Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A week for recovering ones conscience and discovering ones bravery at Redeemer

One great thing about our Redeemer University College is that it picks up on topics largely ignored by the greater academic community and unfortunately left untouched by them, which is really fine by us, as it gives Redeemer an exclusive sneak peek at the alternative future, one that is particular and part and parcel of the minority point of view in this world, that can be in the eyes of the others.

An example of this would be last Wednesday, when Dr. Bob Goudzwaard came to visit, spoke at chapel, then after the lecture in the auditorium, stuck around to impart more wisdom and knowledge from his time and experience in various roles and callings, such as being deeply involved in international development issues, through consultations with and between the World Council of Churches, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. An elected politician in the Dutch parliament, then with the Anti Revolutionary Party and now Christian Democratic Appeal, as part of the European Christian Political Movement and a professor of economics and social philosophy at Free University of Amsterdam, as well as a regular contributor at Cardus, Goudzwaard's message simply is to seek global justice in many different ways, as pointed out in his book, Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for the Global Economy, which had been presented and promoted in the lecture. Though it was mainly economically based, a