Perry and Tor

Judge Sam Perry of Glen Ellyn, intending to merely deepen the pond on his property, received much more than he expected when, on October 16, 1963, diggers unearthed a prehistoric femur. Professors from Wheaton College were summoned to investigate. Judging the find to be geologically significant, the decision was made to drain the lake and excavate. After several days additional bones surfaced, revealing 60% of a mastodon. Apparently, the unfortunate creature had broken its leg and died at the site of what had been an ancient lake. Eventually the bones and tusks, meticulously recorded, washed, dried, photographed and coated with dilute shellac, were reconstructed. The skeleton, held together by a steel frame, was proudly displayed in Breyer Hall on the campus of Wheaton College for nearly 40 years, until it was ceremoniously moved to the new science building in 2009.

The eight-day dig was accompanied by extensive media coverage and keen interest from the community. It was determined by the students that it needed “a meaningful pet name,” so the skeleton was called “Bonaparte” (bone-apart). Soon the name was forgotten and the display was simply called Perry.

TorAfter centuries alone, Perry finally received a companion when Professor Mazzarella’s Short Story Class published, “The Quest of Tor,” explaining the origins of Wheaton College’s new mascot, a young mastodon who leaves his herd and stomps across the United States, searching for “the land of Wheaton,” where a monument has been erected honoring his legendary ancestor. Endearing himself to the campus, Tor is invited by Dr. Ryken to remain. Now, at Wheaton College athletic events, Tor is often seen proudly displaying the Thunder banner amid applauding fans. The booklet, illustrated by Jack Kinyon, can be purchased in the Wheaton College bookstore.

Minding the Mind

I love maps I can spend hours poring over the details of a terrain that I have never seen and probably never will see. So when I travel somewhere, I am not content with a generalized map of the area; nothing less than a Delorme atlas with every gravel road marked will do.

How nice it would be to have such a detailed map of our spiritual pilgrimage—to have every decision clearly marked and the road for years ahead clear and straight. Some Christians try to get that kind of information out of their Bibles. They search for verses that will tell them what job to take, whom to marry, what school to attend. Of course, they are doomed to be disappointed—or worse yet, to think God is giving them specific direction in a verse that means nothing of the kind. Other Christians simply give up: since God has not told me anywhere what job I should take or what school to go to, it does not matter what I decide.

Both these responses miss the true nature of God's guidance of us through Scripture. God has not given us a Delorme spiritual map revealing every twist and turn of our lives What He has given us instead is a revelation of Himself. Who He is, what He has done, is doing, and will do, and what He values most in His people.

By reading, studying, and meditating on this revelation, we find our very worldview being changed. Paul describes this process in his famous call for Christians to "renew their minds" (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23). It is by this transformation of our fundamental attitudes and values that we will be able to "test and approve what God's will is" (Rom. 12:2). God desires that we so immerse ourselves in Scripture that its values gradually become our values. These values, built deeply into us, will then guide us in all the decisions of life.

As my wife and I raised five children (now all grown), we were especially anxious to help them develop these renewed minds. We were not so concerned about whether they would agree with us on every lifestyle decision that we made. But we wanted them to make their own lifestyle decisions, not on the basis of the materialistic cultural values of this world, but on the basis of solidly biblical values.

I have a similar vision for the students I teach at Wheaton College. My goal is to expose them to Scripture in such a way that the very roots of their minds will be thoroughly Christian. For if, by God's Spirit, their minds are being so transformed, I can be confident that they will emerge as strong examples of righteousness in a world that desperately needs such a witness.

Dr. Douglas J. Moo is Blanchard Professor of New Testament and Director of the Ph.D. Program in Biblical and Theological Studies. A relative newcomer to Wheaton, Doug arrived in 2000 after a long ministry at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He holds a B.A. from DePauw, an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from St. Andrews in Scotland He and his wife Jenny live in West Chicago. Three of their children have attended, or are attending Wheaton College. (Wheaton Magazine, Winter 2004).

 

Ageless Wrinkle

WrinkleThe editors of Amazon released in 2014 their selections for “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime.” Placing sixth is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. The Newberry Award Winning classic celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012.

