Spring 2008• Vol.20, No.2
Leaving the Way
endell Berry, that Kentucky poet, prophet, and farmer whose wisdom has influenced many of us at Regent over the years, has the long habit of taking a walk on Sundays and writing a poem out of the experience. The most profound of these poems is the four-line aphorism with which his book, A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems, 1979-1997, closes: There is a day when the road neither comes nor goes, and the way is not a way but a place.1 An early name for Christians was “people of The Way,” and the image of the Christian as a pilgrim, one who is on a journey in search of a better place, is deeply engrained in Christian spirituality. (Consider, for example, works like Pilgrim’s Progress, or the great Welsh hymn, Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah, the second line of which reads: “pilgrim through this barren land.”) It is good to be a pilgrim on the way, but that good is balanced by another, more elusive, good: the ability to be in a place at rest and at peace. That good is the goal of the biblical
discipline of Sabbath. And people have never been in more desperate need of Sabbath than we are in the 21st century, in instant touch as we are (through cell phones, Internet and e-mail) with every place on the planet, unable to be really at home and at peace in any place at all. Many Christians, reacting against various forms of Sabbath legalism, have pretty much discarded the Sabbath as the one irrelevant commandment. “The Way” for them is always another job, never simply a place to be, to be thankful for. Ironically, there is a broad movement in our increasingly frenetic contemporary culture toward what have been called “secular Sabbaths” (Google the phrase to see what I mean). The world is rediscovering what we Christians have often missed in our understanding of the gospel: that the Good News, God’s shalom, is always good news about people at peace in a particular place. The roots of the Sabbath are in the Genesis 1 creation account, which is first of all about the preparing of places
(the first three days); then about the filling of places (the second three days); and finally, at the end of the sixth day, about the image of God, Adam, male and female, being placed within the completed temple of God’s creation. But that is all prelude. The crown of creation is not (as we humans have perhaps too hastily concluded) humanity, but the Sabbath rest of the seventh day, with Adam as priest in God’s temple, offering the whole glorious gift back in peace to the Creator. We fail, regarding creation not as a gift but only as a job, and hence are pilgrims, merely “on the way.” The genius of the Sabbath is that it stops us regularly, not to recognize a particular place as specially holy (that is a pagan way; in the temple of God’s Creation everything is holy), but to lay aside our jobs, even our pilgrimage, to rest and rejoice with the Creator in the good gift of Creation. The Sabbath, as the great Jewish thinker Abraham Heschel put it, is a “palace in time,” reminding us that “it is not a thing that lends significance to a moment, but a moment that lends significance to a thing.” 2 Doing Sabbath is our priestly task, a task returned to we flawed imagebearers through Jesus, the perfect image of God. Discovering how to do Sabbath, in a creation degraded by our business, is a task for all of us. And, ironically, it is the challenge to let the way become for a moment no longer a way (our task) but a place (God’s gift). ~ Dr. Loren Wilkinson Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies & Philosophy Endnotes 1 Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems, 1979-1997 (Washington, DC, Counterpoint), p. 216. 2 Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man (New York: Noonday Press, 1951), p. 6.
from the President
Shabbat and Shalom
hose of you who have been involved, directly or indirectly, in Alcoholics Anonymous programs will know that participants often provide a confession in light of a crisis and a story in light of a standard. The confession and the story commence in a typical way: My name is ____ and I am an alcoholic. My name is Rod and I have been a Sabbath-breaker my whole life. The crisis that provoked this confession took place in Wales last summer. On the encouragement of the Chair of the Board of Governors at Regent College, my wife and I took a nine-week mini-sabbatical in Wales. It was a fitting end to intense years devoted to the “Writing the Next Chapter” campaign. We did not use a cell phone, a computer, the Internet, or e-mail and had no regular use of a car. We walked, read, slept, ate, talked and moved from a lifestyle characterized by doing and performing into one that was marked by silence, contemplation, and being. For my wife, Bev, the early days of the sabbatical were exciting and rejuvenating. To be in a small town with no commitments was energizing and replenishing for her and she thrived on it. For me it was a very difficult first month. I experienced significant withdrawal pains, both psychologically and physically, and found myself lost without the presence of a schedule, commitments and demands from others. I yearned for work and
Kudos Rikk Watts will be attending a prestigious by-invitation-only conference in Jerusalem, June 4-7. The conference addresses the topic of Historiography and the Historical Jesus. We also wish him well as he embarks on the Victoria to Maui transpacific yacht race at the end of June.
