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Autumn 2006 | Volume 29, Number 4 | From the President

The President’s Bookshelf

What books does a university president read in his “spare” time? An avid reader, President Eaton’s choices are eclectic, but this year they often relate in some way to the SPU signatures. Here are several recent selections, with his comments:

N.T. Wright. The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture (HarperSanFrancisco, 2005). “In our particular moment in history, especially in North America and Europe, we are particularly prone to challenge and dismiss any kind of authority. How then do we think about the authority of the Scriptures for our lives, for the church, for the culture, and the world? This is the question that receives Bishop of Durham Tom Wright’s penetrating and thoughtful consideration. The book is for all Christians and churches and, yes, universities, seeking to embrace the Christian story and put the biblical text at the center of who we are.”

Vali Nasr. The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future (W.W. Norton, 2006). “This marvelous new book, by a young scholar and historian of Islam, brings fresh insight and understanding to the enormously complex conflicts that blaze across our newspapers daily. Mr. Nasr will be our Downtown Business Breakfast speaker this spring. He offers here perhaps a new angle into the encounter with Islam, and most importantly within Islam, clearly one of the defining issues of the 21st century.”

Lawrence Wright. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Alfred A. Knopf, 2006). “This is an outstanding history of that frightening and violent movement — its roots and causes and leaders — that exploded into our consciousness on September 11, 2001. In my ongoing quest to understand the conflicts of the Middle East, this book is very helpful.”

Lesslie Newbigin. Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (SPCK , 1986). “I have just reread this extraordinary book, written in 1986, what might be considered dated by some. It is nothing of the sort. Lesslie Newbigin — philosopher, theologian, and missionary to India for most of his life — remains one of the most penetrating voices on what it means to engage the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ. If I could require one book to introduce us all to the strategy and posture of cultural engagement, this would be it. What does it mean to live and think as vibrant Christians in our modern, postmodern, secular culture? This is a must-read for all of us who consider, as I do, this question as a driving task for Christians in the world today.”

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Advising Future Physicians
In 2006, SPU achieved a 100 percent medical school acceptance rate through its unique, longtime approach to “shepherding” premed students.

A “Determined Quiet”
Alumna of the Year Lora Jones ’43 proves one person can change the world. Her life exemplifies ardent faith through war, life on a prison farm, and faithfully preaching the gospel.

Fiction on a Small Canvas
A new volume celebrates the best in Christian short stories — and leads off with a creation of SPU Adjunct Professor Mary Kenagy.

Goodwill Goalkeeping
Star soccer player Marcus Hahnemann ’93 wins fans in Europe, and represents America in the 2006 World Cup.

My Response
Principal and SPU doctoral student Karol Pulliam considers the classroom implications of John Medina’s 12 brain rules.

Back-Cover Art
Class of 2000 alumna Anne Faith Nicholls gives Response readers a “Page One Examination.”