Secular and Sacred
Preparing Students to Inﬂuence Complex Science Issues he report card on science education in the United States is not encouraging. Children in Asian countries once again surpassed U.S. fourth- and eighthgraders in the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. The Program for International Student Assessment showed U.S. 15-year-olds scoring below average when asked to apply math skills to real-life tasks. Many campuses report science-major enrollments only steady or slipping. Business leaders warn this trend must be countered or the United States’ competitive edge in science will diminish. Christians have more reasons for concern. Where are the scientists who are competent to address the moral and ethical issues increasingly raised by biomedical research? Gordon College takes seriously our responsibility to prepare science students to address moral and ethical complexities raised by our culture’s drive to ﬁnd cures and proﬁts. In this issue of Stillpoint we highlight a compelling issue facing science and culture today—embryonic stem cell research—one of many issues our society confronts. Christians with training in the sciences are using their knowledge in powerful ways to transform the culture. The winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize is a prime example of a Christian using her training in science for positive transformation. Kenya’s Wangari Maathai was the ﬁrst woman from her country to earn a Ph.D. and is now a member of Parliament. She used her degree in biology to found the Green Belt Movement, resulting in thousands of women planting 30 million trees to slow deforestation. Right here on campus faculty member Irv Levy is leading our students in becoming ambassadors for the ﬁeld of green chemistry, an approach to industrial chemistry which lowers toxic chemicals. They are presenting at high schools and scientiﬁc meetings, and preparing to be the next generation of innovators in this ﬁeld. We instill in our students the principle that all Christians are called to seek the truth. They are encouraged to ask questions, to probe alternative or conﬂicting interpretations and to study various expressions of Christianity, all within a framework of ﬁdelity to God’s revelation. Our graduates take Christian values to cultural life in the sciences, in corporations and government. We must ensure that when they leave here they have an education that puts them on equal footing with their peers around the world. We have launched the Heart of Discovery campaign at Gordon to do far more than build a building for study of the sciences. We are preparing men and women to address some of the most pressing needs of the 21st century. We do so with the understanding that Jesus Christ compels us to live in love, freedom and sacriﬁce. By following Him we compellingly communicate hope to a polarized society seeking answers to some of the most complex issues ever confronted.
T.S. Eliot, in his poem Four Quartets, refers to God as the “still point of the turning world.”
Editor Patricia C. McKay ’65 Director of College Communications and Marketing Patricia A. Jones Publication Design Lora E. Maggiacomo ’92 Photography Director Cyndi McMahon Printer AM Lithography Corporation Chicopee, 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 over 26,000. Send address changes to: Development Ofﬁce firstname.lastname@example.org Send other correspondence to: Editor, Stillpoint Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road Wenham, Massachusetts 01984 email@example.com Visit our website at: www.gordon.edu 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 20, Number 2 Spring 2005
Secular and Sacred IFC
Up Front by R. Judson Carlberg Preparing Students to Inﬂuence Complex Science Issues
On & Off Campus by Cyndi McMahon
The Question of God by Armand M. Nicholi Jr. One of the world’s leading psychiatrists compares the worldviews of Sigmund Freud and C. S. Lewis, and their questions about God.
Gordon’s Commitment to Racial Harmony Wins Award by Patricia A. Jones The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities honored Gordon’s achievements in diversity with the 2005 Racial Harmony Award.
The Promises and Pitfalls of Stem Cell Technology Three experts share their differing views on stem cell research, presented at a biotechnology conference held at Gordon in the fall.
Bioethics and the Character of Human Life by Gilbert Meilaender
Researching complex science issues—see page 10
Human Stem Cell Research: Pushing the Limits to Heal Human Suffering by Hessel Bouma III A Response: Protecting the Sanctity of Life by R. Preston Mason ’85 17
Faculty Proﬁles Meet Gordon Faculty by Elizabeth Ross White
Professor Tal Howard asked students to imagine they were attending a workshop in Hell as part of a special conference put together by a committee of demons.
Professors Stella Pierce, education, and Dale Pleticha, physics, both have a love of nature.
Exploring Faith through Art: CIVA Celebrates 25th Anniversary
In 2002 Christians in the Visual Arts took up residence at Gordon. Their CIVASILVER celebration takes place this year with more than 1,500 members.
The Partners Program Scholarships Release Students to Pursue Their Callings by Robert Grinnell ’81 Senior Kirsten Heacock says Partners planted in her the seeds of a dream to pursue a higher education. PHOTOGRAPHY BY F. J. GAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE FRONT COVER AND PAGES 2 (SNOW PHOTOS); 7; 8; 17; 24. ON THE COVER, DR. DALE PLETICHA (SEE PAGE 17).
Screwtape Revisited—Tempting Thoughtful Young Christians: Strategies, Suggestions and Techniques by Thomas Albert Howard
Athlete Proﬁles Meet Gordon Student-Athletes by Elizabeth Watson ’04 Seniors Warren Shumate, lacrosse, and Sarah DeLuca, basketball, leave Gordon prepared to serve Christ in sport, in the community and in the world.
Raves & Rebuffs and Events Calendar Support Heart of Discovery: A Commitment to Science Michael Yee ’00, Ph.D. Candidate, M.I.T.
On & Off Campus
Gordon Welcomes Two New Trustees Rev. Dr. Roberto Miranda is the senior pastor at Congregacion Leon de Judah, the largest Latino church in Boston, and is the founder and president of the Fellowship of Hispanic Pastors of New England. Miranda holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Princeton University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University in Romance languages and Latin American literature. Rev. Dr. Gregory G. Groover III is pastor at the Historic Charles Street A.M.E. Church in Roxbury and serves as chairman of the Educational Committee of Black Ministerial Alliance in Boston. Groover has a master’s degree in divinity from Union Theological Seminary, a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University’s School of Social Work, and recently completed his doctoral degree in ministry from New York Theological Seminary. Formerly a pastor of Bright Temple A.M.E. Church in the South Bronx, Groover is renowned for his efforts in bringing together public school ofﬁcials, teachers, community leaders, parents and clergy for the development of the Black Ministerial Alliance After-School Program—a $1.5 million initiative.
Gordon Receives Racial Harmony Award At its Annual Presidents Conference in Washington, D.C., the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities honored Gordon with the 2005 Racial Harmony Award. President Carlberg accepted the award for Gordon’s dedication to increasing ethnic and racial diversity. See article and photos on page 7.
Gordon Student Survives Tsunami Freshman Prashan de Visser was home in Sri Lanka for the Christmas holiday when the tsunami of December 26 hit. Prashan and his father, Adrian de Visser, worked with the congregation his father pastors to help victims of the disaster. The tsunami missed their church by a few miles so they immediately helped with relief efforts, rushing supplies to survivors. Prashan is leading a disaster relief organization on campus.
Hats Off to Dr. Richard Pierard In February Gordon installed Richard Pierard as the new Stephen Phillips Chair of History. This honor is named after Stephen Phillips, whose family has generously 2
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
invested in the College through gifts supporting scholarships, Gordon’s rare book library and the construction of the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel. Pierard—author, Gordon scholar-in-residence and professor emeritus from Indiana State University—is recognized for his dedication, enthusiasm and assistance to the College.
Introducing the Music Guild The College has launched The Gordon College Music Guild to develop ﬁnancial support for the music program. Members underwrite performances, academic programs and scholarships for music, and keep facilities current with the best available technology. Guild supporters enable Gordon to continue offering the exceptional music for which it has become known. Contact Dan White, Music Guild coordinator, at 978.867.4843 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ECHO in Haiti Over Christmas break Gordon students in the Sustainable Tropical Agriculture course at Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) attended an international seminar in Haiti. The students spent 10 days at the ECHO farm in Fort Myers, Florida, followed by a trip to the Haitian American Friendship Foundation in Pignon, Haiti. Under the leadership of the Global Education Ofﬁce at Gordon they spent the week researching agriculture and educating local schools on topics such as AIDS, soil conservation, composting and medicinal plants. ECHO’s mission is to network with community leaders in developing countries to seek solutions for growing food under difﬁcult conditions.
Spring has sprung, but storms of January 2005 dropped over three feet of snow on the North Shore. According to the National Weather Service, one of the storms broke many statewide records for January.
Faculty Focus Jennifer Beatson , Spanish: Reviewed Leland Ryken’s The Word of God in English in the Christian Scholar’s Review. Chuck Blend, biology: A paper at the New England
A sampling of faculty accomplishments and activities outside the classroom Stanley Pelkey, music: A paper on “Handel and Bach in the Organ Voluntaries of Charles and Samuel Wesley” at the Midwest Chapter of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Elaine Phillips, biblical studies: Published “The
Society of Microscopy conference entitled “Is This a Fluke, or Is It Something Fishy?” examining microscopes and molecules that do not agree when scientists are assessing catﬁsh.
