CIVIL DISCOURSE Convicted Civility
Give a Kind and Respectful Answer iblical values and Christian tradition are demeaned by some in our secular culture today. The Supreme Judicial Court here in Massachusetts has challenged centuries of Christian teaching about traditional marriage by mandating the recognition of gay marriages. This is one of the most divisive issues we face in society—and the Church—today. How should we respond? Our response should involve both a clear understanding of biblical teaching and an expression of our convictions with a Christlike attitude. We seem to get the content right, but, if the evening news is any indication, some Christians fall short when it comes to attitude. The Apostle Peter gave wise instruction to the early Church as it wrestled with life-threatening problems and deep divisions in society. Jesus had been gone for over 30 years when Peter wrote his letters to the believers in Asia Minor. The Roman Emperor Nero was troubled by this Christ vision spreading throughout his empire, and his response was to attack and kill Christians systemically. He wanted them silenced. Yet Peter urged the Christ followers to be exemplary citizens and get along not only with each other but also with those who wanted to see them wiped out. “Christ has given us a new life and a new hope that lives on,” he said. (I Peter 1:3) “Don’t be hateful and insult people just because they are hateful and insult you; instead treat everyone with kindness. You are God’s chosen ones and He will bless you.” (I Peter 3:9) Though in many places in the world Christ’s followers still face great hardship and even death, few if any Christians in North America die for their faith. Nevertheless, increasingly we encounter ridicule, loss of support for traditional values, and erosion of Christian religious freedoms. These dynamics force us to take a hard look at how we relate to society and respond to its secular bias. Sometimes I wonder if the level of moral debate is slipping lower because we have forgotten how to discourse respectfully. The extremes on each side seem less concerned about how people live and more concerned about how loudly—and rudely—they protest. Perhaps our views would be taken more seriously and responded to with less venom if they were shared in the spirit Peter suggests: “Honor Christ and let Him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope. Give a kind and respectful answer and keep your conscience clear.” (I Peter 3:15, 16) Listening to the voices of others and engaging in civil discourse help us become aware of perspectives that challenge our own points of view. It causes us to search even deeper for God’s answers. We may run the risk of criticism by our own evangelical subculture for failing to fall in line with its deﬁnition of what is politically correct for Christians. But by modeling engagement in this conversation as the Apostle Peter suggests, we strengthen the chances that our convictions will be heard in the secular public square. And equally important, we reinforce for our students that getting the content right is only half the task.
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 email@example.com Send other correspondence to: Editor, Stillpoint Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road Wenham, Massachusetts 01984 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 19, Number 3 Summer 2004
CIVIL DISCOURSE Convicted Civility “God would like to sow in every soul the seeds of intelligence and wisdom, [and that] wisdom is pursued in common with all humanity and is achieved by open, intelligent, responsible, and mutually respectful interactions of points of view.” —St. Augustine
IFC 2 4
Up Front by R. Judson Carlberg Give a Kind and Respectful Answer On & Off Campus by Chris Underation
Faculty Proﬁles Meet Gordon Faculty by Elizabeth Ross White
Professors Susan Brooks, music, and Graeme Bird, English, both bring great versatility to Gordon’s faculty.
10 “Choose Life, So That You and Your Children May Live and That You May Love the Lord Your God” by Tanja Butler
Visual arts professor Tanja Butler’s depictions of partialbirth abortion helped turn the tide in Congressional hearings.
Art—like Beauty—Is More than Skin Deep by Jeffrey S. Miller
Gordon’s theatre director suggests we look beyond the language, form and materials used in artistic expression, and evaluate the message.
Convicted Civility: Speaking the Truth in Love by Daniel Russ Gordon’s director of the Center for Christian Studies talks about the good and the bad of public discourse, past and present.
Convent at Orvieto—page 18
112th Commencement by Chris Underation
Dr. David Winter encourages graduates not to doubt in the darkness what God has told them in the light.
Profs & Programs Orvieto Semester by John Skillen ’76
This study abroad program in Italy has matured, beneﬁting both Orvieto citizens and the students who study their rich culture and traditions.
Athlete Proﬁles Meet Gordon Student-Athletes by Stephen Leonard ’94
Lindsey Benson ’04 and Daniel Stahl ’05 have both broadened their horizons at Gordon.
Student Story Eyes of Faith by Kristin Schwabauer ’04
Blind and hearing impaired, sophomore Yegue Badigue made his way from Chad to America—to Perkins School for the Blind and then on to Gordon.
Partners Program 2003–2004 by Daniel White
Alums at Large Taking Possession of What Is Our Own by Donna Conger ’80
Raves & Rebuffs
Donna Conger rejects politically correct labels which offend her black sensibility about who she is.
Total giving to Partners exceeded $400,000 and beneﬁted 400 students this academic year.
Events Calendar; Students Studying Abroad Our Vision—the World
PHOTOS ON FRONT COVER, IFC, PAGES 3–9, 11–13, 16, 21, 22 AND IBC BY ARTHUR DURITY; STUDENTS IN PHOTOS ON COVER AND PAGES 8 AND 9 ARE (L) NIKKI KLINK ’07 AND (R) BRYNN CAMERY-HOGGATT ’06.
On & Off Campus BY
Looking Inside The Gordon Symphony Orchestra is featured in a new educational video titled Inside the Orchestra. This video is meant to teach how orchestras work from the inside—how they get from rehearsal to ﬁnal performance. The ﬁlm is narrated by Jeremy Yudkin, the head of musicology at Boston University, and produced by Prentice Hall. GSO conductors James Buswell and Carol Ou worked closely with Prentice Hall in the production of the GSO’s portion of the video, which revolves around classical music from the 17th to 20th centuries. The video will be released to the public later this year.
Fields of Dreams As soon as the weather warmed up, Gordon started clearing land for the much-anticipated Brigham Athletic Fields Complex. At the beginning of April heavy equipment moved in to clear land and remove stones. If things go smoothly, the ﬁelds, lights and stands will be fully ready for use in the fall of 2005. Portions of the track and ﬁeld could be ready for daytime use later this fall. For details about this facility see Fall 2003 and Spring 2002 issues of Stillpoint.
Headed by Valerie Buchanan, the Initiative is meant to strengthen Gordon and Lynn through mutually beneﬁcial partnerships. One example of this took place in the spring when students from Lynn’s three high schools teamed up with Gordon’s neuroscience students to learn about the brain. The Lynn Item covered the event, which featured comments from many Lynn students about how the class sparked their interest in science. For more on this story go to www.gordon.edu/media/lynnitem.htm.
EPA Endorsement For the third year in a row Stillpoint magazine received recognition by the Evangelical Press Association at its annual convention. This year for the ﬁrst time Stillpoint received the EPA’s highest award—the Award of Excellence. This prize honors overall excellence throughout a magazine or publication for the year 2003. The judge in this category wrote, “Your magazine seems to be the perfect still point in this era’s turbulent and frenzied magazine world.” In addition, the redesign of Stillpoint was awarded a third place prize in the Higher Goals category. Stillpoint competes with about 250 EPA member organizations.
Speeding in Spain
PHOTO COURTESY OF JSMCELVERY.COM
European newswires carried a story out of Spain this spring that had major Gordon connections. Shawn Milne, a Gordon student who is taking some time off to pursue a career in professional cycling, won the 104kilometer Trofee Disputation Alicante, the season opening race in a series for the world’s top young cyclists. Foreign wires report Milne “. . . rode to a convincing win ahead of cyclists from Spain and Argentina.” He completed the mountainous course in 3:10:07.
La Vida’s New Life Starting in the fall of 2005, Gordon’s popular La Vida program will launch a pilot project allowing a dozen students to work on a minor or a concentration in outdoor education. This area of study will also allow students to earn some required certiﬁcations and gain a great deal of exposure to experiential leadership opportunities.
Engaging Lynn During the recently completed academic year, Gordon’s Lynn Initiative started to make real connections with students and residents of Lynn, Massachusetts. 2
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Vocation, Not Vacation The annual Gordon College Symposium was held during the week of April 19, and again it was a hit with students, faculty and campus visitors. This year’s theme was “Called to Make a Life, Called to Make a Difference.” Dozens of students created displays or in some way represented the theme through art, word or deed. Forty-nine separate events were held, and each event drew an average of 30 students who desired to learn how various vocations can make a difference in our lives and the lives of those we serve.
n emoriam T
Gordon College was saddened by the unexpected death of Trustee David J. Horst on June 21. Horst had been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1973 and served on the Campus Development Committee. President R. Judson Carlberg says of him, “Dave was a dear friend and faithful trustee who brought professional insights to his Board service and personal encouragement to me. Our Board and I will miss him tremendously.” Horst was president and CEO of F.B.C. Services Corporation in Lincoln, Massachusetts, a real estate development company which he founded in 1976 to service the commercial and residential real estate market in New England. In 1987 he became
Faculty Focus Steve Alter, history: Presented paper titled “Diplomatic Improvisation: U.S. Government Ambivalence about the Use of Jazz in the Cold War Cultural Offensive” at the Organization of American Historians in Boston. Janet Arndt, education: Presented the paper “A Model to Promote a Seamless Transition and Effective Partnership among Families, Community-Based Early Intervention and the Public Preschool” at the 12th international Roundtable on School, Family and Community Partnerships in San Diego. Dorothy Boorse, Paul Borgman and Kaye Cook: Selected as CCS Fellows for the 2004–05 academic year. Boorse (biology) plans to take the love of land to the broader community; Cook (psychology) will use ﬁndings from a CCCU project on conﬂict to negotiate conﬂicts in multicultural churches; and Borgman (English) will work to widely disseminate the work he has done in biblical narrative. Jennifer Beatson, Spanish: Presented two papers at the North American Christian Foreign Language Association Conference: “Defending the Core Language Requirement” and “Scripture (Ab)use in the Foreign Language Classroom: Policies, Perception and Potential.” Russ Camp and Ming Zheng, biology: Joined nine biology majors at the spring symposium of the New England Society of Microscopy at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Student Jungsoo Byun ’05, Dr. Camp and Robert Jacob of Elucida Research in Beverly received ﬁrst prize for the Best Biological Poster for the conference. Poster title was “Comparison of MLV Membrane Structural Data Obtained from TEM and SAXS Analysis.” Janis Flint-Ferguson, English: Led a workshop at the International Reading Association in Reno, Nevada. The workshop was titled “Literacy-Based Units in Humanities.” Bert Hodges, psychology: Published the essay “Asch and the Balance of Values” in the journal of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Also contributed the chapter “Persons as Obligated: A Values-Realizing Psychology in Light of Bakhtin, Macmurray and Levinas” to the book The Self: Beyond the Postmodern Crisis.
