THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE
COVER STORY A Dream Sabbatical 10 14 Visions and Revisions
18 A Well-Built House
23 A Few Kind Words for Prudence
26 Too Heavenly Minded?
Photo FJ Gaylor
This issue spotlights the minds of our faculty, some of whom study the human mind itself. Brian Glenney (philosophy) focuses on how cognitive science and the philosophy of mind intersect. Bryan Auday (psychology) looks for what brain waves reveal about memory and linguistic processing. Yaliang Zhao (biology) studies neurological processes, including sleep disorders.
A Dream Sabbatical by Jeffrey S. Miller Theatre arts professor Jeff Miller had the sabbatical of his dreams—assisting on a Broadway production at the Lincoln Center Theater. Read excerpts from his day-to-day blog.
Visions and Revisions: The Journey of an Artist Losing His Eyesight by Norman Jones
Norm Jones’ new dependence on others has made him the recipient of extraordinary kindnesses.
A Well-Built House: Economics and Business at Gordon College A look at the human face of an outstanding and visionary academic department. Included in this collection of articles is a tribute to John D. Mason, recently retired professor of economics and business; some of Mason’s thoughts on biblical norms of justice and stewardship; and reflections by economics alumni Judy Dean ’78, Kevin Tordoff ’90 and Casey L. Cooper ’03 on life at Gordon and beyond.
Too Heavenly Minded? Michael Ward’s Astronomical Idea by Sørina (Kulberg) Higgins ’02
Dr. Michael Ward’s new book Planet Narnia advances the theory of a secret meaning governing the seven Chronicles of Narnia. A crazy idea, or is he on to something?
ON THE COVER Theatre professor Jeff Miller fulfilled a lifelong dream when his fall 2007 sabbatical took him to the Lincoln Center Theater in New York City, where he assisted with a Broadway production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. Excerpts from his blog begin on page 10. Cover Photo Daniel Kiyoi ’08
Photo Essay #015 Uganda: Fall 2007 | Kimberly Kurczy ’08 view this and other photo journals online at: www.gordon.edu/photojournals
IN EACH ISSUE 2 Inspiration 3
Up Front with President Carlberg
4 Letters 5 SPORKS informative fauxlosophy 29 Top Six 32 In Focus Faculty 34 In Focus Students 36 In Focus Alumni 38 Encounters
40 Athletics Hall of Honor 2008 by Patrick Byrne
6 Latin American Evangelicals: Made in Whose Image? by Ruth Melkonian-Hoover and Dennis R. Hoover
Evangelicalism in the Global South is on the rise. Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, assistant professor of political studies, and her husband, Dennis Hoover, present some enlightening research that goes beyond stereotypes.
8 An Investment in Faith and Learning by Mark L. Sargent The provost shares some encouraging news from recent studies that reinforces the merits of a Gordon education.
17 Why Theatre? by Norman Jones Why should Christians care about theatre, and what do you do with a theatre major, anyway?
23 A Few Kind Words for Prudence by Stephen L. S. Smith Prudence, one of the cardinal virtues, has had an image problem in recent years. An economics professor attempts a rehabilitation.
30 Text and Context: New Faculty Books A look at books recently published by Gordon faculty, and the questions and passions that gave rise to them.
Over 150 Gordon and Barrington alumni, coaches, administrators and friends gathered for the second annual Athletics Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony.
42 The Biggest Loser by Kristin Schwabauer ’04 After losing nearly half his body weight, Matthew McNutt ’00 sees a vital link between his spiritual and physical health.
43 Return Voyage by Jonathan Fitzgerald ’03 What happens when an alumnus makes a return trip to Kenya? Jonathan Fitzgerald is finding out.
44 Alumni News
Inspiration Thirty years ago we offered our first wilderness expedition under the name Scotsman Adventure School. Ten students signed up for 15 days in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. What great memories we have from that first trip! Over the years God has allowed us to grow into the La Vida Center for Outdoor Education, which now houses six programs and partners with the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies to offer a concentration in outdoor education. A new initiative to share adventure ministry abroad has led us to Africa and most recently Ecuador, where La Vida alumni, staff and immersion students help in program development and facilitation training. Time spent alone in the wilderness is important— even more important now in our age of cell phones, iPods and the Internet—than it was in 1978. Students overcome their fears and experience the power of encouragement in community. They learn to appreciate God’s creation and spend time listening for His “still small voice.” I am reminded of this need in my own life as I spend more and more time in the office and less in the mountains. I pray God will continue to use the power of the wilderness to refine and prepare His servant leaders—as He has done all through history.
VOLUME 23 NUMBER 2
“At the still point of the turning world.” T. S. Eliot, referring to God in his poem Four Quartets
Patricia C. Hanlon Editor
Nancy Mering Director of Alumni and Parent Relations
Kristin Schwabauer ’04 Assistant Editor
CREATIVE Tim Ferguson Sauder Creative Director Kirsten Keister ’04 Rebecca Powell Publication Design
ADMINISTRATION R. Judson Carlberg President Daniel B. Tymann Executive Vice President Advancement, Communications and Technology
Rich Obenschain Director of La Vida Center for Outdoor Education Assistant Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies email@example.com
An Inspirational Staff Over the years I have been inspired by the servant hearts of our student staff and by God’s awesome faithfulness in the midst of challenges those students
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Award of Excellence Winner, 13th Annual Communicator Awards 2007 Print Competition Gold Award for External Organizational Publication, 22nd Annual Admissions Advertising Awards (2007)
overcame and through which they grew. Wilderness Adventure Adventurous time in the wilderness encourages students to fully trust God and commit their lives to Him.
Family I’m inspired by the impact wilderness adventures have on the lives of Gordon
STILLPOINT, the magazine for alumni and friends of the United College of Gordon and Barrington, is published three times a year and has a circulation of over 22,000. Opinions expressed in STILLPOINT are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gordon College administration. Gordon College is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, or national or ethnic origin. Reproduction of STILLPOINT in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.
students, high and junior high school kids, and adults as well. My daughter, Tess, and I participated in the father/ daughter trip in 2007.
read more online at: www.gordon.edu/stillpoint/inspiration
This magazine is printed on Mohawk Opaque paper which contains 10% postconsumer waste fiber, is manufactured with windpower and is certified by Green Seal.
WITH PRESIDENT CARLBERG
Our Faculty, Our DNA The faculty at Gordon have always been the true DNA, the essential building blocks of the College. It is obvious to alumni who have recently
as well as by staff members of the Center
stepped on Gordon’s campus that we
for Christian Studies. This growing body
have enjoyed unprecedented growth in
of scholarship reflects the fruitfulness of
our facilities over the past 15 years. What
is much less obvious, though equally important, is the simultaneous growth in our faculty, which has increased by 30 percent during that time—from 70 to 100 full-time members, plus many adjunct and part-time faculty.
Our faculty is also distinguished by a lively diversity of personalities and perspectives. They do not hole up in their offices and labs and hide behind their academic work, as substantive as it is. Rather, they are open and available in ways that enrich our
But mere numbers don’t begin to tell our
students’ lives, as you will see in “Visions
faculty’s story. The faculty at Gordon have
and Revisions” by Norman Jones, associate
always been the true DNA, or essential
professor of theatre arts. In this moving
building blocks of the College. This issue
adaptation of Norm’s recent chapel talk, he
of STILLPOINT captures some of their
tells of the spiritual and emotional journey
hallmarks for you. For example, John Mason,
that has paralleled the progressive loss of
recently retired professor of economics,
his eyesight to retinitis pigmentosa.
has long embodied the best traits of our faculty. As colleague Stephen Smith notes, John has had high standards for faculty teaching and professional engagement, high expectations for students, and a careful, thoughtful commitment to exploring how his discipline of economics might help Gordon students “be better stewards, better citizens, and better able to pursue their callings and vocations. John Mason connects with his students as an intellectual and spiritual father. Students listen to him, share their joys and heartbreaks, and go to him for personal advice and prayer.” Dr. Mason’s tenure of nearly 40 years is indicative of the stability at our faculty’s core. And he is eminently worthy of the John D. Mason Scholar Award, established by alumni, colleagues and friends to encourage students to pair Christian ethical reflection with economic analysis. Many other Gordon faculty are also bringing careful scholarship to bear
GORDON IN PERSON These short videos on the Gordon podcast feature faculty members reflecting on their areas of study and on the challenges and questions that have engaged them over the years. Jennifer Hevelone-Harper (history)
Norm’s colleague, Jeff Miller, who chairs the
is pictured in this screenshot. View
Theatre Arts Department, also has a voice
more at www.gordon.edu/itunes.
in this issue. “A Dream Sabbatical” contains excerpts from Jeff’s running account of his sabbatical at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater. More than 46,000 words in all, this blog made it possible for fellow faculty to look behind the scenes and reflect on Jeff’s experiences along with him. Our students are fortunate to hear such exuberant, faithful, personal and, at times, poignant voices. In fact, the investment of our faculty and staff in our students’ lives is
so fruitful it reminds me of the rich, organic
This series of faculty presentations
image of the vine and branches from the
was created by faculty hungry for
15th chapter of St. John’s Gospel (Phillips):
rich conversation across academic
Jesus says, “If you live your life in me, and
disciplines. David Aiken (philosophy)
my words live in your hearts, you can ask for
is pictured in this screenshot.
whatever you like and it will come true for
Upcoming topics and presenters are
you. This is how my Father will be glorified—
listed at www.gordon.edu/events
in your becoming fruitful. Go and bear fruit
along with other lectures.
that will be lasting.”
on real-world issues. For example, the
Faculty bring careful scholarship
research of Assistant Professor of Political
and vibrant Christian faith to bear
Studies Ruth Melkonian-Hoover and her scholar husband is helping to develop a picture of Latin American evangelicals that goes well beyond stereotypes and
President R. Judson Carlberg, Ph.D.
upon real-world issues. Learn about the research and teaching interests of current Gordon faculty at www.gordon.edu/faculty.
glib generalizations. Also in this issue are snapshots of significant books recently written by English, history, foreign language, and biblical and theological studies faculty
President’s Page www.gordon.edu/presidentspage
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 3
TO THE EDITOR
“I just received STILLPOINT for the first time and want to thank the Fowlers for their generosity to Gordon.”
IN “TOWARDS A SHALOM-FEMINISM” Dr. Lauren Barthold writes: “Jesus revealed himself first to a woman in His risen form. He didn’t care that a woman’s testimony or authority was inferior to that of men in the culture. If asking a woman to proclaim the good news is not a definition of preaching, I don’t know what would be.” Dr. Barthold’s implication seems to be: Since both men and women are asked to proclaim the good news, both men and women may be called
Editor’s note: The following are letters Dr.
So glory be to the Sovereign God for His
Peter Stine received in response to “The
placement of you in our path, and for your
Inimitable Peter W. Stine.” Bonnie Greer and
willingness to love and serve Him and
Norm Jones are both Houghton College
be a blessing to the likes of us. You are
A helpful analogy might be the following:
alumni. James Skillen, brother of Gordon
remembered with much thanksgiving. God
Imagine a new Christian in the act of taking
English professor John Skillen, is an alumnus
bless you with surprises of learning and joy
a shower. As the water falls upon him,
of Wheaton College, where Dr. Stine taught
in this next phase.
he is reminded of the powerful cleansing
for a few years in the 1960s.
to the ordained preaching ministry. Does this necessarily follow?
of Jesus Christ. Can the shower be a deeply meaningful spiritual experience?
This is certain. Does he nevertheless need
Congratulations on your years of service
to be baptized? This is equally certain.
at Gordon! I saw the announcement in the
The question is one of “set-apartness.”
latest STILLPOINT, and that, of course,
Difference. A distinction between the
reminded me of your enjoyable classes
natural and the supernatural orders of
I took at Wheaton College, of baseball
things. Does this distinction apply to
trips to the South, and of many occasions
things like baptism (as opposed to
of laughter and camaraderie we enjoyed.
showering), Holy Communion, and the
You touched my life too, Peter, and I know
set worship services of the Church—and
you touched thousands of others. May
the ordained preaching ministry? This is
First, from your invitation to sit in on your
God bless and strengthen you in all the
where Christians disagree.
Oral Interpretation of Poetry class, I was
inspired to write, which culminated in a
—Dr. John Harutunian, former faculty,
Keith and I recently read the article about your retirement and wanted to tell you how very much you are appreciated in this Greer household and in our church, Carlisle Congregational in Carlisle, Massachusetts. One rarely knows the effect one’s life has on another, but I must tell you what has followed from your being such a blessing in our lives.
“book” for family and friends. Besides that, I, as a wife and mother, had a wonderful and encouraging break from household duties that returned me home refreshed and all the more inspired in my calling. You opened your classroom, and somehow that fact came up at a Houghton College area reunion in conversations between Norm Jones and me. Following your example, Norm extended the same invitation to me— I sat in on his Fundamentals of Acting class, from which came my monologue on aging, performed countless times. Your Princemere Readers performances at church were tremendously instrumental in motivating us to begin an adult
The Center for Public Justice
letter and agree that thoughtful evangelicals
sent the check to confirm my daughter’s
hold different—sometimes conflicting—
enrollment for the fall of this year. I just
understandings of the role of women in
received STILLPOINT for the first time
the church. We note, however, that A. J.
and want to thank the Fowlers for their
Gordon, the College’s founder, was himself
generosity to Gordon. Our family will
an enthusiastic supporter of women’s
benefit from their confidence in the College.
participation in all aspects of ministry. Mimi
They see their contribution to Gordon as
Haddad, executive director of Christians
something that promotes the gospel of
for Biblical Equality, notes in her article
Jesus Christ, and that is what my daughter
“Revival Depends on Women in Ministry”
was looking for in her college. Their gift
that “A. J. Gordon, a great proponent of
confirms to me that she has chosen a place
women in ministry, observed revival in the
that will benefit her for the rest of her life.
church and the participation of women in
—Juliet Applegate, parent
ministry as two inseparable events. Gordon asserts, ‘Pentecost brought equal privileges
drama ministry at CCCC (Conservative
to women . . . female prophecy is not the
Congregational Christian Conference)
exception but the rule.’”
4 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2008
Editor’s note: We appreciate your gracious
I AM NEW TO GORDON. TODAY WE
Write a letter firstname.lastname@example.org
Story bryan parys ’04 Illustration Grant Hanna ’06
INSTALLATION 5: DO YOU SUFFER FROM IBS (INBOX BURIAL SYNDROME)? Lately I’ve noticed that junk email has come out of its bawdy adolescence and moved into a verbose young adulthood. When I was at Gordon the messages that popped in were short and direct, causing me to quickly delete them, then look over each shoulder to make sure no one in the Jenks kiosks was around to “get the wrong idea.” I figured at any moment June Bodoni, director of the Center for Educational Technologies (CET), would send her cronies swarming out of the helpdesk to lead me away. It was a nerve-wracking time; I was trying to hide a dark secret I didn’t actually have.
life or death. It ordered “Hold everything! The Gordon Alumni Office needs you to approve a survey on whether free apple cider increases giving!” I’d silently mutter to ibs, “But what about this message from Sallie Mae that reads ‘Final Notice: Pay Now or we’ll tell the Alumni Office to never give you free apple cider again!’?”
But the new breed of junk email is no longer morally dubious; it contains random selections of text that are as intriguing as they are nonsensical. People (I think) with names like “Ursula Hurst” and “Bee Lindenmuth” have been sending me advertisements that advertise nothing. Subject titles are ambiguous, claiming things like “Slightlimbed Slightly Slightmade” or “Do Balsa Rooftree.”
“Yes, ibs. Right away, ibs.”
I’ve started saving these messages in their own subfolder precisely because they are random. I recently read an unpublished essay on “randomness” written by a colleague of mine, and what struck me most was the idea that “random” is a word used to describe a thing or phenomenon that we currently do not understand. It suggests mutability—that even though it makes grey matters greyer now, there’s a chance more understanding can be gained. Email has secured a demanding and fairly unexamined hold on the contemporary work world. Over two years ago when I took up my post as Gordon’s web editor, I inhabited a back office in the Design Center. Most of the time it was a solitary work habitat, my only colleague being my laptop and, more specifically, my email inbox. My workdays were spent laboring under the demands of the “Send & Receive” function. Sure, these emails represented real people with requests, but there was no governing force (I thought) that triaged these messages in any sort of order save for chronology. Sometimes a request from a month ago would get lost in the bloated box. As the pressure built I realized I suffered from IBS: Inbox Burial Syndrome. (To avoid confusion with the stomach ailment, I will refer to this syndrome as “ibs”—rhymes with “dibs.”) Having no physical boss in my office anymore, ibs took over as my supervisor. With a tyrannical bold face, ibs kept me busy all day, every day. If I went to a meeting, ibs punished me with five to 10 new messages by the time I returned. Ibs didn’t care about lunch breaks either. As if being bold weren’t enough, ibs often used a red exclamation mark to let me know this could be a matter of
“Does it have a red exclamation mark next to it?” asks ibs. “Well, no.” “Then ignore it and focus on the REAL emergency!”