The Regent World Winter 2008, Volume 20, Number 2
Editor Dal Schindell Interim Editor Stacey Gleddiesmith Designer Rosi Petkova, Jeff Ducklow 2
production and was troubled by having nothing to do. For me it was a significant crisis. I grew up in a church environment where messages on the Sabbath were filled with rules and regulations. As is true with all humanly constructed religious rules, there was so much duplicity in the system that it became humorous. While I take full responsibility for my own personal life and do not want to blame history, it is true that I was given a very poor theological foundation upon which I could build my life of worship, work and play. The result was that the Sabbath became irrelevant and insignificant to me. This was intensified by a family environment that was well intentioned, but prized doing over being. What you did was very important, and it is no surprise that this kind of family system produced three children who have ten university degrees between them and have been “successful” by very particular standards. While rest and replenishment were acknowledged as important, they often became a prelude to more work, viewed as a means to an end rather than having value in and of themselves. As a result, there was a significant gulf fixed between my own story and the biblical story, between my own work life and the work life of the Father. The crisis in Wales gave me a fresh understanding of Psalm 121:4. The one “who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” I can rest in that truth not just as theology, but also as a practical reality. God still tends to Regent College and all the other things I am involved in while I am sleeping. My conscientious wakefulness is not a pre-requisite for making things happen. God is the only one who never sleeps. The crisis in Wales made me realize in a new way that God’s economy is based on a tapestry of replenishment and work and that the former is not to be pursued so we can work harder and longer but so that God can be seen in both the contemplative
and in the active. The exclusive pursuit of Sabbath or of work runs risks at both ends. The crisis in Wales provoked me to understand that I need to take God’s example literally. And so, I have had a new rhythm since my return. For 24 of the 168 hours in my week I do not use the computer or access the Internet, Regent concerns are placed aside, and life is characterized by a slower pace and a less hurried step. In the past eight months, I have been surprised by how the regular practice of Shabbat has produced an unexpected outcome—a deepening sense of Shalom. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
Rod Wilson President, Regent College
We are very pleased to announce that the Verda Rochon Award for Distinguished Service to the Canadian Association for Pastoral Practice and Education (CAPPE/ACPEP) has been awarded posthumously to Nicholas Wilson, alum of Regent College. This award is intended for those who consistently go beyond the high standards set by the CAPPE/ACPEP. This is the first time the award has been bestowed posthumously. Nicholas was given the Verda Rochon Award because he was beloved for his presence, spirit, humour, compassion, leadership and wisdom, but he was also an avid gardener and served as the inspiration for the theme of this year’s CAPPE/ACPEP conference: “Return to the Garden: Cultivation Growth, Hope and Healing.” Kudos continued on p. 11
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Exploring New Frontiers in Evangelical History
Featuring: Mark Noll David Hempton George Marsden Don Lewis
2008 Church History Conference: A Thriving Secret
presenting papers were invited to listen in on the conversations. Lewis describes the RBHC as, “a history workshop where scholars can talk freely about the creative process of writing and interact in a public context about their craft.” To Hindmarsh, this makes it a welcome event. He states, “…unlike the large academic conferences, [ RBHC provides] good focused time for interaction around a coherent theme.” Since the first-year’s Canadian focus, conference titles have included: Varieties of Religious Experience: Evangelical Spirituality and Identity in the Early Modern Age; Fundamentalisms and Modern Culture; and last year’s The Tiger and the Lamb: Christianity in China, Past and Present. RBHC has grown organically from the genuine interest and dedication of both professional and armchair historians, community participants, past funding from the Reid Trust, and the small team of Regent faculty and staff who began it. In an interview, Reimer admitted, “We don’t go to great lengths to publicize. It has grown on its own.” This year’s conference will keep the same conversational format with participation from returning historians Mark Noll, George Marsden, David Hempton, and Regent’s own
Bruce Hindmarsh and Don Lewis. Also participating are newcomers David Jones, Roger Lundin, and doctoral students Kate Bowler and Brenden Pietch. Marsden will present the first paper of the conference in the form of a free public lecture entitled: “Theologically Conservative Christianity and Moral Progress: The Problem of Correlation.” The lecture will take place on Friday evening, July 25, 8:00-9:30pm in the Regent College chapel. Other papers will address varied subjects on the theme of New Frontiers in Evangelical History, including Bowler’s “Blessed Assurance: Faith and the American Prosperity Movement,” Jones’ “So Much Idolized by Some, Railed by Others: George Whitefield and Evangelical History,” and Noll’s “Putting Hymnody to Use in the History of Evangelicalism.” To take advantage of this best-kept bookstore secret, contact the Regent College bookstore (1.800.334.3279, or local 604.228.1820) or visit our website at: regent-college.edu/ historyconference. The conference will begin July 25 at 1:00pm, and will finish July 26 at 4:00pm. Tickets can be purchased for $50 (this includes lunch on Saturday) online, over the phone, or at the door.
t is said that the Regent College Bookstore’s History Conference (RBHC) is one of Regent’s best-kept secrets. Since its beginning in 2002, RBHC has maintained a Regent-esque quality of high academic standards without academic snobbery. According to Bill Reimer, Manager of the Regent Bookstore, RBHC is one of our biggest academic events, attracting top historians from universities and colleges across North America including Notre Dame, Harvard Divinity, and, of course, Regent College. Yet, the conference has managed to keep from getting too large and impersonal, thus leading to its reputation as a well-kept secret. This laid-back feel is no accident; the RBHC’s beginnings were collegial. In the first year, scholars met because it was apparent we should capitalize on the presence of eminent historians teaching in Regent College’s Summer School semester. Thus, Bill Reimer, Don Lewis, and Bruce Hindmarsh coordinated a conference for their scholar peers on the historical Canadian church. The vision was to facilitate a gathering where historians could present papers and participate in a roundtable discussion. Attendees who were not
Armchair Reading for the Overachiever: Advance Reading Recommendations by Bill Reimer D. Bruce Hindmarsh
The Evangelical Conversion Narrative
The result of extensive digging in the archives, that yields glimpses of a vast religious movement through first person accounts.
Methodism: Empire of the Spirit
A masterful overview of a movement that saw enormous growth during the 18th and 19th centuries. George Marsden
America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln
A deftly written and acclaimed book that covers the history of American religious thought during a formative and often turbulent time.
Fundamentalism and American Culture Second Edition
A far-ranging and groundbreaking book revised to take into account the proliferation of studies of fundamentalism since its original publication in 1980.
