Thursday, September 28, 2006

September 2006

Dear Readers…
This is us responding to public outcry/impassioned pleas/good, old fashioned peer pressure.
Several faithful readers have noted, with much sadness, that this blog provides no place to leave comments. No longer.
Please peruse, read, and leave comments. The comments section will, however, be moderated.
If you leave a comment and it never appears, assume the worst (i.e. a Greek exam).
Never say we haven’t done anything other than provide you a laugh or 7.
-Tot and Jittle staff

Lincoln Hall room a “turn-off”
Eric Colton has everything going for him. Young, single, smart and dedicated to the Lord, he appears to be the perfect catch. Yet Eric Colton has a problem. The disheveled mess in which he lives turns away potential romantic interests in droves. Eric Colton is single because of Lincoln Hall.

“His room is disgusting. A total turn-off,” said one third-year female that used to be interested in Colton and asked to be referred to only as Jenna. “Seriously, he had a pizza box that was, like, a year old that he was using as a doorstop. And he keeps all his clothes in piles on the floor. He says he knows which piles are clean and which are dirty, but I find that hard to believe.” A former neighbor of Colton’s—who asked not to be identified—said, “The guy’s a total slob. If you ask me, it’s an issue of spiritual maturity. I mean, if you can’t even conduct the affairs of your dorm room in an orderly fashion, how can you be expected to shepherd the church of God?”

Repeated attempts at helping Colton to clean his room have been rebuffed. “We organized a ‘Clean Up Colton’ event,” says Jeff Baxter, another former neighbor. “We got something like ten people together on a Saturday morning, grabbed all of our supplies, and prayed before we headed out. But, he heard about it ahead of time and refused to let us inside.”

Undeterred, Baxter simply switched tactics. “I decided that maybe he wasn’t ready for such a confrontational approach to the state of his room,” Baxter explains. “So, I decided just to give him a book that I thought could help him.” The book—The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room—was meant to “get Eric thinking,” Baxter contends. Instead, Colton just dug in his heels even further. “His room got even messier after that,” Baxter laments. “It’s like he’s living in open rebellion.”

Colton finds such attempts at forced cleaning or subtle persuasion offensive, intrusive, and unnecessary. “I don’t know why people make such a big deal out of this,” he says. “Some day I’ll be ready to clean up my room, but now just isn’t the right time for me. Right now, I’m having too much fun practicing sermons to worry about the state of my room.”

More importantly, Colton denies that the room is a hindrance to his romantic life. “I’ve been on a number of dates recently,” he contends. “One girl even agreed to a second date.” Colton maintains that when he finds “the one,” the condition of his room won’t even be an issue. “I want a girl who will love me as I am. And really, if she desires to be a pastor’s wife, shouldn’t she be beyond such worldly concerns anyway?” How right you are, Stinky. How right you are.

Students and administration confounded by student choice
Third-year student Michael Perkins recently did something so rare that few could remember the last time it happened at DTS. During a discussion in Soteriology, Perkins passed up an opportunity to make a point. As he told his friends at lunch later that day, “I just decided that maybe my opinion on the matter wasn’t all that crucial at that point.” The results have caused a stir around campus.

Discussion of Perkins’s act—usually referred to in hushed tones as the “moment of silence”—has swept throughout the seminary community. “I’m stunned,” Corrine Exeter said. Exeter, who has had six classes with Perkins throughout her time at DTS, couldn’t recall another time when such an outrageous act had occurred. “He usually has plenty to say, so to hear that he chose not to, well, it’s surprising.” John Stovall, another classmate of Perkins’s, found it refreshing. “I know I’m only a second-year and he’s a third-year and all, but there have been many times when I would have preferred he didn’t share at all.”

