All posts by Sophia Drager

Spring Band Concert 4-08-17

DESCRIBE

The Concordia St. Paul concert was on Tuesday, March twenty-first. I am in both Chamber Ensemble and Concert Band. I play the upright bass and the tuba. The concert started with the Chamber Ensemble. We played “Prelude II” by Gershwin and “Symphony No. 16” by Haydn. “Symphony No. 16” was a playful song that gave a happy feeling. This song was more advanced for me and was a challenge to play, but I had fun learning the song. The other song, “Prelude II,” was a sad, more mellow song that had a bluesy tone to it to create a more calm, jazzy feel. After the Chamber Ensemble finished, the concert band began to play.  As the the tuba player, I got a different perspective of the music. I heard different instruments- mostly the trombones, trumpets, and French horns in relation to where I am seated in the band. We played a total of eight songs. The first song was called “Groove Music.” “Groove Music” was a simple song that had a clear melody. The melody was echoed throughout the whole band to keep simplicity and energy. The second song, “Gathering Places,” was dedicated to the first sit-in in North Carolina. This song included three spirituals that contain the theme of unity and desegregation of a community. The third song was called “Buffalo Dances” and was created out of respect for the Native American lifestyle and nature in the Dakota tribe. “Buffalo Dances” includes Native American sounds from the percussion section and buffalo noises from the trombone section. The trombones used plungers to create the buffalo noises. The fourth song, “Communion,” was played at chapel earlier that day and was a re-creation of the hymn “Be Thou My Vision.” Since the concert was so long and we played so many songs, Professor Isakson made sure there was an intermission for us to rest our lips. After the intermission, the band played “Into the Light,” another hymn-like song that gave a restful feel. According to many musicians in the band, this song allowed them to reflect on their faith and feel a sense of rest and ease in Christ’s grace and mercy. The sixth song was “With Each Sunset.” This song was dedicated to a soldier who died in Iraq. Just like “Into the Light,” it was intended to be a restful and transcendent. The main theme behind this song was that “‘With Each Sunset’ comes the promise of a new day”. This allows people to look at the positives and the grace God brings to people for the blessings of a new day. “White River Revival” was another song that was dedicated to the land of the Dakotas and the Native American history in the land. The last song was “American Flourish.” This was one of the best songs the band played, in my opinion. This song included “Yankee Doodle,” “Johnny Comes Marching Home,” “Shenandoah,” and the American Anthem. This final song wrapped up the entire concert, creating unity from the other songs like “Gathering Places” and “Buffalo Dances.” The songs chosen for this concert was a great way to unify the overarching theme through the many different cultures and backgrounds. Music reminds people that America is a country with many different backgrounds and religions, but we should all gather together to celebrate these differences as a community.

 

INTEGRATE

“Gathering Places” was the second song the Concert Band performed. This song is based on the sit-in that happened in North Carolina. Three hymns, “Brethren we have gathered to worship”, “Shall we go down to the River”, and “A Great Camp Meeting in the Promised Land” were integrated into the piece. These songs resembled the unification of people to fight against segregation, and to gather together as brothers and sisters in Christ, and to find commonality in life through these African Spirituals. The Honors class is learning about racism in society this semester. This song’s dedication to the first sit-in allows people to gather together and look past the racism in the system and look at each other as brothers and sisters in Christ trying to build one another up and support one another. Over spring break, the Concert Band went on tour to the Midwest. Professor Isakson put the history of the Native Americans in perspective, with the once roaming hills and plains filled with wild buffalo as a reminder of what the land went through and where the people of the area came from. Last semester, the Honors class learned about the ways of knowing. Professor Isakson learned truth and shared it with the band over tour. He learned the personal truth through another person’s observations of when a child reaches adolescence and how to cope with this realization. He also learned the name of Buffalo, Minnesota did not come from the once roaming buffalo in the area like the song would portray by the blaring trombones, but in actuality it came from a type of fish in the area.

