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Small Touches That Make a Difference ALSO INSIDE:

Professor McCall

confronts a few key caricatures revolving around the historical Arminius.

Trinity International University



EXECUTIVE COUNCIL President G. Craig Williford (PhD ’95)



arlier this semester, the announcement went out that I’d be stepping down as president of TIU at the end of this academic year, before going on a sabbatical during the next academic year (2013– 2014). Carolyn and I hope and pray that God enables us to move closer to our family in Colorado and to find a new place of service in God’s global redemptive work. We thank the Trinity Board for honoring us and acknowledging the life challenges we’ve faced over the past two years by providing a year of rest and renewal. This June, Carolyn and I will celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary and thirty-eight years in vocational Christian ministry. Reviewing these four decades, it seems our life is organized in chapters defined by key family events and the ministry where we were serving. I still remember the surprise in my heart that occurred in August of 2000 when God directed us away from pastoral ministry and into leadership at Denver Seminary; I was equally astonished when in 2009 he directed us here to Trinity. Even though I didn’t anticipate either of these surprising moves by God, I certainly have appreciated the thirteen years as president of Denver and Trinity. We don’t know what God has for us in this next chapter of life, but we do know that God is faithful and will direct our lives. God knows the desires of our hearts, but we surrender our desires to him, asking that he will direct us as he judges best. During this sabbatical rest and transition into a new ministry, Carolyn and I are setting some personal goals for our spiritual, emotional, physical, and vocational health. We want to continue to mature in Christ while being intentional about learning and growing as whole persons. We will miss Trinity, and I will probably struggle with active resting. Already, I am prayerfully sorting through how to rest in the midst of consulting projects a few global organizations have asked me to help them with. You know my passion for the global church, so you can see one of the many reasons we covet your prayers. As we transition, we want to thank the members of the Trinity family who have been so supportive and encouraging. Whatever God accomplished during my time as president, I know it is because of your faithful and effective service. I hope you can hear and personally feel the words of Christ: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt. 25:21). What a privilege to have served with you who partnered with me to help Trinity accomplish its mission. We are praying for God’s next president here at Trinity and working with our board chair to ensure a smooth transition. With appreciation,

G. Craig Williford (PhD ’95) President


Co-Provost Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dean of College & Graduate School Jeanette L. Hsieh, EdD Co-Provost, Senior Vice President of Education​ Dean, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Tite Tiénou, PhD Senior Vice President for Information Technology and Planning Steven Geggie Senior Vice President for Enrollment Roger Kieffer Senior Vice President for University Advancement David A. Hoag, PhD Senior Vice President of Business and Finance, Chief Financial Officer J. Michael Picha Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Dean of Students, Trinity College William O. Washington, PhD (BA ’88, MAR ’98)

TRINITY MAGAZINE Editor and Director of Communication Chris Donato Communication Assistant Bethany Kemming (BA ’13) Design Michelle Carlson Wayne Kijanowski (MDiv ’91) Trinity Magazine exists to tell Trinity’s stories, to serve Trinity alumni and friends, and to connect the Trinity community. Opinions expressed are those of contributors and not necessarily the official position of Trinity. To contact the editor, email or call 847.317.8113. To send alumni news items or to change your mailing address, email or call 877.339.1416. Trinity International University is a private, Christian university composed of four schools: Trinity College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Trinity Graduate School, and Trinity Law School. Trinity has more than 2,800 students from more than three dozen countries and throughout the United States. Trinity is committed to biblical authority, Christ centeredness, comprehensive education, community, church connectedness, and cultural engagement. 




feat u res


Searching for the Historical Harmenzoon:

Sleeping Coconuts:

God’s Way of Transforming Tragedy

Understanding Jacob Arminius

by Bethany Kemming

By Thomas H. McCall

Student To Student: Small Touches That Make a Big Difference


by Bethany Kemming

depa r t ment s

18 One

by Eric Miller








SPRING 2013 | 3

With thankful hearts, the Trinity community expresses its love and gratitude to Craig and Carolyn Williford’s dedicated service to its mission—to educate men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning. 4 | TRINITY MAGAZINE

The leadership of Trinity, including the Board of Regents, have been challenged and inspired by President Williford’s vision for the university and are committed to continuing the good work it already has produced. Under Dr. Williford’s leadership, TIU witnessed recalibration and vision-casting revolving around the current challenges facing Christian higher education. Among them were the formation and approval of a university-wide strategic plan, complete with concrete five-year goals that seek to drive Trinity’s mission forward. The community is just now beginning to see many initiatives being formulated from across the university that have come as a result of enacting this plan.

its re-accreditation from both the Higher Learning Commission and the Association of Theological Schools that year.

Chaplain Scott Samuelson prays with and for the Willifords during the last President’s Chapel of the year.

These past four years have seen significant capital projects completed (each classroom was renovated, including the library, complete with several technological upgrades) as well as record-breaking donations, including the largest single gift in Trinity’s history ($30 million). Perhaps most importantly for the future of Trinity, this gift enabled the university to move forward in its online educational plan (see p. 16 for more details on that). In 2010, Trinity completed its largest and most successful capital campaign ever, raising more than $21 million. The centerpiece of the campaign was the construction of the Gregory L. Waybright Student Life Center. TIU also received

Over the past two years, five fully endowed chairs have been added to the roster, along with several key faculty and staff appointments. A student success center and the Jonathan Edwards Center at TEDS were launched, as well as a few academic programs that better position Trinity as a first choice among prospective students (among others, the graphic design major, the MDiv with Pre-Seminary Honors program, and the Master of Education).

Several partnerships, both local and abroad, have also been or are being formed, most notably the Oikonomia Network (, which focuses on projects, activities, and curriculum development initiatives centered on furthering the integration of work, economics, discipleship, and the local church. With Aaron’s benediction we send the Willifords on this new direction in their journey:

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Num. 6:24–26)

Photos: Sam Jacobs SPRING 2013 | 5


At the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion in Chicago in November, Chris L. Firestone (MA ’92), associate professor of philosophy, presented a paper and presided at a symposium on “The Persistence of the Sacred in Modern Thought,” following from his recent book (co-authored with Trinity alumni Nathan Jacobs, BA ’01, MA ’04) of the same name published by the University of Notre Dame Press (June 2012).

Brad Gundlach, associate professor of history, has succeeded Professor Emeritus Steve Pointer as Book Review Editor for Fides et Historia, the journal of the Conference on Faith and History. He attended the biennial meeting of that conference at Gordon College in early October. His book Process and Providence: The Evolution Question at Princeton, 1845–1929 will be published by Eerdmans in 2013.

Jessie McGrath, assistant professor of graphic design, partnered with Advocate Creative (Chicago, Ill.) to design event branding and promotional materials for Caris, a faith-based pregnancy counseling agency providing emotional support and practical resources for women facing unplanned pregnancies; and with Simplicated Studio (Bartlett, Ill.) to design corporate positioning, branding, and marketing materials for Wallprotex, a wall protection manufacturing company. She also designed covers for two recently published books: How to Find a Door in a Wall by life coach Graeme Franks (CreateSpace Independent Publishing), and If You Have a Craving, I Have a Cure: Experience Food, Faith, and Fulfillment a Whole New Way by Sheri Rose Shepherd (Tyndale Momentum).

Allison Alcorn, professor of music, was named editor of the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, a scholarly international organological journal focusing on American musical instruments. She also wrote 26 entries for the upcoming revision of The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2nd edition (4 vols., due out in 2014).

Richard E. Averbeck, professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages and director of the PhD/Theological Studies Program, contributed the essays “A Literary Day, Inter-Textual, and Contextual Readings of Genesis 1 and 2” to the book Five Views on Genesis 1 and 2 (Hendrickson, forthcoming 2013), and “The Three ‘Daughters’ of Baal and Transformations of Chaoskampf in the Early Chapters of Genesis” to the book Chaoskampf in the Bible and the Ancient Near East (Eisenbrauns, forthcoming 2013).

Barry J. Beitzel, professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages has added a new Bible atlas to his repertoire, serving as its chief consultant. The Bible Atlas: The Events, People, and Places of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation came off the press in February 2013 (Bateman Publishers). Dr. Beitzel’s award-winning New Moody Atlas of the Bible has now appeared in Dutch and Italian, with editions in German, Spanish, and Portuguese scheduled to appear in July 2013, and editions in Korean and Chinese slated for spring 2014.

