Friday, March 30, 2007

Something of an apology…
The Tot and Jittle staff extends its deepest condolences for the extended silence. Not hearing from the most trusted source of campus news must have frustrated our faithful readers these many long months. What kind of a student publication simply disappears for months with no explanation? Outrageous.

The T&J staff attempted to justify their collective irresponsibility by citing the “overwhelming” amount of work they had to do over these last few months. The editorial board has responded to such ridiculousness with nothing short of stiff and sweeping reprimands. After all, none of the T&J staff are likely to graduate anyway, given their participation in this little project.

With an adjusted view of their situation, the T&J staff has responded with a flurry of activity. They insisted not only on returning to work, but on returning retroactively.

Therefore, the Tot and Jittle gladly presents everything you missed. But not all at once. That could cause medical issues.

November 2006

International student asked for intercultural insight
May Lim sometimes doubted that anyone in her Sanctification and Ecclesiology class actually saw her sitting there. Day after day she would come to Todd 114, sit in the back row—in the chair nearest the door—take copious notes, pack up and leave. Then Wednesday, October 25 happened.

On Wednesday, October 25, the classroom discussion focused upon the topic of church discipline. Although, from May’s perspective, the day seemed to progress normally, all at once a classmate raised her hand. The classmate’s words jarred May out of her note-taking malaise.

“I would assume,” the classmate said, “that church discipline looks different in cultures that are more shame-motivated than ours. Like Asian cultures. I was wondering if May had any insight into how church discipline might look in other contexts.”

May, who grew up in Shanghai, couldn’t believe her ears. At first, she didn’t know if she should respond. But, after a short internal argument, she acquiesced. May shared her experiences, drawing upon her childhood. When she finished, the classmate and professor thanked her and May walked out of Todd 114 a new woman.

“I had never been asked about the differences between my culture and this one,” May laments. “It’s like most students just assume that everything everywhere is like North America and in places where it’s not, something is wrong.”

The professor—who had repeatedly wished that more international students would share in class but had avoided singling them out so as not to embarrass—expressed his delight in the unexpected blessing. “It was great,” he said. “That needs to happen more often.”

At this time, May has no plans to take on the role of significant contributor in her classes, still content to sit quietly and take notes. Yet, she also feels for others who feel forced into cultural silence. “I’ve given some thought to starting a support organization called IEXIST which stands for International EXperiences Influence the Study of Theology. It would provide international students a place to share their experiences in studying theology in North America.”

Even if IEXIST never comes to fruition, May recognizes that something fundamental has changed about her seminary experience. “Somebody knows I exist. Maybe it’s only one white girl, but it’s a start.”

Greek pick-up line gets cool response at home
Elliot Carson knew exactly the right remedy for his wife Kennedy’s long, hard day at home with their three young children. He was convinced that a shot of romance in the middle of the busyness would provide an evening of instant relief. But Kennedy proved a tougher audience than Elliot anticipated.

As soon as Elliot walked in the door of the couple’s three bedroom house in Mesquite and saw toys strewn across the living room floor, Kennedy working on dinner over a hot stove while two toddlers clung to her legs and the newborn wailed in the highchair, the sensitive husband knew that the time had arrived for him to re-kindle the flame with an original language gem his Greek professor had mentioned weeks earlier.

“I sauntered up behind her, put my arms around her and whispered in her ear, ‘You must have some reduplication, because, baby, you’re perfect.’” Kennedy answered with something a little louder than a whisper.

Neighbors Ken and Julie Ryan say that Kennedy’s response could even be heard next door. “She must have been pretty upset,” Julie says. “Some of those words I’ve only heard on The Sopranos and two others I had to look up.” Ken agrees. “It was so scary, I thought that maybe I should go next door and apologize, too.”

Despite her outburst, Kennedy knows that Elliot’s heart was in the right place. “It’s flattering that he’d think of me,” she says. “His timing pretty much sucked, though.” Kennedy doesn’t know how she’d react to future attempts at romance by her budding scholar, but insists that she’s no longer angry. “And I’ll tell him so in a week, when he’s served his time on the couch.”