 

EVALUATE

Since I am in Concert Band I got a new perspective of all of the pieces. It was helpful that the band went on band tour because the class as a whole made great strides each time that we played a new concert. This was probably the best concert played this semester. The music choices were very appropriate for the places we visited. My favorite songs were “Buffalo Dances” and “White River Revival.” These songs are influenced by the South Dakota land and Native Americans history. As a tuba player, I was pleased to get a duet with the piccolo in “White River Revival”. All of the songs were fun to play, and it was interesting to hear each individual section grow to perform better. As the band performed more, we created a more balanced sound that was appealing. The trombone section in particular was exciting to hear, when they pretended to sound like buffalo. It was surprising to hear the trombones and feel the floor shake when they blared their instruments.

Poehler Lecture 4-08-17

DESCRIBE

Dr. Schoenbeck was the guest speaker for the Poehler lecture. She was described as one of the most influential educators in public schools and she founded Hand in Hand Child Care at Concordia. Dr. Schoenbeck started her lecture by giving the perspective of a child and what is the optimal time for learning as a child to help brain development. She stressed the importance to maintain focus on children and to create a loving community to stimulate growth on a number of different levels and areas in a child’s life. The Maasai people, a tribe from Africa in Kenya and Tanzania, have warriors to protect the village and the people in it. When a warrior passes another warrior the common greeting is, “How are the children?” and the other warrior would respond, “The children are well.” This simple conversation helped the people of Masai understand that the well being of the village is a reflection of the well being of the children, because they are the village’s future. The rates of death after birth, the physical wellness of a child, and reading abilities of a child have decreased in the United States, but the risk of living in a food insecure home has increased. Dr. Schoenbeck talked about natural growth of a child and how everyone learns at their own pace, so it can be a hinderance to force a child to learn something too early. She also explained the five main areas of child development: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual and moral. It is important for a child to constantly be learning new things through play time with friends and family, reading with mom and dad, being hugged and loved, and communicating at all times. These factors help a child’s self esteem, vocabulary, personality development, and mental intelligence.

INTEGRATE

Dr. Schoenbeck explained the five ways of development in a child’s life: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual. These five ways are similar to the five ways of knowing: observation, reason, imagination, emotion, and revelation. Each of these ways of knowing help a person develop an understanding of the world and find truth in the unknown. Just as a child uses physical development, a person can observe change in the world and solve how a problem occurred through the scientific method and investigating to identify clues. In reason, a child uses these skills to think through their problems. In intellectual development, a child may not know how to sound out a word but through practice and reason they can think through the problem and find a solution. A child naturally has a lot of imagination and uses this tool as a way to develop social skills with other children. The last way a child develops is through spiritual and moral knowledge. A child can go to church and learn from their parents’ actions on what is right and wrong to gain moral truth on how to live.

Self-esteem is very important to children. They develop self-esteem by the age of five. If a child is given love, affection, praise, and communication, the child will learn to believe “I am loved because I exist,” rather than, “People will love me if I…” This idea can be similar to people of color. Since white people are the majority and the overarching power in society, many people of color have to put aside their own culture and try to fit into the white lifestyle, thinking, “I will be accepted if I…” rather than, “I am loved because I exist”.

EVALUATE

The lecture was very informational and impactful. The phrase, “So how are the children?” hit me hard. As I learn to become a Director of Christian Education, I have been thinking about teenagers and college kids as my main target, but how are the children in the church? They are the future of the church, the community, and how Christians will be viewed by others. What impact does the church have on younger generations and how is the church helping the community? I wish I could have stayed for the whole lecture because it is evident that Dr. Schoenbeck has a passion for helping and developing a child’s potential to thrive in life. Her main ideas on children were insightful to the students of Concordia: the children who are developing to bring out other generations potential.