Tilted Balance: Early Rabbinic Perceptions of God’s Justice” in the Bulletin for Biblical Research.
Damon DiMauro, French: Reviewed an edition of
son’s The End of Blackness in Prism.
Les Quatrains. Les Plaisers de la vie rustique et autres poésies by Guy du Faur de Pibrac for The Sixteenth Century Journal.
Stephen Smith, economics: Participated in a panel discussion about religion and economic institutions and responded to the paper “Religion and Globalization: Do Religious Countries Trade More?” at the Allied Social Science Association.
Sandra Doneski, music: Published “Quality Choral Music . . . A Longstanding Discussion” in Massachusetts Music News. David Goss, history: Wrote “Nathaniel Hawthorne and Salem: A Seaport in Decline and an Inspiration for an Author” for the National Endowment for the Humanities website on Hawthorne. Bruce Herman, art: Wrote for the journal Image
an interpretation of paintings of adjunct professor George Wingate—calling us “back from the numbness of the electronic and virtual . . . into a genuine relationship with the thing seen.” Thomas Howard, history: Presented “Prudence
and Historical Inquiry” at the Conference on Faith and History. Wrote two chapters for two books, one of which was Religious Studies in the Twentieth Century: A Survey of Disciplines, Cultures and Questions. Steven Hunt, biblical studies: Published two book
reviews in Review of Biblical Literature—Susan Elliott’s Cutting Too Close for Comfort: Paul’s Letter to the Galatians in Its Anatolian Cultic Context and Tricia Gates Brown’s Spirit in the Writings of John: Johannine Pneumatology in Social-Scientiﬁc Perspective. Brian Johnson, English: Appointed a fellow of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and AfricanAmerican Research at Harvard University.
Nicholas Rowe, history: Reviewed Debra Dicker-
Mark Stevick, English: Won ﬁrst place in a literary contest for his poem “Burnt Bus” in Swink magazine, dedicated to identifying emerging literary talent. Peter Stine, English: Reviewed Biodun Jeyifo’s
“Wole Soyinka: Politics, Poetics and Postcolonialism” for the journal Choice. Richard Stout, mathematics: Presentation to the Mathematical Association of America entitled “Serving Brownies Instead of Pie, an Alternative to Visualizing Fraction Operations for Elementary Education Teachers.” Gregor Thuswaldner, German: Gave three presentations at an interdisciplinary conference on theology and literature at the University of Wurzburg in Germany. Dong Wang, history: Contributed to The Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism Since 1450. Wrote an article in Chinese on the dissemination of international law in China for a volume on Chinese foreign relations in the early 20th century. Herma Williams, associate provost: Keynote speaker
at the Brandywine Leadership Forum’s institute on “Global Suffering: Our Christian Responsibility,” and at the Critical Concerns for Chief Academic Ofﬁcers Conference of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
The Question of God
PHOTO BY MARK SPENCER
ARMAND M. NICHOLI JR.
WHETHER WE REALIZE IT OR NOT, all of us possess a worldview. Most of us make one of two basic assumptions: we view the universe as a result of random events and life on this planet a matter of chance; or we assume an Intelligence beyond the universe who gives the universe order, and life meaning. Our worldview informs our personal, social and political lives. It inﬂuences how we perceive ourselves, how we relate to others, how we adjust to adversity, and what we understand to be our purpose. Our worldview helps determine our values, our ethics and our capacity for happiness. It helps us understand why we exist on this planet, what drives us, our motivation; and where we are going, our destiny. Sigmund Freud, scientist, philosopher and the father of psychoanalysis, strongly advocated an atheistic philosophy of life and played a signiﬁcant role in the secularization of our culture. C. S. Lewis, the celebrated Oxford don, literary critic, and perhaps the 20th century’s most popular proponent of faith based on reason, embraced an atheistic worldview for the ﬁrst half of his life and used Freud’s reasoning to defend his atheism. Lewis then rejected his atheism and became a believer. In subsequent writings he provided cogent responses to Freud’s arguments against the spiritual worldview. Freud was preoccupied with the question of whether or not God exists. He pointed to the problem of suffering and developed the psychological argument that the whole concept is nothing but a projection of a childish wish for parental protection from the vicissitudes and sufferings of human existence. He also argued against the objection of those holding the spiritual worldview that faith “is of divine origin and was given us as a revelation by a Spirit which the human spirit cannot comprehend.” Freud argued that because it is not true, it can’t work. Basing one’s life on an illusion, on a false premise, will make living more difﬁcult. Only the truth can help us confront the harsh realities of life. Lewis agreed with Freud that the question of God’s existence is indeed the most important question. He wrote that at a point in time he began to feel his “Adversary”—the One he wanted desperately not to exist—closing in on him. He felt hounded. Most of the great writers he admired and many of his closest friends were believers. “The fox had been dislodged . . . and was now running in the open . . . bedraggled and weary, hounds barely a ﬁeld behind. And nearly everyone was now (one way or another) in the pack.” GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Harvard professor Armand Nicholi, one of the world’s leading psychiatrists, has for many years studied and compared the worldviews of Sigmund Freud and C. S. Lewis, and their questions about God. His ﬁndings are compiled in his latest book, The Question of God: C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life.
Lewis said the claims of Jesus Christ to be God and to have the authority to forgive sins left only one of three possibilities: He was either deluded or deliberately attempting to deceive His followers for some ulterior purpose, or He was who He claimed to be. Lewis closed a chapter in his most widely read book, Mere Christianity, with “A man who was merely a man and said the things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic . . . or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice . . . You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” Lewis’ conversion experience occurred when he was 31 years old. The change revolutionized his life, infused his mind with purpose and meaning, and dramatically increased his productivity; it also radically altered his values, his image of himself, and his relationships to others. This experience not only turned Lewis around, but turned him
outward—from a focus on himself to a focus on others. Even his temperament changed. People who knew him before and after his conversion wrote about his becoming more settled, with an inner quietness and tranquility. A buoyant cheerfulness replaced his pessimism and despair. If Freud had placed Lewis on his couch, would he have found evidence for “obsessional neurosis” or “hallucinatory psychosis”? The evidence weighs against this possibility. Emotional illness, as understood by Freud (and most dynamically oriented psychiatrists today), is caused by unconscious conﬂicts that seriously impair the functioning of patients in important areas of their lives. If Freud had analyzed Lewis, the evidence suggests that he would not have dismissed him as dysfunctional; rather, Freud would have admired him—his intellect and his literary skills—as he did St. Paul and his close friend Oskar Pﬁster. As a skilled clinician Freud would have observed that the transition Lewis experienced matured him emotionally and did not impair, but enhanced, his functioning. On the other hand, Freud’s materialism made him pessimistic concerning
the possibilities of attaining happiness. For Freud the nature of physical pleasure was ﬂeeting, making general unhappiness unavoidable. He saw the future as dark and ominous. In 1884 he wrote to his ﬁancée, “I have experienced during the past fourteen months only three or four happy days . . . and that is too little for a human being who is still young and yet has never felt young.” He began to take cocaine a few weeks before and found that it lifted his depression. Drugs were not the only answer for Freud. Sometimes he used his work to help lift his mood: “I mastered my depression with the help of a special diet in intellectual matters.” But he remained, at heart, a pessimist capable of dark humor: “One has to assume happiness when fate does not carry out all its threats simultaneously.” At 80, near the end of his life, he could still sound morose: “My mood is bad, little pleases me, my self-criticism has grown much more acute. I would diagnose it as senile depression in anyone else.” There is considerable evidence that Lewis shared Freud’s pessimism and gloom before his conversion. “I was at this time living, like so many Atheists . . . in a whirl of contradictions. 5
I maintained God did not exist. I was also angry with God for not existing. I was equally angry with Him for creating a world.” Only after his conversion, when he “began to know what life really is and what would have been lost by missing it,” did this change. The answer to the question of God has profound implications for our lives here on earth, both Freud and Lewis agreed. So we owe it to ourselves to look at the evidence, perhaps beginning with the Old and New Testaments. Lewis also reminded us, however, that the evidence lies all around us: “We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always easy to penetrate. The real labor is to remember to attend. In fact to come awake. Still more to remain awake.” Taken from the book The Question of God. (All quotations are documented in “Notes” at the end of the book.)
