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Windows on the World

Windows on the World is intended to stimulate personal involvement in and knowledge of some of the crucial and controversial issues facing Christians today. Through these forums, the campus community is exposed to Christian thinkers and activists who model our motto of “the whole gospel for the whole world.”

Presentations are Fridays, 10 a.m. in McInnis Auditorium (St. Davids campus) unless otherwise indicated.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and open to the public.
Click here to download PDF of the schedule

Spring 2015

* An asterisk after dates below indicates that following that particular presentation, the Provost’s Office will host an informal luncheon in Baird Library (Walton Hall, 2nd floor) from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to extend the conversation over a meal. Participants should go through the Dining Commons line and bring their lunches back to Baird Library. Guests without a meal plan should give their names to the Sodexo cashier outside the Dining Commons and mention that they are attending the Windows luncheon.

Edward Gilbreath, Award-Winning Journalist and Author of Reconciliation Blues and Birmingham Revolution: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Epic Challenge to the Church.  “The Prayers of MLK”.  Edward Gilbreath, author of Reconciliation Blues and Birmingham Revolution, explores the essential role of prayer in the life and ministry of Martin Luther King Jr. and how his leadership of the civil rights movement connected the call of the Christian gospel to the demands of social justice.

Friday, JANUARY 23
Rev. Dr. Edwin Aponte, Dean, Palmer Theological Seminary
“The Problems of a ‘Post-Christian Culture’”
Are we living in a post-Christian culture? Have major cultural tremors left U.S. society without its supposed Christian foundation? Does our country need to seek a revival to regain its roots? What do people mean by a "post-Christian culture"? Come share your doubts, questions, and convictions at Windows on the World.

Friday, JANUARY 30 *
Sheryl Woods, Adjunct Voice Faculty, Temple University, Professional Opera Singer
“STILL IN REHEARSAL: Redemption of Life in the Performing Arts”
What business does a disciple of Jesus have in a career in performance? What are a Christian's legitimate pursuits and goals for such a career? How does one live a life of consonance with Scripture in a professional milieu steeped in self-promotion and pushing the envelope of "decency"? What difference does a relationship with God make in how one uses artistic abilities? Join Teresa Moyer, EU Music professor, in a conversation with soprano Sheryl Woods, a veteran of an opera/theater career spanning 30+years. Sheryl is presently a university voice teacher and music educator who counts her relationship with Christ and his Body as having given her the most joy and the greatest challenges of her life on and off stage.

Friday, FEBRUARY 6 (in the UNIVERSITY GYM) *
Shane Claiborne, Founder, The Simple Way, Eastern University Alumnus (1997)
“Grace and Forgiveness” It is a fundamental truth of the Gospel that no one is beyond redemption. Part spiritual, part history of the death penalty and punitive justice, and part story, this is not a sentimental, fluffy devotional on grace. It is a gut-wrenching look at how evil people can be, and how good God’s grace is in contrast to that evil. It is about how redemptive love is, even as we see love made manifest as Christ hangs on a cross, transforming one of the most brutal, horrific instruments of death into a symbol of hope and redemption.

Dr. Paul Alexander, Ronald J. Sider Professor of Social Ethics & Public Policy, Palmer Theological Seminary, and Co-President of Evangelicals for Social Action
“Landed, Named, and Raced-as-White: A Liberatory Interrogation of Whiteness”
An exploration of DNA haplogroups, human migrations out of Africa and around the world over the past one hundred thousand years or so, name-calling (of ourselves and the Othered), theological/religious storytelling, and constructions and deployments of racial and ethnic identities.

Friday, FEBRUARY 20 *
Dr. Kevin Bartkovich, Instructor, Mathematics Department, Phillips Exeter Academy
Founding Headmaster, Christ School – Bundibugyo, Uganda “From the Other Side of the Window: Stories from the Field”
From the security of a position as a founding faculty member of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Kevin and his wife JD were called to move to a village in western Uganda to start a boarding secondary school for the children of Bundibugyo. They spent a decade there in the midst of intermittent rebel warfare, evacuations, grinding poverty, deadly malaria, and finally an Ebola outbreak, to build a school from the ground up. It continues today to be a place of transformation and hope for the community, and a testament to the Lord's love and mercy for the poorest of the poor. Kevin will be sharing stories of how God became real to his family in a place beyond the end of the road.

