| For young high school graduates in America, college is many things. It is an intimidating stage in growing up. One takes his or her first long-term leave from parents and starts taking ownership of his or her personal life. It is perceived to be the next necessary step to getting a career. It is a new social atmosphere with new and exciting relationships. It is where one can take a break to grow and learn without the common distractions that come from life.
At a Bible college the spiritual element is added. Mr. Elliott did a great job addressing a problem that can occur when that spirituality is added to a place that is seen as essential in the next steps of life. In his article that appeared in the previous issue of the SOMA, Elliott fought for intellectual integrity of the Christian student that feels called by God to his or her place for personal development. Elliott clearly stated that one should work hard at the task that God puts before them and that there is no room for the excuse that only the urging of the Spirit is needed for ministry. While the article gave solid encouragement for people to stop making excuses and put their nose to the grindstone, there are a couple things that need addressing. Continue reading
|Punk rock is most known for Mohawk hairstyles, ripped jeans, obscene amounts of drug use, and anarchy (among other things). It is a subculture that fights for individuality and individual responsibility at all cost. These ideals were carried through the amps of the late sixties, early seventies of the Ramones and the Sex Pistols to now with the ever-aging, never-slowing acts of Bad Religion and NOFX. At its worst, punk rock is just a naïve phase of youth and loud, repetitive music, but at its best it is a community built around acceptance and asking the questions no one else will. Through all of the music, all of the drugs, all of the explicit and inappropriate gestures there is a core ideal that the punk rock scene has taken advantage of and taken to the extreme. You may be surprised to hear that this ideal is actually one that is a part of our heritage as Evangelical Americans. This sentiment is an individual’s conviction of a virtue that takes precedence over systems or authorities that the individual is under. Thankfully, most of us find ourselves a part of systems and organizations that give us the ability to value and practice most of our strongest convictions, but for some this punk rock sentiment brings them in conflict with their current context.
What does this sentiment have to do with Christianity? Continue reading
“That this nation—under God—shall have a new birth of freedom. That Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”1
|These words concluded the Gettysburg Address. They received no thunderous applause or immediate praise,2 and after giving, “a few appropriate remarks”3 to honor those who died in the recent battle, Lincoln left without event. Yet those few words forever changed a nation. Ironically, Lincoln never intended to say, “Under God.” They do not appear in his original drafts.4 In the spur of the moment, Lincoln—a man who never professed Christianity5—felt strongly enough about the phrase to end his speech with the mention of God. To those who heard it, the ad lib meant nothing, washed away in the sea of that day’s speeches, but to Americans today the words mean everything. Less than a year after Lincoln’s speech the motto “In God We Trust” first appeared on U.S. currency,6 and upon creation of the Pledge of Allegiance in 1942, the words “Under God” were added in Lincoln’s honor.7 The idea of America as one nation under God caught on quickly with the American people. Continue reading|
Wade was raised in a Christian church, and grew up never questioning its tenets. However, while Wade could explain that salvation from sin is only possible through Jesus Christ, it was not until his senior year of high school that he actually repented of his sin and put all of his faith and hope in Christ for salvation. His pastor played a major role in his conversion. Having truly found Christ for the first time, he exhibited zealous joy and conviction. He graduated high school and wanted to pursue whatever profession would allow him to love Christ the most, so becoming a pastor seemed the likely option. The more he thought about it, the more the ambition fortified in his mind. He would love the opportunity to be the influence on others that his pastor was on him, but he was also open to involvement in missions, biblical counseling, or any other full-time, vocational ministry. This desire became so strong the he was eventually convinced that he was called to pastoral ministry. His church was happy to see his newfound enthusiasm, and encouraged his desires. So Wade applied for the necessary student loans and enrolled in Bible college to begin pursuing his ambition of being a pastor. Continue reading
|With graduation quickly approaching I have the privilege of writing to you this final editor’s note for the 2012-2013 academic year. You could say that this is my farewell piece because very soon I will be graduating and moving on from MBI-Spokane. So, this is my final opportunity to address you as both your fellow student and as your editor-in-chief.
First, let’s deal with some business. I am pleased to announce that we are handing SOMA over to very capable hands. I want to introduce to you your new editors: Rebecca Kauffman and Sarah Spaur. They have played a vital role in the continued success of SOMA and are capable administrators and writers. I could not feel more confident in their ability to take what already exists and make it better. I hope that you support them with encouragement, prayer, and the finest articles you have ever written. When you see them please congratulate them.
I want to make my final exhortation quick and to the point, so here it is: believe the gospel. While this may sound simplistic it’s not. I am talking about truly, passionately, devotedly, putting your whole trust in the good news of Jesus Christ. For when many of my readers hear the term “gospel” they immediately think, “Jesus lived a perfect life, died the death I deserve, and rose on the third day, and if I put my faith in Him I’ll be saved,” which is great and true, but I am talking about something more expansive. The things listed above are the absolutely necessary historical components of which the gospel message is meaningless without, but it is not the entirety of the good news. What I am addressing here is primarily belief in the Christ and His accomplished work and receiving the outcome of that accomplishment through faith. Continue reading
Humility is something of which one cannot have enough. It is directly connected to how we grow and develop because humility requires that we know our level of ability. Humility reminds us to be respectful. Humility is required to listen and engage with anybody. With these skills humility is able to cultivate the gifts God has given to each and every person to then turn and build the body.
As students all of these things that sprout from humility are not only important but vital to the purpose of being at school. At school we are consistently being introduced to thinkers and their ideas. Pride would have us accept what agrees with what we already hold to be true and reject that which causes confusion. On the contrary, humility would have us examine what is being said within itself and then be able to interact objectively. Since we are coming into contact with such a high volume of new thought, we are constantly presented with opportunities to either display humility or pride. Pride enables us to receive what we already have on the basis that we already have it; humility gives us the ability to receive more.