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Whitworth Theology Department Annual Newsletter 2018

Jonathan Moo (2010-present), Associate Professor of Theology

After an extraordinarily good sabbatical year in England, it could have been difficult to come back home, but it proved to be a joy to return to Whitworth last autumn and be reunited with my dear colleagues and students. As I have probably written every year in these newsletters, this is truly a unique place, and it's hard to imagine a better community in which to live and work and serve Christ.

I've just finished an intense week of grading endless papers and finals and celebrating the graduation of our 2018 seniors at the end of what was a particularly full semester. So I'm excited for a summer of writing and spending time in the mountains. But I must admit that I'm also finding it awfully hard to say goodbye to those students who have become close friends over the last several years and are now moving on to new adventures.

Highlights over the last 12 months include:

  • Celebrating Stacey's graduation with her M.A. in art history from the Courtauld Institute at the University of London. She also just completed teaching her first course at Whitworth (Medieval Art History) and will be teaching Byzantine Art History in the autumn. Not surprisingly, she loves it – and the students love her too!
  • Celebrating the wedding of colleague and dear friend Haley (Goranson) to Alan Jacob!
  • Celebrating Josh Leim's position being made permanent tenure-track. This is incalculably good news for our department and our students — and such a joy for me personally. If you know Josh, you know what an incredible human being he is, and I can't imagine Whitworth without him.
  • Early Christian Sites in Greece over January with Haley Jacob and the most wonderful group of smart, loving, curious and adventurous students. Words are not enough to express the joy it was to learn and explore together that month – but I'll happily give you hours of stories if you're unwise enough to ask about it.
  • Co-teaching a course on science and faith with a geologist and an Old Testament scholar at A Rocha's beautiful field site at Les Courmettes in the south of France.
  • Giving lectures back in Cambridge on a few occasions, including on a return visit last month for a conference on natural disasters – during what proved to be the warmest, sunniest April week I think England has ever experienced.
  • Being back in Boston for the Society of Biblical Literature and Institute of Biblical Research meetings in November, giving a response to a great paper by J. Richard Middleton and hanging out with my parents, Whitworth colleagues, and old friends and students (including Whitworthians Kylie Guenther and Lilly Davis) – and eating lots of cannoli.
  • Spontaneous hiking and fishing and skiing and snowshoeing adventures and donut runs with students and friends who drop by the office at all times of day and keep me loving life.
  • Being introduced by graduating senior and beloved friend Kylie Guenther at the Whitworth Baccalaureate Service.
  • Finishing revisions and seeing the publication of the book I got to write with my dad: Creation Care: A Biblical Theology of the Natural World (Zondervan, 2018).
  • Getting to speak at my grandfather's funeral a few weeks ago and spending time with family, some of whom I hadn't seen in years. My grandpa was a carpenter and a follower of Christ and shaped my life profoundly. He lived by his favorite passage from Proverbs 3:5-6, with which I'll close this entry: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”