CT’s Top News Stories of 08

Christianity Today’s (CT) editors and writers selected the top ten news stories of 2008. Here are the stories they believed “have shaped or will significantly shape, evangelical life, thought, or mission” (p. 12):

  1. Election 2008: Democrats woo evangelical vote, making only slight gains from Bush era.
  2. Voters turn back California Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision.
  3. Christians in Orissa, India, again become scapegoats for Hindu extremists.
  4. Anglican Communion continues to implode in slow motion.
  5. Christians flee Iraq and Gaza.
  6. Candidate’s religious associations come under scrutiny.
  7. Ministries hold their breath as financial crisis threatens the global economy.
  8. Muslim and Christian interfaith dialogues get serious.
  9. Todd Bentley’s Florida Outpouring divides Charismatic movement.
  10. Texas authorities raid FLDS ranch.

Ending the Semester

For academics time is measured in semesters. The end of the fall semester marks the coming of Christmas, while one short week later, the New Year will herald the beginning of the spring semester.

This fall semester was different for me because I taught two new courses: one called Applied/Clinical Integration and the other an online seminar for new faculty members on integrating Christianity and the courses they are teaching.

The Applied/Clinical Integration course introduced students to explicit integration protocols, such as Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling by Ev Worthington, the REACH model of forgiveness by Ev Worthington, a God image protocol by Glen Moriarty, a book on Christian meditation (not so much a professional protocol as a Christian spirituality resource) by James Finley, and a number of other protocols. Some of the protocols were also implicit integration resources, but the focus of the class was more on explicit integration.

So now it’s time to get grades in and look forward to Christmas and the New Year. Actually, my grades are in, but this is the first down time I have had to acknowledge it and prepare for Christmas. But as soon as I do, the New Year will bring with it the spring semester and courses on Ethics and Family Therapy; the online seminar for new faculty members will also continue through the spring.

That makes it all sound rushed, but I don’t feel it was. I think of the end of the semester as a time to reflect on what’s been accomplished and to prepare for what is ahead. So while I think about upcoming courses, I want to acknowledge how much I enjoyed the fall – the new classes taught as well as the research team I direct and the trainings we’ve been a part of all fall.

“Top ten” experiences include:

10. Pavlov’s Dawgs back on the court for intramural basketball, although we’re off to a rough start!

9. Demonstrations by colleagues in the Applied/Clinical Integration course in their specialty areas (Jen Ripley on hope-focused marriage counseling, Jim Sells on marital conflict, and Glen Moriarty on God image) only confirm what great faculty colleagues I get to work with at Regent.

8. Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity (ISSI) research team discussion with Christian transgender acquaintance.

7. Family Therapy book co-authored with Jim Sells published.

6. Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) East Regional conference roadtrip and seeing students develop professional role/identity (not to mention informal mentoring through Texas Hold ‘Em).

5. Weekly basketball games/ministry restored in the past 2 weeks at a local rec center. It’s better than a treadmill!

4. ISSI research team volunteer work at a local HIV/AIDS center.

3. Live demonstration (including field trip) of attempts to integrate Christian contructs, including God image, in equine therapy.

2. CAPS East ballroom dance lesson (International Rumba) by Ev Worthington.

1. ISSI research team trainings by Dr. Corne Bekker on biblical hermeneutics and sexuality in mediteranian culture.