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Thinking the Box

Up Front

Thinking outside the Box: Listening to New Voices


t isn’t news to anyone that globalization has brought significant change to our lives, affecting everything from the economy to the selection of international foods in our local supermarkets. We are learning we need to understand the developing world—and to approach global and economic issues more imaginatively. If we are to relate effectively, though, we must grasp what it means to be the dominant culture and how we may serve without being simplistically paternalistic. Our Western points of view are being challenged in lots of ways—we’re seeing this happen even at Gordon. At a traditional Ethiopian dinner recently, we listened as some of Gordon’s international students and our 10 New City Scholars from the Greater Boston area shared their stories. In a group of 30, over 26 languages and 20 nations were represented. Several international students are in the United States because their parents are here as missionaries. In a number of cases the New City Scholars are members of urban churches made up predominantly of recent immigrants. These students bring possibilities for conversations with a different texture. In his book The Next Christendom, Philip Jenkins documents the unprecedented expansion of the Southern Christian Church—the Church in Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia. He projects that “by 2050 only about onefifth of the world’s three billion Christians will be non-Hispanic Whites.” These cultural shifts along with Christianity in the developing world will significantly reshape Western Christianity. As a Christian liberal arts college, Gordon has the energy and human resources to enter this global conversation with other cultures. The resulting synergy will enrich our lives and strengthen our students’ learning. We must listen to voices coming from the developing world because the “next Christianity” will shape Christian higher education. Listening will help us question our assumptions and call us to respond with Christian hope and love to counter the confusion and cynicism of a postmodern world. In future issues of Stillpoint we’ll discuss these topics in detail. At Gordon we are entering into a conversation—a conversation in which new voices will be heard; in which we’ll try to understand the other point of view and respond with Christian hope and love. We commit to carrying on that conversation with respect and dignity—a conversation surrounded by prayer.


T.S. Eliot, in his poem Four Quartets, refers to God as the “still point of the turning world.”

Editor Patricia C. McKay ’65 Media Relations Manager Chris Underation Publication Design Lora E. Maggiacomo ’92 Printer DS Graphics Lowell, Massachusetts 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 23,000. Send address changes to: Development Office Send other correspondence to: Editor, Stillpoint Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road Wenham, Massachusetts 01984 Visit our website at: Reproduction of Stillpoint in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Gordon College is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, or national or ethnic origin.

Volume 19, Number 1 Fall 2003

Thinking OUTSIDE the Box IFC

Up Front by Jud Carlberg Thinking outside the Box: Listening to New Voices


On & Off Campus by Chris Underation


Homecoming 2003


Gordon and Barrington alumni gathered to dedicate the Timothy D. Stebbings Conference Room as well as the Stebbings Memorial Patio and Clock.




Recent graduate Hiromu Nagahara contemplates his calling as he goes from Gordon to Harvard.


Alums at Large Continuing Education in Papua New Guinea by Tim Askew ’86

Alumnus Tim Askew translates both words and actions to shed God’s light in darkness.


The Next Christianity by Nicholas Rowe


The Peril of the Dominant Culture and the Idea of America by David R. Young

Student-Athlete Profiles Meet Gordon Student-Athletes by Stephen Leonard ’94

Rebekka Lidal ’04 runs her life like she runs a race—with strong focus; swimmer Christopher Acker ’04 finds freedom in exploring new ideas and developing leadership skills.


Another Look at the Prayer of Jabez by Patti Sellers Bubna

Former Director of College Communications and Marketing Patti Bubna says the Prayer of Jabez is more than a magical mantra; it compels us to be faithful in the mundane.

Nicholas Rowe, special assistant to the president for diversity, looks at the effects of a changing worldwide Christianity.

Gordon trustee and international businessman David Young challenges America to change history by listening.

Gifts & Giving “A Generous Man Will Prosper; He Who Refreshes Others Will Himself Be Refreshed.” by Rick Klein ’93 Orphaned as a youngster but nurtured by Christians, alumnus Dan Klim ’57 has spent his life giving back.

Professor Rini Cobbey takes a close-up look at reality TV.


Profs & Programs Justice or Mercy . . . Which Will It Be? by Kaye Cook

Professor Kaye Cook makes surprising discoveries about how students, both secular and Christian, view themselves and God.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam by Hiromu Nagahara ’03

Point of View Talking Real by Rini Cobbey ’96

Faculty Profiles Meet Gordon Faculty by Elizabeth Ross White

English professor Ann Ferguson and math professor Mike Veatch both have outdoor interests. She likes building stone walls while he prefers canoeing.

The Freedom of Forgiveness by Haddon Klingberg Jr. ’62

Alumnus Don Klingberg tells the story of friend and influential psychiatrist-philosopher Viktor Frankl, who lost his family but survived the Nazi concentration camps.




Events Calendar National Merit Scholars at Gordon At Gordon We’re Enlarging Our Worldview


On & Off Campus



New Director of Center for Christian Studies Daniel Russ was appointed the new director of the Center for Christian Studies following the retirement of founding director Harold Heie (see Summer 2003 Stillpoint). Dan served as the executive director of Christians in the Visual Arts last year and previously as the headmaster of an academy and director of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. He has taught courses at Seattle Pacific University and has been a frequent moderator and resource scholar for the Trinity Forum. He holds a Ph.D. in literature and psychology from the University of Dallas. Under Dan the Center for Christian Studies has had a busy fall semester. The high point of the season was the two-day Collegium on International Public Policy held at Faneuil Hall in Boston and on the Wenham campus. Featuring topics such as global warming and environmental policy, the Middle East, and reparations for slavery, the Collegium brought together a diverse group to speak about these issues from a wide variety of perspectives. In addition to this, CCS jointly sponsored a seminar series between Catholics and Protestants to examine doctrinal differences and areas of agreement.

Gordon Gets Complex . . . This fall Gordon received all the necessary approvals to begin construction of the much-anticipated Brigham Athletic Complex. This facility (described in the Spring 2002 Stillpoint) represents a major move forward for the athletics program, providing lighted all-season fields for soccer, field hockey and lacrosse, and track and field facilities. The new complex will be built in the wooded area behind the J. Tec White Field and Wilson House. The College and its architects worked closely with town officials and residents to address concerns about the possible impact of the facility. Construction is expected to begin in 2004.

. . . And Also Expansive Early in 2004 several Gordon offices will make the move to a complex in nearby Beverly, where a trustee has generously given Gordon a 10-year rent-free agreement to fill prime office space formerly used by Parker Bros. This satellite campus is just three miles from the main campus (near the North Shore Music Theatre) and alleviates a major need for office space for faculty and staff.

Noteworthy Achievements The Music Department’s accreditation with the National Association of Schools of Music has been renewed for another decade. Gordon is one of the few liberal arts music schools in New England to be so recognized. In addition, the Master of Music Education program had a successful launch this past summer. Under the leadership of Dr. Kenneth Phillips, the M.M.Ed. program drew strong evaluations from its students, and the workshop portion of the course of study drew more than 100 teachers from around the nation. For information about the program, visit

Rank Has Its Privileges The 2003 U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best colleges and universities in the nation were released at the beginning of the school year. Gordon was rated the 123rd best national liberal arts college. This represents an increase from 2002 when Gordon was 136th. This makes Gordon one of the top-ranked Christian colleges in the nation. The total pool of colleges ranked by U.S. News is about 550.



FALL 2003

Curriculum Adds Finance Major This semester Gordon has added a new major area of study for a total of 36 majors. This 60-credit program will blend courses in accounting, economics and management. The move provides a major very few other Christian colleges offer.

Frequent Flier Shawn Milne ’05 (featured in the Summer 2002 Stillpoint) continues to impress as a World Class cyclist. A Gordon student and the son of aquatics director Skip Milne, Shawn was named to the U.S.A. World Cycling team after finishing third overall (and the top U.S. finisher) in the Tour de Moselle in France. After that race U.S.A. Cycling flew Shawn to Toronto, where he started strong in his next competition before being forced out by mechanical problems with his bike. Shawn is considered to be one of the nation’s top young cyclists.

NCAA Milestone Soccer star Lindsey Benson’s milestone was perfectly bookended. On October 21 the senior from Andover, New Hampshire, scored her 100th career goal—only the 12th woman in NCAA Division III history to do so. Interestingly, Lindsey scored her first collegiate goal against New England College in September 2000, and her 100th goal was against NEC as well. “She has been one of those special players from the moment she set foot on our campus,” said Coach Rick Burns. “Lindsey is the one player other teams try to stop, and in spite of that she remains a consistent scorer.”

Faculty Focus

A sampling of faculty accomplishments and activities outside the classroom

Janet Arndt, education: Published the article “Red Flags: When and How to Refer” in Christian Early Education.

21:14, 19–20” in the Journal of the Study of the New Testament.

Dorothy Boorse, biology: Published a paper titled “Overpopulation: Ecological and Biblical Principles Concerning Limitation” in Worldviews: Environment, Culture and Religion; wrote a short essay on “George Washington Carver: A Radical Christian” for the journal Creation Care.

Malcolm Patterson, education: Selected to chair the Massachusetts State Review team for Lesley College.

