Editor’s Introduction -- By: David W. Baker

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 33:0 (NA 2001)
Article: Editor’s Introduction
Author: David W. Baker


Editor’s Introduction

David W. Baker

Humans are a visual creatures. Our eyes are among the main portals for information and stimuli, as both teachers and television producers know. The Bible shows an awareness of the importance of the eye, with the prophets using visual metaphors such as plumb-lines and holes in house walls, and Jesus using visual images such as white fields and shepherdless sheep. We at Ashland Theological Seminary have been visually impacted over the past year, in one case with images of international import, and in another by those which, while more local, will also have international import.

The world was stunned by the stark images of planes deliberately crashing on September 11th. These events left a permanent change on the visible landscape of New York, a scar on our memory of the city. There has also been a significant landscape change at Ashland Theological Seminary, but in this case it is for the good. This fall saw the opening of a beautiful and functional new building which houses both the Sandberg Leadership Center and the Smetzer Counseling Center. The latter will be a place of education but also of healing as students partake in the healing of people from the community who can come to the Center for care. As they enter they will be visually impacted by a statue of Jesus which was crafted by an ATS graduate, Louise Waller. Jesus is seated holding in one hand a newborn baby, with the other hand and arm reaching out, providing a support for any who would care to literally sit in his lap. In this seat, the visitor will see Jesus looking at them with an expression of love as he enfolds them in his lap. This is what the Center hopes to provide, the loving compassion of Christ to those who are wounded and in pain. This mission is spelled out here by the Director of the Midwest Counseling Center.

The Leadership Center has both a local and a global vision to model and teach leadership with integrity to those involved in all spheres of influence. Its Director presents a sample of the activities sponsored by the Center. Much more is planned, and information on both of these centers can be obtained by contacting ATS. While not directly deriving from the Leadership Center, we also include a look at one style of leadership which will face all involved in ministry.

This year has also seen the phenomenal sales of several Christian books. The name of Jabez has become better known than ever before. We present a different perspective on that faithful biblical character. Four other characters are also presented, representing different aspects of ministry, at least one of which will no doubt strike a chord with each of our readers. This chapel talk needs to be heard by all of us as we seek to serve our Lord.

Last but not least, we have books, books, and more books. T...

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