In this Issue...
A proposal for a change to the curriculum for Mentored Ministries
The current curriculum of Calvin Theological Seminary runs the danger of unintentionally teaching students to fear points of view differing from their own. For example, I am quite certain that CTS is one of the safest places in the world for a thoughtful Christian to enter into conversation with a thoughtful atheist. A rigorously intellectual, Biblically based Christian community such as ours is the perfect place for students to engage differing beliefs. Yet, we do not have these kinds of dialogs happening. Even those professors who work very hard to bring in outside opinions in the forms of course readings are limited in their ability to do justice to the opinions expressed there.
On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center in New York was destroyed by suicidal terrorists. The attack took the lives of 2,800 - 3,500 persons in a moment, and the U.S. government suspected that Osama Bin Laden plotted the terrifying event. After 9/11, the U.S. president strongly proclaimed "war against terror" and sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to destroy Al-Qaida, the terrorist group. The war has been going on for a decade. Finally, on May 1, 2011, Osama Bin Laden who is assumed to be the face of global terrorism and the architect of 9/11 was killed in an official U.S. operation. This hateful retribution persisting for a decade now seems to be over after numerous battles, wounded people and deaths. However, nobody knows whether a "second Osama Bin Laden" might come out and commit a "second 9/11." Hate creates hate, and the hate spiral seems to have no end. Why does hate spring eternal? How does hate take control? What is hate?
I served as the senate secretary in 2009-2010, the year the new curriculum and schedule went into effect. That year I saw our senate listen well to students and present their challenges before a very attentive administration. I watched senators sharpen their deliberation skills in meetings and blossom as they used their gifts in various subcommittees. I gained a deeper appreciation for the seminary's administration and the challenges they face. I watched classmates laughing together at events I helped plan. I, along with the other senators, was given the opportunity to interview our next seminary president, represent the students' perspective within a board meeting, and use my own skills to keep things running smoothly.
We would like to say "thank you" for making this a great year with the Kerux! Thank you to all of our contributors this year, who provided informative and thought-provoking articles. And thank you, CTS community, for reading the Kerux this year, and engaging with the ideas we've been discussing.