Other choices include 1984 by George Orwell, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and The Shining by Stephen King.

The original manuscript for A Wrinkle in Time is housed at the De Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at Hattiesburg, Mississippi; but L’Engle’s remaining correspondence, artwork and manuscripts (SC-03), including the remaining titles of the The Time Quartet, is housed at Wheaton College (IL) Special Collections.

Expanding Horizons

At the request of President Duane Litfin, an Arts Task Force is considering the place of the arts at Wheaton. While Dean George Arasimowicz puts the finishing touches on the first report, we continue to address unimaginable changes in the arts—changes we are trying to take stock of when we consider the trajectory of arts education at a world-class undergraduate institution.

So what has changed? This is no surprise, but technology has changed. Plans are under way for new sound, lights, and a projection system for Edman Chapel. Conservatory faculty members are already gearing up to use this system to project subtitles of text- based music performances. We will use it to lead congregational song (words with music, if I have anything to say about it). We will use it to reintroduce visual art to worship. And we will use it to communicate with Wheaton friends in the far corners of the world through the Web.

Then, the Chicago Tribune recently published an article titled "The Spirit Moves Them." The subtitle reads, "Sacred dance troupes transcend the boundaries of worship." I'll never forget my experience with movement at a worship conference in Berlin several years ago. The Praise Dance Ministry of Friendship-West Baptist Church, Dallas, danced to a song called "Total Praise." The African-American church is taking the lead in this area. And movement is just one art form among many being used in the quest for authentic, intimate worship.

Attitudes have changed, too. My son Patrick, a Wheaton College freshman, is one example. Pat wants to be a filmmaker. He's exploring films as diverse as Babette's Feast and Traffic. In Berlin, the only thing he wanted to see was the Picasso exhibit. His tastes in music range from Shostakovich to Smashing Pumpkins. At the theater, it's Shakespeare. He wouldn't think of limiting his engagement with the arts to one stylistic or technical portal. The world of the arts is just too rich and diverse. And Patrick isn't so unusual.

Have you heard the latest recording by banjo virtuoso Bela Reck? It's called Perpetual Motion—a recording of collaborations with the great violinist Joshua Bell, marimbist Evelyn Glennie, and others. No, it's not bluegrass—this time—but intelligent, artistic transcriptions of standard works by classical composers. Then there's Ben Heppner, arguably one of the greatest dramatic tenors of our time. Ben and I sat at dinner one evening last fall with our vocal studies chair, Carolyn Hart, and reminisced about the old John W. Peterson cantatas we sang during our formative years.

I want to let you in on a little secret. In a way, I wish music study at Wheaton could be done from an observatory instead of a Conservatory. Our students and faculty are involved in so many exciting things. Keyboard Chair William Phemister is devising a graduate degree in arts ministry. Gerard Sundberg sang the Messiah with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra last December. Lee Joiner, Kathleen Kastner '71, Curtis Funk, and Howard Whitaker '63 participated in the inaugural season of the International Improvisation Institute, collaborating with Ken Medema, Charlie Peacock, Jake Armerding '00, and others.

I just told a student this morning that it's a great time to work in the arts. Our culture is receptive to the arts. And the church is poised, more than at any time in recent history, to use the arts for Christ and His kingdom. This is why we are so excited to be expanding our arts horizons.

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Tony Payne '79 is director of the Conservatory of Music and associate professor of music. He holds degrees from Wheaton (B.Mus.), Bowling Green State (N.Mus.), and Northwestern University (D.M.A.). Recent compositions include "Hold on to Hope" (Carl Fischer CM4689), and a new setting of "Give Thanks to God on High" for the Wheaton College Men's Glee Club. The LIttle Match Girl was most recently staged in 1999. He has been a co-editor of two cross-cultural hymnbooks and has written dozens of songs and hymns. (Wheaton Magazine, Winter 2002)

 

Dayuma

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l to r: Rachel Saint, Dayuma, President and Mrs. V. Raymond Edman

Dayuma, born and raised amid the daily brutalities of the Waodani tribe of Ecuador, died on March 1, 2014, entering “gates of splendor” as the result of missionary work initiated by Jim Elliot and Nate Saint. After her conversion, she traveled throughout the United States, speaking about evangelism and reconciliation.She was baptized in 1961 by Wheaton College President V. Raymond Edman at Evangelical Free Church of Wheaton. She presented to Edman three Waodani spears, now housed in the Wheaton College Archives.

