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A Student Response to “Take Back Bethel”

By Joshua Turek A few weeks ago, I attended a medical conference in Des Moines, Iowa. During the introduction lecture, our speaker made a casual reference to how humans have developed over eons and eons to have the anatomy that we do today. I looked around, and no one seemed concerned or surprised in the slightest. To most of them, and to the scientific community at large, this is accepted knowledge. And regardless of my personal beliefs, it is the world in which I will live and work. So, as a Christian, how should I interact with this scientific/medical community? Has Bethel prepared me for the world beyond the “bubble?” In the last Clarion issue entitled Who is Bethel?, there was an article called “A tug-of-war between theological truths.” One of the main components of this article was exploring the reasons and actions of a group that comes on campus… Keep Reading


A resume of rejection

From one sinker to another: just keep  failing. Maybe one day you’ll be a professional ping-ponger in New York. By Jamie Hudalla The warehouse in St. Louis Park looks like it might hang pig carcasses up on hooks or collect the ghosts of flour mill workers from 1890. My hands shake as I sit in the parking lot, but that has less to do with the warehouse and more to do with my job interview. I study who I am as I wait an hour and a half in the parking lot. What are your strengths, Jamie? Well, not driving. How do you deal with conflict? I’ve taken a reconciliation class, so, pretty well. What are your career goals? Fiction writing. Pray for me. I crack a window because I forgot to wear deodorant and it’s a balmy 40 degrees. At 1:55 p.m. I walk in the door of the… Keep Reading

Letter to the Editor: Dan Rotach

Adjunct professor of psychology Dan Rotach responds to reactions in the aftermath of Jamie Hudalla’s column, Naked and Unafraid. As a result of a recent article in the Clarion about sexuality, a number of people have asked for clarity in what I teach in GES208, Human Sexuality, at Bethel University. This is a general education course that looks at sexuality from an evangelical faith basis, and looks at sexuality as it is portrayed in contemporary culture. The course description is this: “An examination of authentic and inauthentic human sexuality, focusing on the nature of sexual and reproductive functioning, sexual self understanding, sexual dimensions of interpersonal relationships, and ethical dimensions of sexuality.” There is a section in my class called “An Honest Hermeneutic” where I empower the students, when they are forging any life-shaping decisions, especially about sexuality, that they read, interpret and apply the Bible in ways that it was… Keep Reading


Bethel seems scared

Vinding is an English professor and Director of Writing at Bethel. By April Vinding Scared. It seems we’re mostly scared. Afraid to speak in class. Afraid there’s no job waiting. Afraid being at a small Christian school undermines our credibility as scholars. Afraid we’ll lose the jobs we have. Afraid we’ll never find love. Afraid the love we have is as good as it gets. Afraid to disappoint our parents. Afraid we haven’t given our children enough. Afraid of being unknown. Afraid of being known. And those fears are valid. I haven’t published for two years because the judgement I received when I divorced, from intimate friends and the church, destroyed my belief in the goodwill of strangers. I’ve stopped bringing treats to classes because students stopped saying thanks. I’ve stopped asking acquaintances to plays or yoga because half don’t even respond to the invitation. I’ve stopped asking some of… Keep Reading


Bethel is where science and faith collide

Biology professor Joy Doan fused her love for science and God by coming to Bethel. By Joy Doan Fifteen years ago, I was a disillusioned academic living in Denver, Colorado. I was coming off a dozen years of traveling what the world told me were and always would be parallel roads. The first road included intensely secular doctoral and post-doctoral training in Immunology. The second and more important road concerned my faith in Christ.  I felt called to the former. The latter was deep in my bones. I had no idea how to bring them together, if it was even possible to bring them together. I had the beginnings of a plan to leave academia for full-time ministry. Then, I had an idea. Some might say a nudge from the Holy Spirit. I asked the internet how to find an open faculty position in Biology at a Christian college. Bethel… Keep Reading


Bethel’s difference is in the small words

Political science chair Chris Moore sees importance in the little words at Bethel. By Chris Moore If we ask ourselves what Bethel University has been about or what it should be about, we’re inclined to pay attention to the big words.  We look for those big nouns to define our goals. I’m attracted to words like “endowment” or “facility.” We zoom in on words like “opportunity,” “award,” “championship,” and “employment.”  If we can somehow make our way past the nouns, we’ll soon arrive at the verbs. Verbs motivate us, after all. So, we “strive” and “commit.” We “seek” and “build” and “reconcile.” We “study” and “practice” and “prepare.”  Then come the adjectives: “excellent” and “driven” and even “whole and holy.” Those are good things, too, but I’m not convinced they make us all that much different from the other colleges and universities down Snelling Avenue.  What I hope makes us… Keep Reading


The four of us

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a romantic holiday. By Maddie DeBilzan The four of us stride to the front of the line with our matching red White Bear Lake Recreation T-shirts and hand the beret-wearing Kodak photographer a couple of crumpled-up dollar bills. The eyelined girls who wore pink in line behind us giggle. “If you want a Valentine’s day photo with your friends,” the Central Middle School principal said the day before, “wear pink.” But we didn’t like pink. Pink was girly. Pink was for the sixth-grade girls who looked like miniature Bratz dolls, walking around with too much mascara snowballed on their eyelashes and over-straightened hair that looked like it was ready to fall off. When slept over in each other’s basements, we’d play Sardines and Wii Bowling and Truth or Dare. Then we’d make fun of girls who wore pink. “Mariah wears eyeliner, and mascara, and… Keep Reading


Advice from the Maddies

What should I do if Great Uncle Jim starts talking politics at the dinner table over the holidays? Do I engage with him, with my new sense of understanding and opinion? Or do I get up and start clearing plates as soon as possible? Maddie D.: I’m sure you have plenty of opinions about your great uncle’s political comments… but will voicing those thoughts really get anywhere? If Great Uncle Jim says something condescending — and doesn’t direct it towards you specifically — I’d probably just keep quiet and let Great Aunt Margie or Grandma Betty duke it out with him instead, if they so dare. Talking politics with a great uncle who probably has a lot to say sounds like a recipe for a bitter holiday dinner. I’d rather listen to the clanking of silverware as I’m clearing plates than my family coming at each other’s throats over foreign… Keep Reading


God knows how to headbang

God shows up in more places than church pews. By Jamie Hudalla  Jonathan from Stranger Things stood maybe three inches taller than me. When he isn’t slaying Demogorgons, he drums at a hole-in-the-wall venue in London. The place felt like First Avenue, like a pocket of home after traveling for three months. I’m not a mystic, but the night’s events seemed ordained. Well, not meeting Jonathan. A few of us on England Term had stalked the crap out of his social media, found a tweet about his location, hopped on the Tube, and elbowed a mellow crowd to see him play the last five seconds of a song. But we were nestled in one of London’s unknown crevices, listening to the sleepy tones of indie-rocker Julia Jacklin, wearing jean jackets to blend in with the Brits. It felt right. Erik Leafblad, a theology professor and avid concert-goer, would refer to… Keep Reading

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