Rhinoceros 4-08-17

DESCRIBE

Concordia St. Paul performed a play called Rhinoceros from February 16-19. Rhinoceros was written by Eugene Ionesco in 1959 in France. Ionesco was writing Rhinoceros as a response to World War II in Europe, but Concordia students took on the absurd play and absorbed it into their own world, seemingly turning into the characters. The play was performed “in the round” completely surrounding the actors and stage, allowing the audience to watch each other watch the play, interact/connect through watching, and get a more connected relationship to the performers. The play begins on a Sunday morning in a small French town square. It starts out lighthearted and humorous as the restaurant waiters and two friends argue. A rhinoceros is seen running through the small square and the scenes get more intense as the play continues. Throughout the play, more and more people conform to becoming a rhinoceros, which relates to the idea that people conform to a society even though they do not want to. As the actors transform into rhinoceroses they keep their same costumes, but they wear a wire rhinoceros shaped helmet that was inspired by Pablo Picasso. Every scene contained humorous jokes that kept the play lighthearted until the end where the intensity heightened (as the director explained it, “when the scene drops off”). After the play on Saturday the director and actors stayed after to have a talk about the play. It was very interesting to get the audience’s ideas, the actors’ ideas, and that director’s perspective of the play.

 

INTEGRATE

The main character, Bérenger, was the only character to say where he was at and how he felt throughout the play, like when he randomly said he was hungry during the fire at his job. No one listened to him and Jean tried to tell him to act and behave. African American people are very marginalized. This is not new to society. We learned in Honors that people of color are marginalized, are oppressed, and do not have the same opportunities as white people in education, financial status, and opportunities. The idea of people conforming to the rhinoceroses in the play is similar to the way people of color may have to conform to the white lifestyle to gain a better education, a job, and to be more accepted by white people. Since white people are the majority and have power, they run society and have white privilege. So people of color have to follow, listen, and conform to how white people want them to. In Rhinoceros, Bérenger says to Mr. Dudard, “I will become one of them, but fight within.” Many people in Honors are beginning to do research about their case study and are hearing about Black Lives Matter, a movement that was created to advocate for people of color to gain equality in a number of societal structures. People of color may conform to a white society, but many fight within towards equal rights and against racism.

 

EVALUATE

I loved Rhinoceros. It is probably my favorite play right now. I loved it so much that I went and saw it twice, and I even took my mom to it. The play was very interesting in that I could connect with other audience members as I watch them watch the play and I connected to the performers, gaining a close relationship to both. The actors and actresses did a great job in the play. They really got into the role and made the play so believable that it seemed like they were not even acting, but playing themselves.

 

Note:

In my integration portion I may be taking a stretch. I say this because I am not a person of color and I do not want to put words into other people’s mouths. Since I am not a person of color I believe it is not my place to explain how someone of color may feel. I will say that I talked to a person of color and although that person did not directly say he/she had to conform to a white society, he/she implied it.

Lacrosse 2-25-17

DESCRIBE

The Girls lacrosse game was very interesting. To me, lacrosse is similar to soccer. Bethany and I made signs to support our Honor’s classmate, Tyra. Tyra plays mid-field so she is very fast. She ran up and down the whole field playing offense and defense. In the game Tyra scored one point. During the first half of the game, CSP scored ten points which means in the second half of the game the clock never stops to speed up the game. In the end Concordia won. The score was 23-0.

INTEGRATE

Concordia Saint Paul’s lacrosse team played an all women’s school from Asher, Wisconsin. Concordia showed no mercy against the Division Three school. What was not well known was that the other team started practicing the beginning of January. The team from Asher got crushed. In Honors we learn about people of color and how they are put at a disadvantage. the Honors class watched a video called, “True Colors”, which shows the truth that people of color are oppressed, “given the short stick,” and generally seen as unfit for jobs. In this situation, the other team was shown no mercy in the game, they were crushed under the feet of the Concordia lacrosse team. Concordia is a Division Two school, while the other team was a Division Three school. The team that was just formed in Asher, Wisconsin was “given the short stick” as they entered the game.

