2017 Fall Issue 5
9.5 Theses for Regent College
9.5 Theses for Regent College
I love Regent College, and am dearly grateful for the many ways it has blessed me. But Regent is not a perfect institution, and at times our self-congratulatory ethos blinds us to the many ways we exclude, harm, or oppress. With this is mind, I offer 9.5 Theses for the faculty and students of Regent College.
Martin Luther’s first thesis was “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” This is an excellent foundation, as all godly change is preceded by repentance.
If Regent’s hiring process for faculty members keeps leading the college to hire white men (at rates far out of sync with our student body), this process must be changed.
This summer, Eugene Peterson’s comments on homosexuality (since clarified) aroused an immediate, intemperate, and malicious reaction from the evangelical community. If Regent’s only solutions are (a) silence and (b) censoring student employees from open discussion of homosexuality, then the college offers no solution at all.
Nearly exclusively, women at Regent are taught by male instructors, assigned male authors, given male illustrations, and trained to fit into “male roles.” When women are left unrepresented in dialogue within or outside the classroom, we hinder the flourishing of diverse gifting and perspectives.
Offering communion within chapel services, outside the authority of the church, is a clear repudiation of the dearly-held beliefs of our high church brothers and sisters. Continuing as such stands against Regent's claim of being
The deficit between the college’s frequent self-promotion as “diverse” and its actual efforts to include its culturally-diverse student body will have lasting consequences if not addressed. Some are working hard on this issue; for the rest of staff and students, our unexamined beliefs about superior cultures (and Christianities) are poisonous to genuine conversation and growth.
Canadians rightly blame the denominations which make up Regent College (Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, etc.) for the cultural genocide of Indigenous children in residential schools over the past 150 years. Reconciliation means, at the very least, that this legacy must be addressed as a regular, consistent, and integral part of our curriculum.
Regent’s decision last year to publicly condemn Franklin Graham’s Islamophobic rhetoric was difficult and praiseworthy, but transforms into “virtue signalling” if not followed by the hard work of conversation and platform-sharing with the marginalized North-American Muslim community.
When these issues are neglected or ignored — whether by staff or students — we all lose the moral credibility required to challenge one another, our churches, and the world in the imitation of Christ.
9.5. This list was written for you, not somebody else. Every single one of us holds power in our hands, or what Jesus might call “talents.” Read over each point again and ask yourself 3 questions:
Do I think this is an actual problem?
It is possible that I am part of that problem?
What step can I take to be part of the solution?
by: Rachel Hart
There are few things that are as satisfying to me as a cup of chai. The spicy, creamy, sweet drink satisfies on hot or cold days. If you've ever had homemade chai (not from a tea bag or a trendy coffee shop) then you've tasted the delicious difference. It's hard to go back without comparing and remembering what was best. While I was making chai this past week, I thought I would try a different ingredient approach, and used sweetened condensed milk instead of whole milk and sugar. Big mistake. Regardless of how many spices I added or how long I let it simmer, the chai was too sweet. It was particularly bad after I had made a proper batch, but still returned to see if maybe I could salvage it. No matter how badly I wanted to return to it, I knew what good was because I had tasted it. The same is true in how I encounter God. As I study theology, if I'm not careful with my thoughts, it can ruin my relationship with him. Similarly, once I've tasted his goodness, been transformed by what is good, right, true, and beautiful, I can't go back to anything less. It is a relationship that pushes me to be ambitious, always wanting more.
When I was making chai, my friend commented that she was surprised I crushed and toasted my spices on the stove before "actually" making the drink. The brokenness of the spices and the heat of the flame releases the essence of the spices and allows for a richer flavor the longer the chai simmers. The chai couldn't be made without the heat, and it wouldn't taste as good if the spices were placed in whole. Similarly, my theology is worthless if it doesn't make an impact in the intensity of life. The pursuit of knowing God should enable me to fall deeper in love with him and this love transforms how I live before him, loving others. Also, like my spices, I need to be broken, in a posture of humility. As a creature trying to understand the Creator, I have to recognize my own weakness and frailty, my inability to know or understand without his grace first reaching down.