When Grant Hanna became the first human to assist me in my web duties, he often played Philip Glass’ opera Einstein on the Beach. Its syncopated arpeggios were both alarming and sedating, and some of its text came from advertising and cultural lingo of the 70s. It was, in fact, quite akin to the random emails I’ve been saving—and the opera became a commentary on the amount and velocity of messaging we face every day. I no longer work at Gordon, but irritable ibs still takes the reins when I log onto my email. It is this conditioning—and my belief that if Einstein were to go to the beach nowadays he’d take a laptop—that has led me to collect this e-pablum. Through lazily pasted phrases that appear to be taken from headlines, URLs and the occasional literary reference, these emails hold a script-mirror to society and show us the effects of data saturation. In saving them I overwhelm my inbox from time to time, prompting red exclamation-marked messages from CET that I am approaching my limit—and they couldn’t be more right.
bryan parys doesn’t like to capitalize his name and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction at the University of New Hampshire. Not only does he save junk email, but his friends have begun to forward him their junk gems. This has inspired him to start writing his own electronic opera of sorts. email@example.com
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 5
He documents the U.S. government’s support of missionaries in Latin America in the 1950s as a bulwark against communism; the use of missionaries by the CIA in Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia; and the channeling of U.S.AID funds to church-sponsored projects in the region. However, Smith also acknowledges that this is “insufficient to explain its strong drawing power throughout Latin America, especially among the poor.” 1
Latin American Evangelicals: Made in Whose Image? Evangelical Christianity in Latin America has grown exponentially in recent years. But how well do North American evangelicals really know their neighbors? What do Latin American evangelicals think of the United States and its policies? Some American evangelicals presume their southern neighbors are just like themselves when it comes to politics. Many critics presume the same and worry that these southern neighbors are pawns of the north. Some scholars of global evangelicalism, however, see an increasingly indigenous evangelicalism in the Global South. Studies of public opinion in the United States show significant evangelical Protestant support for many U.S. foreign policies. For instance, a University of Akron/Pew Forum poll in 2004 found that among traditional evangelicals 76 percent approved of President Bush’s foreign policy; 87 percent thought the Iraq war was justified; 82 percent thought preemptive war is justifiable; 74 percent believed the U.S. has a special role in the world. But are these kinds of findings any indication of how evangelicals in
6 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2008
Latin America view the U.S. and its contemporary role in the world? Since colonization Latin American countries have remained majority Catholic. However, the proportion of Protestants in the region has begun to rise; evangelical Protestants in particular now comprise approximately 12–15 percent of the population, and approximately two-thirds of them are Pentecostals. Given the influence of U.S. evangelical Protestants in Latin America through missionary efforts and denominational ties, some have presumed not only theological but cultural and political affinity between conservative Protestant groups in Latin America and conservative Protestant churches and parachurch organizations in the United States. The theory of an “invasion of the sects” facilitated by U.S. interests intent on building allies in Latin America, particularly during the Cold War, is put forward by scholars such as Brian Smith.
Others presume that the growth of evangelicalism in the region is a function of American manipulation and (neo)imperialism. In their work bemoaning the role of the U.S. church in the developing world—aptly entitled Exporting the American Gospel: Global Christian Fundamentalism 2 —Steve Brouwer and his colleagues allege that “Christian fundamentalists in other countries find common cause with American evangelists because the United States is the wellspring of anticommunism and a host of other cultural ideologies and values that have become transnational. Halfway around the world, religious leaders have managed to link the destinies of their countries to that of the United States.” Even while they acknowledge that many of the Christian missionaries of today are from the developing world (indeed, Latin America may well export more missionaries than it receives), they assert that such transnational agents still tend to export an Americanformulated gospel linked with capitalism, democracy, anticommunism, and, more recently, antiIslamic fervor. Likewise many of the new Pentecostal churches in Latin America are presumed by some in the north to be American progeny. But Paul Freston, a leading sociologist of global Christianity, maintains that “Most Pentecostal churches (unlike their historical counterparts) were founded either
Story Ruth Melkonian-Hoover
by Latin Americans who broke with an existing Protestant denomination or by independent missionaries, and only rarely by a foreign Pentecostal denomination.” 3 For example, in the case of Brazil, most faith missions are nonPentecostal, and yet most growth is occurring among Pentecostals. “The churches which grow most owe little to missions,” Freston concludes. 4 Some have found the social and political values of Latin American evangelicals to be more diverse than those of evangelicals in the U.S. Timothy Shah, in his article “The Bible and the Ballot Box: Evangelicals and Democracy in the Global South,” contends that “though evangelicals [in the south] are assumed to be agents of the American religious right and purveyors of militant ‘fundamentalism,’ their lower socioeconomic status often leads them to consider economics at least as important as ‘morality’ and consequently to align with left-wing political movements perceived to be pro-poor.” 5 Similarly, Joel Carpenter maintains that “on abortion or gay marriage, they sound like American conservatives. But on war and peace or economic justice, they sound like the Democratic Party.” 6 What’s been missing in this debate is broad-based analysis of survey data collected in Latin America. Are evangelicals in Latin America more supportive than their fellow citizens of U.S. foreign policies, its war on terror, its influence on economic globalization, and its ideas about global democracy? Our recent analysis of survey data from the 2002 Pew Global Attitudes Survey sheds light on these questions. We pooled data from Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, distinguishing evangelicals from nonevangelicals. We then examined seven diverse indicators of opinion about the U.S. and its role in the world. Respondents were asked to rate their opinions of the U.S.: if they think the U.S. takes into account the interests
of countries like theirs; and how U.S. policies affect the gap between rich and poor countries. In addition they were asked whether or not they approve of American ideas about democracy; American ideas and customs spreading into their country; American ways of doing business; and U.S. efforts to fight terrorism. We found that, contrary to any expectations derived from the Cold War history of American involvement in Latin American affairs, or from more recent theories of American neo-imperialism via globalization, evangelical identity is not a significant factor in pro-America attitudes in Latin America. Indeed, it is an almost entirely irrelevant factor across all seven of the indicators in our study. Five of these indicators were related to policy/issue areas (terrorism, business, democracy, economic inequality, and national interests), and two were more generic in nature (general opinion of the U.S., and opinion of the spread of “American ideas”). On only the latter of the generic indicators was evangelicalism a statistically significant factor. Thus to the very modest extent that evangelicalism plays a role, it is limited to attitudes that are not policyor issue-specific.
handmaiden of U.S. imperialism may be perpetuated by some in the media and by some who are threatened by the upsurge of evangelicalism in Latin America, but recent international survey data simply do not support it.
Endnotes Religious Politics in Latin America:
Pentecostal vs. Catholic, 1998:26 Exporting the American Gospel: Global
Christian Fundamentalism, 1996:19 Evangelicals and Politics in Asia, Africa and
Latin America, 2001:194–195 Evangelicals, 283.
SAIS Review of International Affairs, 2004:117 Philadelphia Inquirer, February 20, 2006
Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, Ph.D., is assistant professor of political studies. She is cochair of the international affairs major and recently completed “Gendered Pathways to the Political: The Political Participation of Women
Indeed, the slightly greater openness that Latin American evangelicals show towards the spread of American ideas may be due in part to the breadth of the question posed. Certainly Latin American evangelicals could be thinking that “American ideas” is a category that includes general religious and cultural norms of American Protestantism as opposed to specifically political ideas, and therefore feel slightly more openness than do Latin American Catholics.
Factory Workers in Mexico,” which
On the whole, that Latin American evangelicals are made in the image of U.S. evangelicals and that the former are unduly influenced by the latter is a theory that has run its course. The idea of evangelical imperialism as the
director of the Council on Faith &
will be published this June in Social Science Quarterly. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis R. Hoover, D.Phil., is executive International Affairs (www.cfia.org) at the Institute for Global Engagement. He is also editor of The Review of Faith & International Affairs and coeditor, with Ambassador Robert A. Seiple, of Religion and Security: The New Nexus in International Relations.
This essay is drawn in part from an article, “Latin American Evangelicals’ Attitudes about the United States’ Role in the World,” currently under review for Latin American Perspectives.
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 7
somewhere between a Lexus and a used Camry. What’s seldom told is that, in economic terms alone, very few investments have as impressive a return as higher education.
An Investment in Faith and Learning Is a Christian liberal arts education worth the investment? Provost Mark Sargent surveys the territory, unpacks the numbers, makes a few telling comparisons and comes to some surprising conclusions. Higher education is one of the grand traditions of American life, but it is a regular sport to cast doubt on its value. As one critic recently told me, “The only real benefit of a college degree is that you can watch PBS without yawning.” Without doubt, a college education requires a substantial commitment, and I am often inspired by the sacrifices many students and families make to pursue studies at Gordon. So it is unsettling whenever I hear individuals second-guess that goal, and all the more troubling when those doubts are fed by popular myths. Let me offer some reassuring data—as well as a few thoughts about the value of a Gordon education. First and foremost, let’s remember that tuition is an investment, not a commodity. College education is an investment in social hope. Graduates tend to be excellent citizens, 30 percent more likely to vote and nearly twice as likely to do volunteer service and offer charitable contributions. They are
8 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2008
healthier—on average, far more likely to exercise; less than half as likely to get heart disease. And college remains one of the most vital forms of social mobility, enabling individuals to overcome boundaries of ancestry, social status and race. It has long been part of the pulse of democratic opportunity in the United States. For that reason, as the nation grows more ethnically and socially diverse, it would be wise for the United States to ramp up support for higher education rather than diminish its merits. Many people are surprised to learn that only 36 percent of United States citizens between the ages of 25 and 39 have college degrees, a rate that lags behind many countries, including Canada (52 percent) and South Korea (45 percent). But, of course, there is the challenge of cost. Most media and political scrutiny of college costs dwells almost exclusively on the price tag, often moaning that tuition rates fall
True, there are always the tales of entrepreneurs like Bill Gates who drop out and make millions, but those stories are told so often they can easily lead us to mistake the exception for the rule. Actually the economic value of a degree has been steadily rising. Twentyfive years ago college graduates, on average, made only 22 percent more than nongraduates. By 2003, according to the College Board, “the typical male college graduate earned 60 percent more than the typical male high school graduate, while the premium for females was 69 percent.” The dividend, on average, is much greater for those who eventually receive graduate degrees. In 2005 a master’s degree yielded on average $33,000 more in annual earnings than a high school diploma did; for those with professional degrees (i.e., medical, dental, law, etc.), the gap grows to more than $73,000. Most economists insist that these distinctions will increase as we move further toward a knowledgebased global economy. When you consider that nearly two-thirds of Gordon students will eventually pursue graduate study (Gordon remains among the top 20 percent of liberal arts colleges in launching students toward doctorates), you can make a solid case that a Gordon degree can be a very profitable investment. Most prospective students and their families, of course, are sold on the importance of a college education. Their questions generally focus on the specific price of a Gordon degree. There’s a better story here than many assume.
Story Mark L. Sargent Illustration Steve Dagley ’08
First, Gordon offers a financially reasonable option among private institutions in New England. In 2007–08, the average total costs (tuition, fees, room and board, etc.) for a private liberal arts education in New England is over $42,000, at least $10,000 more than Gordon. The actual costs at Gordon also compare quite favorably to other leading Christian colleges. Once you factor in our financial aid grants, the average cost for a student at Gordon is lower than most of the leading institutions in the Christian College Consortium, even though several of these schools advertise lower tuition prices. Last year U.S. News & World Report listed Gordon as the only nationally ranked Consortium school among the institutions with the lowest student debt. One prevailing assumption is that public universities charge only a fraction of the costs of Gordon College, but sometimes the differences in actual costs are vastly overstated. The University of Massachusetts, for instance, advertises a low tuition price because it packs most of its costs into additional fees. After subtracting financial aid awards (including the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System MCAS scholarship) from total expenses, the average cost at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is $17,399, only $1,055 less that the average cost at Gordon. Similarly, the average differential with the University of New Hampshire is merely $1,216. None of this should minimize the significant challenges that some families face when paying college bills. That is why we are especially grateful for the many donors who make substantial contributions to enable us to sustain strong financial aid grants and to allow some hard-pressed students to matriculate at Gordon. It is also why it is critical for us to continually ask ourselves questions about value. And there is some encouraging data from recent studies that reinforces the merits of a Gordon education.
Many of the nation’s institutions, as a supplement to more traditional rankings, have chosen to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). According to the most recent results of the NSSE, on most indicators of academic rigor Gordon ranks higher than the norm for Carnegie I liberal arts colleges, the category that includes some of the nation’s top liberal arts institutions. At the same time, Gordon students are nearly twice as likely as their peers at Carnegie I schools to participate in community service as part of their academic program. By the senior year more Gordon students have studied abroad or completed foreign language coursework. What the NSSE reveals is encouraging: that the blend of academic rigor, service and global vision is a distinctive feature of a Gordon education. Above all we desire that an education at Gordon College be an investment in the community of faith. Academic rigor should be aligned with a vision for service and spiritual maturation. We hope our students develop a sense of vocation and calling—and that they make lifelong friendships that sustain them in their spiritual journeys. For so many graduates that is indeed the case. In recent alumni surveys more than four out of five of our graduates acknowledge that they are still involved in a regular church or worship community. That contrasts dramatically with national trends, which show that church attendance typically declines to 54 percent after college. As part of their spiritual growth, we also hope our students learn to cross boundaries and discover the face of Christ in other peoples. The value of their degree will be best reflected in the imaginative and faithful work they will do over the next generation to promote long-term justice and hope. Consider the work of Alynne MacLean ’86, who completed a doctorate in bioanalytical chemistry from the University of Kentucky, worked studying enzyme immunoassays for biotechnology and
pharmaceutical firms, and then used her experience and vision to found Science with a Mission Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides diagnostics in the poorest regions of the world. Or the work of Hillary Scholten ’04, who helped coordinate legal services for refugees who come to the Boston area each year. My used Camry still cranks along, but there has been no blue book limit on the ways college has opened opportunities for me and shaped my values. Yes, I do enjoy watching PBS, although I can easily nod off during some of those interminable pledge breaks. Most importantly, I have treasured the opportunity to work with many people in Christian higher education— friends and colleagues, students and alums, parents and supporters—who are morally awake. And it is in the aspirations of our graduates—to bring a spirit of innovation, integrity and hope into a new generation of Christian witness—that I can most readily see the fruits of this great investment in faith and learning.
Mark L. Sargent, Ph.D., has been the provost of Gordon College since 1996. email@example.com
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 9
A DREAM SABBATICAL When informing me that my sabbatical proposal for assisting on a production in New York had been approved, Kina Mallard, Dean of Faculty, suggested I keep a blog, to share what I was learning with students, alumni and interested friends. I never expected it to grow to 46,185 words. Here are just a few excerpts.
No more pinching myself; it’s really happening. And to prove it, I now know the secret passageway of the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center Theater (LCT). At my introductory meeting yesterday, I was given the grand tour of “our” theatre and told about this important escape, used most often by directors and assistants to communicate quickly with cast members during previews—something, no doubt, I will need to know. Going through the building took me back to fifth grade when my class toured LCT. We were taken through the production booth during a performance and told to be very quiet. I stopped to watch the show, pulling myself up to the ledge of the plate-glass window, mesmerized by the sheer scale of the production and magnitude of the sound. I didn’t realize the class had continued without me, and the guide had to come back to find me. Rather than being upset, however, she was thrilled to see me still standing there on tip-toe, taking it all in. And now I’m working here. LINCOLN CENTER THEATER This whole operation works on a scale far beyond anything most people in theatre ever encounter. A relatively small scenic budget cut that was made just last week would purchase new risers and deluxe seating for us at Gordon. Seems out of touch with reality. Seems excessive. Then the stunning beauty of the scenic design unfolds and it takes your breath away. Every possible artistic choice is being made available to transport the audience to this unusual Elizabethan/Roman/fairytale land of Cymbeline. Yes, Shakespeare relied on the power of the human imagination, but there is still a place in theatre for excessive beauty, abundance and extravagance just as there is in God’s creation. Were the Rockies necessary? The Grand Canyon?
10 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2008
Not for God. But they continue to point us to something bigger—a God of overwhelming beauty, excessive and extravagant at times, stream-lined and economical at others. I think we need both. And since I live and work in the latter most of the time, having a taste of the other is quite delicious. ABOUT CYMBELINE It is one of Shakespeare’s latest plays, likely written in 1610 between The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. Scholars also speculate that Cymbeline was, in a sense, Shakespeare’s audition piece for a new indoor theatre being built about the time the play was written, and he submitted this piece to “show his stuff.” He pulled out all the stops, and this explains, say some, his use of every conceivable device: night settings, decapitation, flying gods, battle scenes, potions and spirits. Sunday is the first read-through of the script with the entire cast. At the conclusion of the reading, an eerie sense of peace fills the room. I know of no other Shakespearean play that ends quite the same way. As in others, all strands come together, all is forgiven, all evil righted—but it unravels at a fairly slow pace, particularly since the audience is miles ahead of the actors on stage, having learned long ago what the characters are just now seeing. Far from creating any sense of omniscient condescension, the effect is one that lifts the audience. The play seems to unfold a kind of peace and restoration that we all, very deep inside, long to see. STARTING OUT The actors do not disappoint. They come to this project with able instruments and keen minds. Some know lines already; all have thought about their characters. Questions abound, new connections are made, relationship complexity is explored. It
Story Jeffrey S. Miller Photo Michael Hevesy
is a wickedly great discussion with our director, Mark Lamos, at the helm—guiding, clarifying, pushing forward. Add an incredibly informed dramaturg and vocal coach and each nuance is gently unfolded. It is clear why each has been selected for his or her part. Curiously, something I’ve observed at all levels of theatre occurs. Actors begin to push against some of the director’s cuts. “How can this make sense when we’ve eliminated . . .”; “How do I make this emotional jump without these lines . . .”; “Could this word stay from the original instead of what’s in this version?” Lamos listens, considers and then accepts the suggestion or argues for the change. We move on. He encourages the actors to “ride the iambic pentameter; let it support you.” And do not “land on pronouns.” Lamos is not above giving interpretation but prefers to allow the actors to find it. TRIPPINGLY ON THE TONGUE The run-through goes three-plus hours, not including intermission. Mark insists we need to cut 40 minutes out of the running time. That will definitely be a challenge. He dismisses all but 15 speaking principals and gives detailed notes. The overarching issue is that the emotional journey be present; all the characters know where this needs to go. But the verse needs to be spoken more fleetly. Some stuff, some emphases, need to be subsumed. The thought needs to be the speech. Many are pausing unnecessarily to tell us what they are thinking and feeling instead of allowing the speech to be the action. “Find a way to ride the verse as you are expressing what you are thinking,” is Mark’s exhortation. “Otherwise we cannot follow what is going on.” As Shakespeare puts it, in the mouth of Hamlet, “Speak the speech, I pray you, trippingly on the tongue.”
