Cross Reference: Ending with a hope and a prayer

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“The state of christendom is a state of transition” was the banner of an idea I was determined to fly overhead last semester when this column began.

Later, it became the hill I was willing to die on—to encourage students and community members to engage in theological discussion to challenge status quos and deconstruct misperceptions and ill-conceived presumptions.

Cross Reference attempted to foster the environment of informed discourse and subjectivity so together, we could wrestle with the nuance that permeates all complex concepts such as theology, psychology and science.

It was my goal to highlight common “immaculate misconceptions” about Christianity potentially unforeseen by secular and even spiritual communities.

It was also my goal to raise questions about the validity of some claims and present the kerygma, or “proclamation witness” of Jesus, a.k.a the Gospel. That “good news” in its earliest, cohesive and potent form: That there was a man, Jesus, who lived, died, was buried and raised from the dead to reunite humanity with God through sacrifice and selflessness.

The blur of horrible and inconceivable acts done by Jesus’ fan club are inexcusable, but also should not be the plumb line at which every Christian or professed follower of Jesus should be measured against.

In a time of polarized political points of view brought to us by the presidential election, I wanted to discourage the use of religious filters to inform one’s vote; I aimed at exploiting the misconception that Jesus wants us to vote for him and that each candidate, although inspired by religious beliefs, were primarily driven by religion.

I went toe-to-toe with the argument that science and theology can inform each other and with scientist/theologian Kenneth Miller, and killed the notion that there is overlap between the two spheres—because if there is, they are parametrically limited and should not be seen beyond those boundaries.

Ultimately, my intent was to provide a perspective from an informed and educated point of view by my minor in biblical studies from Hope International University, and share the nuance that is lost in overgeneralizations that plague today’s society.

I was also tired of basic questions asked of Christians that could be asked of God. Scripture, and not me, could answer those. The stories of the Bible chronicle tales of God interweaving his character in the lives of both men and women, usually ordinary people like you and me.

There are tales of those distraught, lonely, angry, miserable, joyful, blissful and so on. The theme of the Old Testament Hebrews is a discovery of that character—one that bleeds into the New Testament with Jesus and to us today.

It is only my hope and prayer is to seek Jesus and keep up the discussion of the validity and implications of his sacrifice.

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you,” says Psalm 86. “Hear my prayer, LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.”

About David Hood

David Hood is a newspaper and print design enthusiast. He is proud to be the co-winner of the National Scholastic Press Association’s 2008 Design of the Year Award for Newspaper Design for his high school newspaper, Crimson, in Paso Robles, Calif. After serving the Daily Titan as a Layout Editor, he traveled to Washington, D.C. to the Washington Journalism Center where he interned as a business reporter at The Washington Times and garnered 20 bylines, four on its front page. He hopes to rekindle people’s interest in news for better public discourse and understanding.