ARTICLES

Vincent Bacote and Nathaniel Perrin - Redemptive Rehabilitation: Theological Approaches to Criminal Justice Reform

In this article, we will attempt to build a multi-dimensional vision of rehabilitation, based
in Christian understandings of human nature, redemption, and community. By first exploring
what rehabilitation means and why it is important, we will then survey three models of
restoration and rehabilitation which can be instituted as programs offered within the incarceration
system in order to promote the well-being of offenders. The first model, restorative
justice, is a broad set of approaches which focuses on undoing the communal damage of
crime by restoring the bonds of the community through restitution and reconciliation. The
second approach is the Good Lives Model which undertakes offender rehabilitation based
in the understanding that crime is an unhealthy way in which individuals pursue the good
life. The third model consists of therapeutic communities which encourage their residents to
find healing in community with other people, developing healthy prosocial practices which
will help offenders re-enter society upon release. These are three secular models which have
strong ties to Christian theological principles and can provide a path to structural reform of
the corrections system. By instituting these programs of rehabilitation in conjunction with
incarceration (or as an alternative), Christians can work to recover the mission of redemption
which first shaped the modern penitentiary. Dr. Vincent Bacote is Associate Professor
of Theology and Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College (IL).
Nathaniel Perrin is a recent graduate of Wheaton College (IL).

 

John MacInnis - “A Medium for Meeting God”: C. S. Lewis and Music (Especially Wagner)

This essay will survey Lewis’s writings and outline the development of his aesthetic ideas in
relation to music, emphasizing his enjoyment of Wagner and explaining nuanced references
to Wagner throughout Lewis’s works. Moreover, this essay will describe how Lewis’s ideas
about God advanced in counterpoint to his ideas about music and how Lewis eventually
came to conclude that music is “a medium for meeting God.” John MacInnis, CAGO, PhD
serves as Associate Professor of Music and Music Department Chair at Dordt University
in Sioux Center, Iowa.

 

Michael J. Paulus, Jr., Bruce D. Baker, and Michael D. Langford - A Framework for Digital Wisdom in Higher Education

Institutions of higher education have a crucial role and responsibility at this moment of
technological change to form people who will flourish in our so-called digital age. The speed
with which digital information and communication technologies have permeated our lives
has left little time for critical reflection on how we may intentionally integrate them into
our lives. Regardless of when we were born or the depth of our technological expertise, we
are all of us digitally naïve. Individually and collectively, we are still learning how to use
new and emerging digital technologies well and wisely. This essay presents a framework
that includes theological principles, cultural critiques, and formative practices that can
help us—as both educators and learners—move from a position of digital naiveté toward
one of digital wisdom. Michael J. Paulus, Jr., is University Librarian, Assistant Provost for
Educational Technology, and Director and Associate Professor of Information Studies; Bruce
D. Baker is Associate Professor of Business Ethics; and Michael D. Langford is Associate
Professor of Theology, Discipleship, and Ministry at Seattle Pacific University.

 

Gene Fendt - Aristotle and Tolkien: An Essay in Comparative Poetics

Both Aristotle and Tolkien are authors of short works seemingly concentrated on one form
of literary art. Both works contain references which seem to extend further than that single
art and offer insights into the worth and purpose of art more generally. Both men understand
the relevant processes of mind of the artist in a similar way, and both distinguish the
value of works of art based on their effect on the audience. But Tolkien figures the natural
human artistic bent as an elvish strain in us, and in his legends the elves are passing away
to make way for the new—human beings. The legendary tales are an image of the natural
pagan man giving place to the new man coming to be after Christ. This implies that what
Aristotle called the mimetic nature of man—the source of all artistic play and work—is
being given a new shape and orientation. Further, the master of those who know, in explicating
catharsis, must have been reaching for something that exceeded his grasp and he
did not know it. The aim of this essay is to explore the agreements (seeming and real) and
disagreements (seeming and real) between what can be built up as each author’s general
literary and aesthetic ideas—so, the relation between pagan and Tolkien’s Christian poetics.
This will include evaluating where each is more or less adequate to the task of a general
aesthetic, ending in an exploration of the purpose of art for the “new man.” Gene Fendt is
the Albertus Magnus Professor of Philosophy, University of Nebraska, Kearney.

 

EXTENDED REVIEWS

Allison Backous Troy - The Orthodox Reality—An Extended Review

Allison Backous Troy is an independent scholar and essayist.

 

Michael Vander Weele - Balm in Gilead—An Extended Review

Michael Vander Weele is Professor of English Emeritus at Trinity Christian College.