WHAT A DAY Today my assignment was to escort the actor playing Clotten, Adam Danheisser, to Den Design in Brooklyn, where he would have his full head cast. You see, Clotten loses his head during the show; it’s carried about the stage. So a cast must be made to create this rather important prop. The process is messy but straightforward. First a bald cap is placed over the head and the face is prepared with substance that will make the gel applied not stick to facial hair. A bluish goop is then slathered over the entire head leaving holes only for the nose and mouth. It sets fairly quickly and is very similar to what a dentist uses to take a mold of your teeth. After it starts to harden, swaths of plaster cloth, such as those used for broken bones, are layered over the head as well, carefully applied so that once they harden, the cast can be removed in two pieces, front and back. From the blue goop to mold removal takes approximately 30–35 minutes. If one is in any way claustrophobic, this process is torture. Adam did very well until near the end when he began to breathe deeply and get dizzy. But they were able to get it done and off him before panic set in. The overflow goop peels off the body like rubber cement. From this mold they will make the head mostly of silicon, which, they say, would be very nearly the weight of a human head. JEFF’S DEBUT It is no small thrill to find yourself standing center stage of the Vivian Beaumont Theatre of Lincoln Center, all eyes following your every move. It happened this way: Michael Cerveris, our Posthumous, has been having some back problems. When he had to leave for a doctor’s appointment midway through our
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 11
day, Michael, our stage manager, quickly came up to me, told me to put my script down and take Michael’s place onstage. My Broadway debut! I’m very visually-oriented and could probably tell you every person’s approximate blocking for each scene. But I had no lines to associate with that blocking, no particulars memorized. So naturally a bit of fear immediately came over me. The last thing I wanted to do was hold up our rehearsal in any way or do something stupid. But I sprang to my place—I was there to do whatever was needed, I told myself. Just as I was walking through the first part, however, Phylicia Rashad began humming “Be Still My Soul” from her side of the stage, near where I was standing. Can you believe it? “Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side. . . . Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.” That was beyond any doubt the very LAST thing I expected to hear in this place, at this time. What calm came over me instantly! The Lord is even in this place—thank you, Ms. Rashad—something I all too easily forget. STOPPING AND STARTING With the play roughly blocked and the lines pretty solid, we launch into a period of rehearsal when we work through the play chronologically. One overarching impression—one the actors will occasionally make side comments about—is that Mark wants this tale to move: “Don’t pause. Connect those two thoughts. Move while you speak.” The actors frequently balk a bit and suggest they need time to think before saying the line. Mark reminds them that we think while we act and we are about it quicker than we know. FINAL 10–12 Today is the last of what is called “10 to 12’s,” rehearsals that can extend to nearly 12 hours. And the mood is more urgent. After today we have Tuesday and Wednesday before preview audiences. As expected, the costumes add a new dimension of challenge but increased luster. With wigs many of these actors are hard to recognize—and I’ve been working with them nearly daily for the past 5 weeks. The detail of these fairytale costumes is rich: brilliant color, a touch of Eastern and medieval, unusual fabric combinations, buttons, sashes, robes, crowns, armor, swords and a myriad of textures give much for the eye to take in. Some of the fabrics have subtle designs which spring to life under the right lighting, such as the pattern in Imogen’s pants when she is disguised as the boy, Fidele. As in any rehearsal, some glorious accidents occur. Today the layers of trees/pillars were being raised on stage and stopped for some reason. Both Mark and Michael, the scenic designer, saw this and loved the look. So it was immediately worked into a cue. If you think about columns floating in air from a logical perspective, it makes no sense. But then neither does a boat floating down a misty river with candles emerging from it as in Phantom of the Opera. The image works, regardless.
I continue to be reminded of how bold Shakespeare was with this play. He was either trying something very new (Marlowe and other writers of that day had a lot of blood and horror, too, but the tone in those plays is clearly more melodramatic), taking a devil-may-care attitude and going for broke—or he had such trust for his actors and audience that he knew it would all play well—or some combination of all of those. Even if you are not a lover of Shakespeare, you have to appreciate this gutsiness. A BROADWAY OPENING NIGHT Could it have been a more exciting evening? I do not know how. The show bristled with energy and intensity—one of the best I have seen this company perform. And after an enthusiastic final ovation, everyone moved on to the big party at Tavern On The Green in coaches provided by Lincoln Center. It is a place you have to see to believe. The meandering hallways are lined with mirrors and low-hanging, jewel-strung chandeliers every two feet. The inner rooms are lit by brightly colored faux stained glass windows, more elaborate chandeliers, more strung tree lights and imposing candle centerpieces. The lush drapery is pulled back from the glass walls to reveal twinkle-lit trees and statuary. It is not likely I will ever experience a Broadway show opening like this again. The sense of artistic accomplishment, of personal engagement with such a large company of fine people (both on and off stage) and of contributing something of value to our culture through a strong message of grace and reconciliation is something that briefly, wonderfully, lifted us all. This is both humbling and moving to participate in; this is the power of good theatre.
Jeff Miller, M.A., is chair of the Theatre Arts Department and moderator for the Fine Arts Division. His directing credits include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Macbeth, Shadowlands, Edith Stein and Forgiving Typhoid Mary. At Gordon Jeff has directed a new adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities, Tartuffe, The Secret Garden, An Evening of Pinter, Tarantara! Tarantara!, Sueño and Quilters. The student ensemble-created devising called Growing Up Christian, directed by Miller, was selected in 2007 to be performed at the Region 1 gathering of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln Center Theater www.lct.org
THE FINAL PRODUCTION
1. Imogen (Martha Plimpton) and Posthumus (Michael Cerveris), secretly married, are forced to part by the angry King Cymbeline. 2. The Queen (Phylicia Rashad), second wife to Cymbeline, comforts her son, Lord Cloten (Adam Dannheisser), whom she hoped would be Imogen’s husband and future king, before Imogen’s secret marriage to Posthumus. 3. Iachimo (Jonathan Cake) steals into Imogen’s bedroom to glean information that will win his bet with Posthumus regarding Imogen’s fidelity. 4. Returning to Rome, Iachimo wrongly convinces Posthumus that his bride has been unfaithful. 5. Cymbeline (John Cullum) informs the Roman consul, Caius Lucius (Ezra Knight), that he will no longer pay the tribute imposed by Rome. 6. Pisanio (John Pankow) convinces Imogen to don the disguise of a page and go to Milford-Haven, where she can be close to Posthumus. 7. In the 7
play’s denouement, all ruses and disguises are revealed. King Cymbeline discovers that the two sons he thought kidnapped and killed were actually raised by a banished former advisor. Grace abounds and is extended to even the most undeserving. Photos by Paul Kolnik
Theatre and Worship In church a few weeks back, the pastor noted that one of the prevailing purposes for worship is “to abate memory loss.” God knows our memories are tragically short. When we are experiencing the loneliness of difficult times, it seems all we can recall is darkness. When we are light-headed with joy, we often cannot fully remember the heaviness of the shadows. God knows we are as fickle as dust—but very special dust. He loves us and continues to call us back to Himself, from wherever we are. One call of worship is to remember. The goal of theatre is similar. It is a dramatic call to abate memory loss. We often forget what silly creatures we are when we are in love. We lose touch with our humanity when we are driven by arrogance and vengeance. We fail to see the impact of our actions, both routine and monumental. Theatre keeps us from forgetting. It parallels one purpose of worship in that regard.
But it is not worship. Worship has an objective and is based on a relationship. Theatre offers a transient relationship (with a community of people who have been similarly moved by a cast well-trained to make it happen) and sometimes it offers an idea we may find deeply truthful, but it will not fulfill our need to worship. Because it moves in that direction, because it resonates with some of the elements of that need, however, it feels akin to worship. And so, many theatre folk opt out of worship. Frequently the worship they experience in church falls so far short aesthetically of the theatre worship-like experience they know. And, as with anyone, their memories fade. I see two important lessons in this: 1) We must not substitute worship-like experiences for real worship; 2) We must seek to be more diligent about the aesthetics of our worship—so that our memories of God’s faithfulness never grow stale or lack vitality. SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 13
VISIONS AND REVISIONS: THE JOURNEY OF AN ARTIST LOSING HIS EYESIGHT
14 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2008
Story Norman Jones Illustration Tim Ferguson Sauder and
Grant Hanna ’06
AS A THEATRE DIRECTOR NORMAN JONES HAD SPENT A GREAT DEAL OF TIME LEARNING HOW TO SEE THE NUANCES OF HIS WORLD. NOWADAYS HE’S LEARNING THAT VISION CAN REQUIRE REVISION.
In 1989 I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). It is a genetic, degenerative disease of the retina, and those who have it are usually blind by age 40. I was 34 at the time. Imagine a big round disc—that’s the retina. On that disc is a series of stacked coins. Every one of those coins is a rod cell. In the middle of the disc the stacks are taller, and they get shorter as you get closer to the edge. Every once in awhile one of the discs on top dives off into the retina—a suicide diver. Then another one does it—and no one knows why they do it. Maybe they think they’re having fun, or maybe there’s some kind of secret genetic terrorist war going on. Suicide cells die on the retina and decompose to form a pigment— thus the name. Over time the stacks of coins get shorter and are covered by the pigment. Eventually even the tallest stacks of coins in the middle are gone. Each person with RP has a different rate of deterioration—but it’s steady and unrelenting. I don’t see as well today as I did yesterday; and I see better at this moment than I will tomorrow. I still have some of the center stack of coins in each retina. That means I can see directly in front of me, but I don’t have any peripheral vision. Normal peripheral vision is 118 degrees; I have 19. Anything under 20 is legally blind. Think of spending every moment looking through the viewfinder of a camera—you want it to be a wide-angle lens, but it’s not. When I was first diagnosed I was devastated. I tried to compensate for the pain by learning all I could about the disease and about any research related to a cure. I was angry at God; didn’t feel like talking to Him at all. I went though a period of emotional and spiritual darkness. I could not understand how this had happened to a guy who had learned to see very well. I’m a theatre director, and I had spent a great deal of time developing the ability to truly see what is around me, to notice the nuances of my world—learning how people express emotions with their movement and the objects they interact with. I wanted to hide from everyone and everything, including God. I felt like I was living a series of deaths; waiting for the next stage of vision loss, wondering when would be the next plateau. When would I quit driving? When should I start using a white cane? Slowly I began to realize my vision required revision.
I resisted using a cane for years. It was difficult to accept the label of being disabled. I didn’t want people to stare, to look at me with a mixture of curiosity and pity. But finally I took a small step toward acceptance of myself as a disabled person. I used the cane for the first time on one of our annual Gordon theatre trips to England. Before the trip I remember praying “Okay, God. I’ll take this one step. Let’s see what happens.” And God showered me with grace, having taken that little tiny step of faith. The cane was great! As I walked down the street, people cleared out of my way. Crowds practically dove into the streets; I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea. When I bumped into people they’d apologize to me instead of me apologizing to them—and I liked that. But I don’t want you to think everything became suddenly wonderful when I began to take these tentative steps of acceptance. It continues to be hard. I still stumble. I walk into things. I recently apologized to a pole—twice. I think I must keep an entire squadron of guardian angels busy (“Okay, he’s on the move again—let’s go; let’s go—Michael, you take the point; Jimbob, you take the wing, and Ringo, you go the other way”; I really like the idea of having two guardian angels named Jimbob and Ringo). As I continue to take those tiny steps forward, I experience God’s grace. You know that passage “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” I met a guy from my church who has one of those lamps from Palestine from the first century—exactly the kind of lamp they’re referring to. “How much light will that thing give off?” I asked him. It was tiny, tiny—just fit in the palm of his hand. He replied, “Enough for one step.” One step; now I have enough light for one step. Now, one step. Faith. Sometimes your vision is going to require revision. Suffering and loss will come to you. Someone will betray you. You will experience failure; perhaps the loss of a dearly loved family member or friend; perhaps your own physical challenges. I know I am speaking to many who have experienced terrible loss. Part of the reason it hurts so much is because we know it is not intended to be this way. We were intended for paradise, made in the image of God. But we live in a fallen world, and on this side of eternity, as we continue to strive for Eden, loss will still be with us.
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 15
A few suggestions to you from what is helping me: As my vision of myself as person is being revised, I’m learning to accept the difficult lesson of being dependent on other people. I often don’t like it. I’d love to jump in a car and go somewhere on a whim. But my dependence on others has made me the recipient of many extraordinary kindnesses. When we were in Edinburgh a couple years ago, we attended a bagpipe concert called the Military Tattoo—about 10,000 bagpipes in a field and about 60,000 people watching them in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Afterwards I was making my way out of the crowd, and a Scottish fellow came up to me asking if I needed any help. “No, no,” I said. About a minute later he came back and said, “I don’t care what you say, I’m gonna help you anyway—here we go. I’m gonna take you to your people.” So I said to myself, “Okay, I want this guy to have this blessing—why not? Let’s just enjoy this.” So we walked down the Royal Mile arm in arm, talking about bagpipes and Scottish farming practices. And I thought “Who gets to do this?” God has showered me with grace as I have allowed myself to learn something about dependence—and I encourage the same for you. Learn to be dependent on one another and dependent on God. Notice how many times in Scripture Jesus depended on God the Father while he was here. We also should depend on God the Father—as well as on each other. You may be thinking “Wait—I know the people around me; I’m supposed to depend on them?”
And share your own imperfections—your hurt, your loss, your grief—with the hurting, grieving Body of Christ, in whom God’s perfect Spirit dwells; who—despite us and because of us—God uses to speak to one another through His grace. There are plenty of days when I would love RP to go away. Even for awhile. But despite our feelings at times to the contrary, we have a faith in God; a God Who is alive; a God Who is here. A God Who loves us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No! In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him—and those—who love us. (Romans 8:35, 37) I am not telling you these things because it sounds good; I am telling you because it is true. Unchanging and forever. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor discouragement, nor loneliness, nor failure, nor snotty old RP, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us—us!—from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38) And the people of God said “Amen!”
But we are all imperfect. Think of anyone you know. They have something; it may not be RP—maybe it’s ADD, OCD. Everybody’s got something. But I declare unto you: He who is without syndrome, let him cast the first stone. The travelers you are with on your journey are every bit as imperfect as you are. Another encouragement to you is to engage in sacred conversation. Plunge into significant conversation beyond the normal everyday stuff. Plunge into those conversations as if your life depended on it. Get your face out of Facebook for one hour every couple of days and have a significant conversation with someone face to face. Listen to them. Take time. Give yourself permission to not know what to say. Take time to go beyond the word “like.” Take your time so you don’t have to (over)use that word. I suspect the world is full of lonely people. If we could see a bunch of cartoon bubbles above people’s heads, we would read things like “Nobody really knows me”; “I’m all alone”; “I wish somebody cared.” But don’t allow a sense of impending doom to prevent you from having a vision for your own future. Do not be afraid to have that vision—boldly. And allow God’s grace to revise your vision when it is required. Allow that vision to be sketched in dust rather than cast in concrete. Take one step. You have the faith for that.
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Norman Jones, M.A., a theatre director, actor and writer, is associate professor of theatre. Since coming to Gordon in 1985, he has directed 39 plays and supervised 28 student-directed productions. Norm’s interest in encouraging the creation of new theatrical works has resulted in 13 premieres or commissioned plays. This article is part of a convocation address he delivered at Gordon September 26, 2007. The audio podcast is available at www.gordon.edu/itunes (go to “Gordon Pulpit,” then “Chapels,” then “Fall 2007” tab). He hopes to take his story to churches, Christian schools and conferences, and can be contacted for information. email@example.com 978 867 4274
Story Norman Jones
Why Theatre? Norman Jones explains how theatre can effectively engage with culture and how Gordon is preparing students to take part in the conversation.
One of our important functions as Christian theatre artists is to contribute to world theatre by producing new work consistently. We bring in playwrights, work with them, help workshop their plays and produce them, often for the first time. Sometimes we produce our own work; last year the students scripted and performed the ensemble work Growing Up Christian on campus, and then at the American College Theatre Festival, where it was selected as one of the best plays in New England.
Here is what some of our recent theatre graduates are doing: bb Laura Geiseke ’04 founded Heiress Productions, a theatre company in New York City, which performs plays to raise money for cancer research.
bb Kaitlyn Henderson ’05 worked with Shakespeare & Company, and is a teacher at North Shore Music Theatre Academy in Beverly, Massachusetts. bb Paul Turbiak ’05 will graduate from California Institute of the Arts with an M.F.A. in acting, and is pursuing a career in theatre, film and television. bb Ben Janey ’05 was a stage manager for Shakespeare & Company and is on staff in the Performing Arts Office of Suffolk University. bb Elizabeth Polen ’07 is teaching theatre at a school in Phoenix, Arizona. bb Elizabeth Condon ’07 is teaching theatre and directing Rapunzel Uncut at Covenant Christian Academy in Peabody, Massachussetts. bb Sasha Irish ’08 had her 10-minute script performed at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in the New England Region—it was one of two winners there and is now entered in the national festival.