DAVID J. HORST
a partner in Community Concepts & Development Trust, directed toward the development of the luxury housing market. He served on the National Board of Trustees for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Gravity Research Foundation for scientiﬁc research. Horst served in the military in Korea and attended Washington University. He and his wife, Carol, have two daughters, both graduates of Gordon: Wendelyne Murphy ’86 and Davonne Helmer ’90. The Horsts attended Grace Chapel, where he assisted in many capacities.
A sampling of faculty accomplishments and activities outside the classroom Agnes Howard, history and literature: Published “Building Better Babies: The Dark Side of Prenatal Screening” in the Weekly Standard. Irv Levy, chemistry: Assisted students Manuel Jusino ’05 and Steven Granz ’05 in presenting papers at student research sessions of the American Chemical Society’s national meeting in Philadelphia. Steven’s paper was “Topological Index Calculator II: Applications for Classroom or Research,” and Manuel’s was “Synthesis of a Model Antidepressant: A Capstone Lecture Topic in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry.” Dan Russ, director of the Center for Christian Studies: Led session on “The Moral Imagination in Christian Higher Education” at the conference Christianity and the Soul of the University at Baylor University. Val Gin, recreation and leisure studies: Led presentation at same conference in session on “Sport and Religion: Sociological and Athletic Perspectives.” Stephen Smith, economics: Along with Michael Anderson of Washington and Lee University, presented the paper “Borders and Price Dispersion: New Evidence on Persistent Arbitrage Failures” at the Midwest International Economics Meetings in Indianapolis. Mark Stevick, English: Awarded grand prize for his “Poem with Crow” in a poetry contest sponsored by the literary journal Wild Plum. Peter Stine, English: Review for Choice magazine on Christopher Lane’s book Hatred and Civility: The Antisocial Life in Victorian England. Jim Trent, social work: Released the book Mental Retardation in America: A Historical Anthology, a collection of essays coedited with Steven Noll. Dong Wang, history: Published an essay titled “The China Tie: Charles K. Edmunds and Liberal Arts Education, from Lingnan to Pomona” in the book The American Context of Christian Colleges.
“Walk in the sun of this life with Jesus, and have conﬁdence when darkness almost overwhelms you,” the graduates were told. “Don’t doubt the things that God has said to you in the light.”
BY CHRIS UNDERATION
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
n an address titled “All you Really Need,” 411 students receiving degrees at Gordon’s 112th Commencement on May 15 were given advice and counsel a little different from the sunny, upbeat message often presented during these occasions. “I’d love to be able to see you,” said Dr. David K. Winter, chancellor of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. “I’d also love to be able to see a beautiful sunset, and the lovely face of my wife. But we cannot always have what we want.” Keying his Commencement address from II Corinthians 12:7–10, Winter told the story of how, during a long and successful career as a college president and leader in higher education, he suddenly lost his eyesight. “Six years ago as I went over some remarks for our commencement at Westmont, I noticed a black spot in my sight,” he said. “Several days later I went to the UCLA Medical Center, and shortly after that my sight was gone.”
It was during that difﬁcult and emotional time that Winter recalled something he heard in a chapel address during his time as an undergraduate: “Never doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light.” This remark and the passage in II Corinthians have sustained him and helped him understand there is purpose and a reason for hope despite the loss of his vision. This led him to a realization of the ﬁrst thing we really need. “One of the things we really need in life is to be content,” he said. “We do not need the gift of contentment in order to be content; we are just supposed to learn to be content.” In fact, Winter said, a better goal would be to go beyond contentment to gratitude. “I had to learn to accept blindness,” he said. “I knew I needed one of these white canes, but I just was not ready for it. Until one day I went to the store.
COMMENCEMENT That was the beginning. Now being blind is who I am. I am six feet tall, play the trumpet, I think I have white hair now, and I am blind. And I hope a sense of gratitude—thankfulness for the things I have now—is something people see.” Out of this contentment and gratitude comes the second thing we really need—an understanding of strength and weakness. “In II Corinthians we are told that God’s power shows up best in weak people,” Winter said. “We all have times of feeling inadequate—as a professor, as a young naval ofﬁcer and as president of Westmont there were times like that for me. These times of anxiety are not a bad thing. “My gracious favor “When we try to do it on our own, we tend to mess things up. Anxiety reminds us is all you need. of this,” he said, “because for Christians, the way up is down. When we trust God like this, My power we have more strength in hard times.” The last thing Winter told the graduates they works best in really need is a continual sense that God is with them. your weakness.” “We’re told in the Bible that God will be with us, and that’s all we really need,” II Corinthians 12:9 (NLT) Winter said. “And then Paul says he had a thorn in the ﬂesh. Now no one is really sure what this thorn was, but many scholars think it was an eye problem. And he was told that God would be with him and that’s all he would really need.” Winter reminded the graduates there is no promise in the Bible that God will keep us from trouble in life. But there is a promise that if we will be content and trust God in good times and bad, we will be blessed and have the strength we need in any situation. “Walk in the sun of this life with Jesus, and have conﬁdence when darkness almost overwhelms you,” he said. “Don’t doubt the things God has said to you in the light.” During Commencement Exercises Gordon College recognized Winter with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Nine teachers from around the area received the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. For complete coverage of Commencement, including photos and ordering information for videos and DVDs of Baccalaureate and Commencement, go to www.gordon.edu/ commence04.htm.
CHAPLAIN OF THE U.S. SENATE BACCALAUREATE SPEAKER On Friday evening, May 14, U.S Senate Chaplain Rev. Dr. Barry Black gave the Baccalaureate message. Using the example of Simon Peter walking on the water to Jesus, Dr. Barry Black told students, “You can do the impossible. Jesus is your number one cheerleader. He wants you to leave a pedestrian faith and do the impossible.” Black shared four secrets to doing the impossible. The ﬁrst is to stay in the will of God. Next, expect God to show up in life’s emergencies. Third, take some risk. And fourth, keep your eyes on Jesus, not on you and your circumstances. To read Dr. Black’s complete Baccalaureate address, go to www.gordon. edu/bacadd.htm.
DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AWARDS D R . T ED H ILDEBRANDT and D R . VALERIE GIN were named winners of the 2004 Distinguished Faculty Awards at Commencement. HILDEBRANDT, recipient of the Distinguished Senior Faculty Award, has been a professor of biblical and theological studies at Gordon since 1999. His scholarly work is varied and impressive. He was a part of the original translation team for the Book of Proverbs in the New Living Translation of the Bible and responsible for the 1998 revision of that work; he produced two CD-ROMs for interactive tutoring in Greek and Hebrew as well as a virtual tour of Jerusalem called Get Lost in Jerusalem. Hildebrandt holds degrees from the State University of New York– Buffalo (B.A.); the Biblical School of Theology in Hatﬁeld, Pennsylvania 6
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
(M.Div. and S.T.M.), and Grace Theological Seminary (Th.D.). He and his wife, Annette, have four children: Rebekah and Natanya (who graduated from Gordon on the day their father was honored), Zachary and Elliott. GIN, an associate professor of recreation and leisure studies, received the Distinguished Junior Faculty Award. She has been an employee of Gordon College since 1989 and full-time faculty since 1998. Gin retired from coaching after the 2002 season. She coached the women’s volleyball team to one of the best in the region and ﬁnished her career with one of the top winloss records in the history of the College. She is a consultant for the Honduran Olympic Committee and SUMMER 2004
lectures around the world at sport conferences. In October 2003 her book Focus on Sport in Ministry (coauthored with Gordon alumnus Lowrie McCown), was released in Athens, Greece. Gin holds degrees from Greenville College (B.S.), Eastern Illinois University (M.S.) and Boston University (Ed.D.). The Distinguished Faculty Awards are made on the recommendation of faculty and members of the senior class and are based on teaching ability, noteworthy scholarship and the quality of relationship professors develop with students. Hildebrandt and Gin will each receive at $1,000 cash award and be honored by the full student body at a convocation to be held in the fall.
MEET GORDON FACULTY Versatility describes these two faculty members. Voice professor Susan Brooks is equally comfortable on stage or perched on a farm tractor. English professor Graeme Bird teaches a variety of subjects from classical Greek to jazz piano.