EVALUATE

I really enjoyed the lacrosse game. It was nice to see a win from CSP and watch Tyra play. Going to the lacrosse game reminded me of high school. I had fun hanging out with friends and supporting my classmate. I wish the game was little more even, so there was more of a fight. I do not think it was fair for Concordia to play such a new team who is in the Third Division because Concordia had an unfair advantage.

Reformation Heritage Lecture 2-25-17

DESCRIBE

The Reformation Heritage Lecture Series was in the Graebner Memorial Chapel on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. The guest speaker was Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, presenting “Remaking the World with Law and Gospel.” Dr. Hinlicky began her speech by sharing her weird hobby of finding people’s bad habit of confusing Law and Gospel. She knew that this was not an exciting topic for most of us, but explained that it was important for all to understand so we could get closer to God. Her main point was to eliminate confusion of what is and what is not Law. She laid out her lecture in this manner, starting with Luther’s new found love of the New and Old Testaments and how he saw the Gospel throughout the whole Bible. If Luther had not found grace in the Old Testament, he would not have loved it so much and set out to make a positive impact on the Old Testament, so Christians would read it rather than avoiding it because of the rules. Dr. Hinlicky emphasized that the Law is not just a system of rules, but how God wishes His people to live with others — in peace and love. The Law is not just what we ought to do, but what God does. One statement that stuck with me was, “A world without Law is chaos. A Lawless world equals a loveless God.” Law judges what we cannot do, but the Old Testament contains a promise of a Savior.

Dr. Hinlicky transitioned to the message of the Gospel in the New Testament. She explained the false ideas that some Christians accept such as, “once the Gospel is present there is no need for Law.” Wrong! The Gospel is not about us, but what Christ did for us. All Christians must recognize Christ both as a freely given gift, and as our example to exercise His Word. Using Christ as an example causes us to love others in the same way. The link between the Law and Gospel is Christ. Christ showed us Law through His actions of love to others. It is easier to show someone love than to tell them love. One other misconception Christians are confused with are the roles in the Trinity. Some believe the Father is full of wrath, while the loving Son yields the Gospel, but this is wrong also. God does not fight against His Son; He works with His Son in a way called “Wrath Loving.” The Father gives creation, the Son works, and the Holy Spirit gives gifts and is poured out on us — a passionate heart.

As Dr. Hinlicky wrapped up her speech, she reminded us first that we cannot forgive others until we know how God forgives us through the work of Christ’s death and resurrection, and second, vast mercy is veiled to us, until we know the vast law. Third, she reminded us that we do not live lawlessly, but the Grace of God and the Gospel is written into the heart of God’s Law. Just as Luther saw it when he learned the Good News of Christ as Savior and gained human comprehension of a loving God.

INTEGRATE

 Today, America has found others to not be acceptable for this country. As Christians we must remember that Christ was once a refugee. He used the parable of the Good Samaritan, a foreigner, as an example to show that it is not a matter of prejudging, but to help understand how unworthy everyone is of grace and yet Christ still provides it for us. In Honors 120 we learn that the best way to understand another person’s culture, background, and support their situation is to listen. As Christians, we are called to love one another and use Christ as our example, who was once a refugee. As individuals in the Honors class, we may not know what it is like to be a refugee, but we can still act in love by not prejudging others, listening to them, and continuing to dive into God’s Word to find answers. 

EVALUATE

 The one sentence I will take away is, “A lawless world equals a loveless God.” I find this very true, especially after this lecture. God does not give us the Law to just tell us what we ought not to do, but remind us what God does for His people and how He wants us to live with others–in peace and love. If God did not love us He would not have given us the Law or sent the Gospel of Christ as the perfect example, who followed the Law by acting in love with others.