Growing Up Christian
bb Paul D’Agostino ’05 completed a master’s in musical theatre at the Boston Conservatory and is touring with Shakespeare & Company, a professional company in Lenox,
Much Ado About Nothing
As Theatre Department faculty, I particularly enjoy helping students discover they are creative people; many of them come not knowing much about theatre at all. We make sure our students are clear about the purposes they are exploring in theatre. We establish close relationships with them in the classrooms and beyond, in all aspects of productions. What permeates our work on productions is an attitude that we are serving the work, serving each other and the artistic expression, and not ourselves. If they’re acting, it’s about truly serving the
Massachusetts, performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Caucasian Chalk Circle
character; if they’re directing, it’s about serving the whole of the production. There’s not a sense of “It’s all about me, and everyone’s going to clap for me”; it’s about doing the best work possible.
People think of theatre as “secular,” yet within the theatre world I’ve been accepted as a Christian. There’s a hunger for conversation with me and with my students about being explicitly spiritual people. Theatre deals with every aspect of what it means to be human. My first day of grad school, the chair, Saul Elkin, said, “Where have you been? You Christians—I don’t know where you went to, but you were involved for so long in theatre in the Middle Ages; and then you abandoned it.” God used Saul Elkins and others to make me aware that the culture is ready to hear what thinking Christian theatre artists can provide within our world.
2008 SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 17
Introduction Patricia C. Hanlon Illustration Grant Hanna ’06
A WELL-BUILT HOUSE: ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS AT GORDON
Malcolm Gladwell’s 2005 book Blink popularized the concept of “thin slicing,” the cognitive ability to gauge what is important from a narrow “slice” of experience or data. A thin slice of Gordon’s Economics and Business Department would reveal course offerings that balance theory and practice; serious commitments to urban and global education; and a promising foray into not-for-profit (NFP) management—a natural topic for Gordon students, many of whom will take on leadership roles in NFPs such as churches, service organizations and missions groups. A thin slice would show impressive student success in taking the Chartered Financial Analyst Level I exam, under the leadership of professor Niles Logue. You would also see much notable faculty activity—including professor Stephen Smith’s research presentation “A Spatial Model of National and International Price Dispersions” at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in July 2007. But revealing as it is, thin slicing misses much that is important about the life of an academic department and its cast of characters. It cannot really do justice to history. You might miss the fact, for example, that recent student accomplishments on the Chartered Financial Analyst exams come on the heels of Professor Ted Wood’s decades of patient success preparing students for the Certified Public Accountant exams. No thin slice could show how the present Gordon in Boston program, now part of the Department of Global Education, grew from a faculty effort that began many years ago in the Economics Department as the Urban Presence Committee, headed by Professor John Mason and others, including Diane Blake ’58, then dean of external
education. It might not adequately show Professor Bruce Webb’s groundbreaking work on the academic journal Faith & Economics, or his many years of service to the whole College as core coordinator. It would not show how the department has weathered cultural changes over the past 40 years. “In the 1960s and ’70s we had to justify making money,” Mason commented recently. “Now we have to justify a concern for poverty.” Most of all, thin slicing would not show the extent to which the department owes its distinctive ethos to its faculty, and in particular to its founder, John Mason, who has recently retired after nearly 40 years at Gordon. Mason’s understanding of both his discipline and of Scripture has in profound ways shaped the department’s priorities over the years. What economic values do the Scriptures, particularly the Pentateuch, embody, and how can we best achieve those values now? Courses in poverty studies are offered alongside courses in marketing, which might seem counterintuitive—yet understanding why poverty happens and what Christians are to do about it is as important a concern as how to build capital. Both have to do with a robustly Christian theology of stewardship. Gordon’s economics and business majors are strongly encouraged to experience the city not only because so many business opportunities are centered there but because, according to Mason, “The city plays a role in the future Kingdom of Christ’s earthly reign.” In this collection of articles, we offer what we hope are some deeper soundings, some closer looks at the human face of an outstanding and visionary academic department.
Story Stephen L. S. Smith
A Builder and a Gentleman A COLLEAGUE’S TRIBUTE TO JOHN MASON It’s often said that commencement speeches are the hardest speeches to give. I disagree. Entertaining hot, happy soonto-be-graduates under a bright sun is a piece of cake compared to trying to do justice to a colleague’s life work and contributions to the institution we both love. It’s not simply that John is only the second person ever to retire from the department, amazing though that is (we’ve been blessed with a core of strong, stable faculty for many years). No. It’s that John, quite literally, founded economics and business studies at Gordon when he arrived in 1968. He hasn’t just made “contributions” to the department; he has made the department. He hoisted the sail and set the compass heading. Or consider a better analogy. Did you know that in another life John might very well have been a carpenter and architect? He designed his wonderful home on Red Coach Road and built much of it with his own hands. So too our department is built on the blueprints he drew up—the vision he sketched out almost four decades ago. And John’s been the lead contractor, measuring tape hung at the ready in his belt, pounding nails on the construction site every day. At the risk of giving John a case of terminal embarrassment, let me ask, What has that vision been? What did his blueprints call for? Unyielding commitment to high standards for faculty teaching and professional engagement. High expectations for students. Genuine collegiality in governing the department; everyone’s voice heard and respected. Careful but not uncritical devotion to how economics can help students think about the world and be better stewards, better citizens, and better able to pursue their callings and vocations. And, above all, deep attention to Christ’s claims, the better to prepare
students for lives of Christian service whatever their calling. All of us here at Gordon, not just in the Economics and Business Department but in the wider College, are the better for John’s winsome vision. John has the gift of being able to connect as an intellectual and spiritual father with his students. His manifest care for students’ intellects in the classroom reflects his care for their souls and for their faiths. Students recognize this. They respect him for it. They listen to him, they share their joys and heartbreaks, and they go to him for personal advice and prayer. I myself am among the students whom John befriended and mentored. I first met John in 1978—I was 20—in the cramped backseat of a car driven by Bill Harper ’62, heading to the Institute of Christian Studies in Toronto. Grady Spires was wedged back there too. John’s vision for putting economics at the service of biblical norms of justice and stewardship made a deep impression on me. We communicated several times while I was in graduate school. And when Gordon posted its opening for an international economist, it was very natural to want to come here to be his colleague. More recently we in the Department have had a new respect for John borne out of his courageous fight against Parkinson’s Disease. We know it is a great thing that he will be able to spend more time with his family, including his incredible brood of 12 grandchildren. We understand also that it is a good thing for him now to turn to scholarship—his writing that, without exaggeration, has influenced more than a generation of Christian thinkers. From remarks at a faculty retirement celebration, May 10, 2007. Stephen Smith, Ph.D., is professor of economics and business.
I first met John in 1978—I was 20—in the cramped backseat of a car driven by Bill Harper ’62, heading to the Institute of Christian Studies in Toronto. Grady Spires was wedged back there too.
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A Mason Reader John Mason’s vision for putting economics at the service of biblical norms of justice and stewardship has influenced more than a generation of Christian thinkers. Here is a small sampling of his work. KEEPING SABBATH Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man helps us grasp the significance of time that surrounds the weekly Sabbath: that realm of society where we are not to have but simply to be—where, as in eternity, time stands still; a day to enjoy rest, tranquility, serenity, peace, repose, and not be bothered by matters of efficiency (or “measuring” time); a day for joy and to celebrate life. Given such emphases, is not the very notion of stewardship, with its practical attention to measuring time and efficiency, a fundamental affront to the Sabbath notion of time? I don’t think so, and I offer these reflections to suggest why. But I may tread on thin ice, and ask you to help me cross the river. On the one hand, the Sabbath is the seventh day and not the first, implying that rest should dominate rather than hard thinking about how best to assist poorer and weaker households. But then the prophets lament how our celebrations of Sabbath weary God (if not worse) when we fail to seek justice or plead the widow’s case (Isaiah 1:13ff). Jesus saw fit to heal on the Sabbath and reminded his critics of the
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earlier prophetic warning that mercy and not sacrifice should control our understanding of Sabbath (Matthew 12:7). On the surface of things, such seeking and pleading and healing seem of the order of stewardship rather than rest and tranquility, thrusting us into the familiar world of conflicting norms for economists and ethicists, with the need to calculate trade-offs and offer unpleasant counsel. But could it be that we have become so caught in a modern sense of the economic value of time and organizational solutions that we fail to grasp something more profound at work: that the importance of rest and tranquility are not meant to conflict with the humanitarian burden (what Christ calls mercy, I take it) for seeking and pleading and healing. Most who have struggled to give contemporary relevance to the sabbatical provisions (including myself) talk primarily of socioeconomic measures. How best can we help each household today maintain a personally controlled productive base (my sense of the thrust of the Jubilee provision of Leviticus 25)? What steps might we take to assist the poor in our midst to achieve the purposes of gleanings in an earlier era? Could the seven-year
release of debt mean something more today than bankruptcy laws? Not many have inquired about the role of time in the biblical Sabbath provisions. Have we missed something? As one who has struggled hard to understand poverty in our midst and to use biblical materials to guide our response to it, I am beginning to think so. From “Stewardship, Sabbath and Time,” a paper presented at the Christianity Today Institute on Global Stewardship, 1996, and later published in R. Clapp (ed.), The Consuming Passion (InterVarsity Press, 1998).
ON POVERTY Occasional adversities are the stuff of life, confronting each family at one time or another: a field receives too little rain and the harvest is ruined; a factory closes with little hope of new employment within the region; a spouse or child dies; life-threatening sickness sets in. It is only during the latter decades of the 20th century that a few people in economically advantaged parts of the world have been able to avoid the bulk of these shocks and to soften the remaining ones. Debilitating poverty has been a particularly devastating form of adversity. During
Story John Mason Photos courtesy of John Mason
such times the extended family (occasionally joined by broader clan/ neighborhood assistance when adversity is particularly devastating) has been the primary source of comfort and assistance throughout all of world history and in all social settings. This is how it should be; God established the extended family to serve these necessary roles. When, however, the extended or nuclear family becomes broken or dysfunctional, or when it cannot provide the needed help because the condition is too severe, assistance from the wider community becomes necessary. This is the consistent message of the entire Bible. It is taught clearly in the Law of Moses in the provisions to be considered immediately below. It is repeated systematically in the wisdom literature and by the prophets in their instructions to the princes of Israel (Job 29:7–12, Psalm 72, Jeremiah 22:15ff, Ezekiel 34, Micah 3). It is there in the well-known judgment scene of Matthew 25:31ff and in Paul’s admonitions for wealthier churches to provide economic assistance to their poorer brothers and sisters (II Corinthians 8). Indeed, the fundamental message of the New Testament is that each one of us, however self-sufficient we may think we are, is so unable to avoid all the adversities of life and thereby to resolve our ultimate problems on our own, that we need outside assistance: at the least God’s provisions for us in Christ and all that He accomplished, along with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit; and also our extended family (I Timothy 5), along with the assistance of the larger community during periods of severe distress. From “Biblical Teaching and the Objectives of Welfare Policy in the U.S.,” S. Carlson-Thies and J. Skillen (eds.), Welfare in America: Christian Perspectives on a Policy in Crisis (Eerdmans, 1996).
ON JUSTICE AND SACRIFICE The New York Times this past week contained two contradictory items.
Sunday’s Book Review highlighted the latest book from Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Hitchens is one of those erudite and clever British imports who help us better understand ourselves. The reviewer notes how in his recent writings Hitchens seemed to be edging towards a position of cultural conservatism (including—gasp—support for the war in Iraq). But rather than embrace a traditional religion, as one might expect as the next step in this intellectual pilgrimage, Hitchens now turns and attacks religion—joining what appears to be a counteroffensive by prominent atheists of late in reaction to the growing influence of orthodox believers in each of the religions that claim Abraham as a spiritual father.
of itself not generate a just distribution of income, and the socialist alternative (given all we have learned over the last century) offers no improvement. Any workable economic order requires the presence of underlying values that constrain its harmful potentials, along with mercy-filled actions by citizens to provide what no government, however well-conceived, can do. In this part of the world the Judeo-Christian religious tradition has been a—if not the—primary source providing these necessary components that render the politico-economic order more just. As one very important example of this, fellow Christians in an earlier era led the cause for abolishing slavery and the subsequent repressions known as Jim Crow.
Probably about the time this past Sunday when readers of The Times were digesting the Hitchens review, Pope Benedict XVI was addressing the Latin American Bishops in Brazil. In this much-anticipated speech, delivered on a continent hosting the largest concentration of Roman Catholics as well as having great disparities between rich and poor—the Pope condemned both capitalism and Marxism/socialism as “systems that marginalize God.” “What is real?” he asked. “Are only material goods, social and economic and political problems ‘reality’?”
To advocate for and to assist those in society who are weak, vulnerable and poor—as I contend the Bible instructs us to do—will inevitably require sacrifice in a world constrained by scarcity. I challenge Christopher Hitchens and his fellow travelers to provide in the absence of God a more compelling and enduring motivation to sacrifice than that given to us in Jesus Christ—the God who became man and taught us to sacrifice for others, and then in humble obedience offered His own life as an example for us and as an atonement for the sins of the whole world.
Just structures, he continued, are an indispensable condition for a just society, but they neither rise nor function without a moral consensus on fundamental values in society. Where God is absent—God with the human face of Jesus Christ—these values fail to show themselves with their full force: nor does a consensus arrive concerning them. He does not mean by this that nonbelievers cannot live a lofty and exemplary morality; he is saying that a society in which God is absent will not find the necessary consensus on moral values or the strength to live according to the model of these values. From where I sit Benedict XVI wins this contest hands down. A comprehensive market economy—call it capitalism—will
From “Remarks to Graduating Seniors,” Gordon Senior Breakfast, May 18, 2007.
John Mason, Ph.D., professor of economics, joined the Gordon faculty in 1968. His research and teaching interests have included economics, microeconomics, poverty, and biblical teaching on public policy. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Stories Judy Dean ’78
Real Life 101: E & B Alumni Reflect I arrived at Gordon with a spark of interest in the mysterious field of economics—a spark that was fanned into flame by John Mason and Jim Schuttinga, who gave me the chance to do an interdisciplinary honors thesis my junior year, made me a teaching assistant and pushed me (gently but firmly) to do the math I would need for graduate work. Bruce Webb arrived too late for me to take his courses, but not too late for me to benefit from his wisdom and encouragement. When I went to Cornell for a Ph.D. in economics, John and Bruce cheered me on. Their confidence in me never faltered. When I emerged as a new professor, they drew me into the Association of Christian Economists (ACE), got me thoroughly involved, and introduced me to another newly minted professor—Stephen Smith—who shared my interest in international economics and global poverty. As a fellow professor of economics, first at Bowdoin, then for many years at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, and now during my time at the U.S. International Trade Commission, I’ve had the wonderful joy of having John, Bruce and Stephen as colleagues. They continue to demonstrate what an economist who loves the Lord can do in the field of economics, and they challenge me to think deeply about my faith and my field. Judy Dean ’78, Ph.D., is an international economist in the Research Division of the Office of Economics, U.S. International Trade Commission, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Gordon College. She serves in
Kevin Tordoff ’90
Casey L. Cooper ’03
My Gordon business education was well-balanced with accounting, finance and economic courses that provided a perspective on all critical disciplines in a business. However, marketing classes taught by Ron Waite, a small-business entrepreneurship class taught by Tim Stebbings, and an internship at a local advertising agency overseen by Ted Wood most influenced my future path. The effect of going to a Christian college shows up in my personal ethics—my beliefs that coworkers should be respected and that I am called to act with integrity in all situations— beliefs that are often lost in climbing the corporate ladder. After many years in the corporate world I started Global Village Trading Company, with the mission of working with skilled artisans in thirdworld countries, importing and marketing their home décor items. We have treated these artisans with dignity by applying fair-trade practices. There is an increasing movement to use business as a tool in missions outreach. Growing microenterprise businesses in developing countries is a difference-maker in poor economies. It establishes trust and leads to opportunities for positive witness. Not long ago I assisted a coffee farm in Nicaragua by volunteering to design coffee-bean packaging and a website. The opportunities are plentiful to apply business experience to a greater good. Kevin Tordoff ’90 worked for Saucony, a manufacturer of running shoes and apparel, for 15 years before leaving as senior director of marketing communications. He has recently blended the worlds of for-profit and nonprofit to create Global Village Trading Company. In addition, as of March 2008 he is director of marketing for Hope International, a Christian microfinance organization. gvtrading.com | globalvillageinsights.blogspot.com
In high school I knew I wanted to go to a decidedly Christian college, but I also wanted to stay close to home. Gordon, just 20 minutes down the road, fit the bill. Once there I never doubted my decision—I found my courses engaging, my relationships with professors edifying, and my faith development satisfying. After graduate school my life path led me back to Gordon, this time with much more hesitation. As a new member of the faculty, how was I supposed to live up to the excellence I had experienced as a student? Arriving on campus to move into my office, however, felt like coming home. As I renewed relationships with the Gordon faculty, my decision was once again confirmed, making my career transition suddenly much simpler. I still enjoy individual professor-student relationships—albeit from a different vantage point—and I pray daily to have a fraction of the impact on my students that my colleague mentors had on me.