Bill Donahue, associate professor of pastoral theology, saw the publication of new editions of his books Leading Life-Changing Small Groups and Coaching Life-Changing Leaders, and the reissue of the Making Small Groups Work DVD and Participation Guide he co-authored with Henry Cloud and John Townsend (all of them published by Zondervan).

John D. Woodbridge, research professor of church history, co-wrote the book Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political Context (Zondervan, 2013) with Frank A. James III (president, Biblical Theological Seminary). In May, Dr. Woodbridge will be traveling to South Africa to deliver a paper on the ModernistFundamentalist Controversy to the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.


Karen Wrobbel, associate dean of Trinity College and Graduate School and associate professor of education, taught “Global Issues and Curriculum Design in Culturally Diverse Settings” as an adjunct on the Kandern, Germany, campus of Philadelphia Biblical University (now Cairn University). Her class was very diverse, including a German and a Canadian who currently teach English in China, a Czech who is the principal of a Christian school for Czech children, three Americans involved in various crosscultural ministries, and two Ukrainians who teach at an international Christian school.


The Henry Center for Theological Understanding remains a robust part of the TEDS community, providing an intellectually engaging extracurricular climate. In the fall, the center welcomed Mike Horton, Mark Labberton, and Michael Emerson, talking about the ascension, wisdom, and race, respectively. The spring semester brought Michael McClymond lecturing on universalism, Paul Louis Metzger (MDiv ’92) on Christianity and economics, John Oswalt on the subject of holiness, and Oliver Crisp on Jonathan Edwards and Pastoral Ministry. Two faculty initiatives are gaining momentum. In March, Drs. Tite Tiénou and Robert Priest, accompanied by a team of TEDS faculty, travelled to Nairobi, Kenya, to initiate a conversation with African leaders on witch accusations. Witch accusations are an increasing problem in Africa, which has not merely infiltrated the church, but been fueled by it (based on certain understandings of spiritual warfare). This gathering will PHOTO: MARTA VERGA

Michael Horton engages students on theological matters

be among the first concerted efforts to confront this challenging issue. Dr. Peter Cha is preparing his Hana Project, which will be hosted on Trinity’s campus in May and will bring together Hispanic and Asian North Americans to develop a strategic partnership in coming years.

The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity continues discussions of tough ethical questions through lectures, publications, and events. Last fall, Paige C. Cunningham, JD, CBHD’s executive director, delivered the annual Witherspoon Lecture at the Family Research Council on “Markets and Consumers: The Commodification of Women and Girls.” CBHD also held a consultation of the Academy of Fellows on “The Ethics & Theology of Synthetic Gametes,” which featured a transatlantic team of speakers and was streamed live to the public. Christianity Today interviewed Paige for a story on parents’ prayers for miracle healings, while Dr. Michael J. Sleasman, CBHD’s managing director and research scholar, provided an introduction to biotechnology and a Christian perspective on its concerns and opportunities to a forthcoming twelve-volume history of Christianity series. Finally, CBHD continues planning its celebratory 20th annual summer conference, Health Brent Waters presenting at CBHD’s Academy of Fellows Consultation

and Human Flourishing, taking place July 18–20.

The Jonathan Edwards Center at TEDS continues to offer lectures centered on the relevance of Jonathan Edwards’ teaching in today’s culture under the guidance of Professor Douglas Sweeney. Although the fall semester was quiet for the Center (due to unexpected rescheduling), the spring semester brought two additions to the New Directions in Edwards Studies lecture series. In February, Michael McClymond, associate professor of theological studies at Saint Louis University, addressed “Between Rome, Geneva, Moscow, and the Azusa Street Mission: Jonathan Edwards and the Future of Global Christianity.” McClymond discussed how Edwards’ writings could contribute to the theological agenda of the new century. In April, Oliver Crisp, professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, spoke on “The PHOTO: MARTA VERGA

Michael McClymond delivers a lecture about the contribution of Edwards on the future of global Christianity

Excellency of the Trinity: Jonathan Edwards on The Triune God.” Crisp also contributed to the Edwards and the Church Lecture Series in April, cosponsored with HCTU, and spoke on “Retrieving Pastoral Ministry: What Jonathan Edwards Can Teach Us About Serving the Church Today.” All lectures were well received, offering opportunities for speakers and listeners alike to engage with the legacy of Jonathan Edwards. SPRING 2013 | 7


Small Touches That Make a Difference by Bethany Kemming


igh school students and their parents are accustomed to interacting with the admissions department and perhaps a few faculty members during their college search process. They expect to tour the campus, talk to an admissions counselor, perhaps visit a class and be given a positive, rehearsed outlook on the university’s campus life and academics. What they may not expect is an inside look from students. Trinity launched the Student to Student Project for undergraduate students who apply and are accepted at Trinity. This initiative started last fall and gives accepted students the opportunity for meaningful interaction with current Trinity students. Using the strength of Trinity’s size, each accepted student is assigned to one of four student creative media assistants, who contact them after their acceptance with personalized touch points to let them know Trinity students genuinely care and want to help them through the process. “We’re honestly seeing how we can help them. A lot of schools don’t call with that intention. They call with a sales pitch, but that’s not our goal,” junior Alyssa Dixon said. Dixon is one of the four student workers developing the Student to Student Project, along with senior Rebecca Spellman, sophomore Megan Menke, and sophomore Alex Johnson. 8 | TRINITY MAGAZINE


Although prospective students are assigned to a creative media assistant, it simply enhances the normal efforts and activities of the admissions office. The Student to Student Project is designed to provide an additional look into student life. Creative Media Producer for Marketing & Creative Services Linzy Westman said the main goal of the Student to Student Project is to help bridge the gap between the time a student is accepted at Trinity (and other colleges) and the time a decision is made about where to enroll. The belief is that offering a student’s voice into this process can powerfully represent the value of the Trinity experience in a way that is different from other schools. The inspiration to have current students help create this environment came from the experience and knowledge that current students can provide. While the admissions counselors and faculty can provide accurate information about student life and classes, only current students can share their personal experiences and stories. “I think what students want after they are accepted into a university is to have really personal one-on-one attention, and mainly people where they can get their questions answered. Who can do that better than actual students?” Westman said. “We work in the marketing office or admissions but we’re not the ones in the classes and in the cafeteria. We could tell students, but it’d be much better, much more organic coming from actual students.”



For many colleges and universities, accepted high school students simply receive an acceptance letter and then the school waits for their deposit. Westman said Trinity wanted to offer a more personalized experience that gave prospective students a window into life at Trinity. The marketing and admissions offices collaborate on activities related to students at all points in their college search process. As part of this, a special initiative was needed to focus specifically on increasing the amount of students who enroll at Trinity after being accepted. “One of the things that stands out about Trinity is the positive impact our visits have on a student’s decision to enroll. Our admissions team does an excellent job with the visit program and students give feedback about how welcoming our campus is. The Student to Student Project is our way of learning from what our strengths as a community are and strategically using those strengths to increase our enrollment,” explains Rachel Yantis, director of marketing. As part of stewarding resources well, it became apparent to the marketing team that this year’s crop of student workers were exceptional. “Empowering our own students to have a leadership role in real life activities of the university is a win-win,” Yantis explains. “Being part of a university staff brings with it a unique opportunity to utilize the gifts of our students to help build the next


incoming class while also building their resumes and hopefully increasing their own marketability.” The marketing team, including the students, brainstormed ways to allow accepted students to feel like they could learn more about the Trinity community. “That was a really fun process to kind of have input on what would work. Some of them were off the wall and some of them were pretty ambitious. But some of them were things that could actually happen,” Spellman said. The team came up with ideas for several personalized means of contacting students and keeping them connected to Trinity after they receive their acceptance letter and before their deposit is due. When students are accepted into Trinity, they first receive an acceptance letter from the admissions office along with a letter from the dean or the president letting them know they’re glad the student is interested in Trinity and that they’ve been accepted. A week after a student receives their acceptance letter they receive an email from their admissions counselor with a personalized URL for the student, such as: The personalized URL becomes the homepage portal for all things related to accepted students. From that webpage, students can pay SPRING 2013 | 9

their deposit to secure their spot, pick a meal plan, and learn more about Trinity. The email from their admissions counselor also includes a personalized 30-second video made for each student by Menke, composed of various students welcoming them to Trinity. After that, the student is assigned to one of the four creative media assistants, who mail them a handmade “Welcome to TIU” booklet. Director of Design Wayne Kijanowski designed the booklet and the creative media assistants helped determine the content. A glance through

the booklet provides prospective students with fun and practical information about TIU, such as the lingo for campus building names, what day the deposit is due, what the different residence halls are like and more. The marketing department met with a vendor to get an idea of what many other colleges and universities are doing to personalize their connections with prospective students. Since other schools were having their booklets printed and bound, the cost was steep. “We thought we could do the same thing, but do it one-by-one per student because of the nature of our size,” Westman said. The team wanted the booklet to be as handmade as possible, for financial as well as personal purposes. Johnson came up with the idea to sew the binding of the booklets with a sewing machine, and the student workers wrote out the addresses of their respective students for each booklet. “There was this moment after Alex suggested sewing the binding that Wayne and I just looked at one another. I knew we were both thinking about the risks. We work in a fast-paced environment where the idea of making something by hand sounds crazy,” Yantis said. “But the passion of our students made this possible. I love working with a team of people who says yes before no. Thankfully our community manager, Gina Adams, had a sewing machine and was willing to be part of this endeavor.”