The Rest of the Regent Community What does it mean to observe Sabbath today, or more fundamentally, should we? Is it something we have to do, or something we get to do? Is it for us, or for God? We interviewed three members of the Regent community—a donor, an alumna and a recent graduate—to see what they think.
David Jennings, donor In the midst of an active law practice and a busy household the rhythm of Sabbath is not an easy habit, but it is a habit the Jennings family pays close attention to. “Of course I have a lawyer’s predisposition to challenge assumed definitions,” David Jennings states. “If by Sabbath we mean ‘no fun on Sundays,’ I think we have the wrong idea.” The fourth commandment—“Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy”—is much richer than this, he contends. Sabbath is not simply, or only, a day of rest; it is a call to a way of life. A Sabbath-oriented life is one marked by trust—trust that the manna given on the sixth day will truly be enough for the seventh, that the field will yield enough in the sixth year to allow it to lay fallow in the seventh. Jennings describes the invitation to Sabbath as “an invitation into the truth of God’s abundance,” and sees in the practice of Sabbath an analogy to tithing. To see either as rules to follow, rather than dispositions of the heart, is to miss the point. Like joyful giving, trusting rest flows out of gratitude. “When I believe that I will be provided for, the anxiety and fear disappear.” Jennings experienced the “call to celebrate rest” relatively early in life. “It happened when I was trying to be a legalist,” he laughs. “The ‘aha’ moment came when I encountered Martin Luther’s idea of three conversions—that of the head, the heart, and the purse—in the context of tithing.” In an age when any “waste” of time is also seen as a waste of money, the Sabbath conviction that there is enough—enough time to rest, and enough money to give generously—is indeed a sign of trust and evidence of our ongoing conversion into the likeness of Christ.
Catherine Harper, alumna If she had to put it into two words, alumna Catherine Harper would describe Sabbath as gift and delight. “Observing Sabbath is a sign of trust,” she says. “It’s a day to remember that all we have is a gift, and that it is God who provides.” While she is now quite strict with herself when it comes to keeping a Sabbath, allowing herself the freedom to rest wasn’t always so easy. She recalls the Monday morning Greek class she had at Regent while working on her MDiv degree: “For a while, I would study vocabulary on Sunday afternoons. I felt like I should. But surprisingly, when I finally decided to rest on Sundays, I did better on my tests!” Now an Anglican priest, Harper sets aside Monday as a day of rest and solitude. A self-proclaimed introvert in “an extroverted world,” Harper receives the gift of Sabbath in the form an appointment-free day with time to read, do crossword puzzles, watch a little TV and, ideally, go without having a single conversation. “I do what relaxes and rejuvenates me physically and spiritually,” she says. Sabbath is, after all, a gift to receive and something to delight in.
Dave Abels, recent MDiv grad “The beginning of my Sabbath life was a call to obedience before understanding,” says MDiv grad Dave Abels. “God is the creator. We are his creatures. This means things work the way he says they work, not the way I think they should work.” Certainly, “taking a day off” is easy when our work is finished, but the command to rest is a command to rest even when things are not finished. In this sense, it is often difficult to see how setting our work aside will benefit us, at least in the short term. “Any commandment,” says Abels, “unless we can justify ‘what it can do for me,’ is hard to obey. But this is an attitude to repent of… it’s an attitude that says ‘I know what’s best for me,’ but we don’t.” Abels currently observes Sabbath on Sunday. “It starts off with a celebration, by worshipping with the people of God and hearing the word. Personally, I never engage in things that I’m doing for homework. I lay down the books I’m supposed to read and pick up the books I don’t have to read.” When will he observe Sabbath once he is pastoring full time? “Friday,” he says immediately. “Monday I’ll be wrecked, and Saturday I’ll be ‘getting in the zone’ for Sunday. And whether I am single or married, I am more than a pastor. If I only get one day off, it needs to be for me, and it needs to about more than just recovering.” For Abels, a people-person to the core, that day will be spent in the company of others. 4
Alumni Focus Coming Attractions 2008 Check out the latest news and reviews specific to alumnis on the Regent website: www.regent-college.edu/alumni Here are a few highlights
Alumni Seat Sale - 50% off
Summer School 2008 is a great time to take advantage of the seat sale offer to all graduates of a program (diploma or degree), a discount of 50% on the audit fees of unrestricted courses (those with no enrolment limits). Visit the Alumni webpage for more information.
Vancouver, July 25-27
Regent Early Years Reunion Weekend This reunion will feature those who studied when Regent College met in VST and the frat houses, but all are welcome! Regent College Alumni Early Years Reunion
July 25-27, 2008
Faculty Near You
Chicago, November 1-3
Regent Gathering at the AAR Annual Meetings Boston, Nov 21-25
Regent Breakfast at the SBL Annual Meetings
If you have not done so recently, complete the online Alumni Update Form to ensure we have your up-to-date e-mail and mailing addresses.