Paul Borthwick, missions: Published the book Stop

Witnessing . . . and Start Loving. Damon DiMauro, French: Article “Blowing Smoke and

Shining Light in Ferdinand Oyono’s Une Vie de Boy,” published in French Review. Jennifer Hevelone-Harper, history: Spoke at the Inter-

national Conference on Patristic Studies at Oxford, England; delivered a paper titled “Ecclesiastics and Ascetics: Finding Spiritual Authority in Fifth- and Sixth-Century Palestine” at the Syriac Symposium at Princeton University. Thomas Howard, history: Published the essay “A ‘Reli-

gious Turn’ in Modern European Historiography?” in the journal Historically Speaking: The Bulletin of the Historical Society. Janis Flint-Ferguson, English, and Donna Robinson, education: Presented “Talking to Learn: The Paidea/

Socratic Seminar” at the annual meeting of the New England League of Middle Schools. Peter Iltis, movement science: Published an essay,

“Ventilation, Carbon Dioxide Drive, and Dyspnea Associated with French Horn Playing: A Pilot Study,” in Medical Problems of Performing Artists. Irv Levy, chemistry: Participated in the Green Chemistry

in Education program at the University of Oregon, a summer workshop devoted to studying environmentally benign methods of organic synthesis. David Mathewson, biblical studies: Published an essay

titled “A Note on the Foundation Stones in Revelation

Kenneth Phillips, music: Book Directing the Choral Music Program published and released by Oxford University Press; gave the keynote address, titled “Whistle While You Work,” at the national conference of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators. Richard Pierard, history: Reviewed Randall Balmer’s Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism in the Evangelical Review of Theology; presented a talk at Yale Divinity School on the “History of the Missionary Movement and NonWestern Christianity; delivered a paper in Storkow, Germany, on “Baptist Missions in Africa”; and gave a talk in the Czech Republic on “Missions as a Distinctive of Baptist Identity.” Dong Wang, history: Published the essay “The Discourse

of Unequal Treaties in Modern China” in Pacific Affairs; spoke at Wesleyan University on “The China Tie: Charles K. Edmunds and Liberal Arts Education, from Lingnan to Pomona” at a conference devoted to the topic “The American Context of China’s Christian Colleges.” Robert Whittet, youth ministries: Elected to the Board

of the Association of Youth Ministry Educators; serving as secretary. Herma Williams, associate provost: Serving on the

Executive Board of the National Network of Women Leaders for the American Council on Education. Ming Zheng, biology: Presented two papers, the first titled “Stress Treatment as a Trigger for Microspore Embryogenesis in Common Wheat,” given at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists in Hawaii; the second given at the American Society of Agronomy in Burlington, Vermont, and titled “Production of Doubled Haploids via Isolated Microspore Culture: A Tool for Basic Research and Crop Breeding.


HOMECOMIN A perfect fall day assured a good turnout of alumni and parents to enjoy free ice cream, cookouts, reunions with friends and professors, alumni and student athletic events, and delightful music. Kids jumped with joy in the moon bounce—a first this year—and made exciting discoveries at the annual science carnival.



FALL 2003

NG2003 THE CENTERPIECE OF THE DAY was the dedication of the Timothy D. Stebbings Conference Room in Barrington Center for the Arts, and the Stebbings Memorial Patio and Clock outside the three new residence halls. Tim’s family were guests of honor at both ceremonies, where he was remembered fondly with remarks by several colleagues and students from both Barrington and Gordon. Tim endeared himself to many with a wonderful sense of humor and a caring spirit. He had a passion for being genuine and often poked playfully at pretension. He lived his faith daily in service to others. Provost Mark Sargent told the gathering that Tim knew of the College’s intention to honor him, and he chose the Conference Room to bear his name. Sargent noted that it was just like Tim to select a room in the back of the Barrington Center since he always shunned the limelight, and knew about the significant places and people in all corners of the campus. In the Conference Room are displayed many photos of Barrington, for which Tim had a great fondness. On the knoll in front of Tavilla, Fulton and Nyland Residence Halls is a lovely brick patio with picnic tables, benches and the Stebbings Memorial Clock. This new gathering place for students is the gift of the Classes of 1950, 2000 and 2003. For 25 years Tim served at Barrington and Gordon, teaching accounting and business courses in addition to serving as vice president of finance. Tim died in March 2003 after a long

TIMOTHY DAVID STEBBINGS June 5, 1947–March 9, 2003

His humble yet deep faith was worked out every day by investing in the lives of those around him, as a mentor and teacher to generations of Barrington and Gordon College students; as a friend and colleague to staff and faculty; and as a husband and father to his devoted family. He used his gifts of humor and gentle encouragement to all our benefit. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. —II Timothy 4:7

struggle with melanoma. Gifts in his memory may be made to the

Gordon College honors the life and service of Timothy D. Stebbings with the naming of this Conference Room.

Stebbings/Clemence Scholarship Fund.

—From the plaque in the Barrington Center




s an undergraduate decades ago, I wrote a report for The Gordon Review on the just-published book Logotherapy and the Christian Faith by our psychology professor Donald F. Tweedie Jr. ’50. Tweedie, who had just spent his sabbatical year in Vienna with his wife, Norma, and their children, had been drawn there to study with psychiatrist-philosopher Viktor Frankl. Frankl was a Holocaust survivor and creator of logotherapy, the third Viennese school of psychotherapy (after the psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud and the individual psychology of Alfred Adler). Frankl’s brainchild was therapy through meaning, and he often quoted Nietzsche: “He who has a why to live can endure almost any how.” Since the 1930s Frankl had been declaring that only when we are dedicated to some cause greater than ourselves, or to some person other than ourselves, can we ever become truly human and find meaning in our lives. The human freedom—and responsibility—to choose a defiant



attitude toward an unavoidable fate is a hallmark of logotherapy and of Frankl’s own experiences. At Tweedie’s suggestion I spent the 1962–63 academic year at the University of Vienna, chiefly with Frankl. That year was pivotal for me, though during the next 30 years I had little direct contact with the Frankls. But in 1992 a stopover in Vienna gave me the chance to find the aging Frankl and thank him for his enduring influence on me, including his impact on the development of my personal Christian journey. He and his wife, Elly, were an unlikely pair: he in the bright lights of his global renown, she unknown and in his shadow; he from a pious Jewish family, she from an upright Roman Catholic clan; he nearly 90, Elly 20 years younger; he with earned M.D. and Ph.D. degrees plus 25 honorary doctorates from around the world, she uncelebrated outside her immediate family. After nearly 50 years together, both were still working and traveling at a staggering pace, though Viktor was in frail

FALL 2003

health and Elly was often exhausted with additional responsibilities due to Viktor’s recent loss of eyesight. In 1942 Viktor’s family had been deported to Nazi death camps, where all were killed including his wife of one year, Tilly. Surviving against all odds, Frankl was liberated in 1945. One of very few Jews to return to Vienna, in an emotional and creative torrent Frankl completed his first two books within a few months. Both were published in 1946; the second one was Man’s Search for Meaning, which remains a worldwide bestseller in over 25 languages. It was named in a 1991 Book-of-the-Month Club survey as one of the 10 most influential books among lifetime readers in the United States. Frankl also became chief of neurology at the Poliklinik Hospital, where he met Eleonore Schwindt, an aide in the dental department who knew nothing of Frankl or his logotherapy. They married, and she became a full partner in Viktor’s lifework. The Frankls made 91 lecture tours to the United States, and he


T h e

Freedom o f

Viktor Frankl spent three years in Nazi concentration camps, and they became the crucible in which his logotherapy was tested. Alumnus Don Klingberg tells the story of Viktor and Elly Frankl.

taught or presented at many of the finest universities, seminaries and public venues in many countries. His last lecture in North America was at North Park University, Chicago, in May 1993. Aware of the close collaboration of the Frankls for half a century, I had proposed presenting a pair of honorary doctorates to the Frankls—Elly’s first public recognition. Viktor declined his so that “nothing will detract from honoring Elly.” As the audience of 2000 rose to its feet in sustained applause, Viktor walked to center stage to “kiss away her tears.” Given Viktor’s virtual blindness, it was dramatic when the audience joined in singing the Walter Chalmers Smith hymn: Immortal, invisible, God only wise, In light inaccessible hid from our eyes, Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise. That afternoon my wife, Jan, and I drove the Frankls around Chicago,

the tour lasting five hours as Viktor and Elly reminisced about their lives. At the end of the ride I asked if anyone had recorded their stories. There were eager biographers to be sure, but the Frankls simply had never found the time for it. I was completely surprised the next day when they said to me: “Don, if you will come to Vienna we will make the time to tell you our stories.” Aware it was late in their lives, I made my first trip to Vienna that summer using money from the sale of my motorcycle. With help from three grants, from 1993 to 2000 I

ums and literature, visited the sites of the four concentration camps where Viktor was prisoner, and took a thousand slides of the intersections of the Frankl story. I learned about Elly’s family and the years of unemployment for her father—a direct result of his refusal to join the Nazi party. As a girl, Elly scrubbed the toilet rooms of Vienna’s sports arenas to help the family. Her brother, Ally, and her father were drafted into the Nazi army, and Ally was killed by Russian soldiers shortly after the end of hostilities. Because Elly objected to the World