Do you know someone who would be a great fit for Trinity? Encourage them to visit

this summer! | 10 TRINITY MAGAZINE

“In this way, every piece of content that was received by the students was not only addressed to them personally, but was communicated through the same person—one of us four creative media assistants,” Johnson said.

"We work in a fast-paced environment where the idea of making something by hand sounds crazy. But the passion of our students made this possible. I love working with a team of people who says yes before no."

The Student to Student Project team hopes to have sent out 700 booklets by the four students at the end of this school year. After receiving the booklet, prospective students received a call from their student contact to answer any questions that they may have. Although not every student picks up or returns the call, the creative media assistants have received positive feedback overall. Many parents have been appreciative of the gesture and have taken the opportunity to ask their questions. “Sometimes we have better conversations with the moms than we do with the students themselves. I think the parents probably understand what we’re doing: ‘Whoa. You’re calling us, you actually care,’” Dixon said. For Spellman, the phone calls have been one of the most interesting parts of the process. “It’s the notion of a current student from the school that you’re looking at, calling you and taking the time to see if you have any questions,” Spellman said. One student answered Spellman’s phone call the day after visiting Trinity through a Sneak Preview, an overnight stay and look into campus life for students and parents, and responded with overwhelming excitement and positivity.

Undergraduate Summer 2013 Visit Dates: June 3, July 8, August 5

TEDS Summer 2013 Open House Dates: May 18, June 22, July 20

“‘[He said] it was the best experience of my life!’ Obviously that’s through-the-roof enthusiasm, but that was a really cool experience for me because it shows that what we’ve been doing is paying off, and students get excited about it,” Spellman said.

“They just need a little extra push, and what student in their big scary college pursuit wouldn’t want to see a video that tells them welcome by name? I know that would have made me consider that college over the others,” Johnson said.

Along with the booklets, prospective students also receive additional communication pointing them to the next step in the acceptance process. The postcard designs provide students with information about student life at Trinity, financial aid, and the student blogs.

Director of Undergraduate Admissions Aaron Mahl said the project has been contributing towards meeting the admissions departments’ goals for this school year.

While the TIU “Talk It Up” student blogs are not directly related to the Student to Student Project, they are a resource that student workers and admissions counselors can point students toward for a continual look at life at Trinity from many different perspectives.

deposits at this time of year are not always indicative of where we will finish. Still, we are encouraged by the numbers we see and believe many of the initiatives that have grown out of the university’s strategic plan have helped us this year,” Mahl said.

Over the Christmas season, student workers also sent out Christmas cards to their prospective students as another personal touch point.

Along with the Student to Student Project, Mahl believes a more user-friendly website, scholarship amount changes, and a better communication flow have contributed to their increasing deposit totals.

Although the project only started in October, it has already shown success with transfer students. Ana-Claudia Palomino started as a transfer student at Trinity this spring semester, after being connected with Menke through the Student to Student Project. Palomino heard about Trinity’s Deerfield campus after her father was invited to teach at TEDS during the spring 2013 semester. After one semester at another university, she reconsidered Trinity as an option and was greatly helped in making her decision by her admissions counselor. “I liked all of it: letters, cards, and the video. All the small touches really do make a difference, but the video was probably one of the best things. Even my two friends who were with me when I saw it were impressed. We all got so excited,” she said. Palomino got to meet up with Menke after arriving at Trinity, an aspect of the project she found to be very beneficial. “The time I spent with her was very good for me in that I felt more assured about my choice. Moving from Florida was hard, but it has been good,” Palomino said. Similarly, Johnson had the opportunity to meet one of his prospective students at a Sneak Preview this year. Johnson believes the Student to Student Project truly helps bridge the gap between just considering Trinity and putting down a deposit to attend.

“We have seen a slight uptick in deposits from a year ago, but

Assistant Director of Admissions for Communications Nicole Powers believes this initiative gives current students a unique opportunity to help increase enrollment. “This project gives current students a chance to share their TIU stories with those interested in possibly joining the community. If a prospective student decides to attend TIU because they were excited about what they heard from current students—this project will be a success. At the end of the day, our goal is to enroll more students at TIU and this is just one way we hope to make that happen,” Powers said. Currently, the Student to Student project connects at least 350 students to the creative media assistants, but Westman said the number of accepted students is increasing every week.

Bethany Kemming is a senior English and English/Communications double major at TIU, originally from Andover, Minnesota. She also works part-time as a communication assistant in Trinity's communication office. SPRING 2013 | 11

Millions of Christians today recognize the term Arminianism as a label for a theological position or movement. Many of these

Christians are happy to own the label, while many others (especially with the recent rise of the “Young, Restless, and Reformed” movement) reject it as something that is, at best, incoherent nonsense or, at worst, dangerous and damnable heresy that steals God’s glory and destroys the gospel. Surprisingly, however, many of these Christians—defenders and detractors alike—know very little about Arminius or his theology. Not surprisingly, misunderstanding abounds. His own theology has been largely neglected in scholarly research, and some older scholarship has tended to misread his theology (viewing him as “Arminius the heretic,” “Arminius the saintly hero,” “Arminius the anti-scholastic ‘biblical’ theologian,” or “Arminius the anti-predestinarian”). The time is ripe for careful historical research and a reconsideration of his theology.

Searching for the H



A THEOLOGIAN’S LIFE Jacob Harmenzoon (later Latinized to “Jacobus Arminius”) was born sometime around 1559 in Oudewater, a small town in South Holland. He never knew his father (who had died around the time of his birth), and his early years were marked by turmoil and difficulty. He studied at Utrecht, then at Marburg—where he learned that the Spanish army had invaded his hometown and that his mother and much of his family had been killed. He continued his studies at Leiden and then at Geneva, where he was trained by John Calvin’s successor, Theodore Beza. Highly recommended by Beza, in 1588 he returned to his homeland to minister in the Dutch Reformed Church as a pastor in Amsterdam. In 1590 he married Lijsbet Reael, and soon after they were blessed with children. When the plague came through the Netherlands


(1601–1602), it ravaged the theological faculty of Leiden University. The university then came to Arminius and asked him to serve as professor of theology. At Leiden he became more heavily embroiled in theological controversy that had begun while he was a pastor (the most famous point of controversy remains the doctrine of predestination). Finally, in 1609 matters reached the point where a conference was called to further investigate. Arminius faced off against his colleague Franciscus Gomarus, but the onset (or return) of tuberculosis forced him to leave early. He returned to his home, set his house in order, prayed with his loved ones, and then passed from this life (19 October 1609) as a Reformed minister in good standing.

A PASTORAL & SCHOLASTIC PROTESTANT Arminius was at once a biblical, scholastic, and pastoral theologian. With respect to the authority of Scripture, Arminius does not differ from his Reformed colleagues: the Bible is the “infallible word of God” that contains “all theological truth.” He was also deeply grounded in the Christian tradition, and his biblical commentaries and theological treatises are replete with citations from the fathers (including Tertullian, Origen, Hilary, Ambrose, Chrysostom, John of Damascus, and, above others, Augustine) and scholastic doctors (preeminently, Thomas Aquinas) of the church. Among Reformers and contemporaries, he engages not only with the works of Reformed theologians such as John Calvin, Theodore Beza, Heinrich Bullinger, Franciscus Junius, and William Perkins, but also with the theologies of Lutherans such as Philip Melanchthon and Niels Hemmingsen and Catholics such as Francisco Suarez and Luis de Molina. The scholastic character of his work is obvious in the style as well as in the rigorously logical character of his theological arguments (he even worked out a system of modal logic).




