of his fellow disciples and that of Mary Magdalene about the truth of Jesus’s resurrection.xvi,xvii By refusing to do so, Thomas diminished his own blessedness. It is no coincidence that this passage is immediately followed by John’s stated purpose for the Gospel: “that you may
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come to believe.”xviii Not only does Thomas’s story offer proof of Jesus’s divine nature, but it also presents the reader with a proposition: should she believe the truth of the Gospel without demanding a personal revelation as Thomas did, she will be more blessed than the Apostle himself.
John 20:31(NIV). John 20:27-29 (NIV). iii. John 20:31 (NIV). iv. John 20:28 (NIV). v. John 20:27 (NIV). vi. John 20:26 (NIV). vii. John 20:29 (NIV). viii. John 20:26 (NIV). viv. John 20:18 (NIV). x. John 20:25 (NIV). xi. John 20:30-31 (NIV). xii. John 20:29 (NIV). xiii. John 20:25 (NIV). xiv. John 20:29 (NIV) xv. John 20:24 (NIV). xvi. John 20:25 (NIV). xvii. John 20:18 (NIV). xviii. John 20:31 (NIV). i.
Brown Concrete Hallway by Pixabay. Silhouette of 3 Crosses Under the Blue Sky by Pixabay. White Clouds With Sun Piercing Through It by Pixabay. The Maesta Altarpiece-The Incredulity of St.Thomas by Duccio, 1308.
Rachel Gambee ’21 is from Vero Beach, Florida. She is a double major in Arabic and Religion.
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Author information: Jonathan T. Elliott, PhD Assistant Professor of Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Time Lapse Photography of Falling Red Apple by Haris Irshad.
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Crispr Apple Behold our new genetic future, a crispr apple in our grasp. Atop a Mountain View we hear those Cunning questions from the asp. No longer held by Wisdom’s base Revising G, C, T, and A; A forced choice for posterity Makes opportune serpentine prey: “Why Model 8 when X is new? Can Adam 1.0 still do? Surely you are like gods now!” We bite into the flesh and chew.
When languishing in obsolescence Spurred not on by Imago Dei; Supposing then that God in heaven Sends angels to attend our way. Would we in our soul refuse them, In our genes no Likeness found? In absence of Divine relation, By matter solely Man is bound.
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A Prayer for Dartmouth This prayer by professor of religion Lucius Waterman appears on a plaque hanging outside Parkhurst Hall. O Lord God Almighty, well-spring of wisdom, master of power, guide of all growth, giver of all gain. We make our prayer to thee, this day, for Dartmouth College. Earnestly entreating thy favour for its people. For its work, and for all its life. Let thy hand be upon its officers of administration to make them strong and wise, and let thy word make known to them the hiding-place of power. Give to its teachers the gift of teaching, and make them to be men right-minded and high-hearted. Give to its students the spirit of vision, and fill them with a just ambition to be strong and well-furnished, and to have understanding of the times in which they live. Save the men of Dartmouth from the allurements of self-indulgence, from the assaults of evil foes, from pride of success, from false ambitions, from hardness, from shallowness, from laziness, from heedlessness, from carelessness of opportunity, and from ingratitude for sacrifices out of which their opportunity has grown. Make, we beseech thee, this society of scholars to be a fountain of true knowledge, a temple of sacred service, a fortress for the defense of things just and right, and fill the Dartmouth spirit with thy spirit, to make it a name and a praise that shall not fail, but stand before thee forever. We ask in the name in which alone is salvation, even through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen. The Reverend Lucius Waterman, D.D.
The Nicene Creed The Dartmouth Apologia invites people from all intellectual, philosophical, religious, and spiritual backgrounds to join in our discussion as we search for truth and authenticity. We do, however, reserve the right to publish only that which aligns with our statement of belief. We, the members of The Dartmouth Apologia, affirm that the Bible is inspired by God, that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation, and that God has called us to live by the moral principles of the New Testament. We also affirm the Nicene Creed, with the understanding that views may differ on baptism and the meaning of the word â€œcatholic.â€?
We [I] believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We [I] believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We [I] believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
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Image by Michael Lin â€™21
[1 Peter 3:15] a journal of christian thought