Only when we are dedicated to some cause greater than ourselves . . . can we ever become truly human and find meaning in our lives. returned to Vienna for weeks at a time, recording over 100 hours of intensely personal, poignant, hilarious conversations and thousands of anecdotes. Interviewees included their friends, family, critics, and former colleagues in the United States and Europe. I explored muse-

War II assignment as an antiaircraft gunner in Vienna, she was allowed to perform alternative voluntary work at the Poliklinik—the assignment that put her on the path to meeting Viktor. During the 1990s I observed the stream of international visitors to the 7

Frankl home, and I also witnessed enduring controversies. During one of my stays, in the night someone smeared a swastika in feces on the door of the Frankl flat in apparent retaliation following another of Viktor’s public declarations against collective guilt. He insisted relentlessly from 1945 to his death that people in every ethnic and religious group are capable of good and of evil, that the so-called flaw in German character which led to the Holocaust is, in fact, a flaw in human character. He told stories of devout and godly rabbis, but also of some who betrayed their own people. He reported the inexorable evil perpetrated by the Gestapo, but also acts of kindness even by SS guards, one of Author Don Klingberg and his wife, Jan (Lind) ’66, with the Frankls (right) in 1993. whom at high personal risk purchased and smuggled medicine to prisoners while shielding them from violence. For telling stories of goodness even among some who were part of an evil system, Frankl was hated and even threatened. But millions, including many Jews, admire Frankl for his reconciling efforts and are uplifted by his healing spirit. People find the utter absence of bitterness in Viktor’s life and work remarkable, and his wisdom on human suffering extraordinary. Perhaps the following story illuminates his defiance of evil, his breaking of the cycle of revenge for him and for others. Shortly after the war, Gustav Baumhackl, a Viennese neurologist, lost his right to practice medicine because he had become a member of the Nazi party, though no evil intent was ever attributed to him. The Jewish Frankl had recently become chief of neurology at the Poliklinik, and someone urged Baumhackl People find the utter absence of bitterness in Viktor’s life and to seek him out. Though it work remarkable, and his wisdom on human suffering extraordinary. was not legal for Baumhackl to practice, Frankl allowed him to see patients in the department. Baumhackl was stunned by the kindness of the Holocaust survivor. In time he became a rope comrade to Viktor as they climbed the Austrian Alps together. In 1996 I told Viktor and Elly about my long visit with Gustav Baumhackl and about his love for them since Viktor’s first kindness to him. Viktor clarified: “But I did not bestow on him any formal duty, but only allowed him to see some patients.” “So you trusted him and befriended him,” I countered. “Certainly. Why should I not have done so?” “But,” I insisted, “no one else was trusting him—that is the point, Viktor.” “Then that is their problem, not mine.” I was persistent. “But, Viktor, you cannot take away from Baumhackl his gratitude to you. . . . These were his own words to me: ‘It was Viktor Frankl who gave me a little bit of friendship when there was almost none, and I will never forget this. He had just come back from the concentration camps.’” Viktor remained defiant. “So what? Why should I not have done so?” That Frankl actually lived his logotherapy is known to many. But virtually no one knew where or how he was grounded for his lifetime of reconciliation and resistance to retaliation—until I wrote about it. Every morning after the Holocaust, Viktor secluded himself, put on the phylacteries with the tiny boxes of Scriptures, and said his Hebrew prayers together with spontaneous prayers of his own. Never missed a morning, no matter where he and Elly were in the world, even in the final few days of his life when he was so ill. The outcome of Don’s seven-year project with Viktor and Elly Frankl is a double biography, When Life Calls Out to Us: The Love and Lifework of Viktor and Elly Frankl (Doubleday, 2001). Don says, “The book is neither comprehensive nor critical biography. Rather, it is an unabashedly sympathetic rendering of their story as Viktor and Elly told it to me.” The book was also published in Vienna and in Barcelona in 2002. Don earned a B.D. from Bethel Theological Seminary and a doctorate from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. He was president of Klingberg Family Centers in New Britain, Connecticut, 1968–1988, and is currently a clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at North Park University in Chicago. He has published many articles and won several awards for leadership and community service. 8


FALL 2003


Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Recent grad Hiromu Nagahara contemplates “such a great cloud of witnesses” and his own calling as he embarks on life in academia, beginning at Harvard.



he past has always been my present—key to understanding my own identity and always pushing me forward. This is all the more true as I embark on my journey as a student of history at Harvard University. I’ve loved history, ancient to modern, for as long as I can remember; my childhood was consumed by endless battles between Lego soldiers and turning page after page of history atlases. Frequent pilgrimages to the local library took me to places in the distant past, from an ornate merchant’s house in Renaissance Italy to the grisly battlefield of Somme in World War I. By high school I was a bona fide history geek, determined to somehow make a career out of my passion. Raised in a suburb of Tokyo and the son of a pastor, I am a fourthgeneration Christian in a decidedly non-Christian country. Attending international schools where we were taught in English, I dreamed of one day being at Gordon, where many graduates of Christian Academy in Japan study. The Gordon-at-Oxford program was particularly interesting, and the fact that Gordon is near Boston—perhaps the most historic of all American cities—attracted this lover of history. During my high school years, a rediscovery from my own family’s

past helped me make sense of my identity. At the age of 14 my great-grandfather left his home in Japan, sneaking aboard a ship for San Francisco with a dream of becoming a successful businessman in the early 20th century. He later became a minister for a Japanese Presbyterian congregation in New York City, where he remained for the rest of his life. In him I saw a model to emulate—comforted to learn my aspirations were not so odd within my family history. My time at Gordon propelled me to pursue a life in academia as a historian. The most valuable thing I gained from my professors was their example as academics maintaining integrity towards scholarship and faith. Through my advisor, history professor Dr. Jennifer HeveloneHarper ’92, I met one of Harvard’s Japanologists. Since Harvard is one of the top schools for East Asian history and my field is modern Japanese history, I yearned to study there under leading scholars from all over the world. My academic experiences, including a year at Oxford, confirmed my calling as a historian. And my involvement with music

at Gordon—particularly music professor Stan Pelkey’s insights and encouragement, and being a member of the College Choir—pointed me toward researching the role of music in modern Japanese society. As I face new challenges at Harvard, I realize I am surrounded by “a great cloud of witnesses,” both ancient and contemporary, and I am humbled and reminded once again that the past is my present. My identity as a scholar is inseparable from my identity as a believer, and my deepest aim as I take up life in academia is to live ad majorem Dei gloriam—to the greater glory of God. Last spring Hiromu earned a spot in Harvard’s competitive Ph.D. program in history and was awarded a full financial ride and living stipend. He plans to focus on Japanese culture and music, and the interplay between music education and nationalism as well as the development of the modern music industry in Japanese society. He began his study of these areas his senior year at Gordon under Dr. Dong Wang, history professor. 9



hen we study ritual in one of my media courses and ask which television shows are watched with regularity, students describe Bachelorette viewing parties or Survivor night in the dorm. My academic and personal specialty is looking at the common from different angles—especially the popular culture of mass media. What is more common today than reality TV? We can’t dispense with the subject by passing it off as only entertainment, and it’s not enough to say reality TV dumbs down society. Whether or not what we see portrayed is genuine or manipulated is a moot point. It is our reality because we live in a mediated world, and this is the media of our lives. Among the more agreed-upon functions of art are its simultaneous identification of and detachment from reality. Art helps us see what exists through what does not. It offers validation of our independent experiences and helps us see who and how we are, and how bad or great we can be. If reality TV is art, the question is not “How real is reality TV?” but “What does it reveal?” Last year’s hit song by John Mayer laments “I just found out there’s no such thing as the real world.” Adam Gopnik’s recent New Yorker critique of The Matrix suggests reality has actually been subsumed by its representation. French philosopher Jean Baudrillard offers a similar idea with his discussion of simulacra, the existence throughout popular culture of copies with no original. The reality TV trend does not stand apart from the world in which it is consumed, where we’re grasping at the shreds of reality and mocking its demise.

Reality TV Is Big Business A number of circumstances in popular culture contributed to the rise of the genre, including the mainstreaming of cable TV, globalization of media ownership and distribution, and the relative cheapness of producing reality TV. If there’s one formula that’s proven in popular culture, it is that properly blended familiarity and novelty breed consumption. If it works, it sells. But more than business is at play in the birth of a phenomenon. In his 1998 book Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality, cultural critic Neal Gabler traces the fusion of fiction and fact, referencing theatrics in politics, personal knowledge about celebrities and a general obsession with all things tabloid. Psychiatrist and theologian Richard Winter published a book last year, Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment, in which he characterizes a general cultural annoyance and dissatisfaction stemming from ceaseless craving for stimulation, novelty and relevance. These observations reveal a paradox essential to our identity. As the world gets smaller through the connections of mass media, we get further removed from unmediated life. The pseudo-intimacy of television in our homes and the increased perception of control the Internet gives us work together to set up the perfect context for a cultural obsession with seeing and participating in mediated real life. What’s on TV has to simultaneously make us feel we’re involved in what life is about—relationships, trials, the day-to-day minutiae—and at the same time shock and titillate us because we’re bored and feeling disconnected. And here’s the hard part, in my observation: It must not require any effort. What used to make up real life through individual effort and communal process—finding friends, a job, financial success, a mate, a wedding, roommates—is now fast-tracked through reality TV in easy, entertaining packaging. 10


FALL 2003

Point of View

Professor Rini Cobbey’s expertise is examining the popular culture of mass media. Here she takes a close-up look at reality TV and our culture’s fascination with it.