But the scholastic style of Arminius’s theology should not distract us from the intensely pastoral nature of his theology. His theology is worked out in conscious awareness of real—and very pressing—pastoral concerns. For instance, his teaching on the perseverance and assurance of the believer is strongly oriented around pastoral issues. For he was concerned that the “standard” Reformed accounts of his time led to either a false sense of security or a deep sense of utter despair. These two “fiery darts of Satan” are the two “pests of religion and of souls.” On one hand, he was very concerned that the doctrines of unconditional election and irresistible grace produced a kind of carelessness in the Christian life when combined with a doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. After all, some

of his people wondered, if I am among the elect and thus the recipient of this irresistible grace that guarantees salvation, then I can’t do anything to forfeit such salvation. So why should I be worried or concerned about the sin that remains in my life? On the other hand, Arminius also was deeply concerned about the opposite problem. When he visited people to offer comfort and pastoral care as they were dying from the plague, he found them in spiritual agony and despair. They were despairing because they believed the doctrines of unconditional election (and its corollary about reprobation or damnation), irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints. They knew that if saving grace comes to a sinner, then it comes irresistibly. They also knew that SPRING 2013 | 13

“For at just the point when his people most needed confidence and assurance, they were left to wonder if God had given them genuine but temporary faith rather than final and saving faith.” if it comes, then it produces real change in the life of the sinner. But they were also aware of remaining sin in their lives—and aware as well of the Reformed doctrine of temporary faith (faith that is genuine and thus from God, but faith that is not lasting and thus not saving). Their awareness that they might be among those who have merely temporary faith (rather than final saving faith), when combined with their own sense of sin and realization of their own inability, produced deep despair in the lives of Arminius’ people. His pastoral concerns were real, and they were

The impact of Jacob Arminius’ thought throughout the West, along with the appeal of his ideas in current Protestant evangelical spheres, continue to attract both scholarly and popular attention. Keith D. Stanglin and Thomas H. McCall’s Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace offers a constructive synthesis of the current state of Arminius studies. The authors seek to bridge the scholarly and general discussions, providing an account based on interaction with all the primary sources and latest secondary research that will be helpful to the scholar as well as comprehensible and relevant to the lay reader.

strong. For at just the point when his people most needed confidence and assurance, they were left to wonder if God had given them genuine but temporary faith rather than final and saving faith. In other words, Arminius was convinced that they were left to wonder


about both their own spiritual state and about the character and nature of God.

A THEOLOGY OF THE GOODNESS OF GOD AND THE GOSPEL OF GRACE As a biblical, scholastic, and pastoral theologian, Arminius was deeply committed to the display of God’s glory. At the same time, however, he was a classical theist who was convinced that God’s glory and our good are not at odds. Concerning the glory of God, he was utterly insistent upon the reality and beauty of the sheer and unfathomable goodness of God. God “is the best; that is, he is the first and highest good and goodness itself, and he alone is good, as good as goodness itself, ready to communicate it as far as can be communicated; his great liberality is matched by the treasures he possesses… He is the greatest, and he alone is great.” Within the simplicity of the triune life (God has no “parts” or “pieces”), God is absolutely good, reliably good, and even necessarily good. Because God is good (and nothing else), we have assurance that creation is communication of goodness; it is God’s action to share his goodness so that creatures in his image may know and love him. Thus there can be no room for any doctrine of creation for damnation. Because God is goodness within the simplicity of his own life, there is no

possibility of contradictory divine wills (whereby one will of God desires for the salvation of all but the other will of God decrees the damnation of creatures). Because God is good, we can be sure that God is not the author of sin; nor does he make sin inevitable or necessary for humans. Sin is whatever is against God; it is rebellion against God. But sin is pervasive, and it is powerful.

It is sufficient for our justification; it removes our guilt and makes us legally righteous. And it is sufficient as well for our sanctification, for by his grace God truly cleanses his people and makes them ready for heaven.


Arminius is a serious theologian—and he has been seriously overlooked. Whether or not one “Maybe a sharper understanding of the issues and agrees with every point of his theology the controversies will help all of us appreciate better (or the exegesis or argumentation supporting it), and whether or not one those with whom we may disagree.” agrees that the Reformed theologians at the Synod of Dordt (1619) were correct Although Arminius is sometimes castigated as to place “Arminian” theology outside the boundaries a “Pelagian” (or “semi-Pelagian”), such a label of acceptable theology, Christians who retain interest is historically inaccurate, for he recognized in these debated issues would do well to understand the blinding and binding power of sin as well the theology of Arminius better. Maybe a sharper as the utter necessity of grace. As Arminius understanding of the issues and the controversies put it, “I ascribe to God’s grace the origin, the will help all of us appreciate better those with whom continuance, and the fulfillment of all good, we may disagree. Perhaps a better understanding even so far as the regenerate person himself, of Arminius will help us all to see that one need without this prevenient and stimulating, not be “anti-Reformed” to be non-Reformed or that following and cooperating grace, can neither “Arminians” might not be a grave threat to Christian think, nor will, nor do good, nor also resist any orthodoxy. Maybe it will remind us of the vast tracts of evil temptation.” Following the Augustinian common ground held by Christians on various “sides” tradition of emphasis on the prevenience of of these issues, of the need for mutual understanding, grace, Arminius insisted that only God’s action and of the importance of charity. Maybe it will remind can make salvation even possible—and only us of the possibility that we might be mistaken—and God can save. Following what he took to be that these issues might not be the most important the scriptural and traditional emphasis on the theological matters. And perhaps it will even enable sufficiency of grace, Arminius taught that grace us to see better our own sinfulness—and at the same is sufficient for the salvation of all and indeed time the greatness and goodness of the triune God. is intended for all by God (the tragic reality is that some people freely reject this grace, but they do so against God’s intention). Thomas H. McCall is associate professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School as well as the director of the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding. His latest book (co-authored with Keith D. Stanglin) is Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace (Oxford University Press, 2012).

SPRING 2013 | 15


CCDA members from the Trinity community and beyond gather together for prayer and praise.

Over 130 ministry representatives met on January 31 for a time of worship and networking as part of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA).

TIU held its first Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on January 21 with several workshops, ceremonies, and a performance from the Trinity Community Choir, composed of faculty, staff, and students.

TIU and CCDA have had an institutional partnership for the past three years. Mosaic Ministries Coordinator Daniel Hartman and Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life  Heather Rosenberg oversee the CCDA chapter at Trinity. They collaborate  with CCDA and local churches to encourage spiritual formation of students and community ministry at Trinity.

“We really wanted this day to be a time where we could remember the work that Dr. King did as something that was not just for African Americans. Instead, his message of freedom was for all people. We hoped to get that across as much as possible within this day of celebration,” Coordinator of Minority Student Engagement Joi McGowan said.

The evening began with a time of prayer and worship led by the Postured for Praise worship team from  The Sign of the Dove Church in Waukegan. This was followed by a time of introductions and an overview of Christian Community Development led by CCDA Chicagoland Regional Coordinator Bethany Dudley. Pastor of Lawndale Community Church “Coach”  Wayne Gordon spoke on how to partner well across the divides of the world for more effective ministry. Attendees interacted with the text of Isaiah 65:17–24 throughout the evening, circling key words that spoke of resurrected life on the new earth.


Jan Victor

During the opening ceremony, which followed a lunch sponsored by the Evangelical Free Church of America, three Trinity professors focused on various aspects of Dr. King’s mission: Interim Dean of TEDS and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology Peter Cha spoke about reconciliation; Associate Professor of New Testament Dana Harris covered the issue of equality; and Associate Professor of Christian Ministries Michael Reynolds addressed the topic of justice. The remainder of the day saw various workshop presentations from staff and faculty from across the university and a concluding ceremony where attendees received a charge to be agents of reconciliation in the community and were invited to sign a commitment to that end. Following that, University Chaplain Scott Samuelson lead a communion service.

Trinity has seen several of its online strategies begin to take shape this year, which will provide students with more flexible, accessible, accelerated, and affordable ways to complete their degrees.


Work is underway to rewrite most of the existing online courses for TEDS, with two becoming available by spring 2014.

