Et Cetera is Regent College’s weekly paper of miscellany, featuring opinion, news, poetry, fiction and more. it Is published 24 times a year by the Regent College Student Association.

Editor | Matt Nelson
Copy Editor | Ed Smith

Fall Issue 5

Fall Issue 5

Contents

11 Reasons Why You Should Attend the Academic Symposium | Jeff Greenman
Church Lingo - Yay or Nay? | Gillian Chu
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day | Anonymous
Pacific Theatre Review: Smoke on the Mountain | Derek Witten
Sister Sophia's Advice Column
Five Books Recap: Part III
From the Kitchen | Kasey Kimball
Fire Stoked | Steve Berkenpas


11 Reasons Why You Should Attend the Academic Symposium | Jeff Greenman

  1. Some outstanding evangelical scholars and leaders are coming to campus to talk about really important topics. It’s a rare opportunity.
  2. The symposium is part of an historic day at Regent. Make history just by showing up.
  3. There is no homework involved. No tests. No papers. No gobbets. No DQ’s. No nothing.
  4. You can’t possibly have anything more interesting or spiritually enriching to do on a Saturday afternoon.
  5. Bruce Hindmarsh is going to find out which of his two interviewees, both famous evangelical scholars, are really the most evangelical.
  6. You should go just to hear if anyone mentions Plato’s “Symposium” which has lots of great stuff to say about love.
  7. You like theological books, and someone’s talking about whether theological books have any future whatsoever.
  8. You know where it is and how to get there. Regent. Chapel. Room 100. Not scary at all.
  9. It’s free. Surely the best price ever.
  10. Paul Spilsbury will be there wearing splendid socks. You don’t want to miss ‘em.
  11. Uncle Jeff invited you. Personally.

This symposium is a part of the installation of Jeff Greenman as the 5th president of Regent College. For more information on the symposium, please consult the Green Sheet or go to www.regent-college.edu

The most important things for you to remember are:

  • the Regent staff and faculty would love for youto come to the ceremony and symposium.
  • you need to RSVP for tickets to the ceremony and the lunch by Tuesday at 5pm. (tickets are free)
  • you should come to the Symposium, as it is for you!

The other key thing to know is that the building and the library will be closed all day on October 24 for the event. ‮


Church Lingo - Yay or Nay? | Gillian Chu

How often do you use the word "hallow"? What about "trespass"? And how does "unto" differ from the good ol' "to"? The King James Version continues to linger on, even though some of its vocabulary has fallen from daily use. Interestingly, these terms continue to live on as a sort of Biblical language, evoking religious thoughts rather than inferring the common meaning its translators were trying to get at back when it was translated.

The same issue goes with one of the most commonly used Chinese translation of the Bible. The Chinese Union Version (和合本 he2 he2 ben3), translated around 1919, contains many words that might have been commonly used back then, but are now disused or possess a different meaning. Nonetheless, this is the version that most of us grew up memorizing our verses in, so even though the language is dated, the translation is still irreplaceable. Here are a few samples of its quirks:

1. Sharing (交通 jiao1 tong4) now generally means the traffic on the road, though the term is still commonly used within the church setting to refer to sharing of thoughts, ideas, or feelings among Christians. Granted, sharing is somewhat like a moving traffic between Christians, but the use of this term does throw non-church goers off.

2. Eat (喫 chi4) in the Bible is a word that trips people up when they are reading the passage out loud. Although it possesses the same pronunciation as the modern day version of the word (吃 chi4), its complicated strokes often mislead those unfamiliar with the Bible to think that it should have a different pronunciation. It is especially confusing since this word is still commonly used in Japanese, referring to tea houses (喫茶店 kissaten), and Chinese do borrow some Japanese words when referring to situations specific to their culture.