And it’s not just finding a life partner or earning a million dollars that avoids effort and looks like a game. MTV’s Real World has the same introduction for each new season, following seven young people living together in the latest adventure-laden city. Reality, the show claims, is “what happens when people stop being polite.” In this mindset, just getting along with people is neither authentic nor entertaining.

The Reality of Reality TV Fantasy and “no more Mr. Nice Guy” are neither new nor unique to reality TV. In art it has always been harder to depict good things rather than brokenness. But saying that reality TV is art because it provides a revealing, provocative angle on truth does not guarantee it will be received as art. Reality TV tells us some things about the truth, but it mainly comes down to escaping from that truth. In a workaholic, media-saturated world, the last thing we are looking for at the end of a day is the engagement that a more complex piece of communication art might require. The usual audience does not watch reality TV with a conscious intent to gain insight; it’s a wholly escapist genre. But there’s a compelling theory about what happens when we’re relaxed and exposing ourselves in a personal setting to repetitive images and representations: They become the paradigm through which we interpret and experience reality. So we see a world in which people’s base qualities are highlighted—from greed to meanness, where competition is the driving force and shock is addiction-forming. If reality TV functioned as art in our culture, it would show us what is real through what is false or imagined. It would remind us that relationships require honesty and humility; that people who try too hard to impress others look silly; that speaking out of anger or self-conceit can make a friend cry; that some people will do dangerous, perverse things in order to feel fulfilled; and that even with all the adventure of the Amazon or bungee-jumping off a building, there’s still a lot of sitting around in real life. If reality TV functions with mindless abandon, all those reminders are just so much more to laugh and gasp at. But if we respond to reality TV like we should to any form of art, instead of immediately demanding the next hyperstimulating escape, we’ll make use of that sitting-around time to engage each other in conversations about reality TV and what is truly real. Alumna Catherine (Rini) Cobbey returned to Gordon as assistant professor of communication arts in 2001. She earned her master’s in popular culture from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She has written several articles on popular culture and media. Some of her research interests are celebrities, AIDS films, religious and political portrayals in TV, and film and popular music cultural studies. While a student at Gordon, Rini spent a semester at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and worked in a number of film industry settings. She was also personal and research assistant to well-known film critic Michael Medved.

RE • AL • I • TY-BASED portraying or alleging to portray events as they actually happened

ME • DI • ATE to exhibit indirect causation, connection, or relation; to transmit as intermediate mechanism or agency

Brooke Whicher ’04 and Dan Thompson ’06 have a discussion with Professor Cobbey.


Continuing Education in Papua New Guinea Tim Askew is both learner and teacher as he cross-culturally translates words and actions to shed God’s light in darkness.



ur garden work complete, Aton and I headed down the narrow jungle trail back to our Nakui village. We soon came to the bridge I was dreading, a slippery, knotty log suspended about six feet above the black water below. Crossing jungle bridges is a roll of the dice with my long frame and muddy shoes. Several hours earlier I’d scuttled across it while Aton carried my new chain saw, but now he had a load of garden food tied up and draped over both shoulders. I had the saw. Brushing off his offer of help, I followed him across step by careful step, clutching my saw in one hand. I was feeling somewhat hopeful when a slight misstep sent me sprawling, clinging to the log with both arms. I watched helplessly as my prize chain saw sank to the river bottom. The clumsy white guy would provide some hearty laughs around the Nakui fires that night! Humiliated again. Diana and I, along with our two young daughters, came to live among the small Nakui tribe of the western interior of Papua New Guinea in 1997. Buried away in the Sepik River basin, the Nakui are seminomads who carve out a hunting and gathering existence from the jungle, moving between their gardens, bush camps and villages. Only a generation or so removed from lives of payback warfare and cannibalism, they have remained cut off from most outside influences and advancements, including any gospel witness in their language. Like aliens dropped from the sky, we entered this mysterious world ignorant of their unwritten language, cultural mores and basic tasks of daily life. We were invited by the Nakui leaders to teach them “God’s talk,” but it was obvious that we would not be the teachers for a while; our first role would be as learners from our illiterate, animistic hosts. Eleven years removed from Gordon’s classrooms and soccer field, I 12


was a student again—only this time, in the real-life school of Nakui, our teachers spoke an indecipherable language and wore grass skirts and gourds. Armed with our notepads and tape recorders, we launched into a culture- and language-acquisition effort that would take us most of three years. We followed them along their trails (“What do you call that?”), helped them plant their gardens (“What do we do next?”) and listened intently to their ancestor stories—like the one about how the moon came to earth and stole food from their gardens (“Could you repeat that?”). Sometimes our inquisitiveness was irritating to our Nakui friends; they barred us noisy novices from going on real hunting trips. Yet they were humored by our ignorance and usually happy to play the role of educators. At times we were overwhelmed by the immensity of the task. Separated from our neighbors by polar opposite cultures and vulnerable to continual scrutiny, we often felt displaced, FALL 2003

awkward and like prisoners in our own home. A few times we asked ourselves if there was hope of our accomplishing any work for God’s Kingdom in Nakui. By mid-2000 we were ready to begin teaching the first Nakui literacy classes ever. Six months later, with hot-off-the-press Nakui Scripture and Bible lessons in hand, my coworker and I stood under a palm-leaf canopy behind a fueldrum podium. We faced about 60 tribesmen and women along with their children seated in the grass. Trusting that God would bring understanding where our words failed, we taught five days a week for almost four months. With each subsequent lesson building on the last, we took the group on a chronological journey through key scriptural themes illustrated with pictures and improvised skits. Just before Easter we finally presented Jesus Christ as God’s “talk-promise man” and Savior from sin. A handful declared their new faith in Christ; these now make

Alums At Large

up the infant Nakui church. Despite our glaring shortcomings, Christ is building His Church in Nakuiland, shining the light of His Word where once there was only darkness. In my present role of Bible translator I work daily to supply my coworker with Scriptures from which to build Bible lessons and discipleship materials—“turning God’s talk,” the Nakuis call it. But translating God’s truth cross-culturally doesn’t only occur within the confines of my office. It occurs on a deeper level as I interface with my Nakui friends in their world of slippery logs and slimy grub worms. This too has been part of my Nakui education: learning to live transparently, openly and authentically in a foreign world, my weaknesses on display for all to see. This has not always been easy. There was the time nearly all the Nakuis wanted to kick us out of the village because I had offended them, allowing the neighboring tribe to carry our supplies down the five-

became closer than before, and Nopi managed to forgive me too. Two years later Makai was the first to stand and proclaim his Christian faith after attending all our classes. I am learning that it is often not our qualifications nor accomplishments that allow others to see God’s imprint on our lives, but a willingness to take that vulnerable step out of the house—not with answers to dispense or a reputation to maintain, but as a humble learner. Accessibility and vulnerability leading to solidarity isn’t a new formula. In the Incarnation we are reminded how Christ voluntarily limited Himself, choosing to love and be loved as an approachable, fully human person in order to translate the divine message with clarity to our world. Being approachable, authentic, vulnerable—this is reallife Bible translation for those outside (or inside) our doors. In our village sometimes it’s hard to tell who the teachers are and who the learners are; it changes from day

Tim graduated from Gordon with a B.A. in business administration and was a four-year varsity soccer player with an All-American Honorable Mention his senior year. Tim says he was greatly influenced by Coach Marc Whitehouse, “whose love for and dedication to his players is unmatched.” He says he still draws strength from the foundation and relationships formed at Gordon. Tim worked very successfully in sales and mortgage banking before entering Bible and linguistic training with New Tribes Mission in 1993. He and his wife, Diana, have three children—Rebekah, 9; Brianna, 7; and Timothy James, 3. Tim is the son of retired history professor Dr. Thomas Askew.

One thing is certain: God will find an abundance of weakness in which to make perfect His strength and ultimately build His Church. mile trail from the airstrip. Or the time I infuriated Makai to the point of wanting to kill Nopi, a young, one-eyed orphan we had chosen to work in our house over Makai’s lazy daughter. Both were difficult experiences, but through them relationships were galvanized. Makai and I

to day. But one thing is certain: God will find an abundance of weakness in which to make perfect His strength and ultimately build His Church. And another thing: there will be more good “white man stories” to entertain the Nakuis around the fire.

Photos at top: Tim and Diana with Nakui people. At left, Tim with Auiyo (holding the bow and arrows), who translates and is the “Spurgeon” of the Nakui believers.