Resources from Regent’s latest Marketplace context of Christian faith. Available on the conference, held in cooperation with website are CDs, DVDs, and MP3s, as well A Rocha Canada, are now available at: as suggestions for further reading, handouts regent-college.edu/marketplace and notes from the conference. The webThe conference, which took place in site also contains a link to a conference blog November of 2007, drew over two hundred intended to facilitate further interaction on business people, environmentalists, politi- this important topic. cians and academics to consider the nature of Christian stewardship in the context of Some comments from conference attendees: “Excellent without exception.” a case study of the Alberta Oil Sands: one “Most eloquently done, interesting and of the most significant deposits of unconpersonal. Truly wonderful and most ventional oil in the world and a highly impressive.” controversial contributor to global warm“!!” ing and environmental degradation in “Very good…important issues, relevant, Canada. Preston Manning, former Leader excellent speakers.” of the Opposition in Canada, Clive Mather, “The presence of the Holy Spirit is former CEO of Shell Canada, and Cal de electric in this room. You have shared Witt, leading US environmentalist, joined with us on a very strong personal level, Regent faculty members and A Rocha field dialoging together with us and with workers to discuss, debate and explore the business-environment relationship in the one another, in a unique way. I have
gone to many conferences where there have been all environmentalists, or all business people, or all politicians, but here we have an integrative approach between the educators, the researchers, and everyone else. I think it is a unique model and experience for us all. You have forced us to rethink our assumptions, our paradigms, opening up new ways of thinking and action about the created order in which we live. This for me is church.” “[This conference] has changed my perspective in that I now have a better understanding of the oil sands and their impact on environment. Also given much insight on ways to think about environmental issues and how both actions of business and myself are having impact.” 5
ALUMNI & Resources
Also check the website for opportunities to host or meet with current Regent faculty members visiting your area of the world. Darrell Johnson (Associate Professor, Pastoral Theology) will be in Basingstoke, England June 9-15, and Rikk Watts (Associate Professor, New Testament) will be in Melbourne, Australia in November 1-18.
summer Regent will Come for This host many excellent spring summer courses. In our the Classes and previous edition, we drew your attention to two of the artistic offerings on the summer docket. In this issue, we would like to draw your attention in three different directions: capitalism, humanity, and preaching.
Paul Williams Christianity and the Political Economy of Capitalism From June 30-July 11, Paul Williams (MA, MSc, Oxford, MCS, Regent College) will use his knowledge of the marketplace to facilitate the thoughtful engagement of gospel and culture, focusing on the prominent place of capitalism in the West. In his course, titled Christianity and the Political Economy of Capitalism, Williams acknowledges the compelling nature of capitalism and “its offer of individual freedom and societal progress to secure our allegiance to its version of the market.” In light of the seductive nature of capitalism, Williams will seek to illuminate some of the ways in which it functions as an ideology, and is idolatrous. He states that his main concern in this course is, “to help students see and understand the way that capitalism functions in our culture, not simply as an economic system but as an ideology that has set itself up in opposition to Christianity.” When asked about capitalism-as-ideology, he stated, “As with any ideology or religious idolatry, we offer up sacrifices.” Homelessness, for example, is an undesirable but necessary side effect of a well-functioning market. The ideology of capitalism presents Christians with a challenge. Williams queries, “What would it look like if Christians filled the market system with a completely different vision of ethical society? What would it look like if the gathered church embodied a different vision for society?”
Julie Canlis The Relational Self: Reformation Insights on What it Means to be Human From July 28-August 1, Julie Canlis (BA, University of Washington, MCS, Regent College, PhD, St. Andrews) will share her expertise in theological anthropology—the study of what it means to be human. Canlis states that while a student at Regent, she “came across the theology of Irenaeus who said the most shocking thing: ‘the glory of God is a human fully alive.’”
Unfortunately, more often than not it seems that being human and being Christian are set in opposition to each other. We expect to empty ourselves of all that is unique in order to be filled by the Spirit of the one true God. It is this confusion of identity that Canlis addresses in her course, The Relational Self: Reformation Insights on What it Means to be Human. Her excitement for this course comes from deep personal experience. She weathered her own ‘dark night of the soul,’ while attending Regent fifteen years ago, and has also witnessed several friends undergo the “disintegration between their perceptions of themselves and the Christianity they believed [they] should imitate.” She states: “spiritual formation needs to be attentive to its namesake—the Spirit—who enables us to participate in God while also remaining (and becoming) truly ourselves. Yet so often, the Christian path of repentance and self-emptying is seen as the necessary abandonment of our particularity and uniqueness.” In contrast, Canlis will explore the “intimate connection between understanding God as triune, and ourselves as human.”
Philip Ryken Preaching the Old Testament Narrative From July 14-25, Philip Ryken (BA, Wheaton, MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary, DPhil, Oxford) will teach Preaching the Old Testament Narrative. As a child, Ryken came to Vancouver with his father, Leland Ryken, professor of English at Wheaton College, who taught summer courses at Regent. He eagerly anticipates sharing with his own children the same “beauty of Vancouver and its surroundings, the fellowship of the campus community, [and] the opportunities to worship in local churches,” which he experienced as a child. Ryken’s life calling is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Within this calling, he has focused particularly on “preaching Christ from the Old as well as the New Testament,” and has paid special attention to “seeing Christ in the stories and structures of the old covenant.” Because of this commitment to preaching the Old Testament narrative, Ryken has “had the joy of preaching consecutively through two of the longest books in the Old Testament: Exodus and Jeremiah, as well as preaching the stories of Ruth, Solomon, Elijah, and Elisha.” Ryken states: “The Old Testament tends to be overlooked in many churches today, and even when it is taught and preached, pastors tend to emphasize its moral examples, the preaching of the law, rather than its gospel principles, the preaching of Christ.” As Ryken anticipates teaching this summer, he hopes that “students…will gain a renewed appreciation for the Old Testament in the life of the church, with greater insight into the person and work of Jesus Christ, and greater confidence for teaching and preaching the Old Testament.”