Latino Art Migration 2-02-17 Updated 2-25-17

DESCRIBE

Going into the Art Opening was interesting. As I walked in I was stopped by a S.W.A.T. team member who violently put a stamp on my sheet and took my picture to get in. There were many pictures and forms of art. The ones that stuck out were the gun hanging from the ceiling by Gustavo Torres, the pictures on the wall painted in blood by Luis Fitch, the two black caskets named “Vestige” by Jonathan Herrera, a big poster with a man and many colorful pictures on his back by Ana Laura Juarez Espinoza, and various posters on the wall named “Import-Export Roots” by Maria Cristina Tavera.

As you walk in, the first thing that catches your eye is the hanging gun in a somewhat bare room. The gun represented 25,000 deaths in Venezuela in 2014, due to crime and lack of safety. The pictures along the wall of “Día De Los Muertos” art were beautiful and each picture represents the artist’s frustration with Mexico’s government and the violence in the country. The artist painted his pictures with his own blood to represent the bloodshed and crime in Mexico; “In particular, the mass kidnapping of 43 male students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College who went missing in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico on September 26, 2014” (Luis Fitch). Next to the paintings were two black caskets. In the taller casket was a drawing of a life preserver and in the small casket was a drawing of a milk jug. They represent the weight that people who migrate carry, the resources they have to barely keep them alive, and the little help, safety, and sliver of hope they have make the exhausting journey to America. The caskets represent the people who have not made the journey, but still end up on America’s shores with some other floatation devices. The poster with the man holding many colorful pictures reflect the artist’s family history she wishes she knew, the displacement she now feels to her her ancestors’ homeland, and her curiosity to explore what her parents left behind and experienced. The last piece of art was the artist Maria Cristina Tavera’s experiences from Mexico to America with correlation to the information she has to give the U.S. government about herself and the expectations she is forced to conform to. Maria had a poster about green card marriages and the information one would have to file about the relationship, such as the first time the couple met and where they went on a first or even second date.

 

INTEGRATE

In Honors we learned about white people being the majority and how many people of other cultures having to conform to a white lifestyle to succeed. Many people who make the agonizing journey to America start out hopeful awaiting the “American Dream,” but end up feeling displaced, uninvited, and end up trying to create a new identity. Many artists, including Luis Fitch, Jonathan Herrera, and Gustavo Torres, focus on the trials that immigrants face in Mexico and on their journey to America. Maria Cristina Tavera and Ana Laura Juarez Espinoza portrayed their life and desire to remember their culture and how they conformed to the white majority’s lifestyles.

 

EVALUATE

I enjoyed the art exhibition. I think the idea behind the S.W.A.T. team member stamping the entrance form was a good idea to portray the cold feeling people have toward immigrants, but the idea would have come across more prominently if it were harder to get in. The two pieces that had the most impact on me were the “Día De Los Muertos” and “Vestige.” Seeing the caskets was very sad. My friend works in the coastguard and she has to experience first hand the people and items that wash up on America’s shores. When I walked into the art gallery, I first noticed the “Día De Los Muertos” pictures. I thought that the pictures were made of blood, but I was not going to say anything to who was with me until I was sure. It turned out to be true, that the pictures were indeed made out of the artist’s blood. I think the fact the art was made out of blood added depth to the artist’s purpose of expressing their frustration with Mexico’s government and crime rates. Overall, I really enjoyed the exhibit. One thing I noticed while in the exhibit were the many people around me who did not look Hispanic, but spoke Spanish. It proved to me that culture has no skin color and that I may inhibit stereotypical tendencies by associating skin color with culture and language.

Spoon River 2-07-17

DESCRIBE

Spoon River is a stage adaption from Edgar Lee Master’s poem, Spoon River Anthology. This play’s adaptation was created and directed by Kate Sandvik with the accompaniment of live music conducted by Professor Speer. The play starts in Spoon River, Illinois with a little girl, known as a passer-by, who wanders the cemetery remembering the life of her grandfather after his funeral. She is greeted by many people of Spoon River and is informed of their life stories and their deaths. Each person gives their story of their death and how they wanted to be remembered through songs and dances. The end of Spoon River was bittersweet. There were pictures of the actor’s family members on the projector behind the actors holding candles on a dark stage to remind us that we are all Spoon River. The curtain call turned the focus from the audience thinking of death to a state of happiness with clapping, dancing, and music. Even though it is hard to know peoples legacy from the time period Spoon River was set in (1800’s), many people can use this play as a reminder to think before they acts to create a legacy of how they want to be remembered.