Friday, FEBRUARY 27
Spring Recess Commissioning Service
This will be a formal commissioning of Eastern University students, faculty, coaches and staff who will spend their Spring Recess on Eastern-sponsored service trips (academic, athletic, missions).

Friday, MARCH 13
Dr. Margaret Peterson, Associate Professor of Theology, Eastern University
“Making Peace with Mortality” Metaphors for violence and warfare abound in public and personal language regarding illness and death. Newspaper headlines advise us about progress in the “war on cancer.” Friends and family members say admiringly of persons who are sick, “She’s a fighter!” And when someone dies, his obituary notes regretfully that he “lost his battle.” But what happens when we frame life as a battle that everyone is destined to lose? And just how Christian is this? After all, Jesus doesn’t bless warmongers; he blesses peacemakers. Is it possible to make peace with mortality? What might change if we did?

Dr. Lynn Cohick, Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College
“All Things Through Christ” Paul’s letter to the Philippians includes his bold declaration that in Christ’s strength, Paul can withstand many trials and afflictions. Philippians 4:10-20 also reveals Paul’s strong friendship with this congregation, and their steadfast support of his ministry.

Dr. David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life, Mercer University
“Changing Our Mind on LGBT Christians: How I Got Here” Dr. Gushee, author of 20 books in Christian ethics, recently announced his change of mind toward a posture of full and unequivocal acceptance of LGBT Christians in the Church. The Windows lecture will be Part II of a two part talk. Additional details are forthcoming. Part I on Thursday, March 26, 2015: Dr. Gushee describes his current beliefs about the various dimensions of the LGBT issue, including his interpretations of the most relevant scriptures. Part II on Friday, March 27, 2015: Dr. Gushee discusses the process by which he changed his mind from more traditionalist beliefs.

Friday, APRIL 10 *
Dr. Geno Merli, MD, MACP, FSVM, FHM, Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Sidney Kimmel Medical College & Thomas Jefferson University Hospital “Medical Aspects of Crucifixion”
Crucifixion was developed as a severe and often lethal punishment by the Persians and Carthaginians. The Romans perfected this form of punishment so that it inflicted the greatest amount of pain and suffering eventually resulting in death. They believed this severe form of torture and death would control conquered people in the Roman Empire. Jesus suffered this ignominious death for us. This presentation will provide the audience a view of crucifixion through the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Dr. Jenell Paris, Professor of Anthropology, Messiah College, Author of The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex is Too Important to Define Who We Are “Courageous Leadership in Christian Sex/Gender Conflicts”
Using Romans 12:1-2 as a guide, and cultural anthropology as a disciplinary perspective, this lecture will explore the nature and dynamics of Christian engagement with sex/gender conflicts in church and society. Stepping back to evaluate who we are, what we’re doing, and what is the nature of the issues we engage, is essential for wise leadership. Courageous leadership involves engaging conflict productively, even as a generative practice of Christian discipleship.

Friday, APRIL 24 *
Rev. Julius Walls, Preacher, Teacher, Speaker, and Author of Mission, Inc.
“Economics & Work on the Margins: Engaging the Poor & the Powerless”
The economic machine that is America continues to move forward but yet leave behind those who do not have an opportunity to get aboard. So while the DOW rages towards higher heights, the poor and powerless fall to lower lows. But there is a solution that is both obvious and obscure: business. Business has changed lives of the less fortunate in the here and now when leaders and shareholders look beyond their own pocket. Learn the principles of how the Social Enterprise can tap into the power of business to change the individuals, families and neighborhoods.
NOTE: Rev. Walls will also be with us on the evening of Thursday, April 23 for Eastern University’s Spring 2015 Christian Business Network Event, co-sponsored by the School of Management Studies, School of Leadership Development, and the CAS Business Department. Details are forthcoming.

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