SUSAN BROOKS Since arriving in 1988, Professor Susan Brooks has enjoyed watching Gordon’s music program ﬂourish. She and her husband, Tom, who is chair of the Music Department, spend countless hours nurturing the musical talents of their students. Brooks teaches voice and performance classes with a special interest in voice pedagogy. She delights in reﬁning the raw talent of voice students, diagnosing their technical problems and teaching performance skills. Working professionally with her husband has been equally rewarding. Their newest project is planning a book on voice instruction for high school singers—“a natural outgrowth from our work in teaching voice, leading clinics and conducting choirs on all levels,” says Brooks. Brooks loves to unwind in the Erie, Pennsylvania, farmhouse where she was raised. It’s a relaxing retreat for spending time in nearby ﬁelds and parklands and on sandy beaches. She and Tom are restoring the 1885 house that once belonged to her parents. Renting the cultivated ﬁelds to a local farmer allows Brooks to reconnect with the land and childhood friends as well as indulge her interest in antique tractors and farm equipment. She likes to take in a good tractor show—“The farm girl still comes out,” she says with a laugh. Travel is another passion, and trips to Europe with her husband’s College Choir are always a treat. A favorite getaway that’s a little closer to their Nashua, New Hampshire, home is the coastal walk along the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine. The Brookses have two sons, Christopher ’93 and Nicholas ’03. —Elizabeth Ross White
GRAEME BIRD Graeme Bird works serenely amongst the stacks of books, papers and boxes cluttering his ofﬁce. Originally from New Zealand, the English professor is known for his musical abilities, varied interests and charming accent. Now in his third year of full-time teaching at Gordon, Bird previously taught mathematics, Greek and Latin at Harvard University, where he earned a Ph.D. in classical philology with a specialization in ancient languages. He is also an accomplished jazz pianist. The multitalented professor teaches a variety of subjects besides English and world literature. Under his tutelage, independent study students are learning how to write satire, play jazz piano, and master classical Greek. Bird also leads seminars for high school math teachers on the ancient Greeks’ inﬂuence on mathematics. One of Bird’s many projects is writing a book that compares jazz improvisation with the ancient singing and poetic techniques used to recite Homeric poetry. To be published by Rowman & Littleﬁeld, it will be a unique look at “the dynamics of improvised performance,” says Bird. Bird admits he pays little attention to the mundane aspects of life—like what clothes he’s wearing—but there’s always time for life’s sweet sounds and melodies. Music “is a hobby and more than a hobby,” says Bird, who also plays the guitar, electric bass and church organ. He and his wife, Joni, an actress, often sing together at the piano, lead musical worship in church and enjoy participating in community musicals. The Birds have three children: Daniel, 25; Jeremy, 12; and Sarah, 10. —Elizabeth Ross White
Elizabeth Ross White is a freelancer with 17 years of newspaper writing and editing, including as staff writer for The Christian Science Monitor.
CONVICTED CIV Is public discourse worse now than it’s ever been . . . or does it just seem that way? The director of Gordon’s Center for Christian Studies draws some parallels from history. BY
e are bracing ourselves for another election with its inevitable ampliﬁed shouting that characterizes the public square in recent years. Those of us in swing states will be drowning in political ads with images of our candidates posed with family, friends and the American ﬂag, and images of their candidates caught off guard doing or saying something to embarrass themselves. There will be the parade of pundits for both sides making the rounds of talk shows, created not for respectful conversation about issues and candidates but for political theatre. Many Christians will ﬁnd their favorite parachurch organization, media preacher or home pastor lobbying for certain causes and suggesting the only Christian alternative is to vote for the candidate who holds their convictions on these subjects.
INSEPARABLY BOUND Such political wrangling disturbs many of us, especially when it spills over from the culture into the Church. However, public disputes are inseparably bound with both the Church and democracy. We know, for example, that the Book of Acts records the conﬂict over fair distribution of food between Greek and Jewish Christians, which gave rise to the ofﬁce of deacon. We know there were debates about how Jewish Gentile converts must become to be considered Christians. Indeed, after the Jerusalem Council, which resolved this issue, we are told that Paul and Barnabas had a sharp disagreement over John Mark, and they went their separate ways. Likewise, Alexis de Tocqueville writes that democracies, especially American democracy, “cannot form a precise code in the case of social graces,” because traditional manners are built on the idea that everyone has a station in life. He concludes: “Thus one can say in a sense that the effect of democracy is not precisely to give men certain manners but to prevent them from having manners.” Despite this history of incivility both in the Church and democratic culture, we still must ask: “Is it worse now than in the past?” Yes, I think it is worse in contemporary America, because our disagreements are over the most foundational issues: Church and state, the humanity of the unborn, and the deﬁnition of marriage and family, to name a few. Robert Bellah has written, “Cultures are dramatic conversations about things that matter to their participants . . . an argument about the meaning of the destiny of its members.” He goes on to deﬁne the three major strands of the American cultural conversation as biblical, republican, and individualist. He then concludes that in the latter part of the 20th century, the biblical and republican were largely excluded from the public square. Lately, however, those representing the religious and the republican have reasserted their voices in the conversation, causing individualists to shout for exclusion of Church from state and against legislating morality. Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Seminary, says Christians are called to a “convicted civility”—holding “onto strongly felt convictions while still nurturing a spirit that is authentically kind and
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
ILITY Speaking the Truth in Love gentle.” He cautions that “being civil doesn’t require us to approve of what other people believe” but to treat them with dignity and civility. Such convicted civility is not only at the heart of democracy but is a clear teaching of Scripture. In a recent Lilly Lecture here at Gordon, Mouw shared how he had to learn this lesson anew in his relationship with the homosexual community. While holding deep convictions about Christian teachings against homosexual lifestyles, he learned to see those who advocated such lives as persons whom God loves—broken sinners like the rest of us for whom Christ died.
SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE The Apostle Paul calls the tension between conviction and civility “speaking the truth in love.” Paul, who once denounced, hunted, persecuted and killed Christians in the name of God, was a person of conviction before his conversion. Afterwards, however, the object of that conviction became the gospel of Christ. Paul spoke, lived and died for his faith in Christ, while making clear in his epistles that, even in a pagan world hostile to the gospel, we are called to love our neighbors and our enemies. Indeed, he is so bold as to say, “If I offer my body to be burned, but do not have love, it means nothing.”
In other words, in the midst of defending our convictions about absolute truths, we cannot forget that one of those truths is that we are to love all human beings, including our enemies and “those who despitefully use us,” because that’s what God does; Christ left us his example and commandments, and the Holy Spirit enables us to imitate Christ.
TRUE TRUTH Some years ago I witnessed Francis Schaeffer demonstrating the freedom of such a faith while responding to questions in an open forum. This apologist who spoke about true truth in no uncertain terms was asked a question by a young man who was skeptical about the truths of Scripture. When Schaeffer answered this earnest skeptic, many in the audience burst into applause as if Schaeffer had won a debate. With tears in his eyes Schaeffer reprimanded those who would treat this honest seeker as if he were less than human. Modern democratic America presents unique opportunities for Christians to speak the truth in love. We need Christians who hold convictions about truth, including the truth that calls us beyond mere civility to love our neighbors and our enemies. We can live in this creative tension only by grace, depending not on abstract principles but on the personal presence of Him who is both truth and love. We should expect many people to treat us rudely and deny that we should have a voice at all. Our response must be like that of Martin
Luther King Jr., who while treating them with dignity refused to be silenced even by those who would demean and attack him. Christians in America today should model a code of social graces founded in authentic grace, where “love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Psalm 85:10 Daniel Russ is director of Gordon’s Center for Christian Studies. From 2002–2003 he was executive director of Christians in the Visual Arts at Gordon. He holds an M.A. in biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary, an M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in literature and psychology from the University of Dallas. Russ was headmaster of Trinity Christian Academy in Dallas 1994–2002. He is a fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, where he served as director for ﬁve years, and is a frequent moderator and academic consultant for the Trinity Forum, a Christian university without walls for business, civic and professional leaders. Dr. Russ has contributed to a number of books on classics, biblical studies, and cultural leadership. He contributed an essay on the Book of Job to The Tragic Abyss, a book published early in 2004. He and his wife, Kathy, have four grown children and live in Danvers, Massachusetts.
AM A SQUEAMISH PERSON WITH NO STOMACH FOR DISTURBING GRAPHIC DEPICWhen I became involved in the pro-life movement in Albany, New York, 12 years ago, I had mixed responses to some of the vivid imagery used in its public campaigns. Shocking photographs documenting the violence of abortion, intended to educate and persuade, seemed more often to elicit responses of anger and hostility rather than sympathetic support. I was uncomfortable identifying with this kind of imagery and hoped I might be able to effect a change. I was relieved to ﬁnd a group, Citizens Concerned for Human Life, whose leaders were skilled in the use of verbal and visual imagery. As an artist, this appealed to me. They were articulate in engaging the local media, framing pro-life issues not in a speciﬁcally religious context but in terms of civic responsibility. Their tone was typically civil and reasonable, distanced from heated, sensationalist rhetoric. To improve the quality of visual materials, I helped locate photographs for posters and publications, featuring affectionate parents and beautiful babies—afﬁrmations of God’s gift of life. One of the founding members of Citizens Concerned for Human Life was Dr. Anthony Levatino, then an associate professor of gynecology at Albany Medical Center, a practicing doctor of obstetrics and gynecology, a lawyer, and a respected national ﬁgure in the pro-life movement. As a former abortionist, Dr. Levatino testiﬁed twice before Congress concerning mandatory abortion training of ob/gyn residents and the Freedom of Choice Act. He and his wife lecture nationally about his experiences as an abortionist and his dramatic conversion. This change of heart and mind developed after the tragic death of his adopted 6-year old daughter, Heather, who was killed when she was struck by a car as she played outside her home. The parallels between the sudden violence of his daughter’s death and his activity as an abortionist became clear to him in the months TIONS.