ACE leadership and on the Editorial Board of Faith and Economics, and recently
Casey L. Cooper ’03, M.S., is assistant professor of economics and business. Her
coedited a book and wrote an article with
primary teaching interests are auditing and not-for-profit accounting. She enjoys
teaching accounting basics, even to reluctant nonaccounting majors.
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Story Stephen L. S. Smith
A Few Kind Words for Prudence How are Christians to promote shalom and true justice in a world of staggering injustices? A Gordon economics professor urges a clear-eyed assessment that balances prophetic vision and practical wisdom. There are so many ways human communities go wrong and get unbalanced. Prophets can be false. Priests can teach false religion. Human wisdom can betray. Democratic peoples can exercise sovereignty negligently, just as the kings of old. Idol worship reemerges—it was true in biblical times and it is every bit as much of a challenge in the rich West today, where we are tempted to trust wealth and chariots rather than God. The world is rich in innumerable injustices. India’s caste system holds more than 200 million people in perverse social bondage. China’s “one child” policy has forced the profound injustice of an untold number of abortions. These and many more deserve prophetic condemnation and wisely chosen remedies.
church called these virtues “cardinal,” which is the Latin word for “hinge,” because other virtues depend on them. In particular, the supreme Christian virtues of faith, hope and love rely on the cardinal virtues for their full development. (Kreeft’s Back to Virtue and C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity speak eloquently on these matters.) If justice or shalom is the achievement of a properly ordered life, it is prudence that uses reason to direct our energies and all other virtues to that end. Prudence directs us to recognize when we can do good, and how. Prudence directs us to recognize moments when we do the best by not doing things. In short, prudence is a core virtue necessary to properly steward the earth, care for the human community and exercise dominion.
How wise are we—and by “we” I mean Christians in academia and Christian intellectuals—in our thoughts about how to steward the world and promote justice? We have trouble, I think, getting the balance right. Other eras may have been unbalanced in their own ways, but what we struggle with today is that the practical wisdom essential for shalom and true justice, for stewardship and proper dominion of the earth, gets short shrift. At the same time, particular kinds of prophetic judgments are in vogue. The prophets we now hear most loudly aim their ire at free markets and globalization in the name of social justice. But they might not be paying enough attention to practical wisdom, complicating the clear-eyed assessment of these important topics.
But prudence has an image problem today. At best it sounds like wimpiness and lack of vision; at worst it sounds like compromise with evil. Bold prophetic calls for social justice, when measured against this pale version of timid prudence, can seem compelling. But everything hinges on which “justice” we mean. Whose justice? What vision of justice? And to think about that we need real wisdom. Justice must engage practical wisdom.
A CARDINAL VIRTUE WITH AN IMAGE PROBLEM Practical wisdom is sometimes called “prudence.” Prudence is one of the four cardinal virtues along with justice, moderation and courage. The early
Here’s where Christians in the United States go weak in the knees. Do you recall the George Clooney character in O Brother, Where Art Thou?—he plays Ulysses—and how he swoons at the song of the beautiful women by the river? We’re like that. We can be swayed by appeals that may not pay sufficient attention to practical wisdom. Let me give you three examples. IS THE “LIVING WAGE” REALLY LIVABLE? Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine is a vocal proponent of so-called “living
wage” legislation. These laws would require a community to pay employee wages far above present federal or state minimum wages—say $12 an hour with benefits. When workers at Harvard went on strike in 2001 with similar demands, Wallis supported them, saying “The idea that people who work deserve a wage that allows them to support a family should not be controversial at Harvard University or anywhere else. It’s a fundamental moral and human right” (from an April 2001 speech available at www.sojonet.com). Stirring words. But is he right? People live in families, often with multiple earners and multiple sources of support; some people work part-time and are not intending to support a family; some workers are low-skilled 16-year-olds whose work might not be worth $12 an hour. Must everyone earn a wage that will support a whole household? The predictable consequence of this legislation would be increased unemployment among low-skilled workers, teenagers and part-timers. Forced to pay more for workers, employers will economize on hires. Lucky insiders would benefit while outsiders suffer. Surely this is not shalom. There are better ways to help the working poor—such as raising the tax credit for dependent children of the poor. So I say to the campaign for a “Living Wage Now”: too much of the prophetic, not enough of the practical wisdom. UNPACKING A SLOGAN Second example. Oxfam, the international relief and development group, runs a campaign under the banner slogan “Make Trade Fair.” They claim the free market global price of coffee beans is too low for poor farmers. The centerpiece of the campaign is a proposal to fix the global
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But everything hinges on which “justice” we mean. Whose justice? What vision of justice? And to think about that we need real wisdom. Justice must engage practical wisdom. price of raw coffee beans at about $1.20 per pound, far above its market value in recent years. Coffee workers face real problems, to be sure. Bean pickers are often landless and not covered by local minimum wage laws—or worse, laws may not be enforced. Coffee-growing countries typically don’t invest much in education in poor rural areas, so pickers might be barely literate. They’re vulnerable to being cheated by landowners colluding with local police. And because the economy’s not growing much, there are few high-paying jobs to be had anywhere, and certainly not in the countryside. Roads are terrible, so it’s hard to take beans to markets where they might get higher prices, and the government may set the price very low anyway in order to cream off the value of international sales. This larger picture suggests that poor treatment of coffee workers is misunderstood when blamed on globalization, or international trade or market-based exploitation. It’s not international trade that holds back their well-being; the key structural problems that most harm coffee pickers and farmers are specific to their countries. They have everything to do with problems in economic policies and institutions, and very little to do with the alleged tyranny of global markets. Education, health care and a vibrant business-oriented entrepreneurial economy could pull workers out of coffee into higher paying jobs, and force higher wages for those who remain coffee pickers. And what if there were a global high, fixed coffee price? The only way you can make a high price stick is to limit
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how many people or countries can sell coffee. There would be some fortunate farmers who would benefit while the rest of the world’s growers would be excluded. Insiders and outsiders. Why hurt the poor in Vietnam to help the poor in Guatemala? So I say to Oxfam’s slogan: too much of the prophet, not enough of the practical wisdom. Far better—though harder—to work with farmers and local and national governments to improve local conditions. This is exactly the strategy of the Traidcraft group headed by Paul Chandler, who visited Gordon last spring. Traidcraft supplies business development loans, insurance and marketing resources to small growers. QUESTIONING A PROPHET Final example. Wendell Berry. Perhaps you’ve read his poetry, or his essays on Christian ethics and economics and politics. He advocates an aggressive localization of economic life, going so far as to claim that a truly viable community “does not import products that it can produce for itself.” He calls free trade between nations “destruction and slavery” (“The Idea of a Local Economy,” Harper’s, 2002, and “The Total Economy” in Bandow and Schindler, eds., Wealth, Poverty and Human Destiny, 2003). One of the best aspects of private enterprise on markets is that people who want local products can generally buy them from willing suppliers. But to make localism a defining feature of economic life is not, in fact, just. It deeply violates shalom. I cannot think of any reason in Christian ethics why U.S. Christians should buy clothing made
expensively in Massachusetts or North Carolina—by workers who have lots of alternative jobs that pay vastly more than most of the world earns—rather than clothing made by young women in Thailand or China who have far fewer options, and for whom the 60-hour a week factory job is a genuine step forward compared to 16-hour days of back-breaking farm work and an arranged marriage. So to Mr. Berry I say: too much of the prophet, not enough of the practical wisdom. PRUDENCE AND MARKETS What will the world look like when we do bring practical wisdom to bear? How will things look when the prophet and the practical are in better balance? One immediate implication in economic life is that markets look pretty good. I draw a parallel. At a personal level, practical wisdom is the basis for practicing the highest Christian virtues of faith, hope and love. Likewise, at the social level markets provide prosperity and freedom that support human dignity. They assist—if we’re willing to stir ourselves—the widespread practice of faith, hope and love. I’m not just saying markets are useful for achieving prosperity—though they are. I’m saying markets embody justice inherently. They are the morally legitimate grounds within which we can freely exercise our God-given talents. Properly regulated by democratic governance and Christian ethics, they are an essential component of our shared dominion over the earth. It is genuinely difficult for 21st-century American Christians to think of markets in the light of practical wisdom. We
are intimately familiar with markets’ problems and less conscious of their strengths, though we benefit from them every day. For instance, we can think of lots of places where legitimate self-interest slides into sheer greed. It’s a little harder for us to see how market competition puts basic constraints on how much one greedy person or firm can control. We know how easily corporate advertising tempts us to extravagant consumption, even encouraging outright immorality. It’s a little harder for us to see the virtues that markets encourage: hard work, thinking about the future, creativity. These may seem like thin gruel compared to the glorious Christian virtues of faith, hope and love, but they look pretty good in societies that can’t exercise them fully yet. We know how easily economic growth causes environmental problems. Less obvious is the fact that enormous restoration of creation is within our grasp—and that this is much more likely in nations with democratic governments and market economies. In China the environment aches for democratic voice to give form to pollution control.
This is hard stuff. Practical wisdom takes work and careful thinking about first principles and evidence. It is an intellectual struggle, no doubt about it. And it’s always that way. We humans struggle to get things right. Being wise is a lifetime’s work, though sometimes things come down to a few precious moments where countries and individuals make choices to be wise, or not. Each of us has an opportunity to lead a life of sustained, abundant generosity and love. I urge you to use every inch of the God-like creativity in you to think of ways to do good. I urge you to find ways to help the poor and the dispossessed. Use your freedom—your political and market freedom, and especially your freedom in Christ—to serve His Kingdom diligently. And in God’s providence may we all come to true practical wisdom.
and Nathan the Prophet Anointed Solomon King,” September 28, 2007.
of economics at Gordon College, John D. Mason led the creation of the Department of Economics and Business and advocated for and lived out a rich vision of Christian intellectual life. Understanding that harnessing the Christian mind is an essential part of true stewardship and worship, Professor Mason urged his students to serve God by thinking clearly—economically and biblically—about how best to build The John D. Mason Scholar Award seeks to honor and encourage the use of economic analysis paired with Christian ethical reflection to study economic and business policy questions. The award is offered annually to one or more senior honors research students in the Department of Economics and Business. It supports the winner’s research expenses of all kinds, including travel, conference attendance, and materials and data acquisition.
Stephen Smith, Ph.D., professor of
The award will be first offered
economics and business, joined
for academic year 2008–09. It is
the faculty in 1987. His teaching
paid for from the proceeds of an
and research focus on international
endowed fund established in 2007
economic issues of all kinds,
by former students, colleagues and
including trade and economic
friends of Gordon’s Department of
development policy. Southeast
Economics and Business to honor
Asia is his particular specialty. He
Professor Mason. For information
was a visiting scholar at the U.S.
about contributing to the Mason
International Trade Commission in
1990. He codirects Gordon’s program in international affairs and is on the editorial board of Faith & Economics,
Phil Williams Director of Development
the scholarly review published by the
Association for Christian Economists.
978 867 4232
Listen to the full audio version
Over a 40-year career as professor
true prosperity and justice. From a convocation address, “Zadok the Priest
A CROSSROADS We’re at a strange moment in the rich West. We’re prosperous enough that economic growth seems far less urgent to us than it did two generations ago (though it shouldn’t). We have a lot of freedom—to choose vocations, to choose responsible lifestyles, and so on. But that freedom can feel overrated given the greedy individualism we see around us. The hard fact around which we need to wrap our moral imaginations is this: Where most of the poor live, too much freedom and too much economic growth are not the problem. The freedoms attainable in democratic-market systems are very much an antidote to the problems in poor country cultures and political economies.
John D. Mason Scholar Award
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 25
Too Heavenly Minded? Michael Ward’s Astronomical Idea The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. Psalm 19:1–2 C. S. Lewis’ spiritual autobiography Surprised by Joy is an account of one of the major themes of his life, an intense yearning he called “joy” (17). Lewis believed God had sent this longing to draw him to Himself—that the heavens and the earth, poetry and friends, logic and conscience proclaimed God’s nature. Throughout his life Lewis employed increasingly subtler, more imaginative representations of God in his fictional works, trying various images for the true Object of his longings. In 1935 he disguised God as seven cosmic deities in the poem “The Planets”; in the 1950s he pictured the source-object of joy as a kingly lion. According to Dr. Michael Ward’s brilliant reading of The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis’ longing found its most complete, complex and cryptic fulfillment in the planets all along—or, to be more precise, in the collective personalities and symbolic possibilities of the Ptolemaic universe in which the heavens were the glory of God, incognito. I first heard Dr. Ward lecture in the summer of 2006 and was instantly both a fan and a skeptic. His theory of a secret meaning governing The Chronicles of Narnia was fascinating, beautiful, and—so I thought—implausible. Since that time I have read his book, heard him speak in person and enjoyed lively dialogue with him. Dr. Ward is a compelling speaker and persuasive writer; his discovery is worthy of comparison with the deductive reasoning of Sherlock Holmes or the code-cracking wizardry of Robert Langdon. He writes from inside Lewis’ head, quoting effortlessly from Lewis’ oeuvre, tying together disparate elements with ease and grace. His memory is prodigious, his writing clear and organized, his interpretation of the Narniad lovely, plausible, scholarly and useful. What is this astronomical discovery? While working on his doctorate, Ward turned from The Discarded Image to Lewis’ poem “The Planets.” The lines describing Jupiter mention the end of winter and the healing of sorrows, which Ward thought resembled The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Chasing that thought through the poem, he found that each of the seven planets of the Ptolemaic system appeared to correspond to one of the seven chronicles. Through four years of exhaustive
research into Lewis’ writings, he decided these apparent correspondences were not only actual but intentional. Planet Narnia, then, is an exciting hybrid of careful literary criticism and racy mystery story. The scholarly apparatus (copious endnotes, comprehensive bibliography, neologisms, precise technical vocabulary) attest to a firm foundation of research and support a framework of intricate code breaking. Ward’s first task is to describe Lewis’ permanent interest in medieval astrology. In each chapter he outlines the personality of a planet via its appearances in Lewis’ professional writings, poetry and The Space Trilogy (since Lewis goes to great lengths to show the inaccuracy of the word “space” and since the last volume takes place on Earth, The Space Trilogy is a singularly unapt name for Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength. Better appellations include The Cosmic Trilogy, The Ransom Trilogy and The Interplanetary Trilogy). Through incisive readings, Ward describes the characteristic attributes and associations of each planetary intelligence and reveals the centrality of planetary imagery in Lewis’ imagination. Once the ubiquity of Lewis’ planetary interest is established, Ward proceeds to detail how the Narnia books correspond to the seven heavenly bodies. He demonstrates that each has a prevailing mood or atmosphere attributable to the influence of a planet; this atmosphere works on a reader’s subconscious to provoke an archetypal imaginative response. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is “jovial” (inspired by Jove/Jupiter), climaxing in springtime, resurrection and coronation. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is dominated by an eastward quest into the sunrise. The Last Battle is morbidly “Saturnine” with an inordinate number of deaths but ultimately redemptive as Aslan uses Father Time to usher in eternity. Read Planet Narnia to discover the other correspondences! In addition to painting a seven-hued portrait of the manyheavened Narnia chronicles, Ward musters an impressive army of details to defend his interpretive cause. Each planet has its traditional metal, color, animals and objects, which appear manifestly or obscurely in their proper volume. Rank after rank of etymologies, quotations, historical references and cryptic comments made by Lewis line up neatly to present the septet in Ptolemaic orbit. Orbit around what? The preCopernican planets orbited Earth; in the Narniad, so it would seem, Lewis manipulated the seven discrete personalities of the planets into a Christocentric
Story Sørina Higgins ’02 Illustrations Grant Hanna ’06
model of the universe. For, Ward argues, each planetary divinity may be read as a symbol of certain aspects of Christ’s person or work, and Lewis carefully shapes each presentation of Aslan under the influence of one planet. Planet Narnia offers an intriguing reading of Lewis’ entire body of work; furthermore, Ward’s discovery augments the already high status of the Narnia chronicles. Even if he is mistaken (although his carefully gathered evidence leaves little room for doubt) and Lewis did not construct the septet around a sevenfold cosmic system, the planetary reading is valuable for many reasons. First, scholars can now study the Narnia chronicles through a new set of lenses. Whether academics applaud or attack Ward’s reading, what he has seen cannot now be ignored; what he has made visible cannot again be made invisible. Ward has opened the field for fresh treatments of The Chronicles from any number of critical stances. Narnia may be read by cultural historians as a 20th-century response to the disillusionments of science and technology. Theologians and students of religious ideologies in literature may consider these seven “children’s books” as serious, multifaceted doctrinal works. Narnia can still be enjoyed as the product of a mind on holiday, but now readers can see what work Lewis took with him on that vacation: these fairy tales appear to be an academic’s presentation of his Oxbridge lectures in an imaginative form. Second, Ward’s astrological reading opens the Narnia chronicles to nonChristians. While atheists, agnostics and neopagans have always been invited to this mental feast, now they may find a dish seasoned to please their palates. As Lewis wrote in Surprised by Joy, pagan mythology foreshadowed Christianity, and “all who had danced and sung and sacrificed and trembled and adored—were clearly right” (235). In these seven celebratory volumes, Lewis presents dances, songs, sacrifices and adorations galore; presided over by seven pagan deities. He invites all who attend preChristian orgies to come and feast, and to find the festive King to whom those planetary harbingers were pointing all along.