The beginning of this academic year saw the arrival of a much-needed full-time director of career services. Jan Victor came to Trinity with a wealth of experience in the corporate world having worked as a performance consultant, coach, and trainer for clients such as Citigroup, Moody Bible Institute, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and others. Additionally she is certified in Ken Blanchard’s 6.4 faith-based leadership program, Lead Like Jesus, and numerous other training tools and assessments.

Trinity Graduate School launched its MEd in Diverse Learning as a hybrid program this spring semester, and the MA in Bioethics has recently received approval to begin offering its degree in a hybrid-online format, which will be available fall 2013. Distinctive tracks that will be offered online are being added to the undergraduate programs of Business, Christian Ministries, and Psychology, and during the next academic year (2013–2014), all General Education requirements can be fulfilled via online courses. In addition, during this next year, TIU will be looking to begin work on offering complete undergraduate and graduate degrees through distance education.



The Career Services Office (CSO) exists to serve all of TIU’s students and alumni by offering services that address career exploration, identification, and acquisition. By offering the support and resources necessary to move forward in their professional, ministerial, and/or academic life calling (such as help with writing or securing internships), CSO strives to offer students a holistic approach that integrates professional career development with one-on-one personal care.

“Genesis 1 shows us that God’s creative work from the very beginning demonstrates the power of his Word. Until God spoke, nothing existed. . . . If we lose sight of the fact that the power is in the proclamation of the Word, rather than in the images projected and the effects created, then all we have created is an aesthetic moment.”



Chair of the Old Testament and Semitic Languages Department Associate Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“In Jesus’ perfect humanity, He reveals to us the image of God restored, the image of what we were intended to be, what we are becoming, and what one day we will fully be. To understand God’s intentions for humanity, we need to look at Jesus, not ourselves.”

DANA M. HARRIS Assistant Professor of New Testament Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Anything that tarnishes the image of God in an individual, in any way, must be confronted biblically by believers.”

NOEL CASTELLANOS CEO of the Christian Community Development Association

Jesus says, “The evidence of whether you heard what I’ve said is that you actually do what I’ve said.”

MARK LABBERTON President-Elect Fuller Theological Seminary

“The Holy Spirit sees life ahead, covers us in our distresses, rescues us from clear and present danger, and secures our future in God. And that, my friends, is something to be celebrated.”

CHARLIE DATES Senior Pastor, Progressive Baptist Church of Chicago



How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity. ~ Psalm 133:1 ~ Community is a word that is often thrown around in Christian circles today. We speak easily of how the Spirit gathers us into community and how a Christ-centered community has the power to shape and transform us. We greet one another as “brother” or “sister” or “friend.” I suspect, however, that what many of us practice is not Christian community at all. It is something much less, something more akin to pseudocommunity. Now, to be sure, pseudo-community has its appeal. It demands little of us, providing the illusion of unity without a high level of commitment or expectations. We present the best versions of ourselves but do not trust one another with the parts that are unfinished or as yet unredeemed. When those parts do emerge and our life together gets messy, it is much easier to ignore the awkwardness, withdraw, or subtly complain. The lack of established roots leaves our relationships shallow and our life together easily uprooted. Yet Jesus Christ calls us into something altogether different: “Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose” (1 Cor. 1:10). Through the words of his apostle, he invites us into authentic community where we rely daily on the strength of the Spirit and where unity is forged by pursuing the hard work of forgiveness. He knows that we bring into relationships not only our passions and strengths but our sin, our hurts, and our pride. When people inevitably get hurt due to conflict, disappointment, and even betrayal, the Spirit calls us to enter into the chaos and dares us to practice the fruit with which he has promised to bless us. Such sacred work leads us to the cross, where our sin is exposed and God’s mercy lavished. If we are willing to be led to the cross together and emptied of agendas and resentments, the Spirit will show us a way forward that honors one another well and demonstrates the beauty of our Lord. Whether your community is found in a church, on a campus, or in a neighborhood, may God bless you with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. May we make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. And may Christ be made known to this world in the ways we humble ourselves and honor our brothers and sisters each day.

Grace & Peace,

SCOTT SAMUELSON (MDIV ’98) University Chaplain SPRING 2013 | 17


“O, irmão!” Oh, my brother! “O, querido!” Oh, my dear one! That was me calling out down the road to Rafael, and his response back. CONPLEI 2012 was over. We were cleaning up. What was CONPLEI 2012? One veteran American missionary described it as part festival, conference, and county fair. Maybe that’s what’s bound to burst forth when you gather some two thousand indigenous evangelicals from across Latin America, thrust them together with leaders of the Brazilian church, and invite them to camp-out high on the western plateau of Brazil’s rugged, majestic savannah, in the exact center of Latin America. At what was more formally termed a “congress,” a shindig broke out this past July, complete with accordions and guitars, body paint and feathers, and fevered fellowship. It was the seventh such congress and the largest gathering in history of Latin America’s indigenous evangelical Christians. CONPLEI—the Portuguese acronym for the National Council of Indigenous Evangelical Pastors and Leaders—has, in its two-decade history, achieved something entirely unprecedented: it has through its partnering with sixteen evangelical agencies and myriad churches brought into union many of the most ancient and isolated peoples of the hemisphere, folk keeping faith with venerable tribal traditions yet now offering themselves in faith to Christ. From eighty-one ethnic groups and fourteen nations came the conferees, spending five days and nights in a festa of exhortation, instruction, and celebration. As a student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the early 1990s I had not only studied the history of evangelicalism, I had tasted it, in if not quite “all,” at least much of its indescribable variety. Trinity, it became clear to me, was seeking earnestly to realize the grand hope of deep, wide, and lively Christian union, the kind of union Christ envisioned in John 17 as he moved toward the cross. It’s a union that has, in the two decades since my time at TEDS, blossomed with yet more vibrancy, at Trinity and beyond. The largest part of that beyond lies in the Global South—including Brazil, where the electrifying growth of evangelical Protestantism was this past summer in vivid display at this remarkable and unprecedented congress. 18 | TRINITY MAGAZINE

It’s the joy that will warm and color my memories, the joy that suffuses as true union catches fire. To cite a phrase I heard several conferees using, CONPLEI is um pedaçinho do céu—a little piece of heaven. Taste this, and you’ll see.

Our team of twenty-one had arrived a week prior to the conference’s start to set up temporary lighting and plumbing, immediate needs for the AMMI Training Center at which the conference was held. AMMI (the Hebrew word for “my people”) is a Bible institute for indigenous believers owned by the South America Mission and operated in relationship with several other agencies, including CONPLEI. Its capacity is 60–70 students. The limitations of the site notwithstanding, AMMI’s director, Dan Snyder, was inspired to make the offer to host the congress while attending the previous one, held in Manaus, Amazonas, in 2008. In the hectic lead-up to that conference it seems that the churches that had signed on to provide food for the 1,600 attendees had backed out. In the midst of the disarray, one Pastor Sato, an Assemblies of God minister, stepped up and gathered a team of cooks from churches up and down the Amazon. He divided them into teams and named them for the fruits of the Spirit; as they changed shifts, Love, Joy, and Peace sang and prayed together before parting. Taking in the beauty of their service, Dan put AMMI forward as a possible next venue. CONPLEI accepted. Pastor Sato’s team of fifty, having pledged to do the cooking again four years later, arrived at AMMI to much rejoicing, whoops erupting as they got off the bus. By that time our team had strung hundreds of yards of wire, outfitted privies, erected showers, and placed dozens of freshly painted signs around the center. During the conference we helped serve the food, so I will myself bear witness: the fruit of the Spirit was tasty indeed. Dan’s hunch was dead on.

The conference began in the midst of a strong cold front that had dropped the day-time highs from the 90s into the 60s, with night breezes dipping the temperatures toward the 40s: a chill against which the hundreds of Amazonian hammocks—and bodies—offered little resistance. Still, the general spirit was warm. The congress was commemorating the 100th anniversary of the evangelical outreach to the Indians of Brazil, and the people to which these missionaries had first come—the Terena, of southwestern Brazil—set the tone with their opening ceremonial dance. Accompanied by flutes and drums, they proclaimed that “Thanks to God, we are transformed,” and are now “one family in Christ Jesus.” This, they confessed, was a source of great alegria—the Portuguese word for a deep happiness heading toward joy. When CONPLEI’s soft-spoken, astute president of the past ten years, Henrique Dias Terena, later announced, in full headdress, that each night there would be singing and dancing until midnight, the message could not have been clearer: This would be no western-styled “congress” filled with furrowed brows and straight-laced delegations. No, this was an invitation to reverent jubilation.

