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Hope College April 2012 : Page 2

News FrOm HOpe COllege Volume 43, No. 4 April 2012 On the Cover Dr. David Myers of the Hope psychology faculty enjoys a home men’s basketball game earlier this year. An insightful student of human behavior in addition to being an enthusiastic member of the Hope community, Dr. Myers has even included a segment about fandom in his textbook Social Psychology , currently in its 10th edition. He is one of the nation’s top authors of textbooks in the field of psychology—some 15 million students worldwide have read one of his textbooks, which have been published in a dozen languages. He has also written for general audiences on topics ranging from happiness to hearing loss to intuition. Not bad for someone who initially didn’t even plan on a career in psychology. Volume 43, No. 4 April 2012 Published for Alumni, Friends and Parents of Hope College by the Office of Public and Community Relations. Should you receive more than one copy, please pass it on to someone in your community. An overlap of Hope College constituencies makes duplication sometimes unavoidable. “Quote, unquote” uote, unquote is an eclectic sampling of things said at and about Hope College . Featuring a cross-section of faculty, the “Last Lecture Series” coordinated by the college’s chapter of Mortar Board asks professors to share the advice they would give if addressing students for the final time. In February, Dr. Mark Husbands, the Leonard and Marjorie Maas Associate Professor of Reformed Theology, presented “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night: Christian Theology in a Secular Age,” using the words of Dylan Thomas in his title to encourage the members of the audience to remain true to their faith in an era that challenges it. Excerpts follow. “In one sense, of course, Christians of all ages are faced with the same task—how to speak, reflect upon, worship and bear witness to the triune God in the midst of a world that all too often resists the Lordship of Christ. In similar fashion, the peculiar calling of Christian theology must always resist being co-opted by any school of thought or set of intellectual practices at cross purposes to the Gospel. The ‘Gospel’ here is, at one and the same time, both the person of Christ, and the glad announcement that in and through his life, death and resurrection, all other human persons may be set right. Put differently, this means that the history of Jesus stands in judgment over all other histories, rendering them subject to his lordship and redemptive action. Clearly this is what is meant by St. Paul in his decree that Christ ‘has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them’ (2 Cor 5:14-15) all of which is summed up in the revelation that ‘in Q Christ God was reconciling the world to himself’ (2 Cor 5:19). “Accordingly, the following is a brief dogmatic response to the question of what does it mean to do theology in a secular age. This proposal takes its bearings from one of Calvin’s most important dogmatic claims: Nostri non sumus, sed Domini , we are not our own, but the Lord’s (Instit. III, 7, 1)… “We also endeavor to follow another theological principle, though not from Calvin at this point, but from the British theologian John Webster instead. Early on in his essay ‘Eschatology and Anthropology’ he claims that Christian theology ‘is responsible in its context but not in any straightforward way responsible to its context.’ To this he adds, ‘context is not fate; it may not pretend to have a necessary character, to be anything other than a contingent set of cultural arrangements which stands under the judgment of the Christian Gospel.’ The freedom from cultural and conceptual bondage granted to Christian theology is itself a cheerful expression of evangelical freedom. ‘Evangelical freedom’ here has everything to do with the whole scope of intellectual, moral, and spiritual liberty from patterns of sin and brokenness. Note, these patterns are often thought to be spiritual, and no doubt there is always a dimension of this. It is just as important, however, to recognize that evangelical freedom and the spiritually life-giving work of sanctification may just as readily apply to the bondage of the reason as much as the will. Accordingly, rather than seeing divine freedom as an authoritative constraint or limit upon the will, evangelical freedom reminds us that God’s redemptive work in Christ evokes corresponding patterns of human freedom, thought, and obedience. In short, although Christians in the West live in a secular age, they also know that questions of personhood and identity are only properly understood in light of the history of God’s free and merciful fellowship with us. In short, we only truly know who we are in light of God’s reconciliation of humanity in Christ.” Editor Gregory S. Olgers ’87 Layout and Design Wesley A. Wooley ’89 Printing Walsworth Print Group of St. Joseph, Mich. Contributing Writers Greg Chandler, Chris Lewis ’09 Contributing Photographers Rob Kurtycz, Lou Schakel ’71 Hope College Office of Public Relations DeWitt Center, Holland, MI 49423-3698 phone: (616) 395-7860 fax: (616) 395-7991 prelations@hope.edu Thomas L. Renner ’67 Associate Vice President for Public and Community Relations Gregory S. Olgers ’87 Director of News Media Services Lynne M. Powe ’86 Associate Director of Public and Community Relations Julie Rawlings ’83 Huisingh Public Relations Services Administrator Karen Bos Office Manager News from Hope College is published during April, June, August, October, and December by Hope College, 141 East 12th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423-3698 Postmaster: Send address changes to news from Hope College, Holland, MI 49423-3698 Notice of Nondiscrimination Hope College is committed to the concept of equal rights, equal opportunities and equal protection under the law. Hope College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, creed or disability to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Hope College, including the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, and athletic and other school-administered programs. With regard to employment, the College complies with all legal requirements prohibiting discrimination in employment. 2 News From Hope College

“Quote, unquote”

Quote, unquote is an eclectic sampling of things said at and about Hope College.<br /> <br /> “In one sense, of course, Christians of all ages are faced with the same task—how to speak, reflect upon, worship and bear witness to the triune God in the midst of a world that all too often resists the Lordship of Christ. In similar fashion, the peculiar calling of Christian theology must always resist being co-opted by any school of thought or set of intellectual practices at cross purposes to the Gospel.<br /> <br /> The ‘Gospel’ here is, at one and the same time, both the person of Christ, and the glad announcement that in and through his life, death and resurrection, all other human persons may be set right. Put differently, this means that the history of Jesus stands in judgment over all other histories, rendering them subject to his lordship and redemptive action. Clearly this is what is meant by St. Paul in his decree that Christ ‘has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them’ (2 Cor 5:14-15) all of which is summed up in the revelation that ‘in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself’ (2 Cor 5:19).<br /> <br /> “Accordingly, the following is a brief dogmatic response to the question of what does it mean to do theology in a secular age. This proposal takes its bearings from one of Calvin’s most important dogmatic claims: Nostri non sumus, sed Domini, we are not our own, but the Lord’s (Instit. III, 7, 1)… “We also endeavor to follow another theological principle, though not from Calvin at this point, but from the British theologian John Webster instead. Early on in his essay ‘Eschatology and Anthropology’ he claims that Christian theology ‘is responsible in its context but not in any straightforward way responsible to its context.’ To this he adds, ‘context is not fate; it may not pretend to have a necessary character, to be anything other than a contingent set of cultural arrangements which stands under the judgment of the Christian Gospel.’<br /> <br /> The freedom from cultural and conceptual bondage granted to Christian theology is itself a cheerful expression of evangelical freedom. ‘Evangelical freedom’ here has everything to do with the whole scope of intellectual, moral, and spiritual liberty from patterns of sin and brokenness. Note, these patterns are often thought to be spiritual, and no doubt there is always a dimension of this. It is just as important, however, to recognize that evangelical freedom and the spiritually life-giving work of sanctification may just as readily apply to the bondage of the reason as much as the will. Accordingly, rather than seeing divine freedom as an authoritative constraint or limit upon the will, evangelical freedom reminds us that God’s redemptive work in Christ evokes corresponding patterns of human freedom, thought, and obedience.<br /> <br /> In short, although Christians in the West live in a secular age, they also know that questions of personhood and identity are only properly understood in light of the history of God’s free and merciful fellowship with us. In short, we only truly know who we are in light of God’s reconciliation of humanity in Christ.”

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