Assisted by missionary Rachel Saint, she eventually brought many of her family and friends to saving faith, consequently reducing the murder rate among her tribe by 90%.

The story of martyrs Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Roger Youderian and Ed McCully is told in Through Gates of Splendor Elisabeth Elliot.

The Church and the Formation of Christians

I love the church. And the older I get, the more I value it. That affection is longstanding because I loved the church even as a child.

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where my family had founded what became a large congregation. I was as at home in that church as I was in the house where I lived. The people there were like family. I was shaped by their stories and views of God.

My devotion to the church is deep and irrevocable. My soul rejoices when the whole family of God comes together to glorify our Lord—to “put God on display,” as J.I. Packer stated in this year’s commencement address. But there is another side to my view of the church. I am concerned, even frustrated, by some of what we do to each other in the name of church life—such as separating people by age, even during worship. Quoting Packer again, this happens because we are “pygmies and invalids” when it comes to seeing God’s greatness and holiness. We fall short of God’s desire and are unaware how truly broken we are as we exchange our biblical identity for cultural relevancy.

Some evangelical churches segregate church life and systematize ministries in ways that now seem normative, virtually eliminating the need for careful biblical critique. Does Scripture say anything about how God’s people should gather? If so, is it relevant for today? I wonder if in our desire to be “developmentally appropriate;” we evangelicals miss some of our Father’s intent for us, His church. Because I teach courses concerning church ministries, I’m able to focus on these issues.

Two years ago the department in which I teach changed its name from Christian Education and Ministry to Christian Formation and Ministry. The more I reflect on this change, the more significant it becomes. The word educate comes with expectations familiar to most: classroom, teacher, students, content. The word formation is different—less familiar, fewer assumptions. It requires pro ass in shaping product. It’s more like “May Christ be formed in you” (Gal. 4:19) rather than “Let me teach you about God.” I’m challenged to alter courses in light of this change.

I must read Scripture with formation in mind—my own, first of all, and then that of others. The opening verses of 1 John excite me. As Eugene Peterson translates them,”… [We] heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! …We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.” Our faith has a sensory dimension—one that can be experienced.

This calls for encounters with the living God. Is that a formational task or an educational one or both? In what ways can the ministries of the local church enable encounters with God through the Holy Spirit? Where do North American churches look for ministry models? Are there principles in Scripture that we overlook or disregard that we should recover, so our faith may be passed on more effectively to the next generation? Because I too am a pygmy and invalid, I humbly acknowledge my need for our Lord’s grace and mercy as I explore ways in which formation happens.

———-
Scottie May has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Christian Formation and Ministry since 1998. She has a doctorate in education from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her primary research focuses on how children come to faith. Other areas of interest are the effectiveness of ministry learning environments, ways children encounter God, intergenerational worship, and the church as “the family of God.” Scottie has three children and six grandchildren. She and her husband, Robert, live in West Chicago, Illinois. (The above statement was included at the time of publication — Wheaton Magazine, Summer 2001).

Looking to the God of Peace

Chaplain Stephen B. Kellough

Since September 11 there has been a lot on my mind, and there has been a heaviness on my shoulders that is associated with the privilege and responsibility of serving as Wheaton’s chaplain in these days.

For this generation of students, the charged atmosphere brought about by catastrophic world events is unprecedented. Columbine comes closest, and maybe Oklahoma City. But Vietnam and even the Gulf War are off the radar screen for most students. Korea and Pearl Harbor are ancient history. For that matter, even those of us on the faculty and staff at the College have never faced the kind of assault on American turf that we have witnessed.

During these difficult moments, we are finding that the resources of our Christian faith and the value of living in Christian community are becoming near and dear. Wheaton College is a good place to be right now, even for students who are many hours from home.

Shortly after the hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a special chapel service was called for the College community. Within hours of the attacks, students, faculty, and staff were assembled in Edman Chapel reading Scripture and praying to our heavenly Father. We were together in worship when we needed to hear from God and to speak to God.