THE NEXT CHRISTIANITY Nicholas Rowe, special assistant to the president for diversity, looks at the changing face of Christianity worldwide and the effects those changes will have on Western Christianity.

he mission of Gordon College is rather ambitious: to graduate men and women who are prepared for leadership roles in their homes, workplaces, churches and communities worldwide. The mission foresees the global impact all enterprises of the faith must have, consistent with the Lord’s command to engage the whole world with the gospel. Two recent studies—United by Faith and The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity—give us strong insights into how Gordon can better fulfill this important aspect of its mission.

SOCIOLOGICAL DYNAMICS The book United by Faith makes the bold claim that “Christian congregations, where possible, should be multiracial.” The authors draw attention to the biggest challenge to the integrity of the Christian message today: the fragmentation of the body of Christ along racial and cultural lines. This volume responds to the influential study Divided by Faith. In that work Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith ’82 address sociological dynamics that reinforce structural systems promoting racial division and oppression in the United States. The authors conclude the individualistic piety of Evangelicalism is ill-equipped to confront these divisions because it fails to address the structural causes. In United by Faith Emerson returns, along with Curtiss DeYoung, George Yancey and Karen Chai Kim, with a practical response to the previous challenge laid out, suggesting that multiracial congregations could be a critical weapon in confronting racialism in an increasingly diverse Church and society. Such congregations can also encourage unity across the major doctrinal divisions—Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, mainline Protestantism, Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism—as well as empower the Church to address social justice more effectively.

DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS There are other arguments that are equally important to consider. The 2000 U.S. census revealed that America’s 14


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racial composition is rapidly changing. Moreover, the racial and ethnic makeup of American Christianity is also rapidly changing. The chief area of new church growth is among immigrant and native nonwhite populations in the cities. The majority of material resources, however, remains within white congregations. Given the persistent lack of engagement of Christian congregations across racial and cultural boundaries, American Christendom runs the risk of minimal resources being allocated to places of greatest growth and need, thus undermining the effectiveness of the major enterprise of the Church. Because the intentional focus of United by Faith is the American Church, its study inadequately discusses the benefits of multiracial congregations for the Church worldwide. But as Philip Jenkins demonstrates in his critical work The Next Christendom, leaders of the Church in the U.S. ignore the sweeping developments of worldwide Christianity at their peril. Jenkins’ work reveals what mission specialists, global strategists and believers outside the West have known for some time: The geographic center of the Christian faith is no longer Western Europe nor North America, but Latin America, Africa and Asia. While Jenkins is not the first to suggest this (Andrew Walls and Lamin Sanneh have been prognosticating the trend for some time), his work brings together compelling demographic and sociological evidence to suggest “we are currently living in one of the transforming moments in the history of religion worldwide.” Given the powerful role of religion in public and private life, the transforming moment actually takes on the air of a major social revolution.

THE NEXT CHRISTIANITY For the past millennium Christianity has been identified primarily as a cultural outgrowth of Europe. In American popular consciousness this perception remains the reality, despite the Mediterranean origin of Christianity and its continuous presence in Africa and Western Asia from the first century A.D. In reality, European Christianity has

The New City Scholars, 2003. Seated, left to right: Joy Gary, Sonya Peters, Diane Andre, Pedro Mauras, Dean Blackette. Standing: Willie Hampton Jr., Dr. Nicholas Rowe, Samuel Tsoi, Matthew Hicks, Joel Vargas. Missing from photo: Kevin Thai.

declined since the 19th century; and while its presence in North America remains vigorous, its size and rate of growth in Latin America, Africa and Asia have quietly surpassed the West. At the current rates of population growth, by 2050 only one in five believers will be in the West. World centers of the faith will not be London, New York or Rome, but Kinshasa, Rio de Janeiro, Lagos and Manila. The face of the faith will be primarily nonwhite and non-European. Christianity will also look quite different in its cultural representation in the global South. It will be more theologically conservative in its outlook compared to the relatively liberal slant of faith in North America and Europe. While this will be welcomed by American Evangelicals, they will be challenged by the political progressivism of this next phase of Christianity; that’s because it will be mostly the religion of the poor and the persecuted while it atrophies among the rich and secure. Christianity of the global South will challenge Christians in the wealthy West to deal comprehensively with matters of economic injustice and be more explicitly political—a stance that makes most theologically conservative Christians uncomfortable. Neither is this boom restricted to the global South. Jenkins points out that the same trends of expansion among nonwhites outside the West are at work among immigrant populations in its largest European and U.S. cities. Boston, for example, presents an interesting case study. Observers have claimed for many years that Christianity in New England has been losing ground, basing their conclusions on activity in mainline and predominantly white evangelical churches. What has been overlooked is the explosion of

storefront and immigrant church plants in Boston and surrounding urban areas. This does not even begin to account for the startling transformation of New England Catholicism from being simply Irish and French Canadian to also including Haitians, Cape Verdeans, Dominicans, Salvadorans, Vietnamese and numerous others. New England has been undergoing a revival for some time, and Christianity’s new face looks quite different from its historical, stereotypical associations. Today Greater Boston’s Christianity has a greater African, Latin American and Asian presence and worships in a veritable Pentecost of languages. This is the immediate community of the faithful for Gordon College. United by Faith and The Next Christendom provide helpful insights. The faith no longer has a Western orientation (if it ever did), and all efforts at building God’s Kingdom must have a global outlook. At Gordon we are challenged with reorientations in worldview and practice if we are going to prepare world leaders for the 21st century. Dr. Nicholas Rowe holds a B.S.M.E. from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. from Boston College. As a historian of the Atlantic world, he taught for several years at Eastern Nazarene College. In 2002 he became special assistant to the president for diversity at Gordon. He often writes and speaks on Christianity’s engagement with race and culture. 15

The Peril of the Dominant Culture and

The Idea of America BY

in the White House on the National Security Council staff Ias administrative spentassistant four years to Henry Kissinger. Since then I have spent over 25

Gordon trustee David R. Young, international businessman and former assistant to Henry Kissinger, wonders if America can change history by listening.




years watching America from abroad. The consulting firm I established in England in 1974—Oxford Analytica—has today about 200 clients around the world, a quarter of which are international institutions and governments, including each of the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), China, India, Russia, the European Union, as well as the United Nations, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. This international exposure has allowed me to see America from a number of perspectives. History shows there is a peril in being a dominant culture: Sooner or later such cultures become so preoccupied with their own power that they fail to ■

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see themselves from outside. Here is the challenge: How does America avoid the peril of the dominant culture and at the same time establish its legacy of very special beliefs and values? I will use the phrase the “idea of America” to encompass those fundamental beliefs and values embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: equality, freedom, justice, pluralism, tolerance, opportunity and individualism. My aim is to point to the idea of America as a counterpoint to the dominance of America.

What Is the Peril of the Dominant Culture? A dominant culture has difficulty seeing itself as others see it. As the great Scottish poet Robbie Burns wrote: “Oh would that some power would give us the gift to see ourselves as others see us.” This peril, often hard to understand, seems a mystery. Most Americans seem mystified when we realize what many in the world think about America—a startling gap in perceptions. In a recent Pew Foundation Report, 38,000 people in 44 countries were surveyed. Here are a few troubling perspectives: • More than half of Western and Eastern Europeans say America does not take other countries’ interests into account in foreign policy; three-quarters of Americans think their government does. • There is a strong sense that U.S. policies increase the formidable gap between the rich and the poor. • In a Pew survey conducted with the International Herald Tribune at the end of 2001, 275 world opinion leaders were asked whether U.S. policies would be seen as a major cause of the 9/11 attacks. Less than 20 percent of U.S. respondents agreed while 60 percent of non-Americans did. When these misperceptions are held by large cross sections, we ignore them at our peril. Some would say, “Why does it matter what other people think?” It matters because we are not all-powerful even though we spend more on defense than the next 20 countries combined. And what other people think will motivate them to action.

What Is the Nature of America’s Dominance Today? First let’s clear away the underbrush of typical answers: A lot of people around the world just don’t like America; many are jealous of America’s success; some are anti-American on ideological grounds. While all these views have validity, they are not complete explanations for our current situation. Four perspectives are important: political, military, economic and cultural. We think of ourselves as the reluctant sheriff trying to keep law and order within the framework of established international institutions. We don’t believe we throw our weight around unnecessarily, and we are careful to include others in trying to keep the peace. A good portion of the world seems to understand the benefits of this. A Pew Report finding says, “Most people around the world think that a rival superpower would make the world a more

dangerous place. Even Russians agree two to one that a bipolar world is potentially more dangerous.” That is not to say there isn’t wide resentment and suspicion of America’s power and motives. When America pursues foreign policies based on its own domestic political and special interests, and not on a wider understanding of what is fair and just to all parties, problems surface. Our policies must be perceived abroad as fair and just if they are to be accepted. When we move into the spheres of global economic and cultural influence, no one is a full-time sheriff. Globalization over the last two decades has increased the size of the global gross domestic product (GDP) and has been responsible for the greatest redistribution of wealth in history. America has benefited enormously from globalization as the world’s leading consumer, but so have the producers. Though globalization has resulted in the greatest good for the greatest number, the G7 winds up with a disproportionate share of the greatest number of those benefiting. Moreover, there are many injustices along the way, whether it is child labor in the Philippines or Russian oligarchs enriching themselves in the latest privatization. Lastly, our global cultural influence is arguably the most counterproductive of the four dimensions of our power. Hollywood often projects images of America that many Americans deplore. In a recent article entitled “Hollywood’s Contribution to 9/11,” movie analyst Michael Medved provides a devastating critique of what we are doing to ourselves abroad. The export of American popular culture must be taken seriously because it is creating the image of America that the world believes, and it is at the heart of the world’s love-hate attitude towards America.