and asking intelligent questions about Lewis’ compositional process. They will never read The Chronicles the same way again; their reading is the richer for this new perspective. Yet the Narnia books are clearly not losing popularity, and the final reason Ward’s study is valuable is its timely release. There are two trends in American popular culture in this first decade of the 21st century: artificial realism and supernatural fantasy. Television shows, films and young adult fiction offer a proliferation of either reality TV and stories of excessively mundane, ordinary people’s daily lives or fantastical, magical, wand- and wizard-filled worlds in which power and manipulation are available via incantatory words or semisacramental objects. My experience with middle and high school students suggests that the larger appetite is for the fabulous. Ward reminds us (if we needed reminding) that Lewis’ creation is worthy to stand with the best of this genre, head and shoulders above Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials in theological profundity and scope of religious vision, side by side with The Lord of the Rings in consistency and complexity. How apt that Planet Narnia is unveiled along with major film productions of Pullman’s, Tolkien’s and Lewis’ fantasies! These simultaneities are ironic. Pullman calls Narnia “one of the most ugly and poisonous things I have ever read” and complains “They have no shortage of nauseating drivel” (quoted by Alan Jacobs on Audition, the Mars Hill Audio podcast “On Philip Pullman”). This might seem surprising given the parallels between His Dark Materials and The Chronicles of Narnia:
Third, Planet Narnia confirms many readers’ chronic suspicion that something profound lurks beneath the surface of these apparently juvenile tales. Ward reveals a carefully planned structure, replete with conscious ornamentation and deliberate subconscious effects. As many fans thought all along, the Narnia books are not just for kids! However, the fourth advantage of Ward’s reading is that this kind of interpretation is delightful for children. If The Chronicles were ever in danger of losing their popularity with children and teenagers (which I doubt), the ideas undergirding this study will rejuvenate interest. I have presented these ideas to four classes of students ages 10 to 18, and they have responded with enthusiasm in matching up planets with books
Michael Ward’s website www.planetnarnia.com
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 27
young, female protagonists—with the consonant names Lyra and Lucy—enter wardrobes, then discover alternate worlds. Talking animals, witches, semidivine beings, journeys, quests, and magical or emblematic objects feature prominently. Both series culminate in terrestrial battles that usher in new modes of human existence. Both writers display dazzling feats of imagination in creating secondary worlds. But there the similarities end. Pullman has been called the “anti-Lewis” and told an interviewer “I hate the Narnia books, and I hate them with a deep and bitter passion . . . with their view of childhood as a golden age from which sexuality and adulthood are a falling-away” (quoted by Adam Holz in “Sympathy for the Devil” on Focus on the Family’s website, pluggedinonline. com). Ward deftly parries many of Pullman’s accusations in Planet Narnia. For example, he shows that sexuality and maternity are vividly celebrated in The Magician’s Nephew (the Venusian book) via the creation of Narnia and the healing of Digory’s mother. More importantly, Lewis did not allow preaching to weaken his storytelling as Alan Jacobs argues Pullman does in The Amber Spyglass (Audition podcast). Indeed, the communication of medieval archetypes is subtle, accomplished by means of atmosphere and ornamentation rather than didactic statements. Yet even Lewis’ close friend Tolkien thought The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe “was almost worthless, that it seemed like a jumble of unrelated mythologies” (George Sayer, Jack: A Life of C. S. Lewis, 312–313) and wrote: “It is
sad that Narnia and all that part of C. S. L.’s work should remain outside the range of my sympathy” (Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, 352). What a pity that Tolkien did not live to read Planet Narnia; it would have revealed to him a fundamental consistency—a single mythology—governing each apparently arbitrary choice of characters. When you head to the theatre in May to watch Prince Caspian, watch for “martial” moments (inspired by Mars): war, antiquity, a horn, knighthood, trees, vegetation, wolves, horses and torches. While the filmmakers may not intentionally deploy this imagery, Ward demonstrates that “the Heavens declare the glory of God,” Mars pours forth speech about warlike and vegetative aspects of God’s authority and creativity, and Lewis’ second chronicle proclaims the work of God’s hands in history, mythology and astrology. Thus Lewis located his longing in the person and work of Mars-Aslan-Christ, and communicated both the longing and its fulfillment in an extremely complex, coherent, brilliant series of seven books suitable for children, adults and literary critics alike. And nobody guessed this for 50 years. I wonder what Michael Ward would make of the seven Harry Potter books?
Sørina (Kulberg) Higgins, M.A., and her husband, Gary, live in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she teaches language arts, music and philosophy. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Sehnsucht, Relief, Innisfree, Studio, Perspectives, Alive Now, Windhover, Bible & Spade, idiom and The Encyclopedia of Christian Literature. Her poetry chapbook, The Significance of Swans, will be published in August 2008. She is cowriter of a blog on the arts and faith, iambicadmonit.blogspot.com. email@example.com
A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Sustainability Initiatives In 2006 President Carlberg joined other evangelical leaders in Washington, D.C., in signing the Evangelical Initiative on Climate Change, which states that Christians are mandated to care for creation. At Gordon environmental preservation takes place on every level—from President Carlberg and the administration to faculty, staff and students. Here are some initiatives currently in place (Jessica Hackett ’09 and Benjamin Reinhold ’09 contributed information to this article).
1 | Reducing Trash
in bathrooms. Photovoltaic and wind
his students are spearheading a campus-
Twenty years ago on-campus recycling
power options are being explored for their
wide project to make soap from biodiesel
was sorting paper goods from trash. Now
feasibility in helping Gordon further reduce
recycling includes paper, plastic, batteries,
use of fossil fuels.
car tires, used oil, mattresses, glass, light bulbs and cathode ray tubes from broken TVs and monitors. Last year Gordon removed 465 tons of waste and recycled 150 tons. It costs the College substantially less money to remove recycled waste than regular trash. Dining Services has recently cut paper-napkin consumption 15–20 percent and replaced many paper cups with reusable ones. While recycling is more labor intensive, it’s worth it for the good it does for the environment. 2 | Energy Management In an effort to use less energy and cut down on greenhouse gases, the College has invested in many new energy management systems across campus. Computerized systems have been installed in Bennett, Barrington, Lane, Jenks and Ferrin. Energyefficient lighting has been installed in most dorms and academic buildings. Ninetyfive percent of campus heating systems have been converted to natural gas, and water-saving technology is being installed
5 | An Organic Garden, Composting and
3 | Running on Biodiesel
Leo Cleary, locksmith and carpenter in the
Advocates for a Sustainable Future, a
College’s Physical Plant, made headlines
student group that is part of the Gordon
when he started processing biodiesel fuel
College Student Association, encourages
from Lane Student Center’s used vegetable
campus-wide environmental awareness.
oil. With the biodiesel he runs his own car
Founder Mat Schetne ’08, along with other
and a campus car, “The Clean Machine”—a
students, started an organic garden and
1981 diesel Volkswagen Rabbit. Now all
sells produce at a campus farm stand. He
College vehicles that run a diesel engine
works with Dining Services to offer more
have switched to this innovative and
local or fair-trade products, and initiated a
renewable resource—B-20, a by-product
composting project in campus apartment
that is 20 percent biodiesel.
buildings and at the student Claymore Café
4 | Green Chemistry
to cut down on waste.
Chemistry professor Irv Levy’s students
6 | Wetlands Restoration Project
promote green chemistry at the Boston
In 2003 plans were made to reclaim a
Museum of Science, the Boston Children’s
wetland that had been paved over behind
Museum and at national meetings for
Frost Hall. Oil from cars had seeped into the
the American Chemical Society. Organic
wetlands, polluting an ecological habitat. In
chemistry students will attend the
conjunction with the Wenham Conservation
semester-long Green Organic Literacy
Commission and state agencies, the College
Forum this spring. Two green chemistry
invested in a reclamation project for the
research projects are underway:
area. A drainage system was installed to
“Measuring Ecotoxicity” and “Biofuels
improve water quality, and various wetland
from Underutilized Seed Oils.” Irv and
species were planted.
www.gordon.edu/sustainability | firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 29
TEXT AND CONTEXT
NEW FACULTY BOOKS
A true picture of publishing activity at Gordon would look more like a continuum than a list. What you don’t see in this roster of faculty books published in the past months, of course, is books still gestating and books a year or more out in the world—as well as the conversations and contexts that gave rise to them. For a more complete discussion of scholarly activity by our faculty—including journal publications and conference presentations—browse the Provost’s Page online at www.gordon.edu/provost.
PAUL BORTHWICK, M.DIV., D.MIN. YOUTH MINISTRIES
PAUL BORGMAN, PH.D. ENGLISH
HAROLD HEIE, PH.D. CENTER FOR CHRISTIAN STUDIES
Simplify. 106 Ways to Uncomplicate Your Life
David, Saul, and God: Rediscovering an Ancient Story
Learning to Listen, Ready to Talk: A Pilgrimage Toward Peacemaking
Oxford University Press, 2007
This book stands on three basic premises: 1. Many of us are dissatisfied, restless or overburdened because our lives feel too busy and out of control. Even those who profess to be followers of Jesus are tired, stressed and missing the genuine joy thought to be a natural byproduct of living for Him.
“In an era of numerous deconstructions and reconstructions of the Hebrew Bible’s David, Paul Borgman has produced a detailed and thoughtful close reading of the accounts found in Samuel and the opening of Kings. Acknowledging the veneration and vilification applied to ‘Israel’s greatest, if massively flawed, king’ by traditional and recent interpreters, Borgman seeks to unravel the mystery of who David is, making pointed use of the text’s significant patterns of repetition. While engaging fully with recent literary scholarship on Saul and David, Borgman sets out in a fruitful direction of his own, examining the larger sweep of the narrative and fully incorporating such oft misunderstood sections as the ‘appendix’ of II Samuel 21–24. In helping us to see David in both his unabated complexity and his ability to grow morally, Borgman makes new sense of texts which are often viewed as ambiguous or contradictory. His reading illuminates Saul, David, and above all, the God of the Bible.”
This book invites readers to reject dogmatic confrontation with others, preparing the reader to listen carefully and talk respectfully about disagreements. It is a natural outgrowth of Heie’s many years as a professor and administrator at several Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) colleges including Gordon. Books and Culture’s editor, John Wilson, in the article “Can’t We Just Have a Good Argument: Lessons in Respectful Conversation” (October 2005), describes Heie as a “persuasive advocate” of “not bland, feel-good dialogue but the real thing, which will often entail strong disagreement and will always encourage forthright expression, undertaken with mutual respect.” Wilson cites Heie’s involvement with Gordon’s Center for Christian Studies (CCS), where, under his direction, CCS sponsored a threepart series called “Christians Engaging Culture,” intended to model respectful conversation for “public policy practitioners, politicians, scholars, and people like you and me, in the pews and parking lots of our fair land.”
2. The economic realities of our world— where some are extremely affluent and others struggle to survive on $1–2 per day—combined with our increasing sense of living responsibly in an interdependent Global Village, require basic rethinking about materialistic goals and hectic lifestyles in Western culture. 3. Premises one and two mean we all face choices—a key to simplifying our lives, restoring a sense of sanity to each day and living more compatibly with God’s design for us. Simplify is about making these choices.
—Everett Fox Allen M. Glick Professor of Judaic and Biblical Studies, Clark University
30 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2008
KENNETH PHILLIPS, PH.D. GRADUATE MUSIC
DAN RUSS, PH.D. CENTER FOR CHRISTIAN STUDIES
Exploring Research in Music Education and Music Therapy
Flesh and Blood Jesus: Learning to Be Fully Human from the Son of Man
Oxford University Press, 2008
Baker Books, 2008
“This practical text provides a comprehensive introduction to understanding research in music education and music therapy. Designed primarily for the introductory research course taken by upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, it is also useful for all interested undergraduates in both fields. In contrast with traditional ‘how to’ textbooks, Exploring Research in Music Education and Music Therapy adopts a unique ‘how to read and comprehend’ approach to music research. It helps students explore and understand articles in professional research journals, familiarizing them with the literature itself and with basic concepts, terms and statistical symbols” (from publisher’s note). Phillips has dedicated Exploring Research in Music Education and Music Therapy to the first class of graduates in the master’s program in music education at Gordon.
Christians usually do not find it difficult to see Jesus as God. But many are lacking in their understanding of Jesus as human, resulting in a stunted view of what it means for us to be human. A well-developed understanding of Jesus’ humanity can show us the essential differences between being human and being sinners. In Flesh-and-Blood Jesus Russ helps readers get to know Jesus more fully through reflecting on His humanity. He reminds readers that God created them to be human and that through His sacrifice Christ redeems them back into His design for them as fully human. Russ also explores the inevitable tensions of being human in a fallen world and being sinful, showing readers that making mistakes and having limits are not sins. Chapter-end questions make this book ideal for personal and small-group study.
It is his fourth book on music education, following Teaching Kids to Sing; Basic Techniques of Conducting and Directing the Choral Music Program.
Russ has contributed to a number of books, including a chapter, coauthored with Gordon Provost Mark Sargent, “The Moral Imagination” in Christianity and the Soul of the University.
GREGOR THUSWALDNER, PH.D. GERMAN (coeditor, with Olaf Berwald, University of North Dakota) Der untote Gott: Religion und Ästhetik in der deutschen und österreichischen Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts (The Undead God: Aesthetics and Religion in Twentieth-Century German and Austrian Culture) Cologne: Böhlau, 2007 Although religious themes and motifs are abundant in 20th-century German and Austrian literature and culture, this essay collection is the first attempt to explore these intersections. The book features a stellar group of international colleagues who investigate manifestations and negotiations of religious conflicts in 20th-century German and Austrian literary texts and cultural products. The Undead God illuminates ethical shifts and highlights psychological as well as social and political struggles. The authors of this essay collection engage in sophisticated analyses of intertextual connections with the Old and New Testaments, explore the status of religion in current Shoah Studies, examine literary manifestations of Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and secularized rituals, and discuss the religious identity of today’s German-Turkish writers.
Order Your Copy
All books are available for order or preorder, online or through local bookstores.
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 31
FACULTY PUBLICATIONS, PERFORMANCES AND PRESENTATIONS Gordon’s faculty members are active scholars who make important contributions to their disciplines and to society. A full listing of faculty publications, performances and presentations is available online at: www.gordon.edu/stillpoint/faculty
Faith and Foreign Policy Forum Three Gordon faculty gave presentations at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP), a venue that regularly hosts programs and events surrounding presidential politics. It was a conference focused on faith and foreign policy with candidates from both major parties invited to participate. NHIOP is part of Saint Anselm College, the site of several recent presidential debates broadcast by CNN. Associate Professor of Biology Dorothy Boorse delivered a paper on religion and global environmental issues; Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, assistant professor of political studies, spoke on religion and immigration; and Professor of Political Studies Tim Sherratt addressed the theme “Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy Rhetoric.” Harold Heie, former director of Gordon’s Center for Christian Studies, was the conference host.
IN THEIR WORDS
“God does not promise us that our faithful work will result in solutions on this earth. We are not asked to find 50 simple ways to save the planet. We are asked to do hard things with no guarantee of success, but a guarantee that our willingness to do so matters.” —Dorothy Boorse ’87, Ph.D. Associate professor of biology
Institute for Public History Launched Public history is history that is seen, heard, read, and interpreted by a popular audience. Public historians expand on the methods of academic history by emphasizing nontraditional evidence and presentation formats, reframing questions, and in the process creating a distinctive historical practice. It illustrates multiple perspectives about the past that often go unacknowledged, expanding beyond the use of written documents to include material culture and oral history. The new Institute for Public History at Gordon College is a venture involving the History and Theatre Departments. It combines existing museum studies curricula, public history fellowships, and the interpretation of history through theatre. Assistant Professor of History David Goss ’74 and Kristina Wacome Stevick ’98, artistic director of History Alive!, will offer the courses Public History and Museum Studies; Museum Management; and the theatre course Historic Interpretation. Goss will offer a course on researching church cemetery records, using tombstones as resources and starting an archival collection at a church. Stevick will build on the tradition of History Alive!, the longstanding program that oversees performances of Cry Innocent in Salem, Massachusetts. The Institute offers field trips to New England’s best museums and historic sites; guest lectures from some of the nation’s leading museum and public history professionals; internships at many of New England’s most highly rated museums and historic sites; job placement in some of the area’s top museums; and a minor in historical interpretation working with a long-established program in historic Salem. History Alive! presents historical stories through interactive theatre involving both actors and audience, hoping to broaden an understanding of the past and to relate it to the present. Goss spent 25 years in museum administration before coming to Gordon in 2000. Stevick has been at Gordon for 13 years, first as a student actor, then company director, director of education and finally artistic director in 2006.
More about the New Hampshire Institute of Politics www.anselm.edu/nhiop/ 32 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2008
Department of Public History www.gordon.edu/public-history
Abrahamo Nostro Padre Last fall Dr. Marvin Wilson was invited to Italy by a group of evangelical Protestant organizations to lecture for a special occasion. Under the leadership of Serenissima International, these groups raised funds to publish Our Father Abraham in Italian—a four-year project. (The English edition of Our Father Abraham is in its 22nd printing). Serenissima raised enough funds to give a copy of Dr. Wilson’s book to all rabbis and professors of religion in Italy. The book was formally introduced at a four-day Abrahamo Nostro Padre Conference in Florence, where Wilson delivered three keynote lectures. The conference was attended by more than 600 Italians, many coming from southern Italy including Sicily. Wilson also gave lectures in two cities north of Venice and visited students and faculty at Gordon’s program in Orvieto, Italy.