so that you and your children may live and that you may
love the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 30:19, 20
Visual arts professor Tanja Butler’s depictions of the partial-birth abortion procedure helped turn the tide in Congressional hearings. BY
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
following the accident. He stopped practicing abortion and began a campaign of public education. At an evening meeting in Dr. Levatino’s home in 1997 we were shown black and white line drawings describing the partial-birth abortion procedure. Dr. Levatino spotted some anatomical anomalies in the sketchy diagrams and approached me with an idea. No medically accurate renderings of the procedure were currently available. He asked if I would be willing to work with him to create precisely descriptive, full-color illustrations of a partial-birth abortion. I had created a number of medical illustrations in my previous position as media director at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. So acknowledging the need for accurate depictions of the procedure, I agreed. We spent four weeks creating a series of ﬁve illustrations. Dr. Levatino used as our reference a published scientific paper by an abortionist who pioneered the technique. We shot photographs of simulations using actual equipment. Dr. Levatino provided me with the type of surgical scissors and suction catheter that would be used in a partial-birth abortion. The illustrations were created in color, drawn to actual scale. Using photographs in gynecology textbooks as references, we were careful to depict the fetus in the stage of development that is most typical of the procedure—approximately 24 to 26 weeks. When the watercolor paintings were completed, they were photographed and printed as full-size posters. They immediately became part of Dr. Levatino’s public lectures and were made available to the pro-life community through the foundation dedicated to his daughter, Heather’s Place (the illustrations can be viewed at www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/PBA_ Images/PBA_Images_Heathers_ Place.htm). The finished paintings were often described, surprisingly, as beautiful. In designing the concept, I remained aware of my own and the public’s negative response to grisly images and took pains to maintain
an understated, clinically objective position toward the violent action. I emphasized instead the dignity and beauty of the unborn child. The ﬁrst two panels depict the well-formed 24-week-old fetus being drawn into the birth canal; the following panels show a gloved hand holding instr uments toward its head; and finally, the body becoming limp. Accompanying captions explain that the abortionist has punctured the skull with surgical scissors and removed its brains with a suction tube, collapsing the head to make it possible to remove the dead child. AS CONGRESS DEBATED THE BILL TO BAN PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS LAST OCTOBER, this series of paintings was used to illustrate the details of the procedure. Broadcast by C-SPAN and network media, the illustrations introduced the reality of this type of abortion to the American public. The images challenged abstractions, euphemistic language and
misconceptions presented by opponents of the ban. The depicted reactions of the fetus in the paintings indicated the existence of severe fetal pain which, as medical experts testified, is not much affected by anesthesia given to the mother. The illustrations of a healthy fetus underscored that partialbirth abortion is not typically performed, as is often claimed in the media, as an emergency procedure to deal with serious physical disorders of the mother or baby. This assertion by the media was initially maintained during the hearings by opponents of the ban, though it had been repudiated by Ron Fitzsimmons, the executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers. He had admitted in 1997 that the method was used, in his estimation, 3,000–5,000 times annually, and “in the vast majority of cases” on “a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along.” (New York Times, February 26, 1997) His statement was subsequently corroborated publicly by other spokespersons for major abortion providers (National Right to Life Committee, 1996–97 tier in archive at www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/index. html). These contested issues of fetal pain and fetal abnormalities were clearly addressed by my illustrations and were key turning points in the debate. It was an exciting moment when, after the bill won ﬁnal approval in both the House and the Senate, I received a phone call from the White House with an invitation to attend the presidential signing of the
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. To share this experience with Dr. Levatino and our spouses was moving and memorable, an occasion ﬁlled with prayers of thanksgiving. Legal challenges to the ban were ﬁled almost as soon as the ink on the president’s signature had dried. The language of the debate about partial-birth abortion is so politically charged that opponents take issue even with the name of the procedure. The media consistently identifies it as “what critics call ‘partial-birth abortion.’” Proponents prefer the less descriptive term “intact dilation and extraction.” Opponents insist that “partial-birth abortion” is an accepted medical term listed in the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary. In this overheated debate in which key terms and phrases trigger intensely emotional responses, visual imagery may become more effective than language in its power to persuade. The images of unborn babies made available through ultrasound technology have had a documented effect on women considering abortion. It is my prayer that as the debate about abortion continues to rage, objective imagery will clearly present a reality that will become most difﬁcult to deny. Tanja Butler has been teaching visual arts at Gordon since 2000. She has exhibited nationally and has been featured in various publications, including Christianity Today. Her work is included in the Billy Graham Center Museum at Wheaton College (Illinois) and the Vatican Museum of Contemporary Art. Butler has served on two panels for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. She holds a B.A. in painting and an M.A. in studio art and art history from the University at Albany, State University of New York. Butler lives with her husband, Anthony, in Beverly, Massachusetts, and is the stepmother of nine children and fourteen ver y active grandchildren. Dr. Levatino, Tanja Butler and Ceil Levatino at the signing of the partial-birth abortion ban.
Sophomore Yegue Badigue’s chance of a lifetime meant leaving family and all he knew, and trusting people he had never met to be his eyes and ears. BY
is legs curve under the piano bench and he bends his head down toward the ivory keys. He pauses, cocks his head to one side and listens. “Again,” he says. I run my ﬁngers across the keys until they tangle into failure. “Watch,” he says as he effortlessly plays “Snow Star” again. “Now you try.” He takes my hands and places them on the keys and I begin again under the careful attention of my instructor, Yegue Badigue, ’08. But I wonder, as he rearranges my awkward hands on the keys, if he remembers his piano teacher sitting next to him, encouraging “Again!” and guiding his hands. This student-turned-instructor teaches the way he learned to play—with conﬁdence that after many mistakes, I too will learn to play as expertly as he. Piano playing comes easy for 24-year-old Yegue in spite of the fact that he is blind and hearing impaired. He learned to play at the Center of Resources for Young Blind in his hometown of N’Djamena, the capital city of the Republic of Chad. In fact, four instruments come easily to him. He has been a drummer since he was a small boy and has played the piano 14 years; he also plays clarinet and the cello. Yegue’s teacher, the Reverend Jean Willet, recognized his extraordinary gifts when he started at the school in 1988. Willet spelled out the notes and showed him correct ﬁngering, and Yegue learned to play by ear and memorization. One night in 1997 Yegue gave a solo piano concert as a gift to his teacher in the Grand Cathedral in N’Djamena. His ﬁngers danced up and down the keyboard, the music resonating off cathedral walls, his body moving with ﬂuidity. A woman sat in the audience stunned by the talents of this young, blind
KRISTIN SCHWABAUER ’04
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
pianist. After he played for two hours with no break, the woman knew Yegue needed a chance to go further as a student and a pianist. Michele Halsted and her husband, David, the former U.S. Ambassador to Chad, gave Yegue the offer of a lifetime.
to send to Chad, where trees are scarcely found. When his instructors and the director at Perkins saw Yegue’s progress, he was given another three years of full scholarship. “Yegue was like a sponge, learning English, English
Gordon was the ﬁrst school that believed Yegue could succeed, and he has ﬂourished here. But the opportunity came with a price. It would cost Yegue every familiar person and place he knew— his school in Chad, his parents and eight siblings, four of whom are also visually impaired. It would take him away from long walks with his brothers and sisters, playing music with his family, and the comfort of his surroundings. Though he would also leave behind the overwhelming poverty of Chad—the lack of medical care, running water and electricity—it would, nonetheless, be a difﬁcult move for Yegue. It took almost two years to get Yegue to America. He was awarded a one-year scholarship to Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. Michele’s sister, Denise Fitzgerald, is a teacher at Perkins, and she and her husband asked Yegue to live with them, serving as his surrogate parents. Fitzgerald and her husband fondly remember those ﬁrst few weeks with him. “Those memories of teaching Yegue English words, American customs and introducing him to friends and family were the most deeply satisfying of my life.” Fitzgerald remembers Yegue’s astonished expression when she painted word pictures as they explored the supermarket cookie aisle; when they traveled by train to New York City; and his ﬁrst day in the yard when he discovered an acorn and quickly put it in his pocket
Braille, Music Braille, algebra (which required he learn the Math Braille code called Nemith), and other academics,” Fitzgerald explains. “The changes in Yegue have been remarkable. He arrived as a boy and graduated from Perkins as a conﬁdent and capable man.” Though it is not ﬁnancially easy for the Fitzgeralds, they didn’t think twice about sending Yegue to college. “I could not envision putting him back on a plane with the mission yet unaccomplished,” she says. Here was a talented blind person who wanted an education—wanted to learn.” Gordon was the first school that believed Yegue could succeed, and he has ﬂourished here. He has developed deep friendships. “I see something special in the people, really,” Yegue says, remembering how students showed him around campus and continue to offer assistance. His classes have challenged him—his faith especially matured while taking a New Testament course that required him to read the Bible with greater depth than before. Wanting to give back to the school, Yegue has been exploring his roles on campus. He knows his ﬁrst role is unique to him. “Having people observe what I do as a blind person is automatic,” he says, knowing his peers can learn how to interact with other blind people through him. He’s also been able to
engage in meaningful conversation, sharing his knowledge with others. Another role comes naturally to Yegue: “I love to give entertainment to people. It can be with music or jokes.” Sometimes he plays the piano during meals in Lane Student Center, and recently he started a band with his friends, encouraging them to bring any instrument to play. “Learn how to play piano,” he tells people. “Get music in yourself.” I watch him play “Snow Star” one more time before trying again. “Last time. You can do it,” he encourages me. My right and left hands twist and turn at different times in different places on the keys. I hold my breath. My teacher sits on the edge of his seat until I get closer and closer to the end of the song. My ﬁngers end together, and Yegue claps his hands with delight. “You did it! Good job!” He smiles with a satisﬁed look on his face and runs his ﬁngers up and down the keyboard in joyful song. Some information was taken from an article in The Salem News. Postscript: Yegue is visiting his family in Chad this summer for the ﬁrst time since 2000.