The Picture for the Future The overall picture is even more troublesome: • Of the global population of 6.1 billion, 4.8 billion are living on or below the World Bank’s definition of poverty level. • Of the 1.3 billion above this level, 280 million are American. • The World Bank estimates that over the next 10 years world population will increase by 1.9 billion, 95 percent below the poverty line. • While we represent less than five percent of the world’s population, we consume over 25 percent of the world’s energy and enjoy over 30 percent of the total GDP. We must realize our standard of living is grounded on having the world as a market for our products and a resource for cheap labor, energy and manufacturing. At this rate, the politics of despair around the world will grow. Lowering of the politics of despair is not only in our own self-interest but is the right thing to do. America must lead here—there is no one else. Our policy goal should be to change the politics of despair into the politics of hope. In historical context, no dominant culture has ever seen itself as others do in time to avoid its own demise. Shortcomings have often been in policies and behavior—not in the values and beliefs they espoused. What has been their legacy? 17

Faculty Profiles must pay attention to how it behaves America

or the message will be lost.

• Greece gave us the beginnings of democracy and integrated East and West under a common language. • Rome added the concept of the rule of law and established the institutions that gave rise to modern Europe. • The Ming Dynasty in China created a meritocratic civil service and was the most technologically advanced nation on earth. • Britain gave us another new language and the beginnings of practical democratic government.

It Is America’s Turn Our dominance is based as much on influence as it is on power. Never has a nation been so powerful and so vulnerable at the same time. Never has a nation been so global in its dominance without planning that dominance or forcefully occupying other nations. The questions we must ask are: What legacy does America want to leave to the world? How should we conduct our affairs so our legacy will endure? There is a contradiction at the heart of America. We have a message built on great ideals that all men should enjoy, and we want to share them with the world. But our materialism, consumerism, attitudes, lifestyle, popular culture and policies obscure the message. America must pay attention to how it behaves or the message will be lost. Throughout history power has had two dimensions: a tangible/physical/material dimension and a policy/strategy/ intellectual dimension. I believe another dimension—a spiritual dimension—must be taken into account. This notion of a spiritual dimension in the exercise of power is not new. In the secular world, one of the most powerful acknowledgements comes from Friedrich Nietzsche: “For when truth engages in struggle with the falsehood of ages, we must expect shocks and a series of earthquakes, with a rearrangement of hills and valleys, such as has never yet been dreamed of. The concept of politics is raised bodily into the realm of spiritual warfare.” The most accurate description goes back to the Apostle Paul, who wrote in the book of Ephesians: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this present world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” That men as different as Nietzsche and the Apostle Paul agree that the exercise of power is a matter of spiritual warfare should challenge us all.

What Can We Do to Avoid the Perils? To avoid the perils of the dominant culture and give the idea of America the best chance to endure, we must recognize we’re in a new global game—a generational battle for hearts and minds. Second, we must carefully listen to all that is being said about America—unfortunately, in this situation truth is not as important as perception. Third, we have to be open to change in our policies, attitudes and behavior, particularly where there is perceived unfairness or injustice. 18


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Some ideas: • Remain Engaged—Craft policies in all four areas of dominance for a coherent whole and not rely purely on military power. • Media—Discover creative ways of conveying the truth about America, working with people in film, media and entertainment industries to challenge, inspire and educate. • Diplomacy—Cultivate a superb professional diplomatic corps that understands how to look after American interests and how to share America’s values. • Globalization—Help nations in need cope with globalization. We must measure our policies and actions for their inherent justice and equity. • Business—Help our business elite to see themselves as international representatives of America; fair play and ethical behavior are the litmus test in all of their business dealings. • Personal Exposure—Our families must gain firsthand experience and understanding of the world to help us learn more about others and about ourselves. The aim is to unpack our assumptions about both America and others. President Bush said in his State of the Union Address last January: “Liberty is not America’s gift to the world—it is God’s gift to Mankind.” We might add that those special values and beliefs inherent in the idea of America are not America’s gift to the world—they are God’s gift to Mankind. For such a time as this, America is the channel and the messenger. Can America be the first dominant culture to change history by listening? As John Winthrop, first governor of Massachusetts, sailed across the Atlantic in 1630, he set out his vision for government in the New World: We must follow the counsel of [the Prophet] Micah, to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. For this end we must knit together in work as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality . . . for we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. Indeed they were and still are—now more than ever. Excerpts from an address to The U.S. Senate Republican Planning Conference, copyright Oxford Analytica 2003. Used by permission. Unedited address can be found at Dr. David Young is managing director and founder of Oxford Analytica, one of the leading consultancy and research institutions for analyses of world developments. Prior to serving with Dr. Henry Kissinger, he was an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McLoy, New York; he qualified at the U.S. and English bars in 1965. He also served as lecturer in politics at Queen’s College, University of Oxford. Dr. Young became a member of Gordon’s Board of Trustees in 1995 and serves on the Academic Committee.

Faculty Profiles

MEET GORDON FACULTY Ann Ferguson likes the challenge of putting the pieces together— in the classroom and out. Mike Veatch likes being on the move, whether in the canoe or on the track, and brings models for efficiency to his students.



When she’s not teaching, you may find Ann Ferguson in her yard building stone walls. This literature professor enjoys piecing the stones together as one would a puzzle, and—like a true Yankee—she uses no mortar. In a similar way, Ferguson teaches students how to understand and piece together the language of great works of literature. It’s a job she has enjoyed at Gordon since 1955. She decided to pursue literature because “I’m absolutely an inveterate reader,” she says. An ongoing research project has been the study of Russian authors Bulgakov and Bakhtin, whose writings were repressed during Stalin’s reign. She’s also taught theatre and directed school productions. Ferguson enjoys connecting with students on a personal level when she conducts classes in her home over dinner. Shakespeare class, for example, includes authentic 17th-century foods and customs. The professor may serve roasted root vegetables, stewed cucumbers with honey, and steak kebabs (a modern-day substitute for deer haunch). Students use only spoons and knives because forks were mostly for aristocrats in Shakespeare’s day. Another of Ferguson’s interests is music. She has served as a church organist for many years. Her latest European travel was with the College Choir tour. The professor enjoys spending time at her second home overlooking the Magalloway River near Rangeley, Maine. In that peaceful retreat she sees an abundance of wildlife including egrets, eagles, ducks and otters. This past summer she spied a mother bear and two cubs walking close to her window at dusk.

Mike Veatch didn’t start out in the classroom. He began his career working in the defense industry. But the mathematics professor developed an interest in young people while working as a volunteer leader for the youth ministry Young Life. “One Saturday morning I was looking at the alumni magazine of my alma mater and thought, ‘Maybe I should teach.’” Today Veatch, who has been at Gordon since 1987, teaches a range of mathematics courses. His specialty is operations research, a field that uses mathematical models to help industry run more efficiently. The professor enjoys working with Gordon students because “they have intellectual curiosity and they’re willing to think about deep questions,” he says. At Gordon Veatch is the person who’s lived in the most states—even won a prize for that distinction at a campus Christmas party. During his boyhood years he lived in 10 states as well as Japan while his father served in the U.S. Navy. Veatch is still on the move. A long-distance runner, he participates in road races and marathons. Another favorite sport is canoeing, particularly on a recent trip to Lake Umbagog in northern New Hampshire and Maine. Family ranks high in this professor’s busy schedule. He and his wife, Cindy—who has taught courses in social work at Gordon—have three children: Christian, 8; Jackie, 7; and André, 6. Veatch enjoys playing soccer with his children and flying radio-controlled model airplanes with his own dad, Phil Veatch.

—Elizabeth Ross White

—Elizabeth Ross White

Elizabeth Ross White is a freelancer with 16 years of newspaper writing and editing, including as staff writer for The Christian Science Monitor.