3. As for cemeteries (墳塋 feng2 ying2), the first character is still frequently used; yet the second character, other than in the Bible, is nowhere to be seen. Not only is the pronunciation generally unknown, most people do not know what the character means. Apparently it can refer to burial grounds, but just by looking at the character itself, I would have associated it with a typical girl’s name (瑩 ying2).

4. Churches would speak of their congregation (肢體 zhi1 ti3) using a word that tends to refer to limbs. Obviously, if we were to think of the church as the body of Christ, referring to the congregation as limbs would make sense. Yet for non-believers, perhaps it might sound like the church is amputated?
I have been part of the church for a long time and, as such, it gets difficult for me to identify which parts of my vocabulary are specific to Christianity. Who knows? I might have unintentionally conveyed a sense of exclusivity to those who were not in the know. It is like those of us who live in a post-Harry Potter world - it becomes intuitive to use words such as 'muggles' or 'apparate,' without giving a thought to the fact that those concepts require a comprehensive Harry Potter worldview to be understood. The question is: how can we adapt our Christian language so that non-believers would not feel like they need to go through an awkward initiation process when entering a church gathering?

Do you know of anything like this in other languages? Do share it with us! ‮

 


Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day | Anonymous

“When a child loses his parent, he is called an orphan. When a spouse loses her husband, she is called a widow. When parents lose a child, there isn’t a word to describe them.”
October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I was introduced to this day by friends who have suffered miscarriages, and I’ve seen how valuable it can be for people who have been through this loss to know that there is a particular space and time for the acknowledgment of their pain.

These losses are far more common than most people realize. About one in five known pregnancies end in miscarriage, while Canada’s infant mortality rate is about five per thousand live births.

So even if you never endure it yourself, odds are good that all of us will, at some point, be walking with loved ones experiencing this grief. Knowing what to say and do (and what to avoid) can be very difficult, but the website www.october15.ca has some useful guidance.

Here are some examples:

How You Can Help Grieving Parents:

  • Remember that we are parents, even if we have no living children.
  • Recognize that fathers grieve a child’s death as much as mothers do.
  • Keep in mind that this loss may come after previous losses or a time of infertility, and that our grief may be compounded by this longer-term suffering.
  • Immediate Care: Offer to make meals for us, run errands, house-clean, or babysit our living children. Offer your condolences in the form of cards, flowers, telephone calls, and visits.
  • Remember significant dates, such as our child’s due date/birth date, and the anniversary of our miscarriage or our child’s death.
  • Ask us if we are planning (or would like help planning) a memorial service.
  • Pray for us – sometimes the grieving process can be very long.
  • Recognize that we may find baby-oriented events to be very painful – baby showers, christenings or baby dedications, birthday parties, even family gatherings. Please invite us, but be gracious if we need to decline.
  • Recognize that holidays are painful times—Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Christmas, most of all. We may need to grieve privately, or we may ask for changes in how these holidays are commemorated.

What Not to Do:

  • Please don’t offer advice. (“You can always adopt,” or “Have you tried…?”)
  • Please don’t offer false hope. (“I just know you’re going to have a baby.”)
  • Please don’t diminish the significance and uniqueness of the child who died. (“It was for the best,” or “You can always have another,” or “At least you know you can get pregnant.”)

Mercifully, many of us have found Regent to be a safe place to acknowledge so many of life’s deepest pains. I hope that this piece, and the associated website, provide a helpful resource for anyone facing this sorrow or walking with those who do. ‮


Pacific Theatre Review: Smoke on the Mountain | Derek Witten

Smoke on the Mountain offers lighthearted banjo-laden nostalgia

Pacific Theatre’s Smoke on the Mountain succeeds in planting the audience onto the pews of a 1938 Saturday night gospel-sing at the Mount Pleasant North Carolina Baptist Church. It’s a fun and engrossing portrait: the characters are well-drawn, and the bluegrassy, harmony-laden tunes are infectious. Those hoping for a full-blown, emotionally satisfying narrative, though, or more than a flirtation with deeper themes may leave unsatisfied.
Connie Ray’s script is an odd cross between a musical and narrative theatre. The plot is simple. The Sanders Family Singers have come to town to provide some pre-Church soul-food and entertainment for the congregation. The young pastor has brought them in attempts at bringing some “progress” to a town only a few years out of the prohibition, where the very mention of beer consumption can elicit gasps, and hand-clapping in Church is morally treacherous terrain. And that’s essentially where things stay plot-wise.