Classes were not dismissed on September 11, and that was a good decision. But we followed the news reports on televisions around campus, and phone calls were made to family and friends. Caring faculty assisted students in processing the events that were shaking our world, and don’t think that students didn’t minister to professors as well. We were together in community, trying to understand, assisting each other in struggling to focus the lens of our Christian worldview on the events of the day.

As most Wheaton alumni remember, it is our tradition to designate a passage of Scripture as a “year verse.” The verse for the 2001-02 academic year is Hebrews 13:20-21, the words of a blessing, a benediction that reminds us of our position in Christ and our resources in God: “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Little did we realize months ago when this text was chosen that we would be in such need of this reminder of our resources in the God of peace. The letter to the Hebrews was written to people of faith whose faith was being tested. They needed to be reminded of what they knew but what they were struggling to hold on to.

The letter to the Hebrews is more than a letter; it is a sermon. It’s an encouragement, and it’s a reminder. In my role as chaplain, that is my goal—to encourage and to remind. In these days it is my duty and delight to point our community to the God of peace. This is a title for our Lord that we need to savor right now. In the midst of very uncertain times, it is important for us to understand with our minds and to embrace with our hearts the God of peace and the peace that God gives.

Wheaton Magazine (Autumn 2001)

Apostles of Reason

WorthenMolly Worthen, Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, using the combined resources of Wheaton College’s Archives & Special Collections, Billy Graham Center Archives and the Wade Center, has released Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism (2014). Navigating the paradoxes and ideological clashes of the Christian Right with American culture, she examines the often fierce struggle between faith and reason.

Historian Mark Noll, formerly of Wheaton College, remarks: “Apostles of Reason brings a new level of sophistication, as well as sparking prose, to the study of modern American evangelicals. A combination of empathetic understanding and critical acumen makes this an unusually humane, as well as unusually insightful, book.”

Abundant Life

The Energizer Bunny advertising campaign proved to be a success partly for its novelty and also for its implication that if we use the correct battery, we would never run out of energy to operate small appliances.

But the actual never-ending feature of our daily lives is the reality that our resources are limited. We do not have enough time, money, energy, or talent to achieve all that we desire. Some of the most nettlesome ethical choices facing our world are the result of limited resources, such as the availability of oil, medical aid, and fertile land; or the supply of courage, wisdom, and trust.

Acknowledging the limitation of resources is not difficult for the believer, for we know that our world—and its provisions—is under the temporary rule of death. In death we face the ultimate threat to our plans and dreams. We struggle with limitations because death has stained every facet of creation.

With Paul we may cry, "Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (Rom. 7:24). Or with Moses we may pray, "Relent, O Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants" (Ps. 90:13). In Christ alone we find the promise of life outside the rule of death. After that poignant question in Romans 7:24, Paul describes how Christ sets us "free from the law of sin and death" (8:2). Our new life is a reception of life indeed, the freedom to live with the resources not of this deathly world, but of God Himself.

Moses answers his own urgent plea by recognizing that God is the source of abundance: "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days" (Ps. 90:14). God's love does not operate on the principle of scarcity, and the rule of death does not limit the resources of His charity.

Only if we understand the abundance of God's grace can we begin to understand Christ's remarkable instruction that we forgive not just seven times, but seventy times seven. We ought to treat others not out of our limited resources, as if our capacity to forgive others can be depleted, but out of God's abundance, through which we can forgive over and over and over again. Only a life lived within God's abundance can accomplish Christ's instructions: "And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you" (Mt. 5:40-42). This is the practice of abundant life, not the rule of death.

Because of God's abundance, Christians are to be known for their giving, their caring, and their hospitality. Oxford theologian Oliver O'Donovan notes the provocative nature of Christian generosity: "An extravagant, unmeasured goodness, corresponding to God's own providential care, defies the logic of public expectation" (The Desire of the Nations 109). We ought to defy the logic of this world, and lives rooted in God's giving are capable of just that.