Kristin Schwabauer graduated in May with a major in English and a minor in print communication. Kristin’s heart to serve others has led her on several mission trips including work with Pima and Cherokee Native Americans, leading a youth mission to Jackson, Mississippi, and serving in an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, during spring break this year. “Each mission trip was different, but I enjoyed all of them because I was put in a place to help people and give of myself,” Kristin says. Kristin plans to teach fourth grade at the International School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. 13
of What Is Our Own
everal decades ago it was routine for doctors to give new mothers medicine to dry up their milk. Science had developed something called formula, and it became superior, in people’s minds, to mother’s milk. Then time proved something disturbing: Formula was good for a lot of babies but not all babies. Puzzled mothers were frequenting their pediatricians’ ofﬁces clutching cranky babies. Studies found that antibodies in mother’s milk often lasted a lifetime. Magazines, books and talk shows urged childbearing mothers to get back to nursing. The term “African-American” is like formula. Many dark-skinned Americans are searching for nutrients to feed them and help them grow, and they’re looking for it in the formula of being labeled African-American—an answer to outdated names for persons with possible ties to the African continent. Many black Americans are lost in the mire of a prominently white world. They struggle with developing a healthy identity in themselves and their race, which leads to struggles in education, society, jobs, churches and homes. Answers have been submitted: a special black language; clothes and music, including spirituals, jazz and rap, to name a few. All these have lent black people a stamp of individuality. Changing what we are called is perhaps the most pervasive attempt to label ourselves with pride and individuality. The problem is, some blacks expect all blacks to embrace these labels so the old, unﬂattering associations attached to black people will be forgotten. The black race has attempted to leave a positive mark on the world, and the ﬁrst way to do that, the majority believe, is to get each other to accept what is considered truly black. After several decades of depreciating labels for dark-skinned persons, the universal atonement of being labeled African-American is readily accepted and violently defended as the proper label. Because of many advancements, dark-skinned persons have gone from being called colored to Negroes to blacks to African-Americans. The truth is that a true African is far from a black American in thinking, living, working and traditions, and most black Americans do not understand this fully. Many blacks have never met a true African, nor have they studied the politics, culture, religion, kudos or problems of the African people. Nevertheless, calling oneself an African-American is an attempt to connect to the motherland, a bridge to a distant past in which we originated. But wearing the clothes, visiting the land, speaking the language, and bequeathing African-sounding names to our children does not an African make. For me the term African-American builds its foundation too close to the unwise 1960s and ’70s, years in which loyalty to the black race was required of all blacks, and if not given, extracted through extortion-style methods. Today we have a new, less violent version of the same thing: political correctness. Political correctness offers a watered-down version of reality, but by whose deﬁnition? Someone who decides a particular cure-all will appease anyone who might be offended. By embracing a politically correct deﬁnition of oneself, that person is released from individual responsibility; drinking formula with the masses is seemingly the best panacea to come along, and without apparent adverse effects. But embracing myself as an African-American means accepting someone else’s deﬁnition of who I am because my skin color says it is so. Breast-feeding is a very personal thing. It is a choice new mothers make, and mothers are still choosing formula over nursing by a wide margin. Breast-feeding is not as easy to do in public. It takes courage. It makes that mother stand out.
In her book Don’t Call Me African-American, Donna Conger rejects politically correct labels as the work of a society which in its quest not to offend ends up offending one black woman’s sensibility about who she is. BY
Ignorance is nothing more
DONNA CONGER ’80
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Alums at Large
Refusing to be labeled AfricanAmerican also takes courage. It causes perplexed whites to wonder why some like it and some don’t. Enthusiastic black people cast sideways glances at those who don’t choose the label. Again, it’s a personal choice—one I have to pay for. A strong identity that’s going to do good for self needs to start with ﬁnding out who one is. I have never felt any stronger as a person by trying to get in touch with the black me. I am human ﬁrst, and that’s where my efforts have gone. A strong, balanced self-identity started at my own family roots, not the mass of African and black American roots worldwide. Many black Americans have no roots they are aware of, and, sadly, many have a nasty legacy only as far back as a bad father or mother.
When we learn something new, our perspectives about that something change. Our perspectives about others who have not yet learned what we know turn to either impatience or excitement as we share what we’ve learned with them. While innocence is not always dangerous, to remain there can move a person into ignorance. Ignorance is nothing more than refusing to be taught and being inordinately satisﬁed with what we know. It’s a balance: what you know against what others
SKETCH BY GRANT HANNA ’06
and was laughing at my lack of backbone. My mother and grandmother came running and started laughing too, but I was scared out of my wits. That chicken was pecking at my ankles and screaming at me, a furious rage propelling her tiny feet as she chased down that egg in my hands. I sprang to the porch in one leap and ran into the house. After I calmed down, my grandmother took me back to the coop. “Girl,” she said, “don’t you let that chicken scare you. You take that egg and you tell that thing it’s yours. It ain’t hers no more. See?” And she shot her hand under the chicken’s behind and pulled out another one. Her face was like stone. That chicken didn’t move, except to give up her egg. “Don’t you let her tell you what to do.”
than refusing to be taught and being inordinately satisﬁed with what we know. How can a child raised amid gangs and drugs trace his or her roots? Prevailing each day is the larger task. Yet prevailing is closer to the answer than shouting slogans; chanting rap; and brandishing an attitude with clothes, a secret black language and loud music. Every time a black youth kills, dies from drug overdose or joins a gang, I want to say, “You don’t know who you are, do you? You don’t know where you came from. You don’t know where you’re going. So you’ve got a lot of anger at the system, at the white man, at the rich man, at anybody you can blame. And with good reason. But ﬁx it, baby. Fix it the right way. Stop hurting other people because you hurt.”
know; and what you do with both. My sister recalls a day on the farm when we were little girls, and my grandmother told me to go collect the eggs. When I opened the door to the chicken coop, it was dark and smelly. I saw a chicken to my right and headed for her nest. Grandmother hadn’t told me how to get the eggs; she just said to get them. I reached for the egg. The chicken didn’t move. I told her I needed her egg. To my surprise, she stood. I grabbed a warm, dirty egg and started to leave. Then that hen hopped off her perch and started to chase me. I screamed all the way to the house. My sister had seen the whole thing
The next morning I took those eggs. My knees were shaking, but I marched in there and took what was mine. Donna (Leonard) Conger attended Gordon 1975–80 and majored in sociology. Author of articles, short stories and novellas, she published her first ﬁction novel, Forgotten, in 2002, followed by three others. Her ﬁrst nonﬁction book, from which this article is taken, is titled Don’t Call Me African-American, published in late 2003 through Publish America. Conger lives in Utah with her husband and four children.
Point of View
REGARDLESS HOW PEOPLE FINALLY FEEL about Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, it has been a film impossible to ignore. Some may even have avoided seeing it, but news reports, radio programs, editorials, sermons and conversations have made it impossible to disregard. Like it or not, The Passion has been part of our national dialogue. It has had far-reaching cultural impact. As an artist, I ﬁnd that exciting. While the rich history of this theatrical form and its direct connection to the Middle Ages are of great interest to me as a student of theatre, what has most fascinated me in discussions
Art— like Beauty— Is More than Skin Deep Gordon’s theatre director suggests we look beyond the language, form and materials used in artistic expression, and evaluate the message being presented.
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Point of View
with Christians about the film is the frequently vehement defense of Gibson’s violent depiction. The argument often goes like this: Jesus’ death was a bloody and gruesome one. To show it otherwise would be to water down Christ’s real suffering on our behalf. True, the ﬁlm is hard to watch, but it’s the violence that gives the ﬁlm its power. And those of us who have seen it would have to concur that the unsparing savagery of Christ’s beating put forth by Gibson is staggeringly unforgettable. But here’s what’s intriguing to me. The people who defend Gibson’s artistic right to this violent portrayal of Christ’s death, noting that the truth demands such choices, are some of the same folks who summarily dismiss other artistic works without considering their similar artistic quest for truth. For when the subject matter is somewhat questionable, or if it uses language, materials or the human form in a certain way, the piece is rejected as unworthy and unacceptable. In theatre a growing number of playwrights are turning to dark comedy to address their subjects and speak to audiences. Dark comedy is usually identiﬁed by its preponderance of gloomy elements, characters suffering irreparable loss, and the use of morbid, sarcastic humor. The subjects of recent works in this genre cover a wide range including child abduction, incest, bestiality and ethnic violence. But keep in mind, these are comedies. As Christians we instinctively feel the urge to claim that these subjects are not funny because making light of them can only lead to their acceptance and the ongoing victimization of the innocent. All worthy sentiments. But here again, we would be rejecting the truth these works ultimately serve. Dark comedy is deceptive in that it uses humor to hook us and
humanize the characters. We get involved despite ourselves, often laughing uncomfortably in release of tension. And though this form ﬁnds its roots in the absurdism of the mid-20th century, it does not revel in its inherent viewpoint that traditional values are unfounded or useless. Strangely, it strains to assert a kind of morality that has been all but lost in our culture. It shows there are consequences for action, that there is a right and wrong, that hope for redemption remains. Let’s take, for example, Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore because, as in Gibson’s movie, a critical thematic element of the piece is violence. Without going into detail, McDonagh, himself of Irish descent, is attacking the outrageously senseless violence that has ravaged Northern Ireland. But rather than give us another serious tome on the topic, McDonagh presents a thirdrate IRA-reject, Padraic, who weeps over the death of his beloved cat while unconscionably taking the lives of those closest to him whom he suspects as perpetrators of the cat’s death. We laugh at the frantic efforts of family and friends to pass off another cat as Padraic’s by covering it with shoe polish—only to feel like we have been sucker-punched in the stomach when one of them is shot point-blank in the head by Padraic. By the end of the play blood and body parts are everywhere; then Padraic’s cat slinks into the room. One character (Davey) says, “So all this terror has been for absolutely nothing?” Another (Donny) answers, “It has.” And we all gasp, knowing this comment echoes far beyond the gruesome deeds we have just witnessed. McDonagh has sidestepped the easy formulaic sentimentalism today’s audiences quickly digest and forget. Instead he has created a searing, enduring and truthful portrait of a troubled people.
Could the same effect have been achieved another way? Perhaps. Would audiences remember and consider it beyond the drive home? Doubtful. Can anyone walk away from this work without the conviction that the violence must end? Impossible. Please understand I’m not suggesting that all artistic choices are equally good. Would we accept Gibson’s artistic product without the brief suggestion of Christ’s resurrection at the end? Does the ﬁlm’s graphic depths implicate us in the culture’s growing numbness to violence? Is it indulgent and gratuitous beyond what is historically credible? Does it place too much blame in the sadistic hands of a few and let us common sinners off too lightly? In response to artistic expression, I’m encouraging thoughtful consideration and dialogue versus knee-jerk reaction and condemnation. I’m encouraging us as believers to extend the same courtesy to other artists as we wish extended to those we feel represent us. I’m suggesting we evaluate the truth that the form and choices serve rather than merely judging individual words, materials, images and styles. And I’m advocating that, for heaven’s sake, we remain a vital part of the conversation. Jeffrey Miller has been a professor of theatre arts and director of theatre at Gordon since 2002. He is also chair of the Division of Fine Arts. Miller earned a B.A. from Bethel College and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota, both in theatre arts. In addition to directing over 75 shows from musicals to experimental works, he was founder and artistic director of the St. Paul-based theatre company The Refreshment Committee and was codirector of the live national radio show Sunday Nite. He and his wife, Mary, an actor and interior designer, live in Hamilton. Their daughter, Mandy, studies neuroscience at Westmont College.
