Category: Blog

A Memorial and the Measure of Humanity

In Berlin, just one block south of the Brandenburg gate, sits a relatively new holocaust-related exhibit, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This installation, which opened in 2005, is massive, taking up an entire city block. Yet curiously, as one looks at it from the street, at no point does any part of the display rise above eye level. The exhibit consists of an assembly of over 2,700 rectangular concrete blocks, or stelae, ordered in grid-like rows and columns, spread across an area of 19,000 square meters. The blocks all measure the same in width and length with

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Some Thoughts on Diversion and Hurried Living

Recently, on numerous occasions and across a variety of contexts, I’ve had my attention drawn to the topic of time; specifically, how I treat (and mistreat) it; that is, my time, my slowly but quite certainly expiring life. These referents have served to remind me of how easily I give up my time to practices that, while they may be healthy if well-regulated, far too often eat up significant chunks of my day. For me, the temptation typically takes the form of watching sports, playing games, and just thumbing through social media. To be clear, I do not believe there

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An Evening with Dr. James Tour

Recently, several Asbury University Honors Program students were privileged to spend an evening with world-renowned scientist, Dr. James Tour. Dr. Tour, named in “The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today” by TheBestSchools.org in 2019, is the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science & NanoEngineering at Rice University. Having spoken earlier in the day to the entire campus in chapel, Dr. Tour spent his evening mealtime with a selection of our AUHP students where he reviewed some of his work on the synthesis, unique properties, and unbelievably exciting applications of graphene.

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Interview with Dr. Devin Brown

Author of A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis, as well as the official Discussion Guide for The Most Reluctant Convert, the movie about C.S. Lewis currently playing in theaters Recently Dr. Devin Brown, a Professor of English at Asbury University and author of a number of books related to C. S. Lewis, accompanied a group of Asbury University Honors Program students to a showing of The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C S. Lewis, a film about the early life and conversion of one of Christianity’s most famous writers and apologists. Afterwards, Dr. Brown

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Interview with Dr. Christopher Bounds

A Few Reflections from Our Speaker After Dr. Bounds presentation to our campus and fireside chat with the Asbury University Honors Program students (see: The Image of God, Incarnation, and Human Dignity), he provided some further thoughts via an interview. Here is the transcript of that exchange. Q: What gives people value? I like the word “give” in the question. The intrinsic value of people has its ultimate source in God. It is God, and God alone, that is the source of human worth and dignity. As such, this value is given to us by God. All other human value

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The Imago Dei, Incarnation, and Human Dignity

The Inaugural Human Dignity Lecture, by Dr. Chris Bounds On Thursday evening, October 7th, Dr. Chris Bounds, Professor of Christian Doctrine at Indiana Wesleyan University and Wesley Seminary, delivered the inaugural AUHP “Human Dignity Lecture” on the campus of Asbury University. His talk was entitled, “The Imago Dei, Incarnation, and Human Dignity.” The impassioned sermon-style presentation concerned the inherent dignity of humanity. (Please see the full video of Dr. Bounds talk to the right.) The 40-minute challenge started by recalling David’s cry to God in the 8th chapter of the Psalms: “what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

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Human Dignity: Invented or Discovered?

(Presented to students in the Honors Program at Asbury University, August, 2021.) As you know, the honors experience here at Asbury is a themed enrichment program – our enduring theme is “Studies in Virtue and Human Value.” One of our program’s guiding questions is, “What gives humans value and dignity?” We all feel valued or at least we feel like we should be valued, and most people are quick to affirm their belief in the dignity of all people. But just beneath this feeling and belief lies the question of “why.” Why do we have this feeling and belief that

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A “Common” Lesson from Sachsenhausen

Typically, on about the third day of a tour, we visit our first concentration camp, Sachsenhausen. It is located in Oranienburg, a medium-sized medieval city that sits on the banks of the Havel River, just a few kilometers north of the capital; easily accessed with only a Berlin City Rail pass. Sachsenhausen, one of the earliest camps built by the National Socialists, was originally designed to house political prisoners. Over the years, the categories of occupants broadened to include prisoners of war as well as perceived racial and social threats to the state. However, the underlying and all-governing purpose for

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The Luggage and Lies of Auschwitz

On the study abroad tour that I lead to Germany and Poland, we spend half a day each at Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II, more properly known as Auschwitz-Birkenau or just Birkenau. The Birkenau camp contains the iconic railhead, infamous selection platform, ruins of four gas chambers and crematoria, as well as the ordered rows of chimneys stretching out over vast open fields. These poorly functioning appliances being the only remnants left of the dreary and inhospitable barracks that once checkered the grounds inside the electrified and barb-wired fences. Auschwitz I, however, is composed of 22 two-story brick buildings originally

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Ravensbrück and the Nature of Evil

About an hour north on the Regional 1 train out of Berlin brings you to a beautiful German town called Fürstenberg an der Havel (Furstenberg, on the river Havel). Just a short distance to the northeast of Fürstenberg, a 3- to 4-kilometer walk from the train station around a swelling in the Havel called Lake Schwedtsee, sits Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. Ravensbrück was distinct as the only major German-based concentration camp set up exclusively for women prisoners (near the end of the war, the camp was expanded to include a men’s section). In all other respects, it was a typical Nazi

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