Torch, Winter 2012

Maybe it’s the economy, or maybe it’s the magnitude and frequency of global environmental disasters. Maybe you heard a news story you just can’t shake about the decline in public education or the projected spike in health care costs. Maybe you can’t even name why you feel so unsettled when you think about our country, our world, and our future. If we took seriously every warning about impending doom all around us, we’d never leave our homes — until we see a segment on the Today show about the hidden dangers of indoor air pollution and the radon in our granite countertops. When you see ads for blockbuster apocalypse movies between newscasts about killer viruses, a make-or-break presidential election, and the end of the Mayan calendar, it’s tough to tell whether life imitates art or if it’s the other way around. Where do you turn when it seems like all that bad news is “closer than you think” or “could happen to you”? This edition of Torch explores our fearful culture and why it has become so easy to expect the worst rather than hope for the best. Hope has become a countercultural concept. For Christians to live differently in the 2012 world means not allowing ourselves to get sucked into the hype and spin of a 24/7 news cycle. It requires that we develop a discerning mind that can separate truth from sensationalism and even outright deception. Our yearlong chapel theme is “Sharpening the Christ-Centered Mind.” The Christ-centered mind is shaped by the truth revealed by God and His Word, both written and incarnate. Jesus told His disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled,” because the reality of their future, and ours, is victory and peace. There are no uncertainties — game over! The reality of this hope is what allows Christ-followers to successfully navigate this culture “wise as serpents, innocent as doves.” Hope in Christ should be the conscience core of our being. It should mark every conversation, sweeten every bitter experience, and intensify every joy (Matt. 10:16). Rejoice! We are not like those who have no hope. William E. Brown, Ph.D. President of Cedarville University Facing Fear Making Sense of Today’s Critical Issues From a Biblical Perspective COVER: JOANVICENT CANTÓ ROIG | ISTOCKPHOTO AND CRAIG SALISBURY | CEDARVILLE UNIVERSITY