The soul of the play is the music. There are about two-dozen songs, some historical, like I’ll Fly Away and some exaggeratedly hokey, made-up ones, like Christian Cowboy. Plunky banjo and piano abounds, and each tune is delivered with skill and humour, with some quips and character work between verses. In between songs the characters “witness,” which allows the play to fill out the characters and provide context. If you’re still trying to get the picture, imagine the character-driven, musical horseplay in the “Man of Constant Sorrow” scene in O Brother Where Art Thou extended over a couple hours, complete with the goofy yokel dance moves, and humourously un-self aware characters stuck inside a self-aware script.

The production values were solid, as is to be expected from Pacific Theatre. The set was minimal and smart, just enough to place the audience, without being distracting. Besides a couple minor line-glitches, the acting was convincing. 

Unfortunately, some of the humour was lost on me, and at times seemed a bit too churchy and altogether pleasant; but it was never painful, and there were some golden moments. Kaitlin William’s take on the utterly earnest, eager-to-please but slightly perturbed foil to her more worldly sister was spot-on. Mack Gordon nailed the mannerisms of the slightly smarmy but still sincere pastor, who deems himself “progressive,” yet is totally flustered when the Sanders girls start putting their hips into one of the livelier pieces.

The play is a celebration of simplicity and tradition. It’s nostalgic for a time when the biggest questions of theology could be well-enough described by a quick down-to-earth illustration: the Bible’s a “roadmap,” when you die you “just gonna change your address,” the devil is the “beerman,” and questions like “Do you think Jesus would mind if we put a little swing into it?” are much more than trivialities.

If you want your theatre cathartic and soul-baring, maybe wait for Jessica Dickey’s The Amish Project, starting November 6. If you want some uplifting musical entertainment, and perhaps to muse a minute on the upside of innocence, check out Smoke on the Mountain. ‮


Sister Sophia's Advice Column

Dear Sister Sophia,

I had a difficult time trying to convince all of my family and non-Regent friends that, due to the heavy workload, it's necessary to have two full reading breaks per semester. However, I spent the entire break in my fleece jammies watching YouTube and Netflix. Now I'm drowning in schoolwork and I don't even have the benefit of sympathy from anyone. What do I do?

Sincerely,
-Nobody told me grad school would be this much work


Dear Drowning Student,

First, thank you for your vulnerability in sharing your reading week experience with our extensive readership. It sounds like you may see yourself as a failure in terms of how you spent your time last week. It takes a lot of courage to expose yourself to scorn, but it is a necessary step in receiving help. So well done. 

The first adjustment I recommend in approaching this topic is for you to rephrase “reading break” as “reading week” to reflect the reality that the only thing that Regent is officially giving you a break from is going to class.  Perhaps saying “reading week” a few times to yourself will rid you of the idea that it is, in fact, a “break” at all. It is a week intended to give you extra time to read and write. I think the slight adjustment from “break” to “week” could make all the difference for you.

My intent here is not clear yet. You’re probably thinking, “Great, thanks. You haven’t even begun to address my question.” You’re right; I really haven’t. What I have done, though, is point you in a direction for your next reading week. At this point, you’re (hopefully) thoroughly bored of fleece jammies and television.  You’re (hopefully) craving a pair of jeans and a book. If not, you’re a (nearly) lost cause. 

Wait, wait - come back out from under the covers. Really? Why?  Because I have, as usual, some helpful things to say for you that will address both your current and future states.