Profs & Programs

Professor Kaye Cook has done a number of studies with both Christian and secular students to explore their views of themselves and of God. Read on for her intriguing findings.



escribe a situation in which you participated that raised moral issues for you: • What did you do and why? • Do you think it was the right thing to do, and why or why not? Over the last few years I have developed research projects that explore students’ views of themselves and of God. My work in this area grew partially out of an interest in how men and women think differently about moral issues. I expected to find gender differences, but instead my studies revealed beliefs about God that needed to be challenged and developed. The traditional moral reasoning paradigm in the field of psychology is that of Lawrence Kohlberg, who argued that people resolve moral dilemmas—or conflicts between two alternatives—by invoking principles of justice. In 1982 psychologist Carol Gilligan challenged Kohlberg’s work, arguing that principles of justice are invoked by men, but women resolve moral dilemmas by expressing care and empathy for the people involved. To demonstrate these gender differences, Gilligan used questions very similar to those that open this article. Borrowing her paradigm, in 1996 a group of my students interviewed first-year and senior students at Gordon. The plan was to illustrate Gilligan’s findings. Views of self were defined as either that of justice (resolving moral dilemmas by invoking principles), or care (expressing caring for others involved in dilemmas), or both. Men were expected to show a predominant self-ethic of justice; women, a self-ethic of care. But the data failed to support this prediction. Although females more often expressed caring for others when describing dilemmas than did males, females as well as males used justice reasoning more than they expressed caring for others.

In an effort to understand why Gordon students were so justice oriented, two years later I worked with another of my classes to explore student views of God. When asked to describe a moral dilemma, almost every student talked about God. Descriptions of God were coded into categories similar to views of self: authoritative (describing God as a giver of rules), or relational (describing God as caring for them), or both. It became clear that students see God as an authoritative God. Despite beliefs that God is a God of both justice and mercy, students invoked authoritative biblical principles far more than they described God’s caring. Further, their views of self were rule-based, often expressing little concern for others involved in the dilemmas. Though we might expect advanced students to develop a more nuanced, less authority-based vision of God, results showed students at all levels described God in terms of black-and-white principles—simplistically, without the complexity that a lived awareness of God’s justice and mercy introduces.

Photo above: Dr. Kaye Cook with student coordinator Liz Hillman ’04.



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which will it be?

Is Gilligan wrong in her description of gender differences, or are Christian college students unlike other students? To find out, in 1999 another group of my students interviewed Salem State College students. Not surprisingly, they are very different from Gordon students. They tend to be older, have more diverse religious beliefs and show more ethnic diversity. Still, twothirds of Salem State students grew up in church, almost half reported believing in God, and one-fifth reported going to church. Findings again failed to support Gilligan’s predictions of gender differences. All students—Salem State and Gordon—invoked principles for resolving moral dilemmas. This is surprising because we often view our culture as relativistic; but every student described some sort of rule as the basis for their behavior. We conclude that most people hold beliefs about how the world should be and how we should treat one another, but these beliefs need to be more clearly developed and articulated, particularly in secular settings. Salem State students more often expressed caring for others involved in the moral dilemmas they described. Gordon students, in contrast, responded as if moral dilemmas are best resolved by abstract principles, unsullied by the complexities and messiness of everyday life and of people’s needs and feelings.

One wonders why Gordon students didn’t express more caring— and we know from experience that they do care. Gordon students, far more than Salem State students, can articulate their beliefs. Their dilemmas are more thoughtful and their evaluations of dilemmas much more complex. Clearly Gordon students care about and want to know the principles that serve as the foundation for their faith. However, Gordon students don’t know as well as we wish they did how to put their feelings of concern for others in context with their beliefs. Perhaps they recognize the truth we all know: It’s hard to stand firm in one’s beliefs while also protecting other people. It appears Gordon students try to simplify conflicts, eliminate concern for others, and find the rule that fits. To determine if Gordon students could develop a fuller understanding of God’s mercy, last spring I did a study with first-year students participating in a required course—Character, Community and Culture. (Senior Liz Hillman coordinated the project and cowrote three of the four manuscripts that emerged from all the projects.) The course engages students in character formation, cross-cultural issues and Christian social responsibility. We found students’ views of God were broadened after participating in

community service-learning projects such as after-school programs and a local soup kitchen, as well as class discussions about service. Their subsequent responses to moral dilemmas described God’s justice and mercy. For example, when asked to describe a moral situation, they talked about God’s love for themselves or for someone else in the situation, and they related the needs of others in resolutions. It is clear Gordon students know God is both just and merciful, but in general they tend to emphasize His justice. It is also evident that students’ views of God can be broadened and developed and their sense of responsibility and care heightened through focused studies in Christian character, social responsibility and cross-cultural awareness. Contact the Office of College Communications and Marketing for a list of manuscripts of Dr. Cook’s findings in these studies. Dr. Kaye Cook has been professor of psychology at Gordon since 1978. She holds a doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina and did her dissertation on the learning of kindness. She speaks regularly at local churches and groups and has a small clinical practice. Her special interests are children’s development—particularly spiritual development—and women’s issues. 21

Gifts & Giving

“ generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” —Proverbs 11:25 Though Dan Klim ’57 was orphaned very young, generous people cared for him, nurtured him in the faith and directed him to Gordon. Dan has spent his life giving back—as a teacher, serving the elderly, and in stewardship.



od’s hand was clearly on Dan Klim from the time he was a small boy. By the age of 5 both his parents had died. At the age of 7 he was placed in a Christian orphanage where he heard and received the gospel. A good friend later influenced him to attend Lancaster School of the Bible in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Dan learned about Gordon while working at Sandy Cove Bible Conference in Maryland. Several Gordon students working at the camp left a favorable impression on him, and they along with his boss stirred his interest in attending the College. In September 1954 he pointed his 1946 DeSoto toward the Fenway in Boston for his first sight of Gordon College. The next year the school moved to the Wenham campus—Dan says it was exciting just to be there. Some of his fondest memories include the Student Council campaign when he ran for president his junior year. He also has great memories of the Senior Sneak to Mt. Monadnock in Swanzey, New Hampshire; traveling to Maine on a gospel team with friends Jim Rudd ’57 and Dick Visser ’58; and meaningful friendships with Don ’58 and John ’57 Booth. 22


Among faculty who influenced him most were Drs. Carl Armerding (theology and Bible), Theodore Thienemann (German), Donald Tweedie ’50 (psychology) and David Franz ’45B (history). Believing it was the best way to use his abilities to affect the lives of others, Dan became a science teacher. He met his wife, Ronnie, through a friend who was a hospital patient under Ronnie’s nursing care. Dan’s friend persuaded Ronnie to stop by her house to check on her after she was discharged and invited Dan to be there to meet this special little nurse. They married less than a year later. Two children and 20 years down the road, Dan and Ronnie pursued her dream of taking care of elderly people in their home. Initially seeking to care for eight to 10 people, they were drawn to a larger property—a run-down but beautiful estate that would accommodate 30 to 40 people. Through God’s mercy and their perseverance they eventually filled the home. “It was wonderful to see individuals improve in both physical and spiritual health while at our facility, and to interact with and encourage their families as well,” Dan says. After 17 years they sold that thriving business. FALL 2003

In addition to serving as church officers and volunteers, Dan and Ronnie participated in a construction mission trip to Jamaica in August of 1997. They also enjoy hosting missionaries as well as foreign students and friends in their home. “The Lord has blessed us beyond any expectations,” Dan says, “and our desire is to be good stewards of His gifts. We feel one of the best ways to do this is to encourage Christian training. At Gordon I experienced the high quality of scholarship integrated with Christcentered biblical emphasis. Our desire is to help enable others to experience the same.” Thanks to the generosity of the Klims, the first award from the Daniel and Ronnie Jean Klim Scholarship Fund will be made this year to a deserving international student. If you would like to learn more about establishing a scholarship to benefit Gordon College students, contact Rick Klein in the Office of Special and Planned Gifts; call toll-free 1.877.304.8667 or email plannedgifts@

Athletic Profiles

Meet Gordon Student-Athletes Swimmer Christopher Acker ’04 finds freedom in exploring new ideas and developing leadership skills. Rebekka Lidal ’04 runs her life like she runs a race—with strong focus.

ChristopherAcker Freedom. That’s Chris Acker’s story in a nutshell. He left his Abington, Pennsylvania, home in the suburbs of the City of Freedom—Philadelphia—to attend Gordon College in the suburbs of Boston’s Freedom Trail in August of 2000. Three years later he defines his college experience in terms strongly influenced by his 2002–03 swim coach, Jim Dahlin: “Gordon has helped me see the Christian life not as something that restricts, but something that frees us to explore new ideas and philosophies without losing our true selves.” What personal changes has this senior biology major noticed over the last three years? “I’ve grown immensely due to the encouragement of great close friends and professors,” he says. “I’ve learned the most from my coaches about what it means to be a Christian man and how to be a better Christian leader.” Acker takes this leadership component of his life very seriously. “The strongest opportunity Gordon has offered me is leadership development. Different departments on campus cultivated my desire to be a strong leader—from the pool to the classroom, and finally to the community as a whole. Serving as a member of the Orientation staff to introduce freshmen to campus was similar to being captain of a sports team. It allowed me to see different ways to lead and work with various types of people, including other leaders.” In his final athletic season in the pool, Acker looks to lead by example. With school records in the 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay in hand already, he hopes to make nationals and put one final stamp on men’s swimming at Gordon College. —Stephen Leonard ’94

RebekkaLidal A distance runner at heart, Rebekka Lidal took the long route to Gordon. The senior international affairs major—a Norwegian citizen—spent most of her life on the mission field in Japan. There she began running, but Lidal arrived at Gordon off the student-athlete radar. Discovered watching a race early her freshman year, she was introduced to cross-country coach Stephen Leonard, who was impressed with her reported running times. Lidal has been a star runner for the Fighting Scots since then, earning AllConference Honors, All-Academic Team Honors and clocking a best time of 19: 52 for five kilometers at the NCAA Division III Regional Championships. Lidal says, “Gordon athletics have helped me focus on my studies rather than distract me from them. I’ve been challenged to take running seriously—but in the context of my life, rather than as singularly relative to competition.” Lidal wanted depth in both academics and faith. “Gordon seemed to have the most workable balance of academic soundness and open-mindedness while being committed to developing faith,” she says. Lidal is leaving Gordon with a stronger commitment to both faith and further studies—largely an impact of the many professors who have vigorously demonstrated this same commitment. “Participating in the Gordon-at-Oxford program gave me the best of two worlds—the faith-commitment of Gordon and the resources and academic intensity of Oxford,” she says. It is clear Rebekka Lidal has not been running aimlessly. “Gordon has helped me establish a sense of purpose in the things I do,” she concludes. —Stephen Leonard ’94

Stephen Leonard has coached men’s and women’s cross-country and track and field at Gordon since 1998 and has been sports information director since 1999.