 

INTEGRATE

Each student in Honors is writing a twenty page research paper on an African American who has been killed by a police officer with in the past five years. Many of these people’s names sounded familiar to the class, but their stories were lost in time. Some men and women were not recognized at all. The Honors class read a poem by Claudia Ranke that had the victims names disappear as the reader goes down the page. In the play, Spoon River, the passer-by wiped the dirt of of the grave headstones to reveal the person’s name. The passer-by did not know the person’s life and death, until the play explained it to the passer-by and the audience. Eventually each student in Honors will reveal each victim’s story of their life and death that many people will forget or may not know about, just as the passer-by uncovered the headstones in the graveyard and heard the people’s stories.

 

EVALUATE

I went to see the play on Saturday, January 21st. The play was good and the music was enjoyable. I thought the music fit in really well with the play. I like how the play incorporated Christian hymns with a bit of a country style to help give an old timey feel. It was interesting to see pictures from the war and to remind me that everyone has their own story and only a handful of people’s voices are documented. To think that there are people in the Bible who had their story heard, but there were many others around the world who had never heard of God, not had their stories documented, and are most likely not thought about by many today. Spoon River made me feel a lot of mixed emotions of happiness, sadness, and fear. My greatest fear is death, so this play was a bit uncomfortable for me. It made me think about what legacy and stories I leave behind for others and what image I display to others now that will be remembered, if at all.

Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind book review

FRAMING

Mark A. Noll specializes in Christian history in the United States, and holds the position of Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind has two sections; the first section contains a insight on Christology, and the second portion of the book contains material on different aspects of Christian learning and how to apply areas of human learning to religion and Christology.

CONTENT AND METHODOLOGY

Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind is laid out in eight chapters focusing on two topics: Christology and applying human learning to Christianity by trying “to show how an evangelical understanding of Christ’s saving work might affect scholarship of several kinds” (pg. 65). As a Christian historian, Noll uses his knowledge to generate ideas of how Christians can be involved in all types of learning. He shows how Christians can apply their faith to learning through doubleness, particularity, contingency, and self-denial. Throughout the book, Noll stresses the work of Jesus in people’s lives and how God can show up in every occupation. He includes portions of the Nicene Creed and doctrinal truths in each chapter to prove that Christians have, can, and should pursue secular studies. “They are not intended as final words laying down a law but as first words urging others to take up the task” (65). In chapter two, Noll takes his main point and uses subjects like chemistry, the social sciences, and art to show how Christ is relevant in all forms of human learning. Each subtopic further explains Noll’s understanding of who God is and how one can study to gain a hopeful result in a greater understanding of Christ and His beautiful creation. In the second half of the book, Noll talks about the varieties of providential history. He makes the point that historians can write from two perspectives: general revelation or spiritual revelation. Noll stresses that it is important for historians to specify which perspective they are writing from. The last chapter explains the importance of the Bible and how the Bible proves itself to be true. Then Noll explains how archaeologists learn about the culture of Christ’s time and find artifacts that show evidence for the Bible. He stresses that the Bible is the guide for what Christians believe, and that scripture will always interpret scripture, and that the main theme of the Bible is Jesus.