You will rise again, stronger than ever.
In terms of your current state, the jeans are about as far as I can take you. You’ll have to make the rest of the quest alone. Or, with every-other-Regent-College-student-that-is-in-the-same-place. That, my friend, is your choice.  If you don’t find compassion among your non-Regent friends and family, it’s time to let those relationships go. At least fast them for a time. There are friends a-plenty at Regent who will understand every word you say and every sentiment you express. While we’re on the topic (of Regent fulfilling every need), we also have chapel so you don’t actually have to go to church either.   

Moving on from the jeans, let’s look forward to next reading week. There is a wise one among us who is known to have a strong recommendation for successfully completing one’s “To Do” list.  

  1. Make your list (don’t bother checking it twice).  
  2. Cut your list in half.  
  3. Repeat step 2 at least 3 more times (depending on the length of the list).  
  4. Survey completed list with pride.  
  5. Don fleece jammies.  

It’s a sure-fire way to ensure that November’s reading week allows you to accomplish everything that you intend. You will feel strong, you will feel capable, you will feel alive. 

For now, I know I said the jeans were all I could suggest. Really, though, you may need to enjoy some early morning library sessions, some shorter-than-two-hour lunch breaks, and a few less locker-side conversations. It also doesn’t hurt to remember that you can really only do what you can do in a day and sleeping deserves some time as well. Maybe go for a run or sit in a park for 30 minutes. Actively recall that the world is not resting on your shoulders. Then put on those jeans and head to the library.

See you there.   

Sincerely,

Sister Sophia

 


Five Books Recap: Part III

Jim Houston

  • Augustine, Confessions
  • Bernard of Clairvaux, On Loving God
  • Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle
  • John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress
  • John Owen, Communion with God
  • Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
  • C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man and then Till We Have Faces
  • William Golding, The Spire
  • (Plus a reference to The Brothers Karamazov as an example of great literature)

Rick Smith

  • Eugene Peterson, The Wisdom of Each Other
  • Darrell Johnson, Discipleship on the Edge
  • Philip Yancey and Paul Brand, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
  • Phil Callaway, Laughing Matters: Learning to Laugh When Life Stinks
  • Bruce Waltke, Finding the Will of God

Paul Spilsbury

  • Augustine, Confessions
  • Pierre Hadot, What is Ancient Philosophy?
  • Robert Wilken, The Spirit of Early Christian Thought

 

  • Blaise Pascal, Pensées
  • Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Midnight’s Children

Miriam Kamell Kovalishyn

(Her February third interview was not so much a question of five books, but rather an interview on books and reading in general.  For that reason, there are several general author recommendations and also more than five books mentioned.)

Recommended authors include: Wendell Berry, Rosemary Sutcliff, C.S. Lewis, Eugene Peterson, Henri Nouwen, Richard Bauckham, N.T. Wright, George MacDonald, and Helen MacInnes.

Recommended books include:
Brother Lawrence's, The Practice of the Presence of God
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Jamie Smith, Desiring the Kingdom
Soren Kierkegaard, Works of Love
John Calvin, Institutes (as an example for her recommendation that Regent students read a "scholarly, biblical book.")

Patricia McKillip, The Book of Axtrix Wolfe, or the Riddle-Master trilogy.


From the Kitchen | Kasey Kimball

Curried Cauliflower Soup
Serves 6-8

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, ground
2 pounds cauliflower (1 medium head), roughly chopped
1 russet potato, peeled and diced, or 1/2 cup rice
2 quarts water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
 Salt to taste
 Freshly ground pepper
 Chopped cilantro for garnish

Preparation

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and ground cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the cauliflower, potato or rice, water or stock, and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup (or you can use a regular blender, working in batches and placing a kitchen towel over the top to avoid splashing) until it is very smooth. Return to the pot, heat through, add freshly ground pepper and adjust salt. Serve, garnishing each bowl with chopped cilantro.

Fire Stoked | Steve Berkenpas

 
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