correction to summer school brochure
The Regent College Spring and Summer School Brochure lists the course Till We Have Faces: Drawing the Portrait as requiring a $400 fee for materials. Please note that this amount is incorrect. The course requires approximately $100 for materials. We hope this will make the course more viable for you. Thank you. 6
Stay for the Rest
Evening Public Lectures
Although the wide array of academically vigorous classes is the primary purpose of Spring and Summer Schools at Regent, Spring School it is also a time for added activity. Extra May 14 Ross Hastings jobs for some of us, added beach time for Ecstasy, Embrace, Effulgence: The Trinity and the others, Shakespeare in the park, fireworks festivals, and weekend Mission-shaped Church in the 21 Century camping trips for still others. Around Regent, too, we add activity— 21 Tony Cummins summer concerts, evening lectures, a city tour, kayaking, coffee and Do the Math: One Jesus, Four Gospels, and the dialogue, and tea on the lawn to offer just a few examples. Economy of the Triune God In addition to the activities already listed, this summer we are offering two prayer retreats, one led by Paul Stevens and one by 28 Oliver Crisp James Houston. The Beauty and the Excellency of God:
“Dangerous to trespass here!” should be the slogan for the spring and summer prayer retreats, according to James Houston (Board of Governors’ Professor, Spiritual Theology). He, together with Paul Stevens (Professor Emeritus of Marketplace Theology and Leadership) has led many prayer retreats for Regent students over the years. This spring and summer they are excited to each lead a retreat, Stevens on Saturday, May 17, and Houston on Saturday, August 2. Stevens plans to shape the spring prayer retreat around the Lord’s Prayer. He will guide participants through sequenced expositions of the Prayer and offer specific suggestions for prayer and meditation on each section. He will use Orthodox icons as a means for focus and reflection and provide opportunity for participants to receive prayer individually. Houston’s summer prayer retreat will focus on helping spiritually stuck Christians move toward deeper intimacy with God. He views prayer simply as friendship with God and hopes students’ prayer lives will become more natural, more intimate, and free. An important aspect of prayer that will be emphasized is the “double knowledge” of Augustine—to know God and to know oneself. Therein lies the “danger” of prayer, as participants examine their desires and their trust-levels with God.
Lessons from Jonathan Edwards
June 4 Harold Netland Jesus in a Globalizing World 11 Peter Harris Why Creation is Waiting for the Christians: Stories of Environmental Hope from around the World special events May 31
Christanity and Literature Study Group Poetry Reading
Margo Swiss, Susan McCaslin & Lee Johnson June 3 The Shack: a Book Discussion with author William Young and Regent faculty 25 John Walton Reading Genesis One with Ancient Eyes Summer School June 30 Bruce Waltke Wisdom in Shoe-Leather: A Lecture on Proverbs and Culture July 2 TBA TBA 7 Paul Williams Resurrecting Vocation: Calling as the Key to Mission
Some of the highlights of Spring and Summer Schools at Regent are the presence of a wide variety of people from around the world, the stimulating academic courses, and the rich spiritual atmosphere. All these aspects come together in the regular chapel services, held twice weekly during Spring School and daily during Summer School. According to Andrea Tisher, Music and Worship Coordinator at Regent College, the best part of spring and summer chapel is the people. Each week or two-week session is different because the services grow out of the specific community present, the various courses on offer during that time, and the visiting professors that are asked to speak. “It is exciting to experience the unity we have with people with whom we have not had time to develop a relationship,” Tisher says. “It reflects the worshipping global community.” In keeping with the academic excellence Regent offers, spring and summer chapels feature thoughtful worship. The services are certainly not an academic exercise, but neither do they ignore what is happening in the classroom. In fact, chapel serves as a helpful integration point for the spiritual and academic aspects of theological education by giving professors an opportunity to share more personally than in the classroom, and by allowing the community to worship God in light of newly-acquired knowledge about him. During a busy week or two of classes, regular chapels provide a much-needed rhythm and a unique worship experience as “we seek to worship across continents and through centuries” together.
9 Karen Mulder Shattered Glass: How Germany’s Reconstruction after World War II Changed Meaning and Art 14 Roger Lundin Nimble Believing: The Play of Doubt and Faith in Modern Literature 16 Philip Ryken Clive the Evangelist: The Personal Witness and Evangelistic Influence of C. S. Lewis 21 Mark Noll We are What We Sing: Evangelical History as Seen through Evangelical Hymns 23 Michael Pucci and Ben Homan Facing Poverty: Transforming Institutions in Civil Society (Subversively!) 25 George Marsden Theologically Conservative Christianity and Moral Progress: The Problem of Correlation
28 Stephen Evans
If you are interested in attending one of the prayer retreats, regis- Kierkegaard: Father or Critic of Existentialism? ter early to avoid disappointment, as the nature of the retreats means 30 Julie Canlis that space is limited. If you are interested in attending chapel, simply join us in the chapel of Regent College Mondays and Thursdays Downloading our Spirituality: Why Going to Church Doesn’t seem Necessary in this Virtual Age 11:10–11:50am during Spring School, and Monday through Friday 11:15–11:45am during Summer School. All are welcome. All lectures run from 8:00-9:30 pm in the Regent College chapel, and are free of charge. 7
Students and Faculty Worth Supporting One only needs to meet our students and hear their stories to realize that financially supporting their education is a great investment. And one only needs to sit under the teaching of our world-class faculty and read their books to recognize that Regent College is extraordinarily blessed. Your gift to the Annual Fund makes it possible for our students and faculty to have an impact for the kingdom of God around the world.
