Tuesday, November 6, 2012

AU Religion Grad gets MDiv. at Duke

Congratulations to Drew Tucker ('09) on his M.Div (Magna Cum Laude) from Duke Divinity School. 

He is currently working as the Lutheran campus minister at Duke University. He will complete his Lutheran theological training at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and will be eligible for call and ordination in Spring 2014.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interview with Dr. Hovey about his new book "Unexpected Jesus"

Unexpected Jesus: The Gospel as Surprise has just been published by Cascade Books. Click here to order a copy.

Dr. Craig Hovey says that his new book offers a theology of hope, waiting, and promise from the perspective of the resurrection of Jesus. It asks what kind of knowing is most appropriate if the God Christians worship is a living God and the Christian gospel is a surprise. "It took a lot of time for this book to come together," Hovey says. "There's a lot in it that simply required a great deal of thinking that couldn't be hurried. I can't wait to use it in my Christology class in the Spring."

1. You say in your introduction that, for Christians, knowing God is fundamentally different from knowing other things. How so?

As Christians, we always need to be on our guard against idolatry. We can certainly make an idol out of God if our knowing him is limiting and controlling. It’s obvious that knowing God is more like knowing a person than knowing a piece of information. And when you know a person, they can surprise you. If you are too surprised by what someone does, you might think you never really knew this person to begin with. Or they might be acting out of character, acting differently from how they usually act. And while we only know what a person is like by what they’ve done, so long as they’re alive, they’re free to act in ways that enlarge our sense of what they’re like. Especially because of the resurrection of Christ, we know that God is a living God. We never “have” God, nor is God at our disposal. We’re are at his disposal!

Monday, February 6, 2012

News From Graduates: Cody Miller & Mike Hanck '08

Cody: Upon graduating from AU in 2008 with a major in Religion and a minor in Spanish, I continued on to complete a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University in 2009. As I began exploring and praying about various career opportunities around the country, I noticed that my interest in joining the Armed Forces was growing.

In November of 2010, I was approved for the United States Army’s highly competitive Officer Candidate School. The prestigious and highly coveted opportunity was one that I was honored to accept. I enlisted and began a journey that has been full of challenging and yet rewarding experiences.

Two weeks ago I relocated to Fort Sill, Oklahoma where I will spend the next 6 months at the Army’s Basic Officer Leadership Course in Field Artillery.

It is a privilege to serve our country. I believe America continues to be the Shining City on a Hill, and a beacon of hope to the rest of the world. Regardless of what tomorrow may bring, I know that God will have our best interests in mind.  I believe Jesus may have said it most clearly in Matthew 28:20, ‘surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

Mike: After obtaining my BA in Religion at Ashland University, I found myself in the midst of great opportunity. Using what I had learned from my undergraduate studies, I applied to Trinity Lutheran Seminary and was accepted. I also found myself involved with and useful to a variety of ministries at an inner city church in Columbus, Ohio. The following year, after applying for a year-long leave of absence from seminary, I was employed at a homeless shelter in Tacoma, Washington.

While there, I found myself working side-by-side with Catholic Workers, Buddhist monks, and priests who broke into army bases to protest nuclear weapons. Currently, I am back in Columbus at seminary, completing my second year of graduate studies. Next year, I hope to live and work with developmentally-disabled adults in either Oklahoma or Florida. The year after that, I will go on internship, serving as a minister to a congregation. Finally, three years from now, I will complete my studies at seminary. I have, since my time of studying religion at Ashland  University, been on a long and wondrous pilgrimage, seeking liberation for the oppressed and reconciliation for those who have been estranged. Recognizing that my undergraduate  studies contributed greatly to my sense of self, I remain very grateful for all of the valuable  things that I was able to learn at Ashland University, the place where I was empowered to share and live out the Gospel with others.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Seeing Clearly: AU alumna reviews Bearing True Witness

“Having seen Christ, his disciples do not consequently look at nothing else; but as witnesses, they are positively entreated to look at everything else in a new way.”
— Craig Hovey, Bearing True Witness: Truthfulness in Christian Practice

Just in time to ring in the New Year! Everyone should go out and get a copy of Craig Hovey’s latest book, Bearing TrueWitness: Truthfulness in Christian Practice. It is a challenge and a call to all believers of the Christian faith. How are we living as God intends for us to live? How are we truthful? Are we truthful? How do we bear the message of the Gospel? Hovey’s responses to these questions challenge the reader to begin to see our lives as Christian witnesses in a new way.

A Christian witness is much like a witness as we know it in a legal sense; we tell what we see, and we share what we experience. This interpretation of witness poses a great risk to modern Christianity in that it implicitly acknowledges that no matter how great our communication skills may be, there will always be people who reject and may even show animosity toward the Gospel. Being a truthful witness is risky because we accept that we will be faced with adversity; it is a challenge because we nevertheless are compelled to do it.

On the other hand, it would be too easy to simply construct a false testimony, something pleasing to the ear to draw in the masses, since that which is a deliberate falsehood, according to Hovey, is typically crafted to be more appealing. We naturally want people to believe us whether we tell the truth or not. As he writes, what is most pleasing to us may be smooth, when what is true and real is rough or difficult to believe. We choose to deceive ourselves; we desire to hear smooth things when it is rough things that are really there under the surface. Even when the ice melts, the ground underneath it is hard and rocky. The truth of the Gospel is not always as smooth as we often wish for it to be.