A Journal of Christian thought at MIT

Articles from Issue 2 Fall 2017

The Nuanced Simplicity of Christianity

Richard Ibekwe

Christianity is quite unlike anything else. Fundamentally it is astonishingly simple: the gospel’s core message of the death of Christ as the means of sinners’ reconciliation to God, received by faith, could hardly be simpler. Indeed, to some it seems too good to be true.

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The Pearl

Colin Aitken

The most profound story I’ve ever heard is a brief parable due to Jesus. “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

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Work and Worship

Taylor Craig

As a Christian, I want my faith to be the most important thing in my life, informing and coloring all I say and do. As an MIT student, I spend an obscene number of hours a week working on problem sets. Working about as diligently as all my non-Christian friends. I love what I study as a physics major. My biggest frustration is that I won’t be able to take more classes before I graduate...and I’ve still got 3 semesters left. I wish I were one of those people who could take 6 classes a semester, not so that I could double major but just because there’s so much to learn.

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Song & Stillness: The Prayer of Taizé

Susan Butterworth

The MIT chapel is filled to capacity. Dozens of students are seated on the cushions scattered on rugs covering the marble floor at the front of the chapel. The chairs are filled and the overflow are perched on the ledges around the chapel’s circumference. Everyone is facing the altar, where tall candles interspersed with small, sparkling glass votives illuminate two icons.

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War and Peace in the Christian Tradition

by Erik Johnson

Peace: the hope of nations. War: the age-old destroyer. What to do and where to start? These questions tugged at my heart anew as I caught a smile from a small child in the evening markets of east Amman, Jordan, an area overflowing with refugees. My mind raced back to my baby niece, equating the due love and hopes given to both of them by their respective parents. Shouldn’t the sight of such little ones and the realization of our shared hopes and prayers push us back on a course towards peace? How can we prevent our love for those close to us from also driving us to fear the “other” and anything that might threaten what we want for them? What will it take so that the narrative of the world they come to know is not of untrust, militarization and sectarianism? Pop culture has determined that “all you need is love,” and that we should “practice what we preach and turn the other cheek.”.

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Politics: Where Do We Go From Here?

Sam Elder

The 2016 US Presidential Election is over. It was an election like no other, producing so many unprecedented storylines that none of us could keep our eyes away from. It feels like forever ago, but the primary season saw a record percentage of voters on the Republican side and the second highest percentage on the Democratic side participating. In the general election, an all-time high of 84 million people watched the first debate from their homes. And yet, it was one of the most depressing.

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Leadership: Learning from King David

Travis Hank

King David was one of the great leaders in history. Rising from a young shepherd to the King of Israel, he had to overcome many obstacles to unite a divided nation. Through his actions we all can learn how to be a better servant, friend, and leader. This is especially applicable for those in positions of authority and leaders of nations.

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The Nature of Objective Human Rights

Ronald Davis III

So what about being a human entitles us to rights? How can we determine exactly what rights we have? There currently seems to be no consensus in society about human rights, as controversial issues like the right to choose abortion, the right to commit suicide, the right to have social welfare, and the right to have quality education have no definite answer upon which everyone agrees. Although many people agree on most basic fundamental rights, in order to determine these more controversial rights, we have to analyze our core beliefs about even these basic accepted rights. Why is it best that humans have the right to not be enslaved? What kind of beliefs lead to human rights like this? And if we can find these core beliefs, perhaps they can be applied to more controversial issues.

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Racism: A Kingdom Perspective

Pastor Adam Mabry

I remember going golfing with my dad a good deal as kid — with him and his friends. Golf courses and country clubs were part of my life. I was raised in a pretty wealthy part of town, around pretty successful people, all of whom were white. In fact, the only black person I ever knew growing up was my family’s gardener. Among my dad’s friends there were a lot of black gardeners.

And black jokes.

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