Another Look at the More than a magical mantra, the Prayer of Jabez, I Chronicles 4:10, compels us to be faithful in the mundane. BY


ate in the last summer of my husband Gary’s life, we boarded a plane from Colorado to the M. D. Anderson oncology unit in Houston. Gary spent the trip hugging his legs, gasping for air—existing on only 10 percent lung capacity. As we stood on the Texas tarmac that sweltering day, it seemed certain the heat and humidity would suck all remaining oxygen from his lungs. Conditions at the clinic were grim. The waiting rooms were so crowded our knees touched those of the people seated across from us. Hallways were jammed by gurneys with people desperate for hope—eyes sunk deep into emaciated faces, wisps of hair trailing off bald heads. No air purification could rid the building of its stench of decay and death. The doctor in charge of Gary’s case screamed at us when we asked for a prognosis. He held his tie away from his chest with a thumb and forefinger: “Do you see GOD written anywhere on this tie?” he bellowed. Too poor to rent a hotel room, I slept fitfully in a chair beside Gary’s hospital bed, sometimes pushing his tubes and lifelines aside so I could curl up on the bed beside him. Our three babies were back home, and I longed to kiss their soft necks. My territory seemed very small—my borders defined by the narrow hospital room: interns adjusting the flow of the poison drip; orderlies measuring water intake and urine output; grief counselors ascertaining our morale; student nurses hovering nearby, casting looks of sympathy our direction. I wrote in my journal, “Lord! How long has it been since I laughed? Could we just have a normal life?” And then I quickly penned, “No, not normal. Not ever status quo. Please make use of me in this awful situation.” Not exactly the Prayer of Jabez, but nevertheless a request for God to move me beyond personal pain to usefulness. Some days later a young woman spoke to me outside the nurse’s station. “They say my husband will die tonight,” she whispered through tears. “I can’t bear to watch the end. My parents and I are going to the motel. The nurse will call us when it’s over.” “But,” I countered in disbelief, “you’ve lived with his condition for months. Can’t you stand it just a few hours more?” She looked down at the floor and shook her head. “No, I can’t. I won’t. Will you stay with him?” And so I spent the evening beside that young man—a stranger, really—touching his arm, whispering words of prayer and comfort until he drifted off into predeath slumber, and the night nurse shooed me away for last rites.



FALL 2003

In the days that followed my prayer of longing, there were many opportunities to interact with people—people hungry to pour out their pain to someone who identified; people who needed faith in a living Christ. It was gutwrenching and exhausting, but unmistakably God’s hand at work. We can find many persons in Scripture who derived strength from principles contained in the Prayer of Jabez. For instance, Joseph hung onto God’s promise of blessing—it empowered sexual purity in the face of temptation, eradicated despair in a dank dungeon, and propelled him to greatness. The Prayer of Jabez is not a talisman, a magic formula to obligate God to bless us. It is not even a guarantee that we will rise to spiritual greatness above our Christian brothers and sisters who have not yet discovered this nugget of power hidden in the tome of the Chronicles. It is, however, the means to express our understanding of God’s character and thereby conform ourselves to His nature. He wants to enable us to live circumspectly, to enlarge our influence for Him, to provide us with abundant lives. By praying this prayer we acknowledge God at work in every circumstance of our lives, whether insignificant or miraculous. A section of my journal written in Houston some 20 years ago is titled “Miracles in Texas.” You might scratch your head at the inscriptions: Gary slept three hours without waking and so did I; the nurse hit a vein on her first try; blood count was up! Not the substance of miracles, you say. But this is what the Prayer of Jabez accomplishes. As we move through the daily stuff of life, we are to trust Him more; acknowledge His presence more; allow Him to use us more; know Him more. By daily praying “O, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me; and that You would keep me from evil . . .” we set in motion not only God’s blessing on our lives, but a deep awareness of His interaction with us. When she was 30, Patti became a widow and single parent of three little girls. Seventeen years later she married Paul Bubna, former president of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. They were married just seven months when Paul died unexpectedly of a heart attack. Patti is the former director of college communications and marketing at Gordon and is currently director of communications at Scottsdale Bible Church in Arizona.

Events Calendar For information, updates and tickets, call 978.867.3400 for music events and 978.867.3200 for theatre productions. Music events are held in Phillips Recital Hall (PRH), located in Phillips Music Center, in A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel (GC), or in Lane Student Center. Art exhibits and theatre productions are in the Barrington Center for the Arts (BCA). Gallery hours are Monday–Friday, 9 A.M. to 7 P.M.; Saturday, NOON to 4 P.M.


JANUARY 14– Feb. 13 23–25

Art Exhibit—Burnt Offerings: The Art of Dawn Southworth Theatre and History Alive—An Evening with Nathaniel Hawthorne, and The Love Letters of Nathaniel and Sophia; 1/23, 24—8 P.M.; 1/24—4:30 P.M.; 1/25—3 P.M.

FEBRUARY 27– Art Exhibit—Emerging Artists Mar. 31 14 Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band; 7 P.M., GC 16 Jazz Ensemble; 8 P.M., GC 20–28 Theatre—Tartuffe by Moliere, directed by Jeffrey S. Miller; 2/20, 21, 27, 28—8 P.M.; 2/24, 25, 26—7:30 P.M.; 2/21, 28—4:30 P.M. 27 Public Dialogue on Art & Faith with artist Bruce Herman; 7 P.M., 1120 Washington St., Gloucester 29 Gordon Symphony Orchestra; 3 P.M., GC

MARCH 20, 27

Music Mania, pre-K through grade 6; call ext. 4364 for information

1, 2 3– May 15 17 18 22– May 1

23 23

30, May 1

Lenten Tenebrae; 4/1—8 P.M.; 4/2—7 P.M.; GC Art Exhibit—Senior Thesis Exhibits Annual Pops Concert; 7 P.M., GC Spring Chamber Music Gala; 3 P.M., PRH Theatre—An Evening of One-Acts featuring the work of the directing class; 4/22, 27, 28, 29—7:30 P.M.; 4/23, 24, 30, 5/1—8 P.M.; 4/24, 5/1—4:30 P.M. Public Dialogue on Art & Faith with artist Wayne Forte; 7 P.M., BCA Gallery Thompson Chamber Music Series—Allison Eldredge, cello; Max Levinson, piano; 8 P.M., PRH Scenes from Operas, featuring voice students; 4/30—8 P.M.; 5/1—7 P.M.; PRH

MAY 2 3 14 15

Gordon Symphony Orchestra; 3 P.M., GC Jazz Ensemble; 8 P.M., GC Baccalaureate Commencement

Just a reminder to send those cards and letters for Raves & Rebuffs to Editor, Stillpoint, Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham, MA 01984, or email Anonymous letters will not be published. We reserve the right to edit for space and will attempt to publish a balance of positive and negative comments.

Gordon students benefit from many formal educational opportunities both on and off campus. They also benefit from the informal peer challenges of bright and aspiring minds. Pictured here are some of the nation’s top student scholars— National Merit Finalists—who are enrolled at Gordon this year. One of only two hundred colleges and universities in the nation to be recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as a sponsoring institution, Gordon is attracting an increasing amount of interest from students at the top of


their high school classes.


WE’RE ENLARGING OUR WORLDVIEW By listening to new voices By tempering justice with mercy By respecting other perspectives By translating God’s love into action By broadening our appreciation of the Church worldwide As a Christian liberal arts college, Gordon has the energy and human resources to enter into global conversation with other cultures. The resulting synergy enriches and strengthens our students’ ability to bring Christ’s message of hope, love and redemption to the world.

Freedom within a framework of faith Nonprofit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Gordon College

255 Grapevine Road Wenham, Massachusetts 01984 978.927.2300 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


Thinking the Box Send other correspondence to: Editor, Stillpoint Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road Wenham, Massachusetts 01984 mckay@hope.g...


Thinking the Box Send other correspondence to: Editor, Stillpoint Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road Wenham, Massachusetts 01984 mckay@hope.g...