Wired for Sport Valerie J. Gin Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper Thy work and defend thee; Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee. Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, if with His love He befriend thee. —Joachim Neander, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (1680) While on sabbatical, I had the luxury of reading, reflecting, lecturing and writing—“ponder[ing] anew what the Almighty can do.” Alone and quiet, I was keenly aware that “His goodness and mercy here daily attend” me.
Museum Studies and Public History Internships Under the direction of Assistant Professor of History David Goss, history majors interested in following a concentration in public history and students majoring in other disciplines may now take a minor in public history. Their internship placements allow them to receive professional training in museum work. Recent internships in this program have included a range of settings and experiences, including curatorial positions at Salem Maritime National Historic Site and at the Peabody Essex Museum (pictured above) in Salem, Massachusetts; museum-interpreter positions at sites owned by Historic New England; archiving internships with the Patton Family Homestead; and a marketing internship with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
I had the privilege of writing the sports ethics curriculum for the International Sport Coalition, a network of global sport leaders, and then teaching it to students at the International Sport Leadership Schools in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and Chennai, India. In November 2006 in Pattaya, Thailand, I shared with 50 leaders from around the world, training and providing each with a CD of lecture notes and PowerPoint slides. These leaders will improve the material by adapting it to their own cultural context as they teach future leaders in their own regions. I also wrote a paper, “Reversing the Curse: Practicing the Presence and Presents of God in Sport,” to be included as a chapter in the forthcoming book The Image of God in the Human Body: Essays on Christianity and Sports. As I pondered how to positively impact sport, www.wired4sport.com, an online community promoting the value and love of sport, was birthed. People who love sport from over 40 countries regularly log on. The site’s home page changes daily, and we feature stories and special connection sites (Athlete to Athlete, Coach to Coach, etc.). Contributors include university and high school coaches, elite and college athletes, athletic directors, athletic trainers, chaplains from the Indiana Fever and Philadelphia Phillies, and several Gordon student-athletes and alums. Grateful and humbled, I continue to “ponder anew what the Almighty can do” as I strive to be an agent of change and redemption in the world of sport and in my classroom at Gordon. Valerie J. Gin. Ed.D., is associate professor of recreation and leisure studies and department chair. She writes and does research on sport ethics.
Join the Community www.wired4sport.com
Students on a Mission The Chapel Office and the Center for Student Leadership sponsored global mission trips during spring break to locations including: bb Las Colinas, Dominican Republic (D. R. team) bb Lebanon, Pennsylvania (Habitat for Humanity) bb Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico (Mexico Outreach) bb New Orleans, Louisiana (U.S. Exposure) bb New York, New York (U.S. Exposure) bb Pentrebach and Morriston, Wales (Center for Student Leadership)
Empowering Somali Bantu Women Jennifer Rosenbaum ’08 The most rewarding lessons learned are those outside my comfort zones. Working as an intern for Gordon in Lynn—specifically International Rescue Committee (IRC)—has been the greatest educational outlet of my Gordon experience. As a Gordon in Lynn intern I serve as an advocate and coordinator of an IRC women’s literacy class for the Somali Bantu refugees, organizing Gordon students to go to Lynn each week as childcare helpers and English tutors. Not only does the program offer English literacy classes to refugee women three days a week, but it also provides a safe, educational childcare program for their young children.
Callings Kimberly Kurczy ’08 At home in Connecticut I was “Kimi.” My peers in Africa called me “Kimberly.” My Ugandan
When I interviewed for the intern position, I struggled with feeling inadequate: “How could I, a young, middle-class, white person relate to refugee mothers who have spent their whole lives fighting for survival?” The Bantu are an ethnic minority group of Somalia who were brought in as slaves from Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique in the 19th century. When war and famine ravaged Somalia in the 1990s, the Bantu were forced to flee to Kenyan refugee camps, where they were treated harshly because of their low socioeconomic status. Only recently have they been granted refuge in the United States.
homestay family called me “Nissali” after the
However, in working with these women I discovered that God created us to relate to one another, to live life alongside each other regardless of our differences. We all share the need to belong and to maintain dignity. My greatest goal is to empower the Somali Bantu women so they in turn can empower their children to educate themselves and seek an end to the injustice in Somalia.
(“white person!”). What were they attempting
As a premed biology major I am also passionate about medicine. This year I have been blessed with a fellowship with Gordon in Lynn, researching the reproductive health of resettled refugee women and the influence of Western medicine on their childbirth practices.
After graduation Jennifer (pictured above center) hopes to pursue a medical career in women’s health, and practice in underserved cities. Photo courtesty of IRC Boston.
called into being. How will the selves and
Chima clan’s cleverest woman. My homestay Mom—wanting to reflect strength and love— asked to be called by her first name, Deborah, the name of the Hebrew prophet and judge. Somewhere in translation the children on Kampala Road lost “hi” but caught “bye,” so they waved hello while saying goodbye. The more impish of them yelled out “mzungu!” to call out of me? Was it my meager attempt at Luganda: “Oli otya nnyabo?” (“Hello, how are you?”)? Walking home on that road one day I fell on the red dirt. Would clever Nassali misstep in such a way? Would Kimi from Connecticut even be walking along Kampala Road in The Genesis account tells of God calling out His creation—in breathing life and calling forth purpose. I contemplate the self that is daily callings within me merge into a unity? Who will be called forth? Kimberly spent a semester at Uganda Christian University. View more of her photos at www.gordon.edu/photojournals.
International Rescue Committee (IRC) Boston www.theirc.org/boston
Senior Theses: A Selection To qualify for departmental honors, seniors must fulfill a thesis project in an area of interest within their major. 2007–08 projects included: bb John Hoag, sociology: “Perspectives on Peabody Square: Community Views on Urban
Conductor in Training Last fall senior Michael Ingram simultaneously conducted the Gordon Symphony Orchestra while playing the piano—something that had never been done by a Gordon student.
Change and Development” bb Talia Kazan, German: “Cultural Manifestations of the Intensifying Turkish-German Conflict in Today’s Germany” bb Leah Kuehne, art: “Between Earth and Sky”
“I am a very involved conductor,” said Michael, “and I typically memorize my scores so I can maintain eye contact with the musicians and give plenty of cues throughout the piece. This characteristic made it quite challenging for me to ‘ignore’ the orchestra for long stretches during the concerto while I was churning out all of those sparkly scales and arpeggios—what we call ‘passagework.’” During rehearsals Michael had to keep himself from micromanaging the musicians because he found his piano playing was best when he simply let the orchestra play.
bb Sarah Lupton, art: “For Such as These”
The best part for Michael was the music itself—Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453. After spending hours a day with the same piece of music for six months, a musician either loves what he’s playing or hates it. Michael loved Mozart’s piece and is now at work on another concerto. “Mozart said his music should ‘flow like oil,’ and that makes even the most technically challenging movements so rewarding to practice. Mozart is astonishingly difficult to play well, to make sensible musical statements out of his tiny phrases and thin textures, but in time the notes do seem to fit perfectly under the hand and simply ‘flow like oil’ when you play them,” Michael says.
bb Jonathan Pinckney, international affairs:
Even though it’s a competitive field, he has his sights set on conducting professionally after graduate school and teaching music at the college level. He is currently studying music performance with a dual emphasis in piano and conducting after completing a German minor last year.
interesting photos, documents and other objects
bb Hannah Miller, economics and international affairs: “Water Use in Northern China—Policies and Prospects of Sustainability” bb Ty Nagamatsu, political studies: “Impact of Arguments about Climate Change and Related Legislation on Presidential Campaign Discourse” “Influence of Christian Zionism on American Politics and Foreign Policy” bb Sarah Viekman, art: “Illumined—A Meditation on Eastern Orthodox Christianity”
Documenting History Ryan Harrington ’08 The General Patton Homestead is full of of great historical importance. A dozen file cabinets contain historical correspondence, photocopies and newspaper clippings—all in need of proper organization, cataloging and preservation. My job, as an archival intern, is to
IN THEIR WORDS
identify each item and its significance, record the information in a Word file and catalog
“Orchestral conducting is what really makes me
these documents to build an archival database
light up and feel like I am in my own skin.”
for scholars to use. It is fascinating to try to
—Michael Ingram ’08
documents—like trying to solve a mystery.
connect the dots between seemingly unrelated
Ryan is a history major.
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 35
Alumni Books Ed Brown ’75 has published Our Father’s World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation (InterVarsity Press, April 2008), an assessment of the current environmental crisis that offers a biblical framework for creation care as well as a practical guide for students, churches, mission agencies, and both believers and skeptics. Nancy Tupper Ling ’88 has published Character (Poet’s Corner Press, June 2007), a chapbook of poems on loss, sadness and joy; on being a wife, lover, mother, doubter and believer.
Christian Smith ’83 and Melinda Lundquist Denton coauthored Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (Oxford University Press, January 2005). The book is based on The National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), a study of the religious lives of American teenagers, for which Dr. Smith is the principal investigator and director. John R. Muether ’77 has published Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman (P&R Publishing, March 2008). It places Van Til and his apologetic insights in context of 20thcentury North American Reformed theology, including the formation of Westminster Seminary, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the rise of neoevangelicalism, and American reception of Karl Barth. Contact the Authors Ed | email@example.com Nancy | firstname.lastname@example.org Christian | email@example.com John | firstname.lastname@example.org Order Your Copy Character is available at www.finelinepoets.com. All other books are available online or through local bookstores.
36 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2008
Bulgaria—A Crossroad of Civilizations “I see a redemptive aspect in a conversation taking place in several languages,” says Amy (Cram) Kuiken ’04, a Fulbright scholar living in Bourgas, Bulgaria, doing linguistic research and teaching English to Bulgarian high school students. “It is Christ Who must save us, but we can practice Jesus’ humility when reaching out to others. I want to do that through languages.” Amy is passionate about languages and about people of all cultures. As an undergraduate at Gordon she “wanted to major in everything. I finally chose French and figured I could still do everything, only in a foreign language. I took every course I could that dealt with the mechanics of language and the people speaking them.” After graduation she pursued a master’s in general linguistics at Boston College (BC), examining how learning and teaching language can be enriching, both in and out of the classroom. She also studied Bulgarian at BC and linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard with the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute. Her love of languages was intensified by her church experience in a Boston neighborhood that was “a spectacular mix of languages and groups. Members were deaf and hearing; young and old; from Jamaica, Brazil, British Guyana, Burma, Korea, China and all over the U.S.; with doctoral degrees or high school diplomas. Attempting to engage with each other in a second language was a powerful exchange.” During her Fulbright year Amy is living on the Black Sea Coast with her husband, Jonathan Kuiken ’04, who took a one-year deferment of his acceptance into a doctoral program at Boston College so the couple could remain together. As a Fulbright scholar Amy observes both people and language in Bulgaria. She aims to understand how “Eastern and Western Europeans, along with Americans, might better mediate the exchange of cultures to promote cooperation and mutual aid.” In March she participated in a EU/NATO seminar in Belgium, France and Luxembourg. “Fulbrighters,” says Amy, “have the privilege of diving into another culture, often without entirely knowing what they are getting themselves into. Life in Bulgaria has been full of shockers and revelations, and I suspect it will take a long time for me to fully articulate what I got myself into.”
Peace Corps in Jayaque A month after graduation Nathan Karrel ’05 headed to Jayaque, El Salvador, to work with the Peace Corps Municipal Development Program. He returned in December, successful in his service. Nathan worked toward the organization, legalization and institutional strengthening of 20 local community development associations, known as ADESCO’s (Asociación de Desarrollo Comunal), in conjunction with the local Town Hall of Jayaque to promote a healthy and active democracy. Nathan was also involved in various activities and workshops with youth. He spearheaded a series of workshops focusing on life-skill themes: self-esteem, gender, work skills, decision making, and goal setting, alongside workshops on culturally relevant themes: immigration, violence, democracy, and HIV/AIDS.
Covenant LLC: A Residential Building Company
Nathan most enjoyed the strength and spirit of
These builders find great satisfaction in spiritually mentoring the men who work for them.
community in the Salvadoran culture, in which
Marlin Shearer ’92
the stranger is always welcomed as next of kin.
A Historic Run Laura Johnson ’04 grew up in a family of runners; it was common to see her out with her mom and her sister on a Saturday afternoon for a three-hour run. She also runs on her lunch breaks while working at Text 100, a technology PR firm, in Boston. So it was no surprise when Laura decided she would celebrate her 26th birthday with a 26.2-mile run in Athens, Greece. She followed the same route used in the 1896 Olympics and finished inside the Olympic Stadium—the same ending point of the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon. Laura completed the race—as the top female American runner—in an impressive three hours, 21 minutes and 52 seconds. She was the 27th female finisher overall.
For 15 years Covenant Construction has been building new homes, renovations and additions, and doing plumbing, cabinetry and millwork. What started out as a means to pay my way through graduate school led to my enjoyment in working with clients, taking their ideas from the drawing board to the construction field. I ended up pursuing residential construction as a career along with my business partner Matt Ostrowski because God continued to bless our work, and I discovered much satisfaction in doing it. Covenant LLC’s mission is to serve people we work for and people who work for us. We provide skilled workmanship in a framework of Christian integrity and devotion. We seek out subcontractors who operate with similar values, even if they are not distinctly Christian. We believe each customer and employee is put in our path to achieve God’s intended purposes. For almost 15 years we have had some form of ongoing Bible study before or during work hours, addressing spiritual and professional topics we seek to “build” into our construction staff. Our employees often express how much these meetings mean to them. Matt and I are servants of God first, discipling younger men to see themselves as servants also. My father was the most important influence in my life. I worked alongside him as a kid, learning from his patience, impeccable workmanship and unblemished integrity as a businessman. He is known for taking on unusual and difficult projects that require a great deal of persistence and creativity to find workable solutions. Marlin Shearer, a political studies major and history minor, was involved in leadership development, soccer, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. He lives in Newbury, Massachusetts, with his wife, Allison (Bradlee) ’93, and their six children. Matt Ostrowski, his wife, Christiana (Mason) ’97, and their nine children live in Essex, Massachusetts.
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 37
Notable Coaches These Gordon coaches were recently honored by The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC): bb Cross Country: John Molvar was named the CCC men’s Cocoach of the Year. He led the team to its highest finish at the NCAA Regional Championship. Three of Molvar’s runners were placed on the All-Conference team. bb Field Hockey: Cory Ward ’97 was named Coach of the Year. He earned his 100th career win this season and guided the Fighting Scots to an undefeated Conference regular season (8-0). Seven teammates were named AllConference members and two were named on the All-New England team.
The Complexities of Coffee Production A lot goes into the dark roasted liquid in a coffee cup, starting with a little tree somewhere in the tropics. Accompanied by Daniel Johnson, associate professor of sociology, and Kirk McClelland, director of service learning and missions, students sat under the instruction of Guatemalan coffee farmers who shared meals and information on soil cultivation, caring for coffee trees, how cherries are picked, coffee bean extraction from its fruit and how to wash, sort and grade beans. Students observed the processes of buying and selling, transporting, roasting, preparing and packaging of the beans for market. Johnson says, “We know—not just in our heads but in our bodies—how hard it is to pick coffee cherries from 10-foot arabica bourbon coffee plants on a 45-degree slope. We also know how hard it is to carry a 70-pound bag up that same slope at the end of day. We know how delicate the ‘butterfly’ seedlings are when you transplant them and how resilient the plants are when they’re producing cherries. We know what it takes to roast the beans over an open fire and grind them with a stone roller and a grinding stone.” McClelland says the trip was a combination of lectures paired with real-life experiences that drove home those lectures.
bb Volleyball: Joy Gabrielli was named Coach of the Year. She led her team to its most wins (24) since 2002. Four players were named All-Conference.
Breaking Ground: Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness The Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness (CBMW) is moving from the Bennett Center to the Brigham Athletic Complex. The 6,000-square-foot facility will also house a future day care center for children of Gordon
Participants experienced different models of production: a single plantation owner, a cooperative run by former guerillas, a coffee shop owner, and a company that puts all the production of coffee into the hands of the farmer from seed to market. Guatemalans shared how various arrangements have impacted the lives of their families and their communities.
faculty and staff. Phase one of the new center is
This two-credit seminar makes visible what people take for granted in one cup of coffee, prompting reflection on the responsibilities that consumers share as followers of Jesus in an increasingly interdependent world. To see more images of their experiences, visit www.gordon.edu/photojournals.
adults age 55 and older.
scheduled to be completed this spring. The Center offers clinical, academic and research expertise for treatment of neurological, vestibular, and gait and balance disorders. It will also support fitness and wellness promotion for Physical therapist Marie Lucey, clinical director, will be assisted by three additional therapists working directly with clients referred by area physicians. Lucey works with Sean Clark and Peter Iltis, both professors of kinesiology, in developing CBMW’s expanded services in their new facility. The Center supervises student
Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness
interns for Gordon and Massachusetts General
Hospital Institute of Health Professions.
Coffee International Seminar www.gordon.edu/coffeesem Athletics at Gordon www.gordon.edu/athletics
Graduation Speakers Baccalaureate—May 16, 5 p.m. Roberto Miranda, senior pastor at Congregación León de Judá, Roxbury, Massachusetts; president and founder of the Fellowship of Hispanic Pastors of New England; member of Gordon College Board of Trustees since 2004. Commencement—May 17, 10 a.m Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California; author of The Purpose Driven Church (1995) and the bestselling The Purpose Driven Life (2002); leads the Purpose Driven Network of churches, a global coalition of congregations in 162 countries.