Scholarships Worth Creating
Whether through a future bequest gift, or a legacy gift while you are still living, you can create a scholarship that will be a source of blessing to future generations of Regent College students. For more information on how to make this kind of gift or create a scholarship, contact Richard Thompson at 1-800-663-8664 (ext. 314) or e-mail email@example.com
A Charity Worth Matching
Worth Your While
Regent students read encouragement cards sent by donors.
Could it be that your employer offers matching gifts when you give to the charities of your choice? If you are not sure, just inquire—either with us or with your employer. Both Regent College (in Canada) and Regent College Foundation (in the U.S.) are pleased to provide your employer with any necessary documentation to facilitate matching donations.
Save Yourself the Heartache and Hassle of Credit Card Theft
If you wish to make a donation by credit card, do not e-mail us your credit card information as e-mail is not a secure means of transmission. Instead, please use one of the three following options: 1. mail us the credit card information; 2. phone us with the credit card information; Organizations Worth 3. donate securely online at: www.regent-college.edu/support
Save Paper and Postage Regent College and Regent College Foundation are committed to finding innovative ways to decrease our administrative costs so that we can maximize your gift. In this light, it is our hope that you will take a step toward reducing paper usage and overhead costs by accepting a single receipt at year-end for all gifts made in 2008. Provision will certainly be made for donors who wish to receive a receipt with each and every donation.
Regent College 5800 University Blvd., Vancouver BC V6T 2E4 www.regent-college.edu/support Regent College Foundation USA P.O. Box 33276, Seattle, WA, USA 98133 www.rcfusa.org Friends of Regent College Canada Trust Wootton Chase, Wootton St. Lawrence, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG23 8PE www.regent-college.edu/uk
Students Worth Encouraging In our recent letter to donors and friends, we sent out an appeal not simply for finances, but for encouragement for our students. The month of April is often a stressful and exhausting time at Regent College, as assignments begin to pile up, and exams loom ever larger. Your gifts of encouragement came at a crucial time. We handed the cards out randomly to stressed-looking students, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Thank you for taking the time to provide a little encouragement in the midst of your own busyness. Our students are worth it!
Sabbatical = Sabbath?
Entrance to the oldest part of the library at the Bodleian in Oxford. Right: A manuscript Bruce Hindmarsh worked on at Herrnhut in Germany.
and 1997, during which time he completed the twovolume Dictionary of Evangelical Biography and began a book on Christian Zionism, which is now nearing publication. Due to the constraints of being the Academic Dean, Lewis has not had a sabbatical leave since he assumed his post in 2003, but he has produced new works while maintaining his current role. During Johnson’s recent sabbatical, he finished the manuscript for a book of preaching to be published this year by IVP, The Glory of Preaching: Participating in the Divine Transformation of the World, in which he gives away what God has taught him during 38 years of preaching. Additionally, he completed the manuscript for a book of sermons on the crucifixion, It Is Finished: Meditations on the Death of Jesus which was recently published, as well as the introduction to a re-printing of Charles Spurgeon’s lectures on preaching, Spurgeon on Preaching. He also began a follow-up book to Discipleship on the Edge, which will “explore how paying close attention to the way Jesus speaks in Revelation can help
us discern what he is saying to his churches in our time.” Hindmarsh returned this January from a semester of sabbatical, during which he spent time in study at Oxford, helped with a BBC documentary on the hymn “Amazing Grace,” attended and presented at various conferences, and made a family pilgrimage. The Hindmarsh family traced John Wesley’s 18 th century journey to visit some of his Moravian brethren. Hindmarsh states that much of his sabbatical was about research rather than writing: “Research renews you to teach, and teaching, in a sense, sends you back to the books.” Being able to share some of his work with his family was an important facet of the sabbatical; “I want to take them into my research, not to have it take me away from my family. I want them to be able to share in my research and in my world.” Approaching his first Regent sabbatical, Paul Williams anticipates a time of rest and re-connecting with the work to which he is called. He stated, “For me, it is vital that this is a process that is led by the Holy Spirit in prayer.” For his upcoming sabbatical Williams plans “to work on a writing project that…revolves around the theological theme of exile.” In this project, he will develop both the Old and New Testament approaches (judgment and sojourning), and explore the missional nature of each. He intends “to use this to frame a theological discussion of the place of the church and the nature of mission in modern Western culture.” The work of these and other faculty members during their sabbaticals has greatly enriched the academic experience of Regent College, continuing to impact classes and result in first-class writing, which not only heightens their teaching at Regent, but also has immense impact on the Christian world. Certainly sabbatical does not equal Sabbath, but a change of pace and focus is a gift that contributes to Sabbath rest by enriching the rhythms of productive work and increasing the ability to offer that work back to the community as a gift. 9
Sabbatical = Sabbath?