For his part, Elliot has learned his lesson. “Perhaps it would have been better to offer to make dinner,” he says. “But that doesn’t mean I won’t try again sometime. Maybe once I start Hebrew. Yeah, I bet Hebrew is much sexier.”

Ed. Note: Interested in better Christian pick-up lines? Click here.

Dear Alumnus…

Dear Alumnus,
How would you recommend I spend my reading week and Thanksgiving break? I have the option to take my family to Disney World or to sit in on a week-long debate about the authorship of the Pastoral Epistles. What would you do?
-Cameron the Conflicted

Dear Cameron,
As the spiritual head of your family, you owe it to them to create lasting memories. And what’s more lasting than the Word of God? Did Christ swear that Disney World would never pass away? In heaven, nobody will ask to see your vacation photos, but someday you may run into Paul and you wouldn’t want to piss him off by questioning his work. Clearly, the best thing for your family is that you’re secure in your knowledge of the Word. So, pop in a copy of The Lion King and tell your kids you’ll see them later. They’ll understand and thank you for it later.

DTS Man Goes to the Movies
Since money is always tight around the holidays, I made the always difficult decision to save a few bucks this month by going to the $2 movie theatre that shows second-run films. Predictably, the film I encountered at this seedy, low-brow establishment was nothing short of blasphemy captured on celluloid. In fact, this might be the most overtly pagan film I’ve seen in a long time. So, I’ve taken it upon myself to warn you about the dangers of a film known as The Devil Wears Prada.

As indicated in the title, this film deals with the Prince of Darkness himself. Although I spent most of the movie praying for the souls of those around me, I did catch enough of the plot to offer you two solidly Christian reasons for avoiding this movie.

The first reason that sensible Christians are avoiding this film is its subject. The emphasis on Satan is bad enough, but this movie doesn’t stop there. The film unites Satan-worship with the equally troublesome sin of materialism. Until I came home and did a Google search, I wasn’t aware—meaning that you likely aren’t either—that Prada is a shoe company. A very expensive shoe company. The filmmakers are subtly pushing the twin messages of celebrating Satan and buying fancy clothes. Yet, in Matthew 7, Jesus warns the Israelites not to worry about their clothes. Since this passage clearly has no relevance to those of us in the church age, I hesitate to bring it up, but it is worth noting that worry about clothing is one sign that a nation will reject God’s kingdom offer. Therefore, to worry about clothes is likely a sign that you are not elect.

Second, the film majors in trickery. This is not surprising since we all know that Satan is not only the Father of lies, but also the Father of tricks (which is why we should also avoid Halloween—but that’s another column). The main character offers a great example of this film’s tricky nature. Worried about alienating the lucrative Christian filmgoer market, the filmmakers cleverly disguised Satan as a middle-aged woman with the last name “Priestly.” Tricks that most might fall for, but—luckily for you—not DTS Man. We must see through such tricks and call them what they really are: tricks.

In response, I call for all Christians to respond in the most Christianly way we know how: a boycott! Let us boycott this Prada company who slavishly gives devotion to Satan. Let us stand in front of their stores with signs reading “The Savior Wears Flip-Flops,” and “My Feet Are Fitted With The Readiness Of The Gospel of Peace.” Remember, we must remain steady in our cause, for Prada prowls like a roaring lion. Beware of this film! Beware of this company! What good is it for a man to gain the whole world yet be cast into the flames of hell in $400 shoes?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you're back.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once wrote a fascinating article on SF groups that was rejected by the J&T. I wondered if you could send me your writers guidelines, as I think your readers would appreciate such a piece. Let me know.


"a little bit of red"

8:19 PM  
Blogger T&J Staff said...

Dear "A Little Bit of Red,"

I will be glad to send writer's guidelines your way.

Thanks for your interest.

T&J Editor

7:44 AM  

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