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Category Archives: Et Cetera 2011 Issue 05

8 February 2011 Winter Issue 05

8 February 2011 Winter Issue 05

Real Science

Review: My Name is Asher Lev

Ever since I was “forced” to read The Chosen in a high school English class, Chaim Potok has been one of my favorite authors. An orthodox Jew and rabbi as well as an author, most of Potok’s books are set in the Jewish world of New York. ”My Name is Asher Lev ”is no exception, set among a Hasidic sect in Brooklyn, where a young boy with an incrediable gift as an artist finds himself negotiating the conflicting, sometimes tearing demands of art, faith and family. This book has become one of my favorites. Potok, with painful and beautiful honesty explores the tensions of being faithful in art, always creating with integrity and honesty, while being devout and faithful in following God within one’s faith community––a tension familiar to Evangelical Christian artists as well as Orthodox Jews.

Further Reflections on Gender and the Church

Last week, Andrew Tsai continued a discussion on gender roles (started by Travis Black and Lydia Crutwell), expressing his concern over the level of emotionalism encountered when discussing gender equality with fellow Regent students, and suggesting that perhaps some of Regent’s teaching on gender equality may be partly to blame. He suggested that such teaching promotes an expectation, especially among female students, of gender equality as a right to be sought within their churches, causing these same students to then feel victimized by church experiences dishonouring to this right. Andrew offered Scriptural role models (the prophets, Jesus, the apostle Paul) as exemplifying a Biblical tradition of holding individual rights loosely and stoically standing firm in the face of persecution.

Gregory of Nyssa, Scientific Theologian

If I had to choose one word to associate with the theology of Gregory of Nyssa it would have to be ‘Christian’. But coming in at a close second would be the word ‘mystery’. The Nyssen’s writings seem always to be speaking of the incomprehensibility of God. Because, according to Gregory, God’s essence cannot be encompassed by the human mind it is most appropriate to revere God in apophatic language and even in the absence of speech altogether. What would Gregory, the Mystic Theologian, think about science? Would science, with its desire to define and know the inner workings of nature, be incompatible with Gregory’s theology of mystery?

In the Name of….

We have been given the gift of language to name our world, to be in relationship with God’s good creation, to be priests who lift up in blessing, praise and appreciation, to encourage one another as fellow pilgrims. But so often we misuse that gift. We curse and tear down; we lie and obfuscate; we damn and discourage. As a bilingual (German/English) speaker I am painfully aware of this double nature of language because, in German, “Gift” means “poison.”

Tumbling Further

Sometimes the light changes and the world expands beyond what is obvious.  Experiencing Regent this second year has been just this.  There is the obvious level of reality and then there is reality beyond, or dare I say transcendent.  I first noticed this when my worlds began to collide or in Regent-speak, the opportunities arose [...]

Vulnerability and Victory

Several self-introductions by Regent professors during orientation week disturbed me. They shared about their ongoing struggles with personal pain and tragedy, and were deeply honest about still walking through the dark valley. I learnt that Regent College itself was birthed in the midst of death. While I was refreshed by this honesty and vulnerability, I struggled to reconcile it with the victorious Christian life I am called to live. Christ has defeated sin and death on the cross – I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. Shouldn’t the professors have ended off with some measure of victory over their circumstances?