ife at Regent College, with its vigorous pace and academic rigour, sometimes makes rest seem unattainable. In this article, we look at the role of academic sabbaticals at Regent and ask faculty members Don Lewis, Darrell Johnson, Bruce Hindmarsh and Paul Williams: Why is it essential for Regent to offer sabbaticals, and what is their role here? Lewis defines a sabbatical as “a study leave during which a scholar spends their time working on their research and writing. Typically, one term or one year of such leave is granted after six terms or six years of teaching.” This research and writing is necessary in order for Regent faculty to maintain their scholarly contributions, which Lewis says, “should characterize any teaching scholar.” The idea of the academic sabbatical comes from the creation ordinance of Sabbath rest that is hopefully part of our weekly rhythm: six days of productive labour, one day of rest (Gen 2:2-3; Deut 5:12-15). However, the connection between Sabbath and sabbatical appears to have more to do with timing, than how time is spent. It is widely agreed that a sabbatical does not consist of an extended holiday. Darrell Johnson puts it well: “In the academy, [sabbatical] means ‘work of a different sort,’ and ‘work that needs to get done, because it otherwise will not.’” Sabbaticals are given to Regent faculty not as vacation, but as a gift of time to develop ideas that will benefit a professor’s academic life, as well as the life of Regent College, through research and publishing. When asked if there is a spiritual element to academic sabbaticals at Regent, most faculty members replied as Don Lewis did: “All of our life has a spiritual element, whether working in the regular academic year or working while on sabbatical leave.” Bruce Hindmarsh added to this thought “We will be a sabbatical people if we learn to live the one-in-seven rhythm weekly— whether in our ‘teaching week’ or our ‘research week’—and to see this pattern etched in our life together in larger ways too, ways that reflect our humanness under God.” In regards to the importance of sabbatical work, all expressed gratitude for the opportunity to pursue fresh studies in their fields. They also commented on the importance of a good sabbatical program to keep a college academically fresh. Lewis took sabbaticals in 1988, 1992
The Laing Lectures The Laing Lectures are an endowed lecture series intended to encourage critical thinking within Christian life. The series is held at Regent College in the fall of every year, and invites eminent thinkers, nominated by the Regent faculty, to deliver three lectures over the course of two days. October 8 and 9 of this year, the Laing lectures will be delivered by Dr. Walter Brueggemann. Based on Old Testament texts, the lectures are entitled: “The Church in Joyous Obedience: Biblical Expositions.” Dr. John G. Stackhouse, Jr. (facilitator and host of the Laing Lectures and Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology and Culture) commented recently on the discussion he feels these lectures will generate. “I expect we will have at least two main areas of conversation: what sort of ethic we ought to expect from public institutions, such as government, and what sort of biblical interpretation leads to this or that ethic. Walter Brueggemann is widely read across theological lines by many pastors and scholars, and we will enjoy engaging him not only on what he says, but also on how he formulates what he says on the basis of the Bible as Christian Scripture.”
An Interview with Walter Brueggemann
Your over-all title for the three lectures you will deliver at Regent in October is “The Church in Joyous Obedience: Biblical Expositions.” What prompted to you to choose this topic? WB: Well, I just stay at the task of doing biblical interpretation that will help pastors and will help the church get to its faith and its obedience and its joy. So I had these three lectures in front of me, and then I had to find an umbrella topic for them. [The lectures] reflect where I am in my ongoing research in terms of what I think it is important to be talking about. You are often considered a somewhat controversial figure. Why do you think this is? WB: I didn’t really know that! I mean, I’m a pretty mild guy! (laughs) Well…as I am paid to study the Old Testament, out of that perspective I try to describe things the way I am able to see them: in terms of our public life and the church. I don’t think that description of things is always very welcome. I suppose that is the inevitable tension between biblical faith and public life. I take it you have been following the conflict over Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright? He is not a close friend of mine, but he is a friend of mine, and I would say that I do the sort of thing he does, in a much less inflammatory way, but I think we are on the same wavelength. That kind of critical perspective is often a surprise to people, and in some quarters not very welcome. So sometimes it is the uncomfortable message that people respond to negatively. WB: It is. And, you know, I myself find it uncomfortable. I’m as situated in this selfindulgent culture as anybody is, and so I wish I didn’t see this and have to think this way.
Some have criticized you for holding the authority of Scripture loosely, yet you are speaking on the topic of obedience. How do we act in obedience to a text that is subject to, in your words, “human refraction”? WB: I think it requires a great deal of courage, and it requires a great deal of imagination, and it requires an awareness that our best judgments are always provisional and penultimate. There are very few things about which we can speak in
accent of my research is imagination, and that means we’re always making interpretive leaps that are in dispute, but I think we have to go on and make those leaps, and see where we go next.
an absolute voice, and those who criticize me for holding the authority of Scripture loosely, I think believe that you can get to much more absoluteness than I think you can get to. So I think we have to make our best judgment for today, in faithful obedience, but then we know that we are going to have to review it and revise it as we see more and as the Spirit leads us. A major
Further excerpts from this interview will be available later this summer on the Regent College conferences website: www.regentcollege.edu/conferences.
Advance Reading Walter Brueggemann, Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church (John Knox Press, 2007)-In this, his most recent work, Walter Brueggemann presents the contemporary church with a new way of being in the world. 10
All three of your lectures will address, in one way or another, issues of public life and social justice. In fact, you frequently address these topics in other contexts. Why does an Old Testament scholar engage in this sort of public theology? WB: There are lots of ways of being an Old Testament scholar…and there are people upon whom I depend—who do much more technical critical work, and I use their work. But my mind works to try to make connections, because my primary audiences…are pastors and church people, and while you have to do the technical critical stuff, by itself that doesn’t really give any payoffs to pastors and churches. So I want to work at those connections, I think partly that is my social vocation, and partly that is how my mind works. The other side of it is, if you study the Old Testament theologically, you can’t help but be driven to public questions— they’re all over the text. The challenge is to try to make connections between those ancient public questions and our contemporary public questions, and that is what I try to do.