Indeed, as he later told me, one of the stated objectives of the conference was to “draw everyone into celebration of the evangelistic outreach to Brazil’s indigenous peoples,” as well as to spur on what CONPLEI calls “the third wave” of missions to the tribal peoples: the first having been comprised of foreigners, the second of Brazilians, and the third of the indigenous themselves. It was a celebration and a mission that clearly required bodies to move. And move they did—and do.

A tight, loud worship band featuring a Brazilian style of country rock is playing after the final session of the second day—drums, accordions, guitars, and many voices. I wander up to the stage to find not just the band but a cloud of dust, in the middle of which are a hundred or so youth, mainly indigenous but also some Americans and Brazilians, hopping and clapping and dancing and shouting. The message of the songs is as basic as the music. Voce é o meu irmão no Senhor!—“You are my brother in the Lord!”—a gleeful cry, shouted over and over. I take it in from a few paces back, enjoying the joy. Then one of the teenagers turns just as the chorus comes around again, looks me in the eye, and sings, “You are my brother in the Lord!” I have no choice. I break into the free form line dance, hopping, singing, and, eventually, sweating. The three waves converge into one, splashing wildly in a heavenly sea. The celebration of union reaches its dramatic apex on the Saturday night of the conference, when two peoples who had long been enemies come together publicly to declare their recently achieved peace. The Suruí and the Zoró had arrived together in three packed busloads, a fifteen-hour journey from the northwest. It was quite a contrast to what had taken place at the congress four years before, when a few from each tribe had warily sized each other up, the Zoró finding it especially difficult to believe that any Suruí were truly Christians. As one of the indigenous Suruí missionaries shared with our group, the animosity between the tribes had been such that avenging one death with another death had long been a civic obligation. The Zoró had begun to come to Christ first, and after the 2008 congress the Suruí believers resolved to take the initiative to visit a Zoró village, a decision met with enormous trepidation by the Suruí chief. He had himself recently lost family in the ongoing conflict, and he made it clear that the pastor leading the endeavor would have to pay the price should anything go awry. It did not. Several of the villages began, with evident, miraculous determination, to make amends, coming together regularly for worship and instruction—a union made sweeter by the fact that the tribes had long ago been one, and so were speakers of a common tongue and possessors of a common, if distant, heritage. One afternoon I hear a “reunion” being announced for the peopleSPRING of these 2013 | 19 two tribes and, indeed, “reunion” turns out to be a keyword of the conference. Trying one day to track someone down, I duck onto a porch, only to be


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shushed away because a “reunion” is taking place between a veteran missionary and several old friends. There is even a reunion one evening between a father and his little boy. The father, it seems, was so given over to dancing that his son had lost him in the crowd. When with the child on stage the situation is announced to the dancing throng below, everyone bursts into laughter. Alegria! Alegria! It’s the very picture of joy.

Yet amidst the boisterous celebration of union comes this other boldly announced theme: Distinction. “We have lived with the gospel for one hundred years,” one speaker shouts, to many cheers, “and we have not stopped being Terena!” Henrique Dias Terena, as is the norm, takes as his surname the name of his tribe. He concludes his presidential address with a telling quotation from a previous conference: I can become who you are without ceasing to be who I am. These are precious identities, grounded in precious practices, not to be tossed easily aside in the call to unity. During one evening session a group of Terena women, young and old, perform a dance. Following the performance Henrique quietly exults, remarking on the great joy it brought him to see his own mother dancing before the congress. Throughout CONPLEI, the Indians not only wear their finest, most distinctive handcrafted goods, they also bring them to sell, which in fact happens with enormous success; by the conference’s end hundreds are walking around with beautiful, bright feathered ear rings, elaborate necklaces made from colorful seeds, and rings carved from coconut. One afternoon about half of our team goes in for body paint, rectangular designs artfully banding forearms and calves. Among the painted are women who in normal life would likely see tattoos as a stain. But here, the appeal of exotic, ancient particularity crashes through. The most eloquent apologists I come across for this cherished particularity are four delegates from New Zealand affiliated with Youth with a Mission; three of them are Maori, a people that migrated to New Zealand from Hawaii centuries ago; the fourth is a Brazilian serving in New Zealand. One evening they venture over to thank through song and word the various Americans serving as support staff during the conference, and as they sing we’re overwhelmed by their graciousness and their art. When we ask why they bother, in a highly modern, urban environment, to maintain their historic particularity, Ray Totorewa, their leader, explains that the Maori “walk into the future backwards,” fiercely holding on to their stories, their genealogies, their ways amidst the synchronizing, homogenizing pressures. “The only way to know who you are is to know where you’ve come from,” he explains. Their Brazilian colleague, a thoughtful man named Olegário, chimes in with some reflections on the Genesis account of the mass expulsion from Babel. In Olegário’s thinking, Babel became the providentially opened pathway to a renewed understanding of our infinitely intricate Creator God. “If you lose your identity, how am I going to get to know the face of God from the Americans?” he asks. “This is why identity is so important—as families, as nations, as individuals. We need your diversity,” he implores.

This is diversity conceived as a gift to be both guarded and shared: I can become who you are, without ceasing to be who I am. This is diversity conceived as a gift to be both guarded and shared: I can become who you are, without ceasing to be who I am. Somehow, the guarding is bound up in the sharing. Somehow, the sharing only enhances the brilliance and beauty of the particular, as it comes to be seen not as a possession so much as a reflection, a reflection of the One in whom we are always living, and moving, and having our being. Even when we find ourselves in the middle of South America, wearing body paint.

But make no mistake: the primary longing here is for unity—and not just of spirit but of purpose. On the third night of the conference a Bolivian pastor of the Chiquitano people is the main speaker, so 20 | TRINITY MAGAZINE

animated that my wife, viewing the video feed from the States, surmises that a pair of comedians is sharing the stage: the Bolivian speaking in tandem with the man translating his rapid-fire Spanish into Portuguese. A leader of CONPLEI’s sister Bolivian organization, the pastor takes as his text 1 Peter 2, where the church is identified as a “holy nation.” No one in Latin America, he observes, thinks of the indigenous as anything like a true nation, let alone a holy one. To most, the indigenous are merely “behind,” a judgment, he notes with great feeling, that has brought much “pain in the heart” to his people, who have been “forgotten, rejected, and believed to be unworthy of any special effort or assistance.” Yet, he insists, “we indigenous people live in community,” working together, fishing together, “eating from the same plate.” Even when they were far from Christ they “practiced life in union.” But now “we’re all forming one line, eating the same food—and it’s good food!” With indigenous peoples in the audience from not just Brazil and Bolivia but Peru, Columbia, Paraguay, Ecuador, and beyond, his charge rings out across the nations: “Let us continue to learn to work together!” The work conplei aims to continue and complete is grand indeed: “In every people a genuinely indigenous Christian church” is the slogan seen and heard everywhere. Henrique, with quiet confidence, insists that such basic, bedrock unity of mission is possible, is in fact already being realized, as CONPLEI’S third wave strives to reach the estimated ninety tribes in Brazil who have yet to be touched by the gospel, at a time when 25 percent of the total indigenous population of 650,000 is believed to be evangelical, a growth of more than 40 percent since 2000. The churches CONPLEI is planting are known only by the name of the tribe—the “evangelical Terena church,” for example. CONPLEI’s eight-point declaration of faith is as basic as the Apostle’s Creed, carefully leaving to the side the theological controversies that had become points of division under the influence of “first wave” missionaries, foreigners who transplanted exotic European and American disputes into the nascent indigenous churches. CONPLEI’s aim is to nurture churches and forms of theological education that are, in Henrique’s words, “closer to indigenous realities.” “We want to do all we can,” he says, “to diminish this theological tension that exists in the world today.” “I think we have a good opportunity to help non-indigenous churches find their way back to this time of breaking bread, of sitting together. And when this happens, I think we’ll be able to journey along together in a far better way.” At the same time, Henrique warns against the regnant romantic perception of the indigenous, which he sees as one of the chief challenges CONPLEI faces—paradoxically so, as such romanticism exists insidiously alongside its dark twin, the deeply steeped cultural prejudices against the indigenous. In everyday Brazilian life “indigenous peoples are routinely mocked for their speech, dress, and culture” notes Larry Rohter in his book Brazil on the Rise, “sometimes referred to as ‘bagres,’ the name of a particularly ugly type of catfish that feeds on refuse.” Sentimentality and its vicious underside have yielded a spiritual destruction that has made the healing presence of the gospel all the more sweet, and psychologically necessary. “The problem of romanticism is not going to go away,” Henrique acknowledges. “But we can hope to diminish it a little.” Fifty friends and family members were staying in his very modest house during the conference—I know this firsthand because I bumped into several of them while trying to address a maintenance issue of the exact sort one

would expect to arise in such conditions. There was nothing romantic about this problem, nor about the living arrangements that spawned it. But there was, undeniably, a beauty present, an earthy beauty born of warmth and love, and multiplied by time. It was a beauty reflected most profoundly in the closing event of the congress: the wedding of two conplei missionaries, followed by the collective celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Henrique, presiding over the ceremony, reminded all that “marriage was born in the heart of the Lord.” It’s a keen attunement to the reality of this deepest union, this anchor of human history, that these ancient, renewed people have to offer—and offer it they do, abundantly.