Dr. Armand Nicholi earned a B.A. at Cornell University, an M.D. at New York Medical College, and took his residency in psychiatry at the University of Rochester and Harvard University. He is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He also has an active practice and serves as a consultant to government groups, corporations and professional athletes. He is the editor and coauthor of the classic The Harvard Guide to Psychiatry (3rd edition, 1999). His latest book, The Question of God: C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life (The Free Press, A Division of Simon & Schuster Inc., 2002), is available at the Gordon College Bookstore or at amazon.com. Dr. Nicholi is a trustee emeritus of Gordon College, having served on the board from 1972 until 2000. In 2002 Gordon conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. He is married with two children and lives in Concord, Massachusetts. 6
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Course and Book Turned into PBS Special For the past 30 years Dr. Armand Nicholi has taught a course on Freud and Lewis at Harvard College and for the past 12 years at Harvard Medical School. He was initially asked to develop a course on Freud, but eventually the students themselves asked for a counterpoint—a balance—to Freud’s atheistic worldview. Wondering whom he might use for an opposing view, Dr. Nicholi thought about C. S. Lewis’ book The Problem of Pain, which he had read 10 years earlier as an intern struggling with human suffering. Dr. Nicholi knew Lewis was familiar with Freud’s writings and even responded to Freud’s views after he came to faith. So the course evolved as a kind of debate between Freud and Lewis. The class is taught from the perspective of an objective, dispassionate, critical assessment of both worldviews. Dr. Nicholi says students take courses that study everything in the universe except how to live life. But his students have been almost universally interested in this subject from the beginning. Because Dr. Nicholi believes we learn most from meaningful relationships with each other, he encourages such engagement. He has returned to the classroom hours after a class ended to ﬁnd his students still deep in discussion, and they often continue to meet together after the course is over. Students are affected not only by the readings and discussions, Dr. Nicholi says, but by what they observe in fellow students who embrace the faith. Students often keep in touch with Dr. Nicholi after they graduate. Several years ago a student called him numerous times to see if he would be interested in making a documentary of his Freud and Lewis course material. Though Dr. Nicholi showed no interest, the young man took the idea to a capital venture businessman, who sat in on Dr. Nicholi’s class, raised funds for the project and pursued an independent producer for the ﬁlm. It was ﬁve years in the making. The series was taken from Dr. Nicholi’s course materials and the book galleys for The Question of God. It incorporates scenes from Freud’s and Lewis’ lives interspersed with discussions on a number of issues by a panel of people with varying worldviews. Though the series is historically accurate, it disappointed Dr. Nicholi that the ﬁlm devoted much more time to Freud than to Lewis and did not examine the enormous differences between the qualities of the two men’s everyday lives. While Dr. Nicholi feels much of the best material ended up on the cutting room ﬂoor, he has come to the realization that the series is “preevangelism”—ideal for opening the door to discussion in ways a more evangelical presentation might not. “I think God had a plan,” he says. When asked if he would do it all over again, he says he would because the response has been extremely positive and so many have written to say they have been helped by the series. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) aired the two-part series in September. While some local stations initially showed the ﬁlm at inaccessible times, several stations have agreed to re-air the series when requested by the public to do so. The ﬁlm may be ordered on DVD or VHS at http://www.shoppbs. org/family/index.jsp?categoryId=1862203 or at amazon.com. —by Pat McKay ’65
Gordon’s Commitment to Racial Harmony Wins Award
The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities honored Gordon College with the 2005 Racial Harmony Award at its Annual Presidents Conference in Washington, D.C.
Photo above: Through the Gordon in Boston program Erin E. McNally ’05 is doing an internship with Agencia Alcanzando Logros Para Hispanos Ahora. This social service agency is housed at Congregacion Leon de Juda in Boston as an outreach of the church. Pictured is Erin in discussion with Gordon trustee Rev. Dr. Roberto Miranda, senior pastor of the church.
PATRICIA A. JONES
n 2001 Gordon’s long-range strategic plan made as part of its expanded vision a greater commitment to racial and ethnic diversity. In recognition of the progress the College has made toward that goal, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) awarded its prestigious 2005 Racial Harmony Award to Gordon. “Our members are increasingly committed to diversity, and the quality of entrants for this year’s award reﬂects the progress we’re making,” says Richard Gathro, CCCU’s executive vice president. The award was established in 2000 speciﬁcally to recognize the member organization with the most productive practices in the areas of ethnic and racial diversity. Gordon’s President R. Judson Carlberg says, “The growing Christian Church is drawing its numerical strength from Africa, Asia and South America. As this phenomenon continues, North American Christianity will be shaped by a different Christian worship heritage and a wider spectrum of the world’s needs. We have much work to do, but we are pleased at the way students from other Christian cultural and worship traditions are making the College even more vibrant. Emphasizing diversity is critical as Gordon thinks and acts more globally.” Recruiting promising faculty and administrators of color has been a top priority of the College. Today the percentage of faculty who are 7
To achieve true racial harmony, people of differing races must struggle together through the complexities of life. people of color is 12 percent of the full-time faculty and administration. The number of minority students enrolled fulltime has also increased signiﬁcantly. An additional and critical achievement was improving the diversity on the College’s Board of Trustees with the recent appointments of Rev. Dr. Roberto Miranda, senior pastor at Congregacion Herma Williams, Ph.D., Associate Provost Leon de Juda in Boston, and the founder and current president of the Fellowship of Hispanic Pastors of New England; and Rev. Dr. Gregory G. Groover III, pastor of the Historic Charles Street Church A.M.E. in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and chairman of the Education Committee of the Black Ministerial Committee. “We’re changing the proﬁle of our student body and our leadership, and God has blessed us with the guidance and means to offer innovative programs to open new horizons for our students,” says Dr. Herma Williams, Gordon’s associate provost and a leader in its diversity initiatives. “This allows the students to use their gifts in bold new ways and helps us show them where to aim to fulﬁll their potential and ﬁnd their calling. It’s exciting for everyone who touches these programs to see how we can help transform the world.”
Bringing Inner-City Scholars to Gordon College The innovative programs Gordon has piloted promote diversity on campus as well as involve students directly in inner-city settings. The New City Scholars program offers full scholarships to 10 students each year from Boston and surrounding urban settings to attend Gordon, and provides support systems to encourage their success. With the program now in its second year, only one student has left the program; he was, however, inﬂuenced to continue his education at another institution. The Scholars are identiﬁed through relationships the College has built with Boston-based organizations such as Emmanuel Gospel Center’s Boston Education 8
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Collaborative. Through mentoring relationships, training and peer support, the students are helped to make the transition to college and given leadership experience to help ensure their success. “The New City Scholars bring much more to the Gordon campus than increased numbers of students of color,” says Williams. “As they embody the essential elements of racial harmony—diverse perspectives, experiences, cultures and God-given talents—they bring their personal desires to foster racial understanding and unity.” Williams also believes a key contribution of the program is that the New City Scholars challenge members of Gordon College to develop open minds as they live in community and prepare for positions of leadership and service. Although it may seem antithetical to the idea of racial harmony to emphasize our differences, to achieve true racial harmony, people of differing races must struggle together through the complexities of life.
Taking Gordon Students to the Cities An off-campus program for involving students in diverse environments is The Lynn Initiative. This outreach integrates students into service organizations supporting the extensive number of foreign-born residents—including those of Cambodia, Greece, Haiti, Russia, Sudan, Poland and Brazil—in the city of Lynn, Massachusetts, where 66 percent of the public school children are not Caucasian and many residents are economically disadvantaged. The program integrates Gordon students with existing programs run by capable residents of the city who are addressing their own community’s needs, including the Lynn Housing Authority, the Educational Opportunity Center, Girl Scouts and Lynn Economic Opportunity. This initiative has also integrated many departments from Gordon’s campus. The Spanish Department now partners with a bilingual middle school program, and many Gordon students are tutors for urban youth. The Psychology Department sponsored “Igniting the Mind,” a series of workshops to excite Lynn youth with interest in science studies. Gordon in Boston is a curricular innovation launched in 2001. Students live together at the Salvation Army’s Jubilee House in Dorchester, one of Boston’s poorest and most diverse communities. The program examines the city from four perspectives: social science, history, the arts and theology. Gordon in Boston faculty and staff are an ethnically diverse team attempting to model racial
Above: New City Scholars, 2004–2005. Right: Dr. Valerie Gin’s Recreation for Special Needs class partnered with Greater Lynn Mental Health and Retardation to teach their clients to play team handball. Gordon students coached the disabled once a week during the fall semester, culminating in a truly athletic championship game at the Bennett Center. Gin is associate professor and chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.
reconciliation through their lives. In the program’s short history, Gordon in Boston students have volunteered more than 5,000 hours and have served more than 2,000 people throughout inner-city neighborhoods. Applications for the 2004–05 academic year exceeded all projections.