New Books by Regent Authors John Stackhouse, Making the Best of it: Following Christ in the Real World Examining the lives and works of C.S. Lewis, Reinhold Niebuhr and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Stackhouse delves into the history of Christianity’s interaction with culture in order to offer a way forward for those who see the impossibility of the complete transformation of society according to Christian principles, and who also see the danger of complete withdrawal from society. This scholarly work seeks to take the biblical precedent of God’s work through earthly means seriously. J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom, Guard Us, Guide Us: Divine Leading in Life’s Decisions Identifying the topic of guidance from God as a common source of both fear and desire in the hearts of many Christians, J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom seek to walk the reader through the patterns of God’s guidance, which do not always rest in the spectacular, but often in the realities of biblically based wisdom. Complete with study-guide, this book is a thoughtful and careful approach to a topic that is too often fraught with misunderstanding. Craig Gay, Dialogue, Catalogue and Monologue “This book is about words and the attitudes that we take toward them,” states Craig Gay in the prologue of his book. In this exploration of the seriousness of our words, Gay seeks to spur the recovery of dialogue on which, he states, our common future depends. He approaches dialogue as participation in the divine Word and its creative force.
Charles Ringma, Ragged Edges His first book of poetry, Charles Ringma offers this book as simply an invitation to read. Of the poems themselves he says only: “they span over a long period of time” and “they came from spaces of difficulty rather than the landscapes of tranquility.” This collection is a vivid portrayal of what Charles names the “Ragged Edges” of life; a portrayal that does not shrink from the darkness, but pushes against it to reach toward the light. Bob Ekblad, A New Christian Manifesto: Pledging Allegiance to the Kingdom of God Bob Ekblad calls upon Christians to pledge allegiance to a different kingdom—to recognize the cultural ties that so often bind us, and to live in obedience to a new rule. In this personal and captivating book, Ekblad seeks to bring together the too-often opposed camps of social justice and evangelism in order to forge a new way: a way that acknowledges the power of God to change and to save, and a way that does not shrink from challenging the powers and perceptions of a world order whose end has already begun. Darrell Johnson, It Is Finished: Meditations on the Death of Jesus In this book, Darrell Johnson offers six sermons on the cross of Christ. Using central texts dealing with the cross, the centre of the Christian faith, Johnson presents six different aspects of the accomplishment of the cross: justification, ransom, victory, glorification, contradiction, and the end of separation. These reflections are in rhetorical form, and carry the full weight and passion of Johnson’s preaching voice.
Dr. Henry Daniel Hildebrand passed away on February 13, 2008. Dr. Hildebrand was a vascular surgeon in Vancouver from 1966 to 1996, where he fulfilled his role with both diligence and joy. He was also a much appreciated member of the Regent College community, serving on the Board of Governors for five terms from 1972-1992, from 1981 to 1984 as Chair of the Board. We offer our sincere sympathy to his wife, Hilda, and his three children and eight grandchildren as they mourn his loss.
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Congratulations to Rick Smith, Facilities Manager at Regent College, who was recently presented with a 2008 “Just Desserts” award. The Regent College Student Association nominated Rick for one of these awards, which have been granted annually at UBC since 1985. The awards recognize the valuable contributions of UBC community members (staff, faculty, and students) who have “gone above and beyond the call of duty in their work.” We heartily affirm this recognition of Rick’s diligent and excellent service of Regent College.
Regent alumna C heryl B radbee lives in an award-winning house. Cheryl and her two house- Photograph by Corrigan Clay mates, Elisabeth Northrup and Grace Terrett, commissioned the stucco-covered straw-bale house from architect Martin Liefhebber. Complete with solar panels and downspouts to direct rainwater to the well and into the watershed, Cheryl’s house was awarded the 2007 Mississauga Urban Design Merit Award for environmental innovation. The photography and painting of visual artist and Regent College student Corrigan Clay was featured in the winter 2008 edition of Plumb: an Arts Journal. Corrigan graduated this spring with an MCS in Christianity and the Arts. To view more of Corrigan’s work, visit www.throwing-clay.com. 11
read, listen, listen again
compact Making the Best of It:
Dialogue, Catalogue & Monologue: Personal, Impersonal & Depersonalizing Ways to Use Words
Following Christ in the Real World
John G. Stackhouse, Jr. Discouraging the “all or nothing” attitudes that afflict so much of contemporary Christianity, Stackhouse offers a refreshingly nuanced take on the question of what it means to be a Christian in the world today.
Guard Us, Guide Us: Divine Leading in Life’s Decisions
J.I. Packer This biblical & practical study of divine guidance provides solid foundations for understanding how and why God guides his people.
Craig Gay In his new book Gay calls us to examine our words and the attitudes we take towards them, and suggests that our common future hinges on the recovery of dialogue.
www.regentaudio.com mp3-downloads Christian Educating & Equipping
Issues in 1 Corinthians
A careful study of Paul’s first canonical letter to the Corinthians in an attempt (1) to master the content of this epistle through sound exegetical methodology, (2) to place the letter within the historical and theological contexts of Paul and the early church, and (3) to wrestle with some of the hermeneutical issues raised by the letter.
This course seeks to lay the biblical, theological and practical foundations for the church’s work of discipling, educating and equipping the whole people of God for life and ministry in and for the world. The course works from the assumption that “education” and “equipping” are sub-sets of “making disciples.”
History of Christianity II
This series covers from the first major phase of the Reformation (ca. 1525 A.D.) through the twentieth century. The course is concerned not just with church organization and practice, but also with the history of theology & doctrine, spirituality and the impact of Christianity upon society & society upon Christianity.
Regent Radio allows you to listen to individual lectures and complete series by Regent College Faculty Members, Emeritus Professors and Visiting Lecturers over the Internet. This is a great way to participate in the “Regent World,” regardless of where in the world you live. Broadcast schedules are posted daily. #
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