I confess that I myself arrived at AMMI primed for union—for re-union. My parents were for thirty years missionaries in Brazil, planting six churches in this part of the country. I lived there for four of those years and hadn’t been back since I was nineteen, twenty-six years past. AMMI was simply a camp under construction back then, with a small house, a concrete soccer court, a pavilion, and an outdoor bathroom. We didn’t need anything more, the MKs who lived it up on retreats there, sleeping in hammocks and talking deep into the night. Amazingly, six from our generation ended up at CONPLEI, including four who now work in South America as missionaries, two at AMMI. The reunion I had—with people, with place—was sweeter than I can say. But there’s a deeper and sweeter union in the making. As history winds up for its grand, improbable conclusion, perhaps, in magnificent irony, the family of faith will be led out of time and into eternity by these ancient people—the despised and rejected receiving the place of honor, the last turning into the first, the colonized showing the colonizers the way. Perhaps these dear ones, these queridos, are, in the end, the final incarnate answer to Christ’s great prayer that we, too, may be one. If our indigenous brothers and sisters do lead the way, though, rest assured: the other waves will come crashing right behind.

Eric Miller (MA/CT ’94) is professor of history at Geneva College (Beaver Falls, Penn.). His most recent book, Glimpses of Another Land: Political Hopes, Spiritual Longings, has just been published by Cascade Books. Photos: Wycliffe Global Alliance / Elyse Patten SPRING 2013 | 21



ebruary 17, 1998, changed the path of John (BA ’83, MA ’86) and Bonnie Nystrom’s Bible translation ministry in Papua New Guinea forever. An earthquake on the north coast region caused a tsunami, wiping out an entire village. Yet John and Bonnie describe this tsunami as the “hinge in their history,” revealing God’s greater plan for their work in the midst of tragedy. John and Bonnie shared their story of God’s work through their book Sleeping Coconuts, published in 2012 by Wycliffe Bible Translators. The Nystroms had been translating the Bible for the Arop people since 1988. John graduated from TEDS with a MA in New Testament in 1986 and they arrived in Papua New Guinea in August of 1987 as members of Wycliffe working at SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) International, Wycliffe’s primary strategic partner in the area. The Nystroms were 300 miles away from the tsunami when it happened, visiting the National Translation Center in the highlands. They heard about the tsunami wiping away the entire Arop village the morning after it happened, leaving the tall coconut trees dramatically bent in all sorts of odd angles (called locally “sleeping coconuts”). “I knew instantly God had been preparing me for that day for 10 years,” Bonnie said. Before the tsunami, several translators approached the Nystroms, seeking their help with translation of other languages to the east and west of their location. The Nystroms had told them it wasn’t possible, because the standard procedure was always to do Bible translation through one language, one team at a time. After the tsunami, they reconsidered and started to question why they hadn’t been helping the other villages with language translation. They sent out the news that they wanted to work with two other languages. “After the tsunami we went from ‘there’s no way we can help these people,’ to, ‘we have to find a way to help these people,’” John said. 22 | TRINITY MAGAZINE

There was more in store for them, however, as they were approached by an additional eight translators seeking help for eight other languages. Since three languages pushed them

out of their comfort zone originally, the idea of eleven seemed ridiculous at first, but they stepped forward in faith. Because of the tsunami, many Papua New Guineans wanted to learn more about who God was and why tragedies happened. “We knew if we said no to them, it could be generations before somebody else could come and help them with a Bible translation in other languages,” John said. At the same time they began this larger project, John’s health began to decline, greatly decreasing the amount of help he was able to contribute. Even with this additional challenge, they said they saw the Lord working as the other Arop translators began teaching new translators. John said his inabilities became an opportunity for other translators, Papua New Guineans, to take leadership in the project. After they said yes to helping with the additional projects, the Nystroms saw the Lord provide everything they needed to make the projects possible, including equipment, facilities, translators and a plan. John said watching this great change unfold became the impetus for writing their book Sleeping Coconuts.

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The Nystroms both said their experiences at Trinity greatly helped prepare them for this journey in their lives. Bonnie audited several classes while working as a secretary in the admissions office at Trinity, including a class on spiritual warfare taught by Timothy Warner, where he taught that “prayer is striking the winning blow against the concealed enemy. Service is just gathering up the results of that blow in the people that we see and touch every day.” This truth helped prepared her for the tragedy of the tsunami. The amount of prayer and notes of encouragement they were receiving from around the world was so great that it was disproportionate to the size of the tragedy, Bonnie said, and they knew God was going to do something great through it. John credited his Greek exegesis classes with Dr. D. A. Carson as wonderful preparation for the translation work. “You have to get the meaning right before you figure out how you’re going to say that in another language—I’m still using that education all the time,” he said.

Currently, John and Bonnie are living in Seminole, Florida, to be near family. John is still working with translators through live video as a translation and computing consultant. His biggest challenge is keeping up with the translators in Papua New Guinea. In 2011, they published the Gospel of Luke in nine different languages. This year they will publish the Book of Acts and are currently working on 1 and 2 Timothy, which they hope to see published next summer. Bonnie is on a speaking tour with Wycliffe and serves on a SIL International board and the JAARS, Inc. board (a mostly transportation-support non-profit organization), which is also affiliated with SIL International. They hope to return to Papua New Guinea for the months of June and July this year, and return annually after that. PHOTO: Sam Jacobs

SPRING 2013 | 23

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My time at Trinity has been a tremendous blessing. I have received an excellent education from outstanding professors, been able to take on numerous leadership positions, and met friends with whom I will forever stay in touch. For all these reasons, I have decided that while I am still a student, I am going to make my first contribution to the Trinity Fund and encourage my classmates to do the same, so that future Trinity students can have the chance to experience all the blessings that Trinity has to offer. I was able to attend Trinity because of the generosity of many people, and now I am excited to help others in the same way. This gift certainly won’t be big in the financial sense, but it is a start! Samantha Willer, BA ’13, Biology/Pre-Med

People like you help provide more than $12 million in scholarships—in amounts ranging from $1 to $100,000 and beyond—for the neediest and most capable Trinity students every year. On behalf of students like Samantha, we would be grateful for your part in this effort. 24 | TRINITY MAGAZINE

From the Office of Alumni & Community Relations If you have not been to the alumni website,, in a while, be sure to check it out. In December we launched a redesign that has been garnering positive feedback. There is a lot of great content for you on the site, along with a few new features such as Tuesday Trinity Trivia, a weekly trivia game featuring questions with answers that can be found somewhere on — sort of an online scavenger hunt, if you will. Also new to the site is an online store where you can purchase Trinity gear. The online store, which can be accessed from the main page of TrinityTown or by visiting, launched earlier this spring. There are currently over 20 products available to choose from, but we are always interested in adding more of the items you desire. Visit the store and let us know what you think by clicking on the feedback link found on the rotating banner on the site. Once you have your new Trinity gear, don’t forget to send us a picture of you for inclusion in the Trinity Travels photo album on TrinityTown. Your Alumni and Community Relations team has also been busy developing a new pastoral development initiative. The initiative aims to create an environment where alumni in ministry can be restored, refreshed, and resourced with the goal of expanding upon a culture of sustainability in ministry. It has been compared to building an aircraft carrier where pastors are the pilots and Trinity is the place where they can return to in order to get refueled before heading back out on their mission. Potential outcomes of the initiative might include connecting alumni in ministry with one another for the purposes of establishes personal networks, developing pastoral retreat opportunities, and resourcing ministry initiatives in order to help the local church flourish under the direction of Trinity alumni. Last, but not least, I would like to introduce you to two new members of the Alumni & Community Relations team. Michael Gorsline (BA ’07) joined the team recently as the assistant director, and Jayma Mosher has come on board as the administrative assistant for the department. Both of them bring years of experience in education to the table. The team is here to serve you, and to serve as a liaison between you and the University. Please do not hesitate to let us know how we can be of service. Sincerely,