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Profs & Programs
Gordon’s arts-oriented program in Italy dissolves conventional boundaries in learning, helping Orvieto citizens appreciate their heritage anew while students beneﬁt from the rich culture and traditions.
rvieto Semester, begun in 1998, is now a mature program and unique among Christian liberal arts colleges. The program keeps a thematic focus on the Italian Renaissance with its rich interplay of art and faith, providing tips for being a transforming presence in our own post-Christian culture. Draped dramatically over an oval mesa of eroded volcanic tufa a thousand feet above the valley ﬂoor, the town of Orvieto has been continuously occupied since 500 B.C. Our program is housed in a historic convent situated along the cliff ’s edge. Istituto San Lodovico is an extensive property with courtyards and gardens, chapels, studio and classroom space, and a rooftop terrace with a spectacular vista over the surrounding Umbrian countryside. Students and faculty are lodged in simple but attractive rooms with private baths.
DISSOLVING CONVENTIONAL BOUNDARIES Born out of Gordon’s Art Department, the program has attracted over 150 students from a dozen colleges during its ﬁrst nine semesters. Classes are taught by Gordon’s arts and humanities faculty as well as guest artists and teachers, often from other Christian colleges. All students study the Italian language and the cultural and artistic history of the Italian Renaissance as well as courses in the visual or verbal arts. We strive to dissolve conventional boundaries between studio practice and art history, and those between art and theology, sociology, and other worldview concerns. The curriculum revives the old bottega, or workshop approach to making art and training artists. Students apprentice with experts while producing real artworks used by living communities. For example, Shelly Bradbury, a former instructor at Gordon, taught a sculpture class which made ceramic plaques of the episodes of Christ’s Passion—Stations of the Cross or Via Crucis—installed along the garden wall for Lent. The ceramic students of Marino Moretti, a resident of Orvieto and an artist of national stature, worked collaboratively on a large Noah’s Ark that hangs outside the convent’s preschool. Bruce Herman, chair of Gordon’s Art Department, along with his painting class, launched a major mural on the life of Mary, intended for the convent church. In my course on the Renaissance, students prepared English iconographic guidebooks of the fresco-laden church of San Giovenale, now celebrating its 1,000th anniversary. This work will be published by the town and used by tourists.
Karin Coonrod, a 1975 Gordon alumna, taught a course on the relation of theatre and the visual arts during the medieval and Renaissance periods. Her students workshopped ideas for a production that links medieval mystery plays of biblical episodes performed in a contemporary spirit. Included in the San Giovenale Millenario celebration, this project was performed by American and Italian actors in June. The music was composed by Paul Vasile ’98 and the script written in part by Gordon’s English faculty Mark Stevick ’90.
A CULTURAL EXCHANGE Even as Orvieto Semester beneﬁts from the rich cultural heritage of the region, the program contributes to the cultural and religious life of this city with theatre and music productions, shows in the visual arts, and topical seminars and conferences. The town of Orvieto accepted our proposal to host the art exhibit A Broken Beauty next spring, bringing together 25 works of 14 North American artists who have recuperated the human ﬁgure, so often relativized, ironized and desacralized. And next May we will hold an internaThe Orvieto program is a place tional conference for theologians where beauty is still valued, where and historians to explore two main time, and relationships, and silence artistic and theological themes of are given the space to become a way the Orvieto cathedral: the sacrament and the ﬁnal judgof life again. I see now how little ment. Broad local history and tradition are valued, and support for our presence in Orviwhat a gift it is to be present in a eto—earned first of all by the good place where the Spirit is moving and moral citizenship of our students—is creating something new even within evidence we have gained our place as trusted sojourning the framework of the old. citizens. We have received a warm —Michelle Arnold ’99 welcome from the 19
bishop and the local Christian community, who have been touched by the vibrant faith of the students. We enjoy the deepest support of our hosts, the nuns of a Catholic education-oriented religious order.
THE IMPACT OF THE PROGRAM We have heard how as stranieri—strangers—we are helping the citizens appreciate anew their own heritage, not as a museumized treasure but as a tradition that can continue in fresh new ways. But how do students describe the effect of their semester in Orvieto? First is the impact of the beauty of the landscape, townscape and artscape. In this country steeped in the Roman Catholic tradition of involving visual imagery with Christian faith, students are forced to confront their own assumptions and conceptions of the role of art in their spiritual lives. The program inspires students to reconnect with artistic traditions of the past and gives them some understanding of how artistic conventions of modernism are not the only thing going in the history of culture. Most students are struck by the daily experience of slower and simpler rhythms of life. Dining together, enjoying sustained conversation and freedom from relentless schedules, living more closely to the earth in the midst of vineyards and olive groves, trading the automobile for the
foot, slowing down to enjoy the tangible present—these are aspects of Orvieto Semester that seem to have a long-term effect. Dr. John Skillen’s move to Orvieto as director of Orvieto Semester caused considerable upheaval in the lives of his wife, Susan (Johnson) ’75, and their four daughters. Susan recently completed a Master of Divinity degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is preparing for ministry next year as the deacon at the American Episcopal church in Rome (an hour and a quarter south of Orvieto by train). Daughter Madeleine will complete high school at St. Stephen’s School in Rome, and bilingual Isabelle will be a thirdgrader at the Orvieto elementary school. Skillen returned to Gordon in 1983 and has taught in the English Department and the Communication and Theatre Arts Department. He holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English from Duke University.
At Orvieto I found a great lesson of life: that relationship is the meaning of life. The aspects of the Orvieto program that were so meaningful to me fall under the category of community: culture, art and spirituality explored in the context of community through the working of the Holy Spirit. —Rosemary Scott-Fishburn ’00
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
Meet Gordon Student-Athletes Though they come from very different places, Lindsey Benson ’04 and Daniel Stahl ’05 have both found broader horizons at Gordon.
LindseyBenson Lindsey Benson knew and loved Gordon College long before the community knew and loved her. A daughter of Gordon alumni, the Andover, New Hampshire, native had experienced Homecomings and on-campus events throughout childhood. But coming to Wenham was her choice—“I did look at other schools, but every time I went somewhere else I realized what an awesome opportunity I had to be in a Christian environment at Gordon,” Lindsey says. Benson has made the most of her athletic talent at Gordon. In her four-year career in NCAA Division III women’s soccer Benson tallied 102 goals and 37 assists for 241 points. Among NCAA Division III players she is tied for 10th all-time in points and tied for 9th all-time in goals. She also played women’s basketball during her last two years, ranking 10th among NCAA Division III women in rebounds per game (11.4) her senior year. Benson received many individual honors over her four years, including Commonwealth Coast Conference All-Conference First Team (four years) and the CCC All-Academic award. The sociology major shares the same passion for her whole Gordon experience. “I learned what it means to worship God through sports; I had excellent professors who pushed me to excel and challenged me to think for myself, and I learned the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone and taking risks. Craig Hammon, former executive vice president, challenged me in this area and helped me get to the place I am today.” In April Benson was honored as the Gordon College Female Athlete of the Year—a ﬁtting capstone to a phenomenal athletic career. —Stephen Leonard ’94
DanielStahl One wouldn’t ordinarily expect to run into, or run with, a young man from Kyrgyzstan (former Soviet Republic). But Daniel Stahl found Gordon from the other side of the globe and felt the College had “a strong Christian foundation, high academic standards, an outdoor education program, and good scholarships for me.” When Stahl arrived at cross-country practice two years ago as an unassuming freshman, he left an impression—he ran very fast. As a sophomore his 8000-meter cross-country performances helped the Scots to a runner-up ﬁnish in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship. The following spring he conquered the Boston Marathon with great aplomb. As a senior, the computer science major (mathematics/outdoor studies minor) will return to help a talented squad take aim at the CCC title once more. “More signiﬁcant are my social and spiritual growth,” Stahl says. “I have become considerably more outgoing and involved with community, due especially to Christian peers who have been part of an athletic team, ministry, or residence community with me. I started journaling about events and insights—a habit developed on La Vida—and started systematically exploring Bible themes and memorizing Scripture. “A Christian liberal arts education has helped me see the world from a broader perspective, reﬂect deeply on Christianity and life, and relate to people from various backgrounds as I share God’s truth.” Stahl appears poised to fulﬁll the quote on the back of Gordon’s cross-country sweatshirts a few years back: Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. —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.
PARTNERS PROGRAM 2003–2004 Investing in Servant Leaders BY
aul Gant and Elizabeth Lascaze, both members of the class of 2004, are two prime examples of the young men and women who have spent their years at Gordon preparing for lives of service and positive inﬂuence. Paul was a standout athlete and recipient of numerous academic and athletic awards. He plans to pursue a doctorate in biblical studies. Elizabeth tutored middle and high school students while at Gordon and now serves as executive assistant to the Massachusetts governor’s deputy chief of staff. Like most Gordon students and graduates, Elizabeth and Paul place great value on truthfulness and servanthood— qualities that will not only serve them well throughout their lives but will also impact those whose lives they intersect. Paul and Elizabeth are among the 400 students at Gordon who receive scholarship support from the Partners program each year. Since 1989 alumni, friends, faculty, staff and trustees have given generously as Partners, with annual gifts ranging from $500 to $10,000. In 2003–2004, total giving to Partners exceeded $400,000 and beneﬁted 400 students, filling the gap between a student’s total cost to attend college and the amount that loans and ﬁnancial aid packages cover. For some students Partners was the critical difference between remaining in school or needing to withdraw due to ﬁnancial hardship. If you would like to invest in the lives of talented and committed students like Paul and Elizabeth through the Partners Program, contact Director of Development Dan White by phone at 978.867.4843 or by email at email@example.com. Your partnership today will help more Gordon students prepare for lives of leadership and service.