The discussion of Perkins’s “moment of silence” has even reached the highest levels of the seminary. One official from the administration—speaking on the condition of anonymity—said, “This act is nearly unprecedented in the annals of seminary history. We’ve been contacting many professors, both current and former, and none could remember anything like it.” He continued, “Nobody expects something like this from a third-year. From a first-year, sure. They stay quiet out of fear. But a third-year? Unprecedented.” What remains unclear, at this point, is whether Perkins’s act is a temporary aberration or will establish a pattern.

“I haven’t decided whether I’ll do it again or not,” Perkins says. “I mean, in one way it was a nice change of pace, but on the other hand, I still feel like the in-class discussion was lacking in some way. Could my comment have changed that? Probably, yeah.” Whatever he decides, an entire community waits breathlessly. Perkins recognizes the gravity of his choice. “Ultimately, I may owe it to the other students to share my wisdom. Otherwise I might as well bury my five talents.”

Dear Alumnus

Dear Alumnus,
As an international student, I find that many of my classmates have a very different perspective on things. Sometimes, when I feel like I can share and help them see things from a global viewpoint, I get scared. What would you recommend?

Dear Pablo,
What you are feeling in those moments is not fear: it is the conviction of the Holy Spirit. You would do well to soak up all you can from those who were blessed enough to be born in America, a Christian country. God has obviously extended special grace to the citizens of this nation, and you would benefit greatly if you would simply listen to everything they tell you and immediately implement it in your own context. Then, perhaps, God will turn His attention and love toward your country, too.

DTS Man Goes to the Movies
Recently, DTS Man headed off to the Cineplex to take in the new Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher movie The Guardian. After seeing the film, I could only arrive at one conclusion: this, simply, is the greatest movie ever made that deals with the somewhat murky topic of angelology. While some may not see this film as a vehicle to discuss angels, their roles and reality, I can’t see it as anything but.

First, consider the title. While Christians of every ilk debate the reality of guardian angels, this Believer is a believer. I personally know a guy whose friend’s mom’s boss was once pulled from a burning car wreck in the uninhabited back woods of Kentucky by a seven-foot-tall man with enormous white wings growing from his back. That, my friends, is a guardian angel if I’ve ever heard of one. Therefore, with the reality of guardian angels sufficiently established, let’s explore the parallels to the real life versions and the celluloid renditions. This movie deals with those who search not the backwoods of Kentucky but the choppy waters of the ocean looking not to pull survivors from burning car wrecks but to snatch those left treading water from the clutches of the icy abyss. Additionally, these Coast Guard rescue swimmers actually come from the air, too. Like an angel descending from heaven, they descend in their helicopters at the time of greatest need. Friends, the connection couldn’t be clearer, nor the intent more obvious.

A second sign that this film intends to convey a spiritually significant message is the choice of director: the incomparable Andrew Davis. Davis previously directed such Christian faves as The Fugitive, an extended allegory about the night that Peter betrayed Jesus, and Under Seige, which my mother wouldn’t let me see, but I have concluded is about the state of the Evangelical church after the Scopes Trial of the 1920s. With such a résumé, is it any wonder that Davis has again resumed his theological ponderings with The Guardian?

The film itself tells a powerful story of a Coast Guard rescue swimmer in training. From our enlightened theological perspective, however, we can clearly recognize that, through The Guardian, we have the privilege of witnessing a junior guardian angel (Kutcher) in training. We watch as he learns the ropes from a senior guardian angel (Costner) and makes his first attempts at protecting his earthly charges. Think of it as the Bizarro Screwtape Letters. My friends, you simply cannot miss this exquisite film which pulls back the curtain of heaven and gives the viewer a glimpse into the training room of guardian angels. When all of the facts are considered, The Guardian may prove to be the greatest evangelistic tool of the 21st century.

Previous films have explored angels in America and the outfield, angels who dance, smoke and chew (and date girls who do) and angels who fall in love with Bobby Brown’s wife, but never before has Hollywood explored angels functioning in their most likely role. Thanks to Davis, Costner and Kutcher, that travesty has been rectified. Guardian angels, your movie has finally arrived.


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