ANALYSIS

Noll made the point in chapter two that Christ is revealed in all forms of human learning. Noll describes in the portion, ”’Through Whom He Made the Universe’: The Origin of All Things in Christ,” how Christians can learn in areas of study and through this show the work of Christ. In Honors, we talked about this using the example of a chemistry experiment (24). This example gave the impression that if the experiment did not go right it was because Jesus did not make it work. I think the problem arises when Jesus is seen as the result of the experiment not working, and not the imperfections of man’s calculations or the the inability of two substances to react a certain way because of the way God intended and created it to happen. “Remember how God’s glory had been experienced in ancient Israel so they could understand the momentous thing that had happened in their midst… In his gospel John underscored what it meant for the unapproachable holiness of God to become approachable in Jesus Christ” (5). As previously stated, Noll recognizes God was present in the creation, He exposed His glory to the people of Israel, and is present in Christians’ lives today. Although Honors and Noll stressed that God is ever present in our lives, God also created the world and formed it to work the way He planned. God can still be present in Christians’ lives, but that does not mean He caused an experiment not to work for an individual just because He said so.

Although I disagreed with some of Noll’s points, I enjoyed the book and its content on explaining Christ’s relevance in human learning and Christology in a historian’s viewpoint.

CONCLUSION

Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind contains two main points: the understanding of Christology, and helpful material on different aspects of Christian learning and how to apply areas of human learning to religion and Christology. “Christianity is defined by the person and the work of Jesus Christ. The doctrinal truths supporting this assertion–as set out in Scripture and summarized in the major Christian creeds–provide a compelling reason for pursuing human learning” (ix).

WORKS CITED

Noll, Mark A. Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2011. Print.

3rd Peacock: Capon Book Review

INTRODUCTION

Robert Farrar Capon wrote The Third Peacock to help readers overcome trials in their lives, to understand the problem of evil, and understand how God is placed in our lives with the notion that God created evil. Capon illustrates God’s love for us as being a romantic love, making out with the world.

FRAMING

Capon was an Episcopalian priest for forty-five years, a teacher in seminary for twenty-two years, and an author. After Capon’s divorce with his wife he was asked to leave his church in Long Island; then he decided to write about his experiences. He wrote a total of twenty theological books.  He even wrote several cookbooks. His informal writing style engages readers through stories, images, and liberal doses of his memory to serve as examples that relate his experiences with his audience. The Third Peacock was written and revised for his three series book in order to better relate and explain the love God has for human beings and His creation to his readers, who are going through times of trial.

CONTENT

The Third Peacock has nine chapters and each carries its own message of God’s love for the world by being on the hook for evil and His thing for human beings. Capon explains two main views that people have: In the Christian perspectives, bad things are really blessings and to most atheists God cannot do anything about it, so He just doesn’t care what others think about Him. Capon brings to light that in many instances God does not try to answer a question but shows up and invites His people into the mystery.  Capon describes the creation of the world as a dinner party with the Trinity. “..After supper that night, the Son and the Holy Spirit put on the tremendous show of being for the Father. It was full of water and lights and frogs; pine cones kept dropping all over the place, and crazy fish swim around in the wine glasses. There are mushrooms and mastodons, grapes and geese, tornadoes and tigers-and men and women everywhere to taste them, to juggle them, join them, and to love them” (Capon 176). Capon uses this beautiful analogy to describe the creation, but goes on to explain that God has a special thing for humans. Capon uses the analogy of the princess and the peacock to explain the goodness of God and the badness of man. How God creates good, but through sin, man has made it bad. He loves humans so much because of the freedom, but with freedom comes evil and the choice to do evil.

This concept is met with the idea that God is not off the hook for evil and that He loves to get His hands dirty, not just when He made man. “In other words, the way is open to the Good News that God in Christ doesn’t wait for the world to save itself. Instead of standing at some antiseptic distant from our agonies and our failures, he comes to meet us in the very thick of them.  In Jesus, he dies our death, he becomes sin for our sin, and in the mystery of his resurrection-without thinking a single bit of history-he invites us to believe that he has made all things new” (Capon 174). In another instance Capon illustrates the goodness of God and badness of man in food. Bunnies are cute and cuddly and coyotes are good as well, but one can not expect a hungry coyote to turn down the delectable bunny for some grass. Just as humans have the choice to use their free will, but if there was no sin in the world humans would not have the opportunity to know the grace, mercy, love, and sacrifice for His beings. “Sin is possible only because God puts up with sinners” (Capon 180).