Through my research on communication practices, I now believe that our ways of talking and listening can be rooted in life or in death. Are we cynical, measuring the talk of others according to the waste of limited resources, or are we charitable, looking with grace upon the efforts of others? Do we persuade others by appealing to their fears of loss or their hopes of gaining scarce rewards? Or do we urge others to lives of trust, charity, and generosity?

We still must struggle in a world ruled by death. Perhaps, the greatest benefit of God's abundance is the never-depleted supply of wisdom He gives us to see our difficult decisions from the vantage point of abundant life, We are free to rest in a limitless God.

Dr. Kenneth R. Chase, Associate Professor of Communications, came to Wheaton in 1994 after teaching full-time at Wabash College, and in other various capacities at Biola University, Illinois Wesleyan, and University of Illinois. His research in ethics, public address, and popular culture will be invaluable as he assumes additional responsibilities in the fall as director of Wheaton's Center for Applied Christian Ethics. He and his wife, Linda, live in Wheaton with their three children. (The above statement was included at the time of publication -- Wheaton Magazine, Spring 1998)

From “For Christ and His Kingdom” to the Magic Kingdom

CosgroveNo common book cites among its Acknowledgements celebrities such as Walt Disney, Bob Hope, Steve Allen and Jack LaLanne along with theologian E.J. Carnell and evangelist Charles E. Fuller, but Joseph Patrick Cosgrove (’54), producer, director and broadcaster, happily thanks  these and others in his memoir, Walt Dreamers Me (2013), for contributing to the rich diversity of his life.

Originally from Boston, Cosgrove includes a few entries about his days at Wheaton College. A sampling:

Arrival – Wheaton College. With a letter of recommendation from Dr. Ockenga, I am off to Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. I am the only one from my neighborhood seeking higher education. I am now on my journey of life and closer to my goal of going to California.

Overwhelmed College Daze. Taking a full load of classes and working full time to pay tuition overwhelms me and I withdraw from Wheaton at the end of six weeks and return to Boston. As I meet with my pastor, Dr. Harold Ockenga, I am convinced to return to Wheaton after only one missing week. Dr. Ockenga personally pays for my first semester and arranges with the college Dean for my return to college life. Dr. Ockenga has become a father figure to me. There is no going back to Boston. I am off and running and work long hours through each summer and spring break to pay my living expenses as well as my tuition and books.

The Learned Campus Lessons. Living in a college dormitory and attending college class is a challenge for me. Daily chapel is mandatory at Wheaton College in 1950. Wheaton is a well-known and conservative evangelical institution with a reputation for high scholarship. I learn as much working in factories and doing construction work as I do in the classroom. Students at Wheaton must sign a pledge not to dance, play cards, smoke, gamble or attend the theater, opera or stage plays. I sign because I do not have the time or money to do these things anyway. Because I saw firsthand what alcohol did to my father, I do not drink or smoke.

Christmas Comes in October. As Head Cheerleader I decide to celebrate Christmas in October. The City of Wheaton decides to let me borrow city Christmas decorations. Overnight the Wheaton College campus is decorated with Santa Claus and his reindeer. Music of the season, from “White Christmas” to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” as recorded by Bing Crosby and the Andrews sisters, rocks the campus the next day. I am called to the Dean’s office to explain myself. The Dean is a bit rattled by my antics but the campus cheers me.

California: Here Comes Joe! In the fall of 1954, I began classes at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. Founded in 1947 by media pioneer Charles E. Fuller and Dr. Harold John Ockenga, Fuller Seminary is an innovative and inclusive graduate school situated in the heart of downtown Pasadena. Dr. Ockenga is featured speaker at my graduation at Wheaton College and afterward he enrolls me for the Fall Semester at Fuller Seminary. I find graduate school a real challenge compared to college.

Settling in California, he begins his career as a broadcaster and occasional employee of Disney, while also campaigning for Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater. He also directs and produces fitness guru Jack LaLanne’s first media kit and “Jack’s Big Swim for Fitness.”

Summing up his life lessons, Cosgrove writes: 1) Follow your dreams. 2) Keep focused doing it. 3) Use your imagination and fantasy to create your vision. 4) Be optimistic. 5) Keep learning something new. 6) Be open minded. 7) Team up with talented people of like minds and attitudes. 8) Engage and entertain others through storytelling and music.