Ryan Finnelly Senior Director of Alumni & Community Relations

Save the Date 25 | TRINITY MAGAZINE


Wrigley Field, Chicago, Ill. May 18, 2013


Target Field, Minneapolis, Minn. July 19, 2013

In Memoriam:

Pictures from left to right: Carl Lange, Robert Wenz, Edwin Frizen, James Ferry, Douglas Carew, Stuart Hackett, Annette Andersen



(MDiv ’60), at age 78, passed away March 20, 2012, at the Harry S. Truman Veterans Hospital in Columbia, Mo. After graduating from Trinity, Jack received an MA in Church Ministries from Wheaton Graduate School. As a chaplain, Jack served in several states, and made two tours of duty in Vietnam. He retired in 1985 as lieutenant commander, but continued serving in churches in Illinois, California, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Missouri.


LANGE (BA ’66, MA ’96) passed away April 12, 2012. He was executive

director of Christian Haven Homes, Wheatfield, Ind., from 1971–88, pastored an EFC church in Rockford, Mich., and later directed an Alternative School in Greene Co, Ind., from 1994–02. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Evelyn, and four children, Eric, Craig, Tracey, and Brandon, as well as six grandchildren.


KENT (BA ’69) went to be with the Lord August 13, 2012. Shirley, who

went by Jean, went to Trinity Bible College and received a bachelor’s degree in theology. She later received a bachelor of arts degree in teaching and taught first and second grade at Tremont Grade School. She was a member of Delavan American Legion Auxiliary, Tazewell County Retired Teachers Association, and Delavan Baptist Church in Delavan, and also helped with the Awana Club. She also enjoyed spending time in her flower garden.


PERSCHBACHER (MA ’73, DMin ’82) passed away July

31, 2012. He was 79. Dr. Perschbacher had retired from Moody Bible Institute, where he taught Greek and other Bible classes for more than 30 years. He wrote several books and pastored at Huggard Bible Church in Sand Lake, Mich., Riverbend Bible Church in Grand Rapids, and Community Bible Church in Posen, Ill., as well as serving as interim pastor at several churches. He was a member of Suburban Bible Church in Highland, Ind., and a regular attendee at Evangelical Community Church when in Bloomington, Ind.


WENZ (MAR ’76) passed away in Colorado Springs on May 10, 2012,

after a long battle with lung disease. He was 62. Dr. Wenz served as the senior pastor of churches in Michigan, New York, California, and Maryland, during which time he also developed an international teaching and training ministry for national church pastors, serving in nearly 40 countries. He also for many years served as an active board member for the National Association of Evangelicals, taught courses in biblical studies, church history, preaching, and apologetics for undergraduate and graduate students at the King's College and Seminary (Colorado Springs location), and served as adjunct professor of philosophy at the Pikes Peak Community College. Dr. Wenz also authored several books and regularly contributed to Christianity Today, Life, and other publications.  26 | TRINITY MAGAZINE


FRIZEN, JR. (DMis ’81) went home to the Lord on December 22, 2012, after a period of illness and declining health. He was 87. While serving in the U.S. Navy Seabees during World War II, Dr. Frizen became heavily involved in the launch of an evangelistic program that was the beginning of SEND International. After serving in the Philippines, Jack and his wife, Grace, were placed on loan to the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association (IFMA) of North America, where he served as executive director from 1963–91 and consulting director from 1991–92. He served in many other ministry capacities in his lifetime and received many awards commemorating his work, most recently the Pioneers’ Lifetime Ministry Achievement Award in 2009.



(BA ’85) went home to be with the Lord on December 14, 2012, after battling melanoma for the past 10 months. Jim was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on November 11, 1962. He received his bachelor’s in accounting from Trinity and his MBA from Aurora University. He sang in various church praise bands, and shared his vocal talents at many weddings.


CAREW (PhD ’00) went to be with the Lord on November 9,

2012, during an official visit in the U.S. Dr. Carew was granted the PhD/THS with a concentration in Old Testament from TEDS in 2000. He was serving as vice chancellor for Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (Africa International University). A memorial website has been set up at


HACKETT passed away October 17, 2012, at home surrounded

by his family. He was 86 years old. Dr. Hackett taught philosophy of religion at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Ore., Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary in Denver, Louisiana College in Pineville, La., Wheaton College, and Trinity International University. He authored several books on philosophy, and greatly enjoyed playing, singing, and writing country music. Last but not least, he loved sharing his faith in Christ with others, often strangers.


ANDERSEN (BA ’60) went home to the Lord on January 31,

2013. Annette wanted any gifts to go to the two places that she believed had enriched her life the most: Trinity and The Orchard EFC, her home church since the late 60s. She met her first husband, Jim Lindgren (who died in 1976), at Trinity. She married Don Andersen in 1978. In a letter she wrote to her kids and grandkids, she added this simple but profound advice: to always remember “(1) Jesus; (2) Others; (3) Yourself.”


The Gustafson family recently attended the A.G. Gustafson Family Reunion in Aurora, Neb., in August 2012, which featured multiple generations of Trinity alumni. Shown in image (from left to right starting at the front row) are: Lisa Cooper Gustafson,  Bev Nyberg (BA ’71, MA ’77, and 2012’s alumna of the year), Len Sabourin (BA ’67), Jan Nyberg Sabourin, June Carlson Gustafson, Leone Seashore Gustafson, Doug Gustafson (BA ’75); second row, Mark Gustafson, Rebecca Detweiler Nyberg (MA ’82), Leanne Gustafson Morris (BA ’74), Marilyn Horton Gustafson, Debbie Gustafson Olson, Lynette Nyberg Neave (BA ’78), Denise Brower Gustafson; third row, Randy Gustafson, Neil Nyberg (BA ’74), Zach McDonald (BA ’10), Steve Morris, Steve Gustafson (BA ’71), Celeste Wendell Wells, Andrea Wendell Wheeler (BA ’76), and David Neave (BA ’78).

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SPRING 2013 | 27

2065 Half Day Road • Deerfield, IL 60015 847.945.8800 •

When Gary and Linda Olson moved back to the northwest suburbs of Chicago in the early 2000s, they resettled in to their familiar life of the Midwest, including active involvement in the local Lutheran church. It was there that they came to know of Trinity International University. For several years now, they’ve worshiped and served alongside a handful of Trinity professors and students, finding themselves “blessed by their teachings and commitment to Christ.” As a result of that consistent and meaningful interaction with Trinity folks, the Olsons decided to leave a portion of their estate to Trinity, becoming Kantzer Society members, which provides them with an opportunity to impact the world for the cause of Christ—the good news that God is making all things new and that people can rest assured that by grace through faith they too can take part in his work of making disciples. And that shared commitment to the gospel transcends denominational ties, according to the Olsons. “The Trinity people we’ve come to know handle God’s Word faithfully,” Gary says, “and I want to be sure that future generations will continue to hear that faithful preaching and teaching.”

The Evangelical Free Church of America has long said that Trinity is its gift to the evangelical world, and the Olson’s story embodies that fact. Despite the increasing trend to displace the centrality of God’s Word in many churches, the Olsons express trust in Trinity’s commitment to honor that Word, to not allow the authority of that Word be undermined by cultural opinion. From among Trinity’s professorial ranks, you’ll find numerous Protestant Christian traditions represented, and from among the student body, you’ll find almost the entire gamut of Christendom. But at its core, you’ll find a unity amidst all that diversity: a Christ-centered, biblically based, historically rooted, mission-focused, culturally minded, and socially aware institution that strives to educate men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning. For more information about gift planning with Trinity and creating a lasting legacy, please contact Ron Tollerud at (800) 445-8337 or visit our website at

Trinity Magazine (spring '13)  

Trinity Magazine exists to tell Trinity’s stories, to serve Trinity alumni and friends, and to connect the Trinity community.