Abilene Christian University

ACU instructor brings humor, insight into ‘A World Gone Mad’

EthicsSeminar

(Editor’s Note: Randy Harris, an instructor at Abilene Christian University, led a two-day seminar Aug. 4-5 on Christian ethics. Always entertaining and insightful, Harris didn’t disappoint. He invites anyone interested to a “Ministers’ Lunch Hour with Randy Harris”, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 29, in the Hunter Welcome Center on the ACU campus. His topic will be “Does the Church Matter?” Cost, including lunch, is $15. To register, go to www.acu.edu/siburt and click on “Events” by Aug. 22)

By Loretta Fulton

The title of the two-day seminar was “Christian Ethics in a World Gone Mad: How to Cope and Even Thrive.”

RandyHarris

Randy Harris

By the time it was over, some in the sessions may have suggested a name change to: “Solving Christian Ethical Problems Can Drive You Mad.”

Such is the nature of Christian ethics–it ain’t easy. Thankfully, the leader for the Aug. 4-5 seminar at Abilene Christian University was Randy Harris, a popular instructor at ACU, who made the sessions not only informative and enlightening, but also entertaining.

If you want to be driven truly mad, and entertained at the same time, read “ The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge” by Thomas Cathcart. Harris suggested everyone attending the summer short course read the book beforehand. Those who did realized that spending just two days pondering ethical issues could be maddening.

An example of the ethical dilemmas thrown out by Harris for the participants to ponder:

  1. God wills it because it is good.
  2. It is good because God wills it.

Answer: “Not exactly.”

Scholarly types might want to know that the brain-teaser officially is known as the Euthyphro Problem, first posed by Plato. Don’t worry–even Harris had trouble spelling it. (more…)

Studying for the Life of the World

 

YaleDivinityWelcome

By Nathan Jowers

 

NathanJowers

Nathan Jowers

My name is Nathan Jowers. I’m a student of theology, studying Bible at Abilene Christian University. During the school year, I attend services at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Abilene. At the start of the summer I was near miraculously offered an internship that would have me flipping back and forth between work at a church and theological research at Yale Divinity School. I’ve been here six weeks.

When I walk through the low arches of Yale Divinity School, I am reminded of Luther and the theologians of old plodding through the halls of their respective monasteries with no more sense of the future than I have now. Arguments which must seem arcane to us were to them the objects of as much brooding as I give my own quibbles. As for those thoughts which still seem to shake the world, well, they existed side by side with wondering what’s for lunch.

I don’t mean to compare myself to Luther or any other great theologian—I am just a 19-year-old intern who’s read more Dr. Seuss than Karl Barth—I only mean to comment on the odd combination of abstract ideas, which seem to come to us either from an unnameable past or an eternal whenever, and the intense sense of time and location in which those ideas were formed. I have experienced here hard issues of violence, suffering, and the reconciliation of the world worked out over friendly lunches. Then the love between colleagues was as thick in the air as their swarm of struggling words. (more…)