• 1-2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 star anise, “petals” broken apart
• Fresh ginger thinly sliced
• 4-6 cloves
• 10 black peppercorns (about)
• 10 cardamom pods
• Plain black tea (loose leaf is best)
• Whole milk
• Brown sugar
Put all spices (except ginger) in a medium pot on medium-low heat. Lightly crush them with the back of a spoon and toast for about 5 minutes, shaking pot infrequently to move spices. Add 1-2 cups of water and 4-8 slices of ginger (the more you add the spicier it will be). Simmer until water discolors. Add at least 2 cups of milk and continue to simmer. Add in 5 tablespoons of tea (about 5 tea bags) and reduce heat if needed. Let the tea brew for about 5 minutes and sample, adding spoonfuls of sugar as needed. Keep simmering until chai is a rich brown color and a film begins to form on top. Strain and serve.
The Bunyan: Pope Francis Steals the Show at Reformation Halloween Party
by: Danger O. Schledzniki
Pope Francis Steals the Show at Reformation Halloween Party
Over the weekend, Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, stole the show at a “Reformation”-themed costume party hosted by the World Council of Churches. Ironically, Francis strolled in dressed exactly as Martin Luther complete with robe, tonsure, and hammer.
Evangelical leaders couldn’t believe Francis’ choice in costume, but they were even more dumbstruck by the act that followed. The octogenarian attempted for 12 minutes to nail his 96 Theses to the doors of Saddleback Church where the event was being held. The glass and steel proved less favourable for such a protest than the wood at Wittenberg.
The ever-cheeky and humble Francis winked and commented, “I had to go with 96 accusations. You know what I mean? Just one more than that other guy.”
Francis’ Luther was voted best costume of the evening. He easily beat out the competition of lesser-known Reformers and costumes based on modalist Trinity analogies. Francis was honored by the victory and commented, “It was a big win. It’s huge for the Catholic Church to finally win one back.”
One clearly frustrated protestant leader, dressed as John Calvin, said of their loss to Francis, “If we were going to win, it had to be on our terms.”
The event was held in an effort to rebuild church unity after 500 years of Reformation-based division. Attendees were asked to come dressed only as a dead Reformer or other controversial historical figure, and to steer away especially from coming as living theologians such as John Piper or Tim Keller.
Neither Piper nor Keller finished with the top ten best costume.
Which Reformer are You? Personality Quiz
Which Reformer Are You?
In celebration of 500th anniversary of the Reformation we ask you, which hero of the Reformation are you?
For each question, rate your enthusiasm from 1 to 5, with 1 being “not enthusiastic at all” and 5 being “extremely enthusiastic.”
A local theologian and denier of the Trinity has fled to the Swiss city-state which you rule with a dictatorial and iron fist. You summarily arrest, try, condemn, and burn him at the stake.
Under your influence the Council of Zurich has decreed that adult re-baptism is now punishable by … drowning.
Reform is in the air and Anne Boleyn is looking sexy. Lacking an annulment from the Pope, you erect your own church, placing yourself as its head, in order to consummate your love of, um, prayer books?
A mob of peasants has revolted against their political and economic overlords. You quickly run to your desk to write Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants encouraging the nobility to “Stab, smite, slay, whoever you can. If you die in doing it, well for you! A more blessed death can never be yours, for you die obeying the divine Word and commandment in Romans XIII."
Now, add up your score to see which legend of the faith you are!
4-8: You’re John Calvin! You might be totally depraved but at least you don’t have a choice in the matter.
9-12: You’re Henry VIII! Topics to avoid on a first date: your previous relationships.
13-16: You’re Ulrich Zwingli! You would definitely take communion at Chapel.
17-20: You’re Martin Luther! Topics you should avoid in conversation: bigamy, the ethnoreligious minorities in your duchy, the peasants.