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Whitworth Theology Department Annual Newsletter 2018

Josh Leim (2015-present), Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology

This year I have been delighted to teach a range of undergraduate courses: The Life and Teachings of Jesus (two times), The Gospel According to Matthew and Interpreting Scripture. I also taught New Testament Theology to our students in the Whitworth Master of Arts in Theology Program. Each one of those courses proved a uniquely satisfying venue by which to engage students intellectually and spiritually and, most importantly, to encounter the God who is with us in Jesus Christ. Further, I supervised a master's thesis for one of our graduate theology students, Daniel Christensen. Daniel did some fantastic research, writing and presenting on the intersection of Greco-Roman rhetoric and the Acts of the Apostles. 

This fall I also took over as director of Core 150, the first course in Whitworth's three-part Worldview Studies Program. Keith Beebe — and before him Jerry Sittser — did a wonderful job with Core 150 in the past. I'm hopeful about the course's future as we seek to shape our students' abilities to engage thoughtfully and faithfully with the various worldviews around them.

I was fortunate enough to be the keynote speaker for the first session of Whitworth's new and exciting President's Colloquy on Civil Discourse. The colloquy's purpose was to help faculty, staff and students think carefully and Christianly about the current crisis of public discourse in our culture. In my address, I sought to draw our attention to the Christological shape of all our speech; I titled my address, therefore, "The Disciplines of Christian Discourse: Conforming Our Words to the Incarnate Word." The address focuses on how we can cultivate three Christian virtues vis-à-vis our speech: reconciliation, sobriety and self-awareness/self-critique. If you would like to watch the address and responses, it can be accessed here: youtube.com/watch?v=ZOdxaonULho.

Beyond the classroom and research, our family once again enjoyed the long Spokane winter by taking advantage of the ever-so-convenient skiing on Mt. Spokane. This spring the kids and I dived into some new projects to expand our ability to grow vegetables, fruits and flowers in our yard. We've built a retaining wall that will allow us to use the hillside for growing and a set of stairs that will allow us to create some new garden space in a previously unused part of our yard. Even better, we took Memorial Day to do some fishing in the Selkirk Mountains, which provided a beautiful setting and some lovely trout.

As we all look toward the summer season, may we be filled with the joy and comfort of our crucified and risen Lord, seeking to be conformed to his image (Romans 8:29).