East-West Institute Brings Asian Perspective In 1995 Gordon’s East-West Institute of International Studies began establishing programs to help Gordon enhance its contributions to the world community by creating greater cross-cultural and international understanding. The Institute, an independently funded program, functions within the governance and policy structures of the College. Through the Institute Gordon students have the opportunity to learn more about Asia and its cultures from visiting professors, symposia and study in Asia.
Global Experience Gordon students also embrace opportunities for studying off-campus outside the United States, including in China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Italy, France, England, Russia and Uganda. Opportunities range from highly academic
settings for independent study and writing such as that of the Gordon in Oxford program, to an arts-oriented course of study in Italian Renaissance cultural history, the Italian language, and the study of studio, history and theory of the visual arts in Orvieto, Italy.
Racial Harmony—A Campus-Wide Concern All students are given educational opportunities ranging from campus-wide programs addressing issues of diversity to a ﬁrst-year seminar program that incorporates texts devoted to issues of racial and cultural understanding. One example of an on-campus opportunity is Gedney House, an intentional, multicultural residence hall whose members take the lead in forming a healthy community of diverse individuals within the Body of Christ. One of their programs includes cross-cultural small groups who study a work or text addressing racial or class reconciliation. “We’re proud of the award Gordon received for efforts to promote cultural understanding,” says President Carlberg. “But this is one marker on a journey. We have not arrived at our destination. We also know that continued progress will only be possible because generous donors have a special interest in preparing Gordon students to be leaders in global Christianity. It is our prayer that these programs are only the beginning of much greater achievements ahead.”
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE DIRECTORS OF DIVERSITY PROGRAMS AT GORDON Left to right: Craig McMullen, D.Min., Director, Gordon in Boston: A Semester of Urban Studies with Professional Internships; Dong Wang, Ph.D., Associate Director of East-West Institute (incoming director January 2006); Valerie Buchanan, completing a master’s in urban ministry, Director of The Gordon/Lynn Initiative; Audrey Todd, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Intercultural Affairs (New City Scholars).
How do we acknowledge the reality that humankind—created in the image of God but corrupted by rebellion against God—is capable of both god-like good and demonic evil? What is the role of technology, which can be the ﬁre that fuels and magniﬁes both capacities in human nature? In October a conference was held at Gordon to explore the full range of Christian responses to embryonic stem cell research. Part of a Lilly Endowment initiative and sponsored by the Center for Christian Studies, the conference featured several speakers, among them Dr. Gilbert Meilaender, Dr. Hessel Bouma III and Dr. Preston Mason. Their differing views are represented here.
THE PROMISES and PITFALLS of STEM CELL TECHNOLOGY What Is a Human Being?
Bioethics and the Character of Human Life BY
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
The beginning of wisdom in bioethics may lie in thinking about what human beings are and why it matters morally. From several angles medical advance has tempted us to lose sight of the embodied human being as an integral, organic whole. The seeming duality of person and body has played a signiﬁcant role in bioethics. As the language of “personhood” has come to prominence in bioethical reﬂection, attention has often been directed to circumstances in which the duality of body and person seems pronounced. Suppose a child is born who is profoundly retarded; or an elderly woman has become severely demented; or because of trauma a person lapses into a permanent vegetative state. How shall we describe such human beings? Is it best to say they are no longer persons? Or is it more revealing to describe them as severely disabled persons? Society asks similar questions that arise with embryos and fetuses. Are they human organisms that have not yet attained personhood? Or are they the weakest and most vulnerable of human beings? Related questions arise when we think of conditions regarded as disabilities. Perhaps those who are deaf and have learned to sign constitute a culture of their own, a manualist as opposed to an oralist culture. One might argue that they are disabled only in an oralist culture, even as those who hear would be disabled if placed in the midst of a manualist culture. The harder we press such views the less signiﬁcant becomes any normative human form. Within the unity of the human being a duality remains, and I will use the language of “spirit” to gesture toward it. As embodied spirits we stand at the juncture of nature and spirit, tempted by reductionisms of various sorts. We have no access to the spirit—the person—apart from the body; yet we SPRING 2005
are deeply ill at ease in the presence of a living human body from which all that is personal seems absent. The problems of bioethics force us to ask what a human being really is and to reﬂect on the unity and integrity of the human person. We must think about the moral meaning of the living human body—whether it exists simply as an interchangeable collection of parts; or merely as a carrier for what really counts (the personal realm of mind or spirit); whether a living human being who lacks cognitive, personal qualities is no longer one of us or is simply the weakest and most needy one of us.
Finitude and Freedom Given the duality of our nature, we may go wrong in either of two ways: pride or sloth. As prideful beings, we may strive to be all freedom—acknowledging no limits to our creativity, supposing that our wisdom is sufﬁcient to master the world. As slothful beings, we may timidly fear freedom and ignore the lure of new possibilities. Either is a denial of something essential to being human, a reduction of the full meaning of our humanity. The duality of body and person is clearly related to what we may call a duality of ﬁnitude and freedom. The human being is the place where freedom and ﬁnitude meet; hence, it will always contravene something signiﬁcant in our humanity to act as if we are really only free personal spirit or only ﬁnite body. Yet because of the two-sidedness of our nature, we can look at a human being from each of these angles. There is no formula for knowing how best to honor simultaneously both our freedom and our ﬁnitude. That there ought to be limits to our
freedom does not mean we can easily state them in advance. But a truly human bioethics will recognize not only the creative but also the destructive possibilities in the exercise of our freedom.
Imperative or Desirable Part of the sadness of human life is that we sometimes cannot or ought not do for others what they fervently desire. It is our inability to help in the face of great suffering that fuels the research “imperative.” Nevertheless, it is important to ask how overriding this imperative is—whether there are means to the possible relief of suffering which we ought not take up, and whether it would be good if we were not vulnerable to suffering. Many questions of bioethics, especially of research, invite us to determine the difference between the desirable and the imperative. Far from using those who might be most readily available as handy research subjects, we should be most reluctant to use them. The vulnerability that ought to concern us most is the vulnerability of those whose very helplessness might make them seem all too readily available to us in our never-ending struggle to make progress. We will have to ask ourselves whether it is right to build our medical progress on the sacriﬁced lives of those—such as spare embryos—who seem expendable because doomed to die anyway. We must also ask ourselves whether there might be research that is neither imperative nor desirable. If goodness is to be prized more than happiness, the endless quest to remake and enhance human life, to overcome vulnerability, may destroy other, equally important goods of an authentically human life. We have to
ask whether there might be research aims which, however well-intentioned, would seek to bestow traits of character and skill that have no value apart from the process whereby they are developed and achieved. We are forced to ask hard questions about projects aimed at enhancing human nature. Where do such ambivalent reﬂections lead? Bioethics directs our attention to Bios—to human bodily life in all its vulnerability and with all the goods (biological, rational, cultural, spiritual) that characterize it. For that life we seek health, and in that life we seek to avoid suffering. These are great goods of bodily life, but they sometimes compete with other, equally human goods. Relief of suffering is surely of great importance; yet it remains only one desideratum of a truly human life. At a few times and places it may seem
Part of the sadness of human life is that we sometimes cannot or ought not do for others what they fervently desire. —Gilbert Meilaender imperative; at many times and places it is desirable; in some times and places, because we judge other, competing goods to be even more fundamental to human life, it may be neither imperative nor desirable. Our finitude and freedom are not easily reconciled. The goods of life compete with each other, and if we do evil it may be done with great 11
dignity and appeal—done even in the service of some good. The wisdom bioethics seeks is the wisdom to discern right order among such competing goods. Taken by permission from The New Atlantis, Number 1, Spring 2003 (see www.TheNewAtlantis.com). Essay originally prepared as a discussion paper for the President’s Council on Bioethics.
Gilbert Meilaender holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and teaches at Valparaiso University, where he was appointed the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Professor in Christian Ethics in 1996. Prior to that he taught at the University of Virginia and at Oberlin College, where he was Francis Ward and Lydia Lord Davis Professor of Religion. He is a fellow of the Hastings Center in Garrison, New York, and has been a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics since it was established in 2002. Dr. Meilaender has published 11 books and numerous articles. Among his books are Friendship: A Study in Theological Ethics; Faith and Faithfulness: Basic Themes in Christian Ethics; Bioethics: A Primer for Christians; and Body, Soul and Bioethics.
Human Stem Cell Research: Pushing the Limits to Heal Human Suffering BY
HESSEL BOUMA III
Adult or Embryonic Stem Cells? Human stem cells (SC) are being widely heralded as the potential therapeutic savior from most of humankind’s currently intractable conditions—spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. Can relatively sparse adult stem cells be isolated and successfully redirected in a timely fashion to function therapeutically, or will we need to use embryonic stem cells (ESC)? There is no unique moral problem with using stem cells per se; we do so fairly routinely in bone marrow stem cell transplants. The signiﬁcant moral problem occurs if we must destroy unimplanted embryos to derive ESC. This moral problem—like many others in bioethics—depends upon our worldview on the moral status of the unborn. If unimplanted human embryos have no greater value than hair, ﬁngernails, or blood cells, why not use them as sources of ESC? But if they are to be valued as persons like us, are we not killing them for the beneﬁt of others?