Companions for the Journey Companions for the Journey pairs students with faculty or staff members for semester-long mentoring relationships, focusing discussion on vocation, family, relationships, faith and identity. Malcolm Patterson, dean of graduate education, and Dan Bell, senior history major, were paired as companions when Dan was a freshman, and they continue to remain close friends. Malcolm Patterson: Whatever the matching process, God’s hand was in my first meeting with Dan. Despite our age difference, conversation was comfortable and friendly. Dan exhibited maturity of thought that belied his youth. When the semester was over, Dan and I agreed to continue meeting to maintain our friendship and share the ongoing events of our lives. Watching Dan give a history presentation as a freshman, I was impressed with his remarkable maturity, poise and confidence. “That’s my boy,” I thought with a feeling of pride usually reserved for a parent. This observation of Dan’s significant God-given gifts and graces bolstered my admiration and respect for him. This year our discussions have turned to postgraduation plans; Dan has his sights set on graduate and Ph.D. studies in church history. He expresses admiration and appreciation for the personal nurture and wise counsel of Gordon’s History Department faculty, whom he hopes one day to emulate. As a mentor I hoped to contribute something of value to a formative stage of Dan’s life; however, my life has been immeasurably enriched, and no doubt Dan and I will always remain friends. Dan Bell: It has been a blessing to get to know Dr. Patterson and his wife, Joyce. He has been an incredibly strong encouragement in my life at Gordon, supporting various things I’ve been involved in—including student ministries, the Jerusalem and Athens Forum, and my decision to study abroad. Our discussions have helped me better grasp my vocation and consider what it means to be a thoughtful and loving follower of Christ. He has been a wonderful example to me.
A (Textured) Service of Prayer Andene Christopherson Our annual Day of Prayer invites the campus to pause, pray and listen. This year sacramental stones, Scripture paired with poetry, 1947 footage of Gordon on the Fenway, and a string quartet were woven together in a walk through Gordon’s past, present and future. We recognized that Gordon is an active force in the Body of Christ—with a story. We prayed through this story in three segments: gratefulness for its past; humility and obedience regarding its present; and supplication for its future. Each segment included Scripture followed by poetry or prose, and a brief insight to focus the prayer time. The thrice repeated prayer liturgies were bookended with sacramental stones. Attendees were invited forward to select a stone representative of their part in the story, and at the conclusion of the service they returned the stones—like the Israelites in Joshua 4:1–7—piling their stones in remembrance of and in expectation of God’s faithfulness. This prayer service reminded us of the part we play in the story of Gordon’s service to the Lord. Andene is the director of worship at Gordon.
A Guide to Commencement www.gordon.edu/commencement
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 39
Daryl Lane ’74B, Men’s Basketball Lane prepares for a free throw in 1974.
Barrie (Twyon) Daigneault ’88, Field Hockey, Women’s Basketball
Athletics Hall of Honor 2008 Old friends, bonded for life by their sports experiences at Gordon, gathered for the induction ceremony. “When you get to training camp, look around—those will be your best friends at school,” David Lane’s older brother told him before he set off for Gordon in the fall of 1980. His brother was right—athletics creates memories, bonds and triumphs that last a lifetime. This was evident among the many Gordon and Barrington alumni who gathered January 26 at the Marriott Hotel in Peabody for the second annual Athletics Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony. The event was sponsored by the Highlander Club, an association of alumni, parents and friends committed to strengthening and advancing Gordon’s athletics. Over 150 Gordon and Barrington alumni, coaches, administrators and friends gathered from all over the country to reminisce. Christian bonds formed in the athletic arena drew guests who had not returned in years. Among those who attended the festivities were Dr. David Horner, former president of Barrington College; Nancy Salonpuro ’76B, who gave so much as an athlete and coach to both schools;
40 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2008
and Maggie Murdoch ’50, wife of the late Hal Murdoch ’54—who coached the men’s basketball team for 21 seasons— was perhaps the most sought-after guest of the night. The excitement in the room before the ceremony—cameras clicking, faces beaming—took the guests back to their playing and coaching days. The anticipation paralleled: bb The 2,000th career point on the basketball court by Daryl Lane ’74B bb A trip to the NAIA National Soccer Tournament by David Lane ’85 bb The first 1,000th career point by a Gordon woman, Barrie (Twyon) Daigneault ’88 bb 135 career points on the soccer pitch by Becky (Craig) Hylton ’95 bb Soaring to the basket for over 1,900 points by Jim Petty ’95 bb A trip to the NCAA National Cross Country Championships for Ember (Brosius) Verma ’01 The induction ceremony began with Jack Augustine, popular former head
Daigneault starred on the field hockey pitch and basketball court in the mid-’80s.
coach of Barrington men’s basketball, presenting Daryl Lane. Lane spoke of the blessing of being where Christian men and women were gathered not only to celebrate athletic achievements but to share in all the blessings of their lives. Lane’s humble personality and demeanor is the other side of a man who dominated the Barrington basketball court 1970–74. Marc Whitehouse ’70, current associate athletic director and women’s soccer coach, seemed to have a connection with everyone in the room. He smiled broadly as he presented David Lane, who was joined in the room by more than 20 of his teammates from the early- to mid-1980s. Lane told those who came to witness his induction just how much they meant to him— that they continue to be his best friends. Lane quoted Romans 5:3–4—“But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope.” These are lessons Lane learned on the field and took with him. Becky (Craig) Hylton was also introduced by Whitehouse. A star on a first-year varsity women’s soccer
Story Patrick Byrne
David Lane ’85, Men’s Soccer
James Petty ’95, Men’s Basketball
Lane took the men’s soccer program to new heights 1980–84.
Petty (left) in a 1994 team photo.
The Highlander Club is an association of alumni, parents and friends committed to strengthening and advancing Gordon College athletics. Besides being able to designate their financial support specifically for the athletic program, Highlanders serve as ambassadors for the College, identifying studentathletes and referring them to
Becky (Craig) Hylton ’95, Women’s Soccer
Ember (Brosius) Verma ’01, Women’s Cross Country
the Admissions and Athletics
Even in flight Craig is poised to take the ball where she wants it to go.
Brosius runs to her fourth consecutive conference title in 2000.
events on and off campus and
program in 1992, she told her story of transferring to Gordon, where there was no women’s soccer program at the time. Soon after her arrival, however, the program was started and, in fact, built around her. “I put God first by coming to Gordon, and then He gave me back soccer,” she said. Hylton was an All-American in the program’s third year in existence, and is still the only Gordon women’s soccer player with that distinction.
Nevertheless, Petty stood out not only on the basketball court but also as a member of the Gordon gospel choir. Reminding attendees that athletes are not focused solely on their sport, Petty recalled that choir was one of his favorite activities.
Barrie (Twyon) Daigneault was honored to have former coach Nancy Salonpuro usher her into this Hall of Honor distinction in the presence of her former teammates, and she expressed gratitude for Salonpuro’s modeling of the traits of hard work and dedication for her and the rest of the “cast of characters” on the women’s basketball team in the mid-1980s. Jim Petty was another star from the early 1990s. His 1,902-point total on the court remains untouched by the men’s basketball team, but Petty was more than just a macho basketball player. In fact, to the chagrin of his former coach, Steve Heintz ’87, Petty was anything but macho-looking, coming in at 6 feet, 9 inches and barely over 200 pounds.
The final inductee of the evening was Ember (Brosius) Verma, the only Gordon runner to ever qualify for the NCAA National Championships. Verma noted that running is often overlooked in the world of sports and spoke of her trip to Nationals in 2000, explaining how truly aggressive and competitive cross country can be. Verma fondly remembered the supportive bonds formed as she and teammates suffered through punishing workouts together and reminded attendees that sports can be taken into life after college—not just the physical activity but the bonds formed; bonds unmatched in any other walk (or run) of life.
Departments. Through special periodic updates, they stay in touch with athletes and coaches, keeping their fingers on the pulse of Gordon athletics. Highlanders know the importance of praying for athletes and teams, and they embrace the building of Christian character through athletic competition. As a member of the Highlander Club you can help provide our student-athletes with the highest quality intercollegiate experience possible. While our programs have enjoyed success, the budgets to support them have fallen behind; a record number of athlete participants and postseason play have stretched budgets beyond capacity. New facilities and equipment are also competing with other College priorities. The Fighting Scots need your support in building a program and facilities equal to their ability and enthusiasm. CONTACT Jon Tymann Director of Development Relations
Patrick Byrne is the sports information director at Gordon.
978 867 4039 email@example.com
Facing page, left to right: David Lane, Becky (Craig) Hylton, Jim Petty, Daryl Lane, Barrie (Twyon) Daigneault, Ember (Brosius) Verma
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 41
Interview Kristin Schwabauer ’04
SP: What happened during the finale? MM: It was the biggest party ever— hundreds of screaming fans, cameras, lights, music. I came in second place for the 36 at-home contestants; my loss translated to 48 percent of my starting weight—just shy of the winner’s 50 percent weight loss. I showed America that any results are possible at home. My family is living a healthy lifestyle, and I’m setting a healthy spiritual and physical example for teens I work with. Although I didn’t win the big money, I feel like a winner. SP: What did you learn?
The Biggest Loser Matthew McNutt ’00, runner-up contestant on NBC’s reality show The Biggest Loser, was one of 50 contestants who competed for the title in season three, losing 176 pounds in eight months. STILLPOINT: What motivated you to try to get on The Biggest Loser? Matthew McNutt: I sent in a 10-minute video to convince NBC I should be on the show: 30 seconds of “I’m really fat and want to lose weight to set a healthy spiritual and physical example to my kids and the teens I work with as a youth pastor”; then I recorded me wrestling with my kids, snowtubing, paintballing, preaching—showing I like a challenge and would jump in with everything I’ve got. I had given up losing weight on my own—tried everything and resigned myself to being overweight. But a checkup changed my mind. I was on the verge of heart conditions, diabetes, knee surgery, and outgrowing the Big & Tall shop. My 366 pounds were killing me. My example, I knew, would lead my kids to hear the same news in a couple decades. That shook me into action. SP: What was involved? MM: After all we contestants sold our souls—or at least our fat—to a
42 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2008
reality show and submitted the most humiliating photos of our lives, filming began. Fifteen minutes into the show the host dropped a bomb: Only 14 of the 50 contestants would stay with trainers at a ranch. The rest would go home with a workout DVD and a cookbook to show America we could lose weight on our own. I was terrified, convinced I couldn’t do this alone. We met with doctors and trainers to exercise, study weight loss and nutrition, and explore the psychology of weight loss. I finally understood what I had been doing and why, and the effects it had on my body. I was brought back with five other at-home contestants for two episodes halfway through the season. We were shocked to find out we were all ahead of the “ranchers” in weight loss. When I weighed in with an 81-pound loss, I realized I had outdone the contestants from my home while working a full-time job and taking care of my family. I was reinvigorated, determined to finish out the weight loss by the finale.
MM: All those Old Testament passages on the care and maintenance of the temple, on its holiness and sacredness, show us what a tremendous gift it is to have God dwell in our very bodies! Now I view my eating, my decisions, my exercise as part of my worship, giving honor and glory to God. It’s an exciting transformation in my attitude—to recognize that my spiritual health and physical health are vitally linked. I’ve been able to help others get healthy by speaking at churches, government organizations and events, leading weight-loss groups and responding to emails from around the world, sharing how my relationship with God impacted my weight loss. SP: Are you still keeping up with the vigorous routine? MM: I was working out 12–15 hours a week and eating about 1,800 calories a day. I now eat 2,500 calories a day and exercise about five hours a week. That’s a manageable lifestyle, and I’ve stayed at the same weight for about nine months.
Matthew McNutt, a youth pastor, lives in Boothbay, Maine, with his wife, Heather (Schrock) ’00, and their three sons.
Story Jonathan Fitzgerald ’03
Return Voyage Jonathan Fitzgerald is finding his past, present and future converging in Nairobi, Kenya. After roughly three months of living and volunteering in Nairobi, Kenya, my wife Stephanie (Skinner) ’05 and I caught a glimpse of God’s plan for our lives. We were walking home from the orphanage school where we teach art, flanked on either side by children grasping our hands and staring up at us with bright smiles and runny noses. Something about that moment gave us an overwhelming sense that we were exactly where God wanted us at this time in our lives, providing a hint of our purpose as a couple. Back in 2001, when I was a sophomore at Gordon, I went to a short meeting that changed the course of my life. The meeting was an introduction to the study abroad program at Daystar University in Kenya, and though I had never considered travelling to Africa, within a year I found myself sitting on a plane bound for Nairobi. As one might expect, everything felt foreign and strange. I was a minority for the first time in my life; I was housed with three African roommates who spoke a combined 10 languages; and I was
exposed to contrasts of tremendous wealth and cavernous poverty. But somehow, despite all those new feelings and experiences, within a couple short months I began to feel at home. I came to know one of the many wonders of Africa: that just beneath the awkward suit the West has stretched over its frame, there are people struggling for identity against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful, resource-rich landscapes on the planet. This wonder is what eventually brought me back to Nairobi, five years older and married. After two years of living and working on the North Shore, Stephanie and I had both begun to feel restless. We had talked frequently of travelling and volunteering, and finally it seemed like the right time. We knew we felt a call to Kenya, but that’s about all we knew. We didn’t know what kind of work awaited us here or even how long we would stay, but we have found there are plenty of opportunities to use our gifts as well as to push us beyond where we are comfortable.
Over the last four months we have taught in schools on both ends of the gaping wealth spectrum, volunteering at the orphanage school in the Mitumba slum as well as at a school for missionary kids in the wealthy Nairobi suburb of Karen. We have been working with an organization that supports and sponsors former street children and orphans, and traveling as much as possible. I have discovered that my gifts lie more in higher education and have been refamiliarizing myself with the postcolonial African literature I studied years ago as well as spending time on the much-improved campus of Daystar University. I have had the opportunity to meet with many members of Daystar’s faculty in addition to attending a conference on Christian Higher Education in Africa, hosted by the university. All of these experiences have opened our eyes to both the great needs and the incredible promise of Kenya. We are beginning to see how our time here is shaping our future. And when I’m on Daystar’s campus, I get a sense of how four months in this place five years ago set me on a path that has led me back to Kenya. It’s exciting for Stephanie and me to imagine where else this path might take us.
Jonathan, pictured above, and Stephanie Fitzgerald have since returned from Kenya to prepare for their next adventure, a move to New York City, where Stephanie will study painting at the New York Academy of Art. Currently they are living at the Sally Webster Inn in Rockport, Massachusetts, and Jonathan is teaching writing at Gordon. firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING 2008 | STILLPOINT 43
“We are proud to support a community that both challenged and nurtured us during our studies. Since we still live locally, Gordon continues to enrich us. We give in hope that other students may also experience this.” JANEL AND STEVE WRIGHT, Peabody, Massachusetts
Young Alumni Give Back While Steve ’05 and Janel (Stockwell) ’05 Wright were at Gordon, they were connected to a community that nurtured their gifts and passions. As human services professionals they are able to give back to those who need support and the love of God in their lives—Steve has been a job coach for clients with psychiatric disabilities and Janel has been an advocate for low-income and immigrant clients. Janel and Steve are also currently exploring career opportunities overseas.
The Wrights are able to use their gifts because people like you invested in their future by making a gift to the College. No matter how big or small, every gift makes an impact. Last year the College’s giving percentage rose 3 percent in large part because of the generosity of young alumni. Most of those gifts were between $1 and $50. A gift doesn’t need to be large to make an impact!
May 25–June 6—Holy Land Pilgrimage, Israel
If you value your Gordon experience, consider the value of staying connected. Each year the Alumni Office plans a number of events that allow you to reconnect with old friends and hear what current students and faculty are up to at Gordon. Recently we’ve traveled to California and Florida. Meet with us as we travel to your hometown—get reconnected and consider giving back to a place that helped shape who you are today.
If you’d like to make a gift to Gordon, email email@example.com or visit www.gordon.edu/giving. ALUMNI EVENTS May 3—Alumni Gathering, Washington, D.C.
July 13–19—La Vida Alumni and Family Trip,
Lake Clear, New York
For more information visit www.gordon.edu/alumnievents.
Jennifer Thorburn 978 867 4039 firstname.lastname@example.org
CHLORITE from the series Host and Hunger Canadian clorite, 14 x 12 x 9 inches © 2008
James Zingarelli sculptor
Host and Hunger is a series of hand carved stone and wood heads that grapple with questions of hunger and fulfillment. Each one is carved with stark simplicity employing a similar template, each with large open mouth: a void, a need, call, groan, presence of absence. The heads are androgynous with smooth, rounded craniums, longish noses, a full lower lip, and spiraling listening ears. One head echoes the other. They tilt back like fledglings in expectation of the parent bird’s return. Materials used come from various parts of the world: Italian Cararra marble, Zimbabwe granite, Indiana limestone, African Ebony, New England willow—establishing a physical global connection regarding issues of need and provision. Jim Zingarelli, B.F.A., M.A., professor of art and department chair, is a sculptor and painter who lives in Amesbury, Massachusetts, with his wife, Katherine. He has also taught sculpture at the Gordon in Orvieto program and at The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland, Vermont. His work has been exhibited at Dartmouth College, Yale University, Vorpal Gallery (Soho, New York), St. Paul’s Cathedral (Boston), the Attleboro Museum (Massachusetts), and the Pepper Gallery (Boston).
255 Grapevine Road, Wenham MA 01984-1899 www.gordon.edu
CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
Published on Apr 28, 2016