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
CURRENT CONTRIBUTORS TO THE PARTNERS PROGRAM* FOUNDERS Kevin Ashley ’97 Peter and Diana Bennett Stephen ’84 and Brenda ’85 DeVos Fredrick and Nancy Gale Thomas ’77 and Carol ’78 Gruen Roger and Sherley Hannay Dennis and Lisa Hardiman Scott ’81 and Karen ’81 Harrison Kurt Keilhacker Arjan Kraan ’89 Steven and Annie Krook Daniel ’74 and Darlene ’74 Kuzmak David and Sheila Larson Raymond and Priscilla Lee R. Preston ’85 and Pamela Mason George ’85 and Terisa Means Ellen ’90 and Charles Pepin David ’74B and Joyce ’75B Ruppell David and Esther Schultz Mary and David Shahian Thomas and Lyn Shields Raymond ’81 and Kathleen Stotlemyer Stephen and Claire Tavilla Daniel and Andrea Tymann Jay and Cathie Wegrzyn Clyde ’58 and Nancy Wynia
ANNIVERSARY Eric ’89 and Andrea ’89 Bergstrom Charles and Elaine Cadle Nancy ’85 and Gregory Cannon David ’81 and Kim ’80 Collins Mary Cowperthwaite ’69 William and Patricia Crawley Daniel and Flo Dinzik Lillian ’03 and Richard Edmonds Arthur and Karen Emery Robert Greene Sr. ’51B Paul and Rebecca Gyra David Hall ’77 Eldon and Grace Hall Heidi ’85 and Douglas Hawkins Robert and Betty Herrmann Herbert Hess Douglas and Patricia Hofsass Herbert Hess Pearle Homme ’47 Jeffrey ’88 and Jonna ’85 Horrigan Donald Howard Roger ’80 Barbara Huseland L. J. Hussey Jr. ’63 James and Marilyn Johnston Ruth Jones Howard ’52 and Hazel Keeley Kirsten x’90 and Andrew Keith Rob and Connie Lawrence Bronwyn ’87 and Caleb Loring Willis and Marjorie Lund James and Joyce MacDonald Robin ’96 and Stephen MacLeod Jerrold and Jolene McNatt David ’71 and Nancy Mering Miller Outpost Mail Service David ’71 and Helgi Nelson Leonard and Judy Peterson Walter ’49B and Audrey ’53B Rice Barbara Skinner David ’79 and Elizabeth Smith Peter and Betsy Stine Ann Tappan Virginia Tavilla x’55 Raymond and Norma Unsworth James and Barbara Vander Mey Deborah and Raymond Vorce Robert and Nance Ware Michael Woffenden ’84 Theodore and Susan Wood Thomas ’68 and Linda ’69 Zieger
PARTNERS A.P. Vending & Amusement Co. Elizabeth ’85 and Ralph Aarons *as of June 11, 2004
Peter Allen ’69 Joyce ’58 and Harold Anderson Anonymous (3) Thomas and Jean Askew Nicole Aulicino ’89 Manuel ’47 and Madelyn Avila James ’81 and Katherine Bagley Charlotte Baker x’64 Clifford and Ann Baker Jeffrey ’81 and Blanca Baker Marion Bean ’50B Philip ’82 and Kathleen Beattie Andrew Beauregard ’83 and Sarah Prescott ’82 John Beauregard ’53 Jennifer Beekley ’93 Robert and Genie Bennett Ruth Bennett ’65B Paul and Joan Bergmann Cinderella ’68 and James Berry Phillip ’64 and Linda x’65 Bonard John ’57 and Patricia x’57 Booth Theodore ’78 and Faye Bourdon Thales and Sally Bowen Robert and Nancy Bradley Robert ’89 and Tatum ’96 Brooks Francis ’85 and Theresa Brown Kenneth and Bonnie Brown Lynn ’83B and Delbert Brown Peter ’83 and Julie ’81 Bruno Charles ’61 and Carole Brutto Cedric ’87 and Lisa ’87 Buettner William and Nancy Burns Ronald and Barbara Burwell Daryl and Elizabeth Butcher R. Judson and Jan Carlberg Linda ’70 and David Carlson Roy and Barbara Carlson Priscilla ’60 and William Carter John ’69 and Jean Chang Donald and Barbara Chase John ’85 and Nancy ’85 Cissel William and Betty Clay Catherine Cobbey ’96 Lisa Coderre ’84 Randall ’67 and Patricia ’68 Collins Hazel Costa Linda ’71 and Doug Crowell Lynwood John ’84 and Linda ’84 Cyr Judith Dean ’78 Edna Della Barba ’51 Thomas and Barbara Denmark Dennis and Wendy Dixon Deighton ’50B and Alice ’50B Douglin Jeffrey ’77 and Melanie ’77 Drake Kurt ’85 and Sharon ’85 Drescher Roger and Deborah Drost Arnold ’61 and Mary ’60 Ellsworth Rodney and Barbara Elsenheimer Douglas ’88 and Pamela Elzinga Benjamin ’93 and Julie Eng Thomas and Sue Englund Curtis ’81 and Joanne ’83 Ersing Charles and Nola Falcone Earl ’74 and Linda Farmer Eric ’76 and Robin x’80 Feustel First Baptist Church of Arlington, Massachusetts Lynn ’80 and William Fish Christine ’80 and John Fishburn Paul ’56B and Ellie ’59B Forbes David ’45B and Muriel Franz David ’97 and Brooke ’94 Friedrich Calvin and Barbara Geary Thomas and Jutta Gerendas Paige Gibbs ’69 Michael and Ann Givens Gerald and Molly Gould Marguerite Granitsas Gary and Deborah Green Frederick and Juliet Grifﬁn Robert ’81 and Barbara ’81 Grinnell Daniel ’81 and Cheryl x’84 Gronberg Peter Groop ’78 Michael and Janet Gross
Samantha ’95 and Joshua Hager Steven and Jane Hager David ’89 and Sandra ’89 Hall Margot ’68 and Craig Hammon Steven ’74 and Debra Harding Robin and Patricia Harshaw Charles ’86 and Lisa ’89 Harvey William and Rose Hausman David ’84 and Elaine Hayes Laura Headley Chuck and Becky Hendricks Stephen Hendrickson Jacob Herschend ’99 Peter and Jo Dee Herschend Keith ’87 and Karen ’84 High Matthew Hillas ’93 Ronald and Donna Hilton Robert ’56 and Frances ’56 Hinckley Diane ’86 and Ken Hodge Roy and Beverly Honeywell David and Carol Horst David ’65 and Irmgard Howard Gordon and Jane Anne Hugenberger Joseph and Margaret Hunt Shelley and Mary Ellen Ivey Frederick ’59B and Alma ’75B Ivor-Campbell Raymond Jarvio Margaret Jensen William ’78 and Ann Johnson Verna Joithe Ross and Emily Jones Robert and Meredith Joss Deborah Kalaﬁan ’83 John and Jean Kalaﬁan Jack and Katherine Kallis William and Sally Kanaga Richard ’93 and Sherrie Klein Jason ’94 and Deborah ’93 Kuplen Dawn Kuzmak ’01 Eric Larson ’93 John and Deborah Lawrence ’93 Pamela ’81 and Charlie Lazarakis Constance ’84 and Richard Leavitt Joseph and Lanayre Liggera Eric ’91 and Catherine ’94 Lindsay Martha ’73 and Michael Linehan Richard and Carolyn Lippmann Byron ’90 and Kristin ’92 List Winston ’71B and Margaret ’67B Lyford Mark ’84 and Suzanne Lynch Gordon and Gail MacDonald Bruce MacKilligan ’58B Kenneth and Susan Martin Joshua Martinelli ’95 Charles ’76 and Robin Masland James and Virginia Masterson Marjorie McClintock ’90 Norma ’80 and Byron McCluskey Karen McHugh ’83 R. Bancroft ’68B and Kathleen McKittrick Margaret ’85 and Frank McPherson Sharon ’85 and Peter Mlynarski Linda and Robert Monroe Margaret Montalvo Howard Moon ’62 Richard ’79 and Michelle ’86 Muth David ’76 and Debra ’76 Myers Harold and Jeanette Myra Cathy ’80 and F. C. Nackel Peter Hamilton Nee ’81 Darlene and Jeffrey Neil Grant and Carol Nelson Raymond ’54B and Doris ’52B Nickerson Bill and Chelle Nickerson W. Terry and Janice Overton Robert and Kathleen Parlee Malcolm and Joyce Patterson William and Lynne Payne W. Ross ’51 and Lucile Peterson Barrett and Lydia Petty Brad ’91 and Sarah ’97 Phillips Eric and Cynthia Phillips
Kenneth and Donna Phillips Thomas and Gertrude Phillips Charles and Sarah Pickell Gordon ’60 and Doris Pierce Jon and Kathleen Pitman Marc ’95 and Emily ’96 Pitman PNC Foundation Ronald and Mimi Pruett Judith x’67 and Seppo Rapo William and Evie Reed Dolores ’72 and Malcolm Reid Fay and Rick Rhodes Douglas Rieck ’75 Fredric and Kathleen Ritsema G. Willard ’72 and Margie Lou ’72 Roaf James ’66B and Joanne Roberts Chad ’94 and Jenny ’93 Robinson Thomas Rogerson John Rossignol Jeffrey ’92 and Kari ’91 Rourke Richard ’53 and Dorothy ’50 Rung M. Kimberly Rupert Dan and Kathleen Russ Grosvenor and Marjorie Rust David and Betsy Ryder Bradford ’91 and Sharon ’92 Salmon Mark and Arlyne Sargent Warren ’57 and Joan Sawyer John and Marcia Scheﬂen Herbert and Shelley Schenkel Ruth Schmidt Scott ’90 and Karyn Schneider Donald ’59 and Shelby x’61 Scott Chen ’86 and Alice Shi Loren and Colleen Sloat Bradley ’88 and Claudia x’90 Small Derk ’81 and Amy ’93 Smid Herman ’70 and Denise Smith William Snow ’49 John and Brenda Soucy Jane Stahr ’54B Stephen and Emily Stanley G. Alan and Jane Steuber Michael ’92 and Carolyn ’92 Stevens Mark x’78 and Judy Stockwell Craig ’89 and Kelly ’88 Story Bradford ’76 and Marla ’75 Stringer David and Marcia Swenson Brock ’84 and Gina Swetland Mark and Carol Taylor Lorie ’90 and Brian Thomas Gary ’76 and Patricia ’76 Thorburn Audrey Todd Harold and Diane Toothman Nicholas and Mary Troiano Russell and Jean Tupper Jonathan ’83 and Carlene Tymann Nathan ’91 and Linda ’91 Tymann William x’52 and Nancy ’55B Udall Silvio ’87 and Theresa Morin ’86 Vazquez Andrew Waddell ’98 Richard and Jayne Waddell Wallace Wadman Joanne Waldner ’74 Meirwyn and Nina Walters Kirk and Linda Ware Mildred Lane Warren Eric and Edris Watson Bruce and Susan Webb Thomas Weis ’83 Donald x’63 and Shirley Welt Robert Werth ’73 Leonard and Carol Wescott Beth ’87 and Daniel White Pauline ’57 and Marvin Wilson Richard and Gail Wilson Mrs. Robert Wilson Barbara ’64 and Roger Winn Timothy ’73 and Georgette Woodruff David and Suzy Young Charles and Deborah Young William ’78 and Laurie ’78 Zimmerman
Raves & Rebuffs In this column our readers can respond to articles in STILLPOINT or voice thoughts about Gordon in general. Reserving the right to edit for space, we will attempt to publish a balance of positive and negative comments. We hope to hear from you. Write to Editor, STILLPOINT, Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham, MA 01984, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous letters will not be published. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO HAVE EXCERPTS OF YOUR CORRESPONDENCE PUBLISHED, PLEASE NOTE THAT. Letters written to individuals other than the editor are forwarded to those persons whenever possible.