ANALYSIS

      The Sandy Hook shooting was a tragic event, which can be applied to Capon’s argument of why there is evil in the world. Adam Lanza, age twenty, killed his mother at home and then went to the school where she taught kindergarteners and killed twenty-seven people, including himself. Lanza drove his mother’s car to the school and carried three different guns. The police were called at about 9:35 a.m. to find the tragedies left in Lanza’s destructive aftermath and carry out the murderer, not in handcuffs, but in a body bag (Washington post).

Capon’s argument that there is evil in the world is valid because of sin and the free will God gave us. God has a thing for human beings and “is fond of rough places” (Capon 182). This does not mean that God loves the crime, but He does love the person. Because of free will people have messed up the world and God continues to immerse Himself in the world’s grime.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, Capon uses many stories and analogies to shed light on the topic of good and evil.  The beauty of Capon’s book is that it mimics the Bible recognizing evil but celebrating the Good News of our salvation due the forgiveness of our sins by the death of Jesus Christ, while we have both sinners and saints live under the umbrella of the grace and mercy of God the Father.

WORKS CITED

Horwitz, Sari, Steve Vogel, and David A. Fahrenthold. “Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting Leaves 28 Dead, Law Enforcement Sources Say.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2012. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

Capon, Robert Farrar. The Third Peacock: The Problem of God and Evil. San Francisco: Perennial Library, 1986. Print.

Luther Convocation

DESCRIBE

Tom Rassieur from the Minneapolis Institute of Art was apart of exploration of the Luther restoration and museum exhibition. Rassieur gave the audience a taste of what the Luther exhibition is like in MIA and who Luther was. Luther depicted himself as a poor man with a miner for a father, but in reality Luther was of upper-class wealth and his father was the mayor of Munich at one point. As Luther grew up he changed his name from Luder to Luther meaning freedom in greek, to signify the freedom he had in Christ. Luther was a passionate man for reforming the Christian religion and bringing the truth to light. Rassieur explained that Luther used to teach his students at his home and sent their notes to the printing press to be published for the public so all people could read Luther’s sermons, known as “Table Talks.” tourists saw this table began taking pieces of the table to take a piece of Luther with them and etch in their name into the house to leave a piece of themselves with Luther. Luther’s house was seen as an idol, which Luther was against. Although Luther was seen as a great figure in history, he was an unrestrained man and very offensive. Luther wrote about the love of God and the desire for Jews to join the Lutheran synod, but when they rejected his invitation and Luther was blunt about expressing his beliefs about other religions.

INTEGRATE

As a young boy Luther was raised a catholic. As he grew older he had a life changing experience that caused him to become a monk. Luther struggled with the idea of a just and loving God. He punished himself for his sins and lived in constant fear. The head monk’s saw Luther’s self torment and suggested he take on a new role as a theology teacher. Luther dove into his studies and learned the truth to God’s grace, power, and love. Luther had a revelation. In honors revelation is defined as a word that changes my story by entering my story as someone like me. Luther applied Jesus’ forgiveness, grace, and love for him to drive his passion for the ultimate truth for all people.

EVALUATE

I thought the convocation was interesting. I appreciate Rassieur’s passion for knowing more about Luther and his vast knowledge he wanted to share. It was fascinating to hear how his speech ended, but his slides did not. One interesting fact that I learned was Luther’s humor towards Wolfgang. Wolfgang gave Luther’s wife a gold ring and Luther dumped it down the toilet and asked wolfgang to not send any more gifts. Luther was very passionate about his work, but sometimes over exaggerated to make negative comments on others. One of the best quotes Luther had to say was, ”Those who drink beer are quick to sleep, those who are quick to sleep do not sin, and those who do not sin go to heaven.”