Five Views on the Unborn In our pluralist society, there are principally ﬁve views on the moral status of the unborn. For persons of Christian faith traditions, what Scripture says about the unborn will be very important. Yet consensus does not exist within these groups, largely because Scripture nowhere addresses the moral status of the unborn clearly. Persons comparably committed to the authority of Scripture and its role in our lives may interpret the same texts differently, coming to differing conclusions. (For an excellent summary of what Scripture does and does not say, see James C. Peterson’s “Is the Embryo a Human Being” in God and the Embryo, Georgetown University Press, 2003.) 12
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Are we sufﬁciently sure of our moral convictions that we would accept our human suffering and/or that of our loved ones rather than use embryonic stem cells, even if they result in better treatments or cures? —Hessel Bouma III
this view the zygote deserves some awe, respect and reverence by virtue of the potential it has to become a person if development proceeds successfully; full moral status generally is conferred at viability or earlier.
What May Be Done with Frozen Embryos? Because fertility clinics in the United States operate largely unregulated, their practices have led to the creation and storage of ~400,000 frozen embryos. What may be done with these embryos? • Use in another cycle to have children • Give up in “frozen embryo adoption-like procedures” to allow another couple to have children (for info on Nightlight Christian Adoptions go to www.snowﬂakes. org); many Christian couples with frozen embryos reject this option, sensing it would haunt them that they “had another child out there.” • Store indeﬁnitely • Use in research and/or as sources of ESC • Destroy them
© ROSLIN INSTITUTE, SCOTLAND, UK; USED BY PERMISSION
At one end of the spectrum the “conceptionist” position grants full moral status at fertilization; to use ESC derived upon the death of an embryo is unacceptable. This is the ofﬁcial magisterial Catholic position, the predominant position among conservative, evangelical Protestants, and the political right-to-life position. At the other end of the spectrum the “actualist” position is that the embryo is not a person, and until it actually is a person, it has no signiﬁcant moral status (based on Genesis 2:7—with the breath of life man became a living being). This position is associated with some mainline Protestant Christians, many people not associated with faith traditions, and persons who align themselves with pro-choice organizations. Most actualists confer the moral status of a person at the time of either viability or birth. Other people have found the greatest moral consistency in one of three middle-of-the-road positions. The “stage” position identiﬁes a critical stage in development before which the embryo or fetus has no moral status, and after which the embryo or fetus has full moral status. The critical stage might be implantation, 40 days after fertilization, heartbeat, neurological activity, sentience or quickening. Aquinas identiﬁed the critical stage as 40 days for males and 80 days for females. ESC derivation before the critical stage would be acceptable; after the critical stage unacceptable. A growing number of conceptionists are being drawn to a stage position where the critical stage is implantation—a shift caused by practical difﬁculties posed by frozen embryos, the use of morning-after pills in situations of rape, and the possibility of ESC therapies for themselves or a loved one who is suffering. The “gradualist” position resists thinking there is one critical time which makes an all-or-none difference in moral status. It grants some moral status at conception, more at implantation, and incrementally more as each successive stage of development is successfully completed. The “potentialist” position views the unborn as potential persons with some moral status beginning with fertilization and increasing steadily as development proceeds. In
Time-lapse of somatic cell nuclear transfer. The DNA of the donor egg is suctioned out (top left and center left). Then a cell nucleus from the individual being cloned is isolated (bottom left and top right). Finally the isolated nucleus is injected into the enucleated egg (center right) producing a cloned embryo (right bottom). Labeling by Charlie Day, Elucida Research
If couples are unwilling to pursue the ﬁrst two options, may they allow their frozen embryos to be used as sources for ESCs? Or would this encourage fertility clinics and infertile couples to irresponsibly create more embryos? In our reﬂection Christians must ask: What is the appropriate role of our religious values in a pluralist society? The Amish and Jehovah’s Witnesses do not seek to ban the use of automobiles and blood transfusions for everyone. Are these simply minor, peculiar Christian beliefs and therefore not to be imposed upon others? Or should we generally have some reticence against imposing Christian beliefs upon a pluralist society? Should our Christian views on the moral status of the unborn be imposed on others?
The Challenge of Discernment How might we move forward with research using stem cells? First, let us fully promote adult stem cell research. Second, let’s promote responsible reproductive assistance in our fertility clinics. To curb the creation of excess embryos, might we form a government agency (like the EPA or FDA) to oversee assisted reproductive technologies,
A Response: Protecting the Sanctity of Life BY
limiting the creation of embryos, encouraging couples to nurture the embryos they have created, and promoting frozen embryo adoption-like opportunities? If we did this, might we derive ESC from the unwanted frozen embryos in fertility clinics? Stem cells present an enormous challenge to us. May we be very cautious about making excessive claims and raising false hopes about the potential of ESC. May God give us inquisitive minds and moral discernment to act in ways consistent with God’s calls to be faithful stewards. May we discern how to use biotechnology wisely for the alleviation of human suffering, avoiding or minimizing the evils lurking around technology. Are we sufﬁciently sure of our moral convictions that we would accept our human suffering and/or that of our loved ones rather than use ESC, even if they result in better treatments or cures? That may be the ultimate test of our convictions. Hessel Bouma III is professor of biology at Calvin College, teaching human biology, medical science and biomedical ethics. He received his Ph.D. in human genetics from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Dr. Bouma is chair of the Bioethics Commission for the American Scientiﬁc Afﬁliation and serves on local and state ethics committees and hospice boards. He writes and speaks extensively and is frequently interviewed by local and national media on biomedical ethics.
R. PRESTON MASON ’85
Alternatives to Using Embryonic Stem Cells As a scientist committed to the discovery of new treatments for human disease, the opportunities presented by stem cell research are exciting while at the same time raising important ethical questions that cannot be ignored. Our own scientiﬁc work at Elucida Research includes the use of human cells collected from the umbilical cord after a normal birth, an important source also for stem cells. Studies with human cells from this readily available source have led to new insights into the treatment of heart disease and neurological disorders. Indeed, sources of stem cells other than human embryos offer important promise for the treatment of human disease. I recently attended an international cardiology meeting where researchers reported using a patient’s own bone marrow-derived stem cells to replace damaged heart tissue. The ﬁndings highlight the tremendous opportunities associated with use of adult stem cells to develop new treatments and cures for many human diseases. Already the use of adult stem cells is being routinely used as an effective therapy for various blood-associated cancers such as leukemia. 14
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
The destruction of human life is not justiﬁed by the potential medical advances that might result. —R. Preston Mason
Created Life as a Commodity Technologies related to stem cells— especially embryonic stem cells— have signiﬁcant moral implications, but perhaps none more so than therapeutic cloning. To clone simply means to create a genetically identical organism. Therapeutic cloning holds out the prospect of creating human genetic duplicates in order to beneﬁt the donor or source. So, for example, a therapeutic clone could be sacriﬁced to provide “spare parts” or organs for the genetic original as if the created life were simply being used as a commodity. There are obvious moral problems associated with therapeutic cloning. For starters, one must realize that just because two people share genetic identity, they are still separate human beings. I understand this well since my father was an identical twin and therefore shared the genetic identity of his brother. Throughout their lives my father and his twin experienced very similar environments—they grew up together on a farm, both became high school math teachers in Connecticut, even married within two weeks of each other. But they also had distinct interests, related differently to others, and walked individual journeys in their relationship with God. Their example makes plain that genetics alone does not determine human identity. Nevertheless, we must grasp the extraordinary implications of their identical genetic heritage from a biomedical perspective: my father and his twin could exchange vital tissues without fear of rejection by their respective immune systems. Genetically identical twins like my father and uncle represent an ideal opportunity for research into the relative contribution of genetics
versus environment to the totality of our traits. In fact, my father and his twin were subjects of a national medical research program. As a relatively young man, my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a serious neurodegenerative disease. Remarkably my uncle did not show any signs of this disease, despite their common genetic heritage. This case highlights the complex interrelationships between genetics and environment. Unfortunately 20 years later my uncle began exhibiting hallmark symptoms and the classic manifestations of Parkinson’s disease in a manner nearly identical to those of my father, which piqued the interest of the world’s foremost researchers in the ﬁeld. Following their deaths our families shared the important responsibility of making their brain tissue available to medical researchers dedicated to a more complete understanding of this disease. The study was eventually published in a major medical journal. While there were clear similarities in the pathology, there remained important differences that could not be explained solely by genetics. Their example shows us that even when it comes to strictly “biological” (as opposed to “personal”) traits, genetic facts are not the only relevant facts. This example helps to highlight the ethical challenges of issues such as therapeutic cloning. Despite the advantages of having a source tissue that is immunologically compatible in every sense, can we justify creating another human for this purpose only? Our experience with identical twins teaches us that while an individual may have an identical genetic makeup, he or she is still distinct as an organism and a person. Treating human beings as a commodity lies
at the very core of therapeutic cloning and thus violates basic moral principles, most fundamentally the principle that we love our neighbors as ourselves.
Moral Inconsistency On another point during our discussions, I disagree with Dr. Hessel Bouma (see article on page 12) that “surplus” embryos from in vitro fertilization clinics should be made available for research, and hence destroyed, while embryos that are developing in the uterus merit full protection. It is philosophically and morally inconsistent to suggest that the value of a developing human life is contingent on its physical location or degree of independence at an arbitrary point in time. As in other examples of unethical research, the destruction of human life is not justiﬁed by the potential medical advances that might result. This is especially true in those cases where the individuals involved are not competent or capable of expressing their own will; the impermissibility arises from the fundamental principle requiring informed consent that has guided research in the United States for decades. It is for this reason that children are rarely used in human research projects, the only exception being circumstances in which research would result in treatments that beneﬁt (certainly not destroy) life. For more information on the concept of informed consent and its historical foundation, see http://www.nihtraining.com/ohsrsite/ guidelines/graybook.html. These principles should apply to children at all stages of development. The ancient Psalmist King David wonderfully expressed the mystery and sacred value afforded to human life in its early stages when he wrote 15
Psalm 139. Using metaphorical language, he marvels that God “knit me together in my mother’s womb” and “saw my unformed [literally, still forming] body” (NIV).
Limits to Protect the Sanctity of Life Without question it is a very exciting time to explore the frontiers of medical research. Advancements in research technology hold out the prospect for transforming medical treatment and health care. However, we must remain acutely aware of the fact that there is at present still a tremendous scientiﬁc gap between theory and reality when it comes to embryonic stem cells and their application to therapy. Embryonic stems cells were ﬁrst isolated from the mouse over 20 years ago. Despite
decades of research since, with virtually unfettered access to embryonic stem cells from various animal models, we have not perfected the use of this technology to treat any diseases, even under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. One can only imagine, then, the enormous technical and scientiﬁc hurdles that need to be overcome before we can apply such technology to humans. During this time it is very likely we will perfect the use of adult cells for even broader therapeutic opportunities, and this is certainly an exciting prospect to those of us in the ﬁeld of biomedical research. We as scientists ﬁnd it difﬁcult to accept limits on our pursuit of answers, but such limits are necessary if it involves protecting the sanctity of human life.
NEW SCIENCE CENTER WILL TRAIN
Preston Mason is President and CEO of Elucida Research in Beverly, Massachusetts. He is also a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a senior research scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Mason earned his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He joined the faculty there and later directed a research laboratory at MCP Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Pennsylvania (now part of Drexel University). A frequent lecturer nationally and internationally, Dr. Mason has written or coauthored more than 85 full-length articles and book chapters related to his research in leading medical journals. He has served on Gordon’s Board of Trustees since 1996 and lives in Manchester, Massachusetts, with his wife, Pamela, who is also a cell biologist and accomplished scientist.
Biblical truth is clear on matters pertaining to the sanctity of human life. Unfortunately the application of such truth within the scientiﬁc realm is often nonexistent or misrepresented, evidenced by the national debate surrounding stem cell research. It is vital that Christians with strong moral and theological bearings become involved in research and decisions that impact the well-being of all creation. At Gordon we are more than ever committed to our tradition of scientiﬁc inquiry within a framework of faith. This includes preparing Christian leaders for serious engagement with today’s leading-edge biomedical research. Gordon’s $30 million science center campaign—Heart of Discovery: A Commitment to Science—is intended to do just that. When completed, the new 79,000-square-foot facility will provide students with a world-class science education, grounded in biblical truth that can be brought to bear within the scientiﬁc community. You can help. Contact the Development Ofﬁce at 978.867.4204 or email email@example.com to learn more about Heart of Discovery and science education at Gordon College.
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
MEET GORDON FACULTY Professors Stella Pierce and Dale Pleticha both love nature— a “star” and a stargazer.
STELLA PIERCE She came from a family of educators, but Stella Pierce was once determined not to become a teacher. It wasn’t until college that she followed the career path of her mother, grandmother, aunts and uncle. Pierce laughs as she recalls her initial plan to become an actress on Broadway. With her warm smile and easy conversation, she’s a natural educator. Since 2001 Dr. Pierce has been teaching Introduction to Education and a variety of courses in her ﬁeld of special education at Gordon. Last spring at George Fox University she and fellow education professor Janet Arndt presented a scholarly paper on university and public school partnerships. Pierce is presently working on another publication in which she discusses the different models of teacher education programs. When she’s not working you may ﬁnd Pierce at home tending her African violets and orchids or puttering around her kitchen. Cooking is a favorite pastime. She whips up tasty treats from scratch—“from homemade ice cream to elaborate cakes and pastries,” she says. The professor recently completed a navigation course sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard. “My husband is an avid ﬁsherman, and we bought a boat a year and a half ago,” she says. “Now when we go out on the water I have a much better understanding of how to plot a course.” Pierce and her husband, Robert, have four grown children and six grandchildren. Their son Joseph, a major in the U.S. Army, recently returned from service in Iraq. —Elizabeth Ross White
DALE PLETICHA Hanging on the wall of Dale Pleticha’s ofﬁce is an award that makes this physics professor beam with satisfaction, though not conferred from the esteemed halls of academia. It’s an ofﬁcial Frisbee Master certiﬁcate, won in college from the International Frisbee Association. “It’s my best certiﬁcate—much better than my Ph.D. diploma!” he jokes. The professor takes on his work with the same grace as a behind-the-back Frisbee catch. At Gordon since 1984, he enjoys teaching a variety of courses in a major that’s arguably one of the most difﬁcult and least popular among students. Dr. Pleticha also teaches a course in astronomy and once conducted research in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, at the world’s most powerful single-dish radio telescope, featured in the 1997 movie Contact. While on sabbatical this semester he’s completing a writing project on planetary orbits as well as an instructional manual for a new computer system for physics majors. The professor’s last two sabbaticals took him to Daystar University in Kenya, where he taught science and math. When he’s not studying—or throwing—moving objects, this professor likes to take hikes in the White Mountains. “I ﬁnd it reinvigorating to see the beauty of nature and be away from trafﬁc and stores,” he says. An avid jogger, he has only taken time off once—in 2001 for eight weeks to have open-heart quadruple bypass surgery. Pleticha and his wife, Susan, live in New Hampshire and have a daughter, Lucy, who is a sophomore at Gordon. —Elizabeth Ross White
Elizabeth Ross White is a freelancer with 18 years of newspaper writing and editing experience.
St. Francis of L'Abri, ©Tyrus Clutter 2003, watercolor and casein on antique, book pages with metal leaf, 7 3/8" x 5"
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Exploring Faith through Art C I V A C E L E B R A T E S 2 5TH A N N I V E R S A R Y In 2002 Christians in the Visual Arts hired its ﬁrst full-time staff and accepted Gordon’s invitation to make its ﬁrst permanent home at the College. This year CIVA celebrates its 25th Anniversary, CIVASILVER, with more than 1,500 members.
AS PART OF THE CELEBRATION, CIVA is looking back on its transformation from being the idea of a few leading artists to becoming an international organization that provides an important voice to the art world and to the Church through its conferences, exhibitions and publications. In the upcoming book Faith and Vision: Twenty-Five Years of Christians in the Visual Arts, scheduled for publication by Square Halo Books, Baltimore, Maryland, New York City-based art historian James Romaine writes about CIVA’s mission and the challenges with which the organization grapples. Below are excerpts of his description. Any Christian working in the visual arts has to consider the fundamental question of how his or her faith and art interrelate. There is no single answer to this complex problem. Yet without a clear sense of one’s relationship to the Creator and its implications, artists cannot as fruitfully engage in their own creative activity, relate to other artists, or enrich the Church and culture. CIVA is a place where many artists are able to ask hard questions and ﬁnd rewarding answers in integrating their faith and creativity.
CIVA provides artists with tools and opportunities for spiritual and artistic maturity and develops a worldwide community of scholars, patrons and artists who represent an amazing diversity of spiritual and artistic viewpoints and are committed to love, support and challenge each other. CIVA is also making signiﬁcant inroads within the Church to encourage artists of faith to participate in a renaissance of the historically rich relationship between the Christian faith and the visual arts. 19
Christian artists today may be unaware that a generation ago the term “Christian artist” was considered by many an oxymoron and by others a reference to an illustrator of Bible stories. CIVA’s bold refusal to be ashamed of joining “Christian” and “the visual arts” has given numerous Christians permission to work in an incredible diversity of media and aesthetic approaches, to take risks with their art beyond the currently fashionable trends, and to make art of superb conceptual and technical quality. CIVA’s membership now includes scholars, art historians, gallery owners, critics, designers, graphic artists, sympathetic church leaders and patrons. For more information about CIVA and its programs visit www.civa.org/.
Sandra Bowden has served as president of CIVA since 1993. An accomplished artist in her own right, she has led the organization with It is Finished, ©Sandra Bowden 2001, her own energ y collage and acrylic paint on canvas and the support of member-volunteers to its present inﬂuence as an important force on behalf of Christian artists. Bowden says, “When historians and artists of the future want to know what was important in 2004, they will look, among other things, to the visual record. Will they ﬁnd powerful art that points to a remnant who knew and revered God? Will we leave them a record that faith was alive and well in our time?”
Over the past 2,000 years the Church has been one of the most proliﬁc patrons of the visual arts. Indeed, it would be impossible—and certainly misleading—to discuss the history of the visual arts without including the paramount role the Church has played in providing ﬁnancial, intellectual and spiritual resources.
Meditation, ©Bruce Herman 2002, oil and alkyd resin with 23kt. gold leaf on canvas and birch panel, 55" x 36"
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
The Partners Program
Scholarships Release Students to Pursue Their Callings Senior Kirsten Heacock told scholarship donors their investment in her planted seeds of a dream to pursue a higher education. BY
ordon is blessed by alumni and friends who give generously to student scholarships. We are equally blessed to have so many gifted students—the majority of whom receive ﬁnancial aid in the form of scholarships. The Partners Program and other scholarship funds make it possible for talented Gordon students to complete their education and better understand God’s calling in their lives. One such student is Kirsten Heacock, a senior majoring in biblical studies and history, who has a strong intellect and a heart for God and His world. Among her activities on campus, she assists President Jud Carlberg and his wife, Jan, as they lead a discussion class—Christianity, Character and Culture—required of all ﬁrst-year students. Jan says she sometimes goes to class just to take notes on Kirsten, who asks challenging questions and forces the students to consider new perspectives. Kirsten has distinguished herself as a rising scholar; she recently presented a paper at the Conference on Faith and History in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and attended the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in San Antonio, Texas. She also studied for six weeks at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her goals include attending graduate school and eventually teaching at the college level. She has been accepted to graduate programs at Princeton, Yale and Duke. Kirsten is the ﬁrst to recognize others for her success. She gives her mentor, Dr. Marvin Wilson, high marks for inspiring her love for Old Testament study, and credits Bible professor Dr. Elaine Phillips for teaching her how to write. She is thankful to history professors Dr. Tal Howard and Dr. Jennifer Hevelone-Harper for teaching her how to integrate her faith with historical understanding. She is also grateful to the Carlbergs, who taught her how to trust the Lord in times of transition and to always keep a sense of humor.
ROBERT GRINNELL ’81
Kirsten acknowledges with appreciation the fact that scholarship gifts made her college education possible and has a very high regard for those who have invested in her Gordon experience. At a recent gathering of 150 scholarship donors she expressed her gratitude: I am humbled as I look back and realize what Gordon has invested in me over these years. Financially my education would not have been possible without the gifts of generous donors like you. You give to Gordon because you believe in its mission and vision for education and leadership, engaging the world with a profoundly Christian worldview. You may not realize, however, that by investing in Gordon you are directly releasing students like me to pursue passions within the context of a supportive community. I hope someday to again be part of a community like Gordon and continue this vision of “freedom within a framework of faith.” Your support planted in me the seed of that dream, and for that I thank you. Indeed, those of us who teach and mentor students are grateful to individuals who make scholarship giving a priority. For more information on how you can assist outstanding and deserving students, contact Bob Grinnell at 978.867.4005 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Bob Grinnell is vice president for development at Gordon. Following graduation from the College he joined the Admissions Ofﬁce, where he was director 1985–87. Following three years as head of admissions at The Stony Brook School on Long Island, he returned to Gordon as a member of the development staff. Bob has worked for over 15 years on the Partners Program, which provides scholarship support to deserving students who could not otherwise afford a Gordon education. 21
Tempting Thoughtful Young Christians: Strategies, Suggestions and Techniques
THOMAS ALBERT HOWARD
MY FELLOW TEMPTERS, good morning. I’m very glad you signed up for this workshop. In fact, it’s a sign of your diabolical cunning that you bypassed some of the usual, more sensational workshops on promoting famine, genocide and atheism. Indeed, if we can encourage young Christians to think sloppily about their education, we can inﬂuence generations to come, for these are the Christians who will go on to be teachers, journalists, doctors, lawyers and the like. They will set the moral and intellectual tempo of church and society—and their inﬂuence, for better or hopefully worse, can be tremendous. If we can get them at this stage, we can poison Christian thought at its source. We can bolster our Long-Term Strategic Plan of deﬁling the Creation by leaving the miserable Christians without solutions, without guidance, dithering in emaciated and shallow souls. Our battle is thus not a sensational one but a subtle one, not violent but nonetheless vicious—it’s a protracted counter-insurgency to encourage muddle-headedness, low expectations, sloth, self-deceit, indifference, vulgar tastes and poor judgment. Our success is not measured in the number of corpses or victims but in terms of a mediocrity and banality which no longer even knows how to recognize itself as such. Now, you know some of the standard tricks of the trade. You know how to plunge students into sloth unwittingly as they ﬂit from frivolous Internet sites to debauched television programs. And, indeed, most of you know how to encourage pride and envy as they fault others for gifts they possess and doubt themselves for gifts they lack. Indeed, these are all standard tricks of the trade, and let’s keep it up. But, as studies from our statistics department show, these methods work best on the morally 22
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
SPRING 2005 GRANT HANNA ’06
In the spirit of C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, Professor Tal Howard asked students to imagine they were attending a workshop in Hell as part of a special conference put together by a committee of well-dressed, highly-motivated demons. Professor Howard played the role of workshop instructor, offering a brief opening address.
and intellectually weak—and, as a matter of diabolical technique, I ﬁnd some of these methods to be pretty ham-ﬁsted and predictable. The stronger, intellectually rigorous, more virtuous student needs a more subtle approach. It is this that I especially want to address with you today. To be successful on this front, we have to penetrate a student’s mind, get at their very motivation for learning. A challenging task? Sure it is. But success at this level makes everything else much, much easier. So how do we do this? Let me suggest one thing we want to encourage and one thing we must avoid at all costs. I repeat: at all costs. First we have to make them think about their education strictly as a means and not an end—as an instrument, a step toward something else and not as anything that has intrinsic value for their present. Now this might surprise you: but what that end is really doesn’t matter. It could be a successful, high-paying job. It could be to win prestige and admiration from important people. It could be to achieve political causes; to win the cultural wars against the secular elites. Indeed, it’s very risky, but for some it could even be Christian service—a desire to change the world for the better. The cunning in this approach is that, if we are persistent and patient, it will reduce their education to a mere tool—an instrument, a means to measure achievement. They’ll become clever careerists, resume-builders, effective, organized, punctual, in-demand and esteemed. But once we lock them in this mindset, bit by bit we are better able to chip away at their soul, infest it with banality, self-importance and petty ambitions. Deep hunger for meaning and truth will give way to
better organizational skills; intellectual seriousness can be tamed by slavish deference to the latest academic and political fads; the ability to ask probing theological and philosophical questions can be muted by more practical occupational considerations. Indeed, if we are effective here, gradually, slowly, almost imperceptibly, we’ll deprive the Enemy of one of His most damnable and dangerous gifts to these miserable creatures: the simple joy of using their created minds to know and understand the world. This brings me to my second and ﬁnal point—what we must avoid at all costs. We cannot—and hear me now—we cannot let joy be mingled with the educational process. For joy is the supreme goal the Enemy has for these vermin, a joy in knowing the Creation and, more importantly, the Creator—of knowing what one of their poets has called “the supreme wisdom,” the summit of all wisdom and joy. Experiencing even an inkling of this wisdom, and delighting in it during their college years, can be deadly for our agenda. So again, it’s best if they think of their education simply as a tool, a hoop to be jumped through. They must see their time now as merely academic and not real; as a way station to life and not life itself; as training (in a shallow sense) and not education (in a deeper sense). Thus, they should never leave class simply awed by the elegance of a mathematical equation. Their concern for a grade in Shakespeare class should prevent their fascination at Shakespeare’s gift of language. Speaking out passionately in class about an idea should be seen as far beneath their hipness. Taking to task a faulty argument should not
be viewed as a victory for truth, but as impolite, and perhaps even as “unChristian.” Lingering to question a guest speaker should be the exception, never the rule. Even a phrase like the “joy of learning”—it’s best if they think of it as naive, impractical and antiquated. If we accomplish all these things, our charges might still stay in the Enemy’s camp, but we’ll have stunted their intellects; we’ll have them on the way to being sterile, trivial, selfabsorbed—and deliciously boring and boorish! What is more, we’ll have deﬂected them from that joy that always points to a Higher Joy, that yearning wisdom that seeks out, as that wretched St. Paul writes, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good.” Now, you might ask: Don’t the faculty and staff also play a role in creating this joylessness? Certainly they do. But that’s the subject of another workshop. This piece was adapted from a challenge delivered at the annual Honors Convocation (November 12, 2004).
Dr. Tal Howard has taught history at Gordon since 1999 and is the founding director of Gordon’s Jerusalem and Athens Forum, an honors program. He holds a doctorate in European intellectual history from the University of Virginia and is the author of Religion and the Rise of Historicism (Cambridge, 2000) and Protestant Theology and the Making of the Modern German University (Oxford, forthcoming).
Meet Gordon Student-Athletes Seniors Warren Shumate and Sarah DeLuca leave Gordon prepared to serve Christ in sport, in the community and in the world.
WarrenShumate A varsity standout at Calvert High School in Maryland, senior lacrosse player Warren Shumate looked forward to college to further integrate faith and sport. Visiting campus and being welcomed into the lacrosse brotherhood made it clear to him Gordon had the right spiritual temperature. Shumate will graduate in May with far more than he bargained for. “Lacrosse has become much more than a sport to me,” he says. “It’s a ministry opportunity to this campus, the community and the world.” Intent on taking advantage of that opportunity, Shumate has participated in several ministries, visiting Guatemala with World Focus on three separate occasions and spending two and half months in Nicaragua in community outreach service. In addition to being a four-year starter on the lacrosse team, he has been active on Orientation staff and has worked with Gordon’s Summer Missions program and the Center for Student Development. Whether helping freshmen acclimate to college, playing lacrosse or sharing his faith across the world, Shumate says, “God has impressed on me the importance of being a visible witness on and off the ﬁeld, and playing lacrosse here has taught me the importance of allowing God to come into each part of my life.” Unsure as to his future career path, Shumate, a political studies major, leaves well-equipped with an impressive, diversiﬁed resume in hand. “God has given me a heart for missions, but no matter where I work, Gordon has taught me to lead by my faith,” he says. —Elizabeth Watson ’04
SarahDeLuca Anson Dorrance, head women’s soccer coach at the University of North Carolina, has said, “The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when no one else is watching.” No truer words could be spoken of senior women’s basketball player Sarah DeLuca. Wary of the culture characteristics of a secular school, a campus visit and time with the team made the choice clear between her top two picks: “I knew Gordon would be my home because the team and coaching staff were comprised of people I wanted to be around.” DeLuca has developed the reputation for a tireless work ethic and uncompromising determination, qualities that have allowed her to excel both on and off the court. Setting aside her laundry list of athletic accolades, which include All-American nods, innumerable conference distinctions and breaking the Gordon women’s basketball scoring record earlier this season, she has been an exemplary student in her secondary education and math majors. She also participated in a summer tour to Thailand and East Asia with Athletes in Action, which aims to share the gospel through sport. Now at the close of her decorated college career, DeLuca credits her time at Gordon for preparing her to be a better Christian leader in the classroom, on the court and in the world: “Gordon has been the ideal environment to challenge me in my faith and leadership, and has allowed me to ﬁgure out who I am, what I believe and where God wants me.” —Elizabeth Watson ’04 Elizabeth (Bess) Watson ’04 returned to Gordon as assistant women’s soccer and lacrosse coach and assistant sports information director. As a student she was a Barrington Scholar and played both soccer and lacrosse four years.
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
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Several responses to “100 Years of Dedication,” Fall 2004 y ﬁrst semester at Barrington took me to Old Testament taught by Dr. Wilson. He made history come alive. The next semester I found Dr. Buehler and New Testament. His sense of humor and visible pleasure in life and people made that class special. I enjoyed being in Dr. Green’s company on many occasions, learning from him as well. Barrington was a wonderful place due in no small part to these three professional, caring, joyous gentlemen. Thanks for an outstanding feature. Pamela Reale ’73B t has been over 30 years since I sat in a classroom with these gentlemen, but the memory lingers still. What a profound effect these men have had on so many students. Old Testament History and Modern Jewish Culture with Professor Wilson were two of my very favorites. I remember much of the material to this day—a tribute to his teaching skills. A very belated “thank-you” in case I was remiss those many years ago. Janet Wheeler Monopoli ’73B
ust to let you know how much I and other BC graduates appreciated the excellent article proﬁling Drs. Beuhler, Wilson and Green. Also, the recent tribute to President Charles Hummel was quite appropriate. I was privileged to work as a student and radio station manager with all of them, and the articles brought back fond memories of Barrington College. Robert C. Huber ’72B ■ ■ ■
ove in Any Language” by Hillary Marides [Fall 2004] was so uplifting. I was a student when Hillary was, and it is wonderful to see how God has continued to work in her life. One of my most memorable chapel services was when Hillary sang “My Father’s Eyes”—one of the truest expressions of worship I have experienced. As a physical education major I was stretched in faith through La Vida. Many thanks to Gordon College, Rich Obenschain and the La Vida staff for being committed to this facet of a Christian education. It is exciting to see how the outdoor education
program has grown and continues to transform lives. Robyn Miller Buck ’86 ■ ■ ■
t was refreshing to read in “Convicted Civility” [Summer 2004] that we are free to express our views without being chastised. I was a new immigrant during my years at Gordon in the ’60s. I made an honest mistake by demonstrating my appreciation to be in this country, not realizing it is inappropriate to say anything positive about America or its democratic way of life. Under Communism we had no freedom of speech. A renewed fear came when I was strongly discouraged to speak what was in my heart. Over the years I have learned not to be “political.” That type of thinking in the ’60s disappointed many of my classmates. It is God’s will that we tolerate those with opposing views. John V. Chang ’69
For information, updates and tickets, call 978.867.3400 for music events and 978.867.4282 for theatre productions. Music events are held in Phillips Recital Hall (PRH), located in Phillips Music Center; in A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel (GC); in Lane Student Center (LSC); or in the Presidents Dining Room (PDR) in the LSC. 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.
Theatre—Much Ado about Nothing; BCA
Annual Student Symposium on “Global Christianity”; www.gordon.edu/ccs
Spring Pops Concert; 7 P.M., GC
Choirs! Choirs! Choirs! 4 P.M., GC
Thompson Chamber Music Series: Lynn Chang, Violin; 8 P.M., PRH
29, 30 30
Scenes from Operas; 4/29–8 P.M., 30–7 P.M., PRH Wind Ensemble; 7 P.M., GC
Gordon Symphony Orchestra; 3 P.M., GC
Jazz Ensemble; 8 P.M., GC
Gordon College Children’s Choir; 7 P.M., PRH
History Alive will once again present Cry Innocent: The People versus Bridget Bishop June 19–August 21 at 11:30 A.M., 1:30 and 3:30 P.M. at the Old Town Hall in Salem, Massachusetts. A new play, The Salem Kitsch Trials, will be performed as well. For the daily schedule call 978.867.4747. The Graduate Music Education program will offer courses June 27–August 12 with music education workshops July 18–22. The Massachusetts ACDA Summer Conference will be held July 17–20. For details call 978.867.4429 or go to www. gordon.edu/academics/mmed/workshops.htm. Christians in the Visual Arts Workshops, July 10–16, will allow artists to work under master artists. The workshops focus on the intersection of art and faith, with time for meditation, discussion, a walk-in exhibition, evening slide talks and visits to museums and galleries. Call 978.867.4128 or go to www.civa.org for information.
Children of the Appletree, ©Mary McCleary 2000, mixed media collage on paper, 44 1/2" x 74"
“I chose Gordon College because I wanted to be part of an exciting Christian community while studying subjects I loved— math and computer science. My professors were constantly showing us how faith applied to their areas of discipline. I chose to study operations research in graduate school so I can help people be better stewards of the planet by more effectively using the resources God has given them.” —Michael Yee ’00 Ph.D. Candidate, M.I.T.
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Published on Jan 22, 2010
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