From letters to President Carlberg: hank you for the vision-casting and forward-looking posture you present in “A New Campus Conversation” in the Spring 2004 Stillpoint. From my post here at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, it is encouraging to see you and several of your colleagues continuing to push our movement forward. It is our presidents and other senior leaders who must ﬂesh out the real vision for Christ-centered higher education. I applaud you and the rest of your leadership team for wanting Gordon to be a place where there is no fear in pursuing answers to difﬁcult questions, even as you stay grounded in the central truths of the gospel. There will always be risk in any bold venture we take for the Kingdom. But Gordon needs to be a place where those risks can be properly embraced in the context of a rich, diverse, committed community of God’s people, called to leadership for such a time as this. Ron Mahurin ’81 t is with surprise and concern that I respond to your article “A New Campus Conversation.” It appears Gordon is now being led by changes in culture instead of impacting the culture with light and truth. I gladly acknowledge the diversity and plurality of different cultures in the world and in the Church, but not a pluralism in the Church or faith. You state in your article, “As international voices become more numerous, they will lead us to question some of our assumptions about reality.” And I ask, Why? Did the commitment to excellence in education in previous generations fail to establish not only assumptions but also propositions and truths about reality? Has the greatness of Western culture been found to be totally irrelevant in our day of so-called domination? Or, did our commitment to a distinctly Christian education fail to establish a Christian faith that was established on truth? From a foundation of truth we must seek to understand all cultures, even a world dominant culture. We are not called to compare culture with culture
GORDON COLLEGE STILLPOINT
but all cultures with the development of God’s Kingdom. Our calling remains to proclaim the truth and grace of Christ with applications in both our heads and hearts, throughout the world and in all of life. A Southern Christianity that is “enthusiastic and spontaneous, fundamentalist and supernatural-oriented” certainly needs a balance with sound teaching and truth, solemn worship and commitment that transcends cultural trends and whims. It does not need to replace Western culture, especially in a Christian liberal arts college. David C. Massee ’80 From President Carlberg’s letter of response: am happy to report that Gordon College has not shifted from its historic position as a biblically based, Christ-centered institution dedicated to communicating effectively the basic truths of Christianity. At a time when many gravitate toward permissiveness or legalism, we seek to maintain that difﬁcult balance between freedom and responsibility. This is also a propitious moment for Gordon to assume a stronger role in serving Christians around the globe, listening to the voices of other believers who interpret the world through their own cultural inﬂuences. They also apply biblical principles in ways which may be unfamiliar to those of us raised in Western traditions. While we might disagree with their conclusions, we cannot dismiss them as irrelevant. We hold ﬁrmly to what we believe are biblical positions on controversial social issues, but we do so in a loving, caring and respectful way. While not always afﬁrming lifestyle choices others make, our faculty instill in students the principle that all Christians are called to serve, no matter who the population is. We could be overwhelmed by controversial issues and become isolated and insular. But we cannot afford to make that choice. Nor can we make an equally bad choice—to simply blend in with the culture, pressured by political correctness, bombarded by crass, debasing entertainment, or seduced by mushy, contemporary evangelicalism. Our students are encouraged to ask questions, to probe alternative biblical interpretations and study various
expressions of Christianity, all within a framework of ﬁdelity to God’s revelation. At times this liberality causes difﬁculty for some; others celebrate the diversity, the varying viewpoints, the openness to exploration and the creativity fostered in such an environment. If Gordon is to be a viable force in American higher education, we must remain at the table, calling for an equal voice when the critics from either the right or the left seem to be aligned against us. This centrist course will not appease the political conservatives nor will it be popular with the prevailing secular view of reality embraced by the larger educational community. But the easiest alternative is usually not the best one. R. Judson Carlberg, President ■
am writing to express my great appreciation for the work Coach Dugan is doing with the men’s lacrosse team. I had the great honor of watching Gordon play another team in California. I was proud of the way Coach Dugan and the team conducted themselves throughout the game—a game they eventually lost. However, it was what I saw a few minutes after the game that touched me most deeply. The Gordon players invited their opponents to the ﬁeld to join them in prayer. It was meaningful and God glorifying as young men kneeled on the ﬁeld with their heads bowed to our God. Thank you for the good job you are doing with these young men, not only on the ﬁeld but in their hearts as well. Charles Howard ■
would like to point out that stayat-home moms make extremely important contributions to society although we don’t ever appear in Stillpoint. I would love to see an article about moms who have chosen to stay at home and raise godly children, support our husbands and make contributions to society by being women of Proverbs 31. Moms raise future Christian leaders, not to mention future Gordon students. Rosemarie (Emmert) Schleupen ’83
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), 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.
28– Art Exhibit—A Steadfast Vision: The Art of Don Gorvett Oct. 13 and Sidney Hurwitz; reduction woodcut
SEPTEMBER 17 Thompson Chamber Music Series: Mia Chung, piano; James Buswell, violin; Carol Ou, cello; William Kirkley, clarinet; 8 P.M., PRH 9–25 Musical The Secret Garden, by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon; 9/9, 16, 23—7:30 P.M.; 9/10, 17, 24—8 P.M.; 9/11, 18, 25—4:30 and 8 P.M., Jensen Theatre, BCA
OCTOBER 16– Art Exhibit—The Paintings of Meg Brown Payson; Dec. 3 contemporary style 4 Center for Christian Studies Series (CCS)—Bioethics Conference with Gilbert Meilaender; “Unbinding Prometheus: The Promises and Pitfalls of Biotechnology”; 8 A.M.–6 P.M., Lane and GC 8 Six Public Dialogues on Art and Faith with Theodore Prescott: “The Return of Beauty”; 7 P.M., Cinema Lecture Hall, BCA 9 Homecoming 2004; Jazz Ensemble, 4:30 P.M., PRH courtyard; College Choir, 7 P.M., GC 22 Guest Recital: Karin Edwards, piano; 8 P.M., PRH 23 Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band; 7 P.M., GC
4 CCS Series—“Christians Engaging Culture: Present and Future Models for Politicians, Public Policy Practitioners and Scholars”; 8 A.M.–5 P.M., Lane and GC 5 CCS Series—Convocation: John Wilson, Books & Culture; 10:25 A.M., GC 7 Gordon Symphony Orchestra; 3 P.M., GC 12–20 Plays and Politics: An Evening of Pinter, directed by Jeffrey S. Miller; 11/12, 19—8 P.M.; 11/13, 20—4:30 and 8 P.M.; 11/16, 17, 18—7:30 P.M., Jensen Theatre, BCA 13 The Second South Carolina String Band; 7 P.M., GC 19 Thompson Chamber Music Series: The Triple Helix Piano Trio; 8 P.M., PRH 19 Six Public Dialogues on Art and Faith with Tanja Butler: “Art and Worship”; 7 P.M., Cinema Lecture Hall, BCA 20 The Symphonic Band and Symphonic Chorale: A Thanksgiving Festival; 7 P.M., GC 22 Jazz Ensemble; 8 P.M., GC
DECEMBER 3, 4 A Christmas Gala—Charles Dickens Theme; 12/3— 8 P.M.; 12/4—7 P.M.; GC
STUDENTS STUDYING ABROAD
Pictured are many of the 75 students who will study abroad next year in 17 countries, representing 30 offcampus programs. Studying in programs outside the Wenham campus expands a student’s sense of responsibility to a world outside their limited experience. As a student in Gordon’s French program (Aix-en-Provence) recently reported, “I love being able to experience Paris as more of an insider. It’s a whole different ball game when you can speak French courageously and have lived in France long enough to understand the cultural phenomenon!”
“My undergraduate years at Gordon were very inﬂuential in my life. My relationships with faculty members and fellow students broadened my understanding of the world and helped me see how faith interacts with every sphere of society.”
HILARY INGRAHAM ’99 SOCIAL WORK PRESENTLY ENROLLED IN THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY CAIRO, EGYPT PURSUING AN M.A. IN POLITICAL SCIENCE, CONCENTRATING IN FORCED MIGRATION AND REFUGEE STUDIES
A Gordon education does more than simply teach students about themselves. Our mission is to help them become leaders who understand the value of intellectual maturity and Christian character—to be prepared to serve wherever they are called. Our grounding is in the gospel. Our vision is for 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 www.gordon.edu CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
Published on Jan 22, 2010