When Magic Ruled the World by Collin Duff

Lately, a deep, almost painful sense of nostalgia has come over me, a nostalgia that appears around this time every year. Both strange and cyclical, and existing somewhere between sadness and joy, this deep longing has been with me for some time. Each year the seasonal changes taking place around me, particularly the smell in the air, signal its approach and with the arrival of Christmas lights and music it possesses me fully. But, if I were to ever try to express the significance or even the object of my longing I would be speechless. Initially I confused it with yearning for childhood and the excitement of Christmas morning, but I quickly realized that the superficiality of presents was not enough to account for my experience. Its too deep for that, too heart breaking, too personal to be about presents under the tree. I soon realized that my nostalgia wasn’t for any item in particular, or for a moment, or even for Christmas itself, but rather for something typified by Christmas. What I was longing for was something I had lost: I longed for the time in my childhood when magic ruled the world.

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Our Monsters: The Application

When you think of yourself what do you think of?  Most would reply with things that you have done, accomplishments you have made, what status you have in society, maybe even your style of dress.  Would those people be right?  Is that the totality of who you are?  There is much more to you that happens internally that people may never know, but what do you think of when you think of yourself?  In our more confident moments answers to these questions seem very obvious and ludicrous.  In humbler times, we may hesitate to give ourselves more time to think.

Previously, I had discussed the parallels between our all-too-common circumstances and that of Dr. Frankenstein.  The power of good fiction is the ability to create fantastical circumstances that force us to think about our very real and current situations.  One does not want to commit the fallacy of reading our own story into everything we encounter, but, if a writer does well, one will find themselves connecting with a character.  Quotations from Shelley’s classic illustrated not just Frankenstein’s conflict with his monster, but also our own conflict with sin; the creation of our monsters, how those around us react, and the life long struggle in ourselves.

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Education and the Holy Spirit by Peter Elliot

An ironic predicament has presented itself at Moody Bible Institute-Spokane. From my various conversations with fellow classmates, professors, (and even from reflection in my own life) I have realized a common and blatant contradiction in the way students view their theological education. This contradiction is the Bible student’s use of the Holy Spirit as a means of attaining his specific theological education, and the utilization of the Holy Spirit as a hindrance to that education which he claims God “called him to,” “led him toward,” or “gifted him for.” Education, in this sense, is not the experience of college but the “systematic instruction, schooling or training given to the young in preparation for the work of life, pertaining to an institution, classes, assignments, and a grading system.” The term “education,” in this paper, will be regarded as the scholastic assignments given to students to advance their knowledge. In a formal, theological education the Holy Spirit should enhance our learning and not be used as an excuse for poor performance.

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The Lie of Free Thought by Jacob McAuley

Not long ago, I watched a video in which an eight-year-old girl professed to evangelical atheist Christopher Hitchens that she believed herself a  ‘free-thinker.’ I nearly wept at the tragedy. It felt as if I were watching a train that had just been set in motion, full of innocence people conversing gaily while unaware their track was heading toward a cliff, and myself too far away too help. When I remember the innocence of children, I consider the effects of damaging philosophies and philosophers with even more gravity; I often spend some time mediating on millstones. The lie of this modern philosophy entitled ‘Freethought’1  is twofold: it is neither free, nor is it thought. G.K. Chesterton appropriately labels this sort of thinking “the suicide of thought.”2  At this point, it seems best to define the notion I have portrayed so heinously; Free Thought is “thought unrestrained by deference to authority, tradition, or established belief.”3  By definition it is a contradiction in terms: the venerable tradition of human logic is accepted despite tradition having been rejected. That said, I hope to show that it is much worse than a mere contradiction: it is obliteration.

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Genesis, Sex, and Sexuality by Calvin Peronto

My intention in this paper is to examine sexuality in its proper context by viewing it within the created ideal, then to examine the distortions that take place, resulting from the fall. Often the topic of sexuality is enigmatic for the Christian community, and results in confusion at its mention. Now, sexuality in the world’s economy is glorified, boasted in, and used as a selling strategy for most everything. Yet neither confusion nor exaltation are satisfactory and both disfigure God’s created and recreated intention for sex and sexuality. Therefore, this paper will exegetically survey Genesis 1-3 and Romans 1:21-25, with the hope of moving toward a theology of sex and sexuality for the benefit of Jesus’ bride. Masturbation shall also be examined; specifically in light of Romans 1, for this topic is hardly spoken of theologically. I do not desire to cast stones, nor do I want to be controversial, but rather I think that we must see what sin truly is and what it does to us and to our relationships with others. To that end, I write this first paper to view the deforming nature of sin regarding sex and sexuality. I hope to write a following paper that will examine sexuality within its re-created context, namely to inspect the sexual implications of having the image of God renewed in Jesus Christ, and how new life in Him changes the distortions of the fall, bringing about restoration, meaning and purpose for sex and sexuality.

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Romance: A Mercenary Affair by Sarah Spaur

“I went to Bible College once,” a friend of mine casually reminisced over tea. She was in her mid-thirties and characteristically enjoyed telling stories about how she and her husband met. However, this particular story took a turn I had not expected: “I couldn’t handle it and left after one year. It was like a meat market!” My face must have betrayed my confusion at this remark, for she quickly explained, “You couldn’t have any male friends without them imagining you barefoot and pregnant in their future kitchens!” And with that, Bible students everywhere instantaneously produce one of two reactions: a collective gasp of disbelief at the biased absurdity of it or a knowing nod. Bible colleges do have a reputation similar to the above statement. It is my hope that Moody does not follow suit to that particular extreme; however, it is difficult to deny the affect that our environment understandably has on our approach to relationships. It would be naïve to expect an insignificant number of romantic relationships to develop out of environments such as Moody: the four-year extended collision of several hundred like-minded young people with goals for ministry fueled by a common love of the Lord. Desiring marriage is not wrong; in fact, it is not marriage itself that is the problem, but rather how we go about it. In the resulting sub-culture where invitations to coffee might as well be executed on one knee and pairs are formed in the grapevine a few steps ahead of reality, we should not begin to regard relationships and friendships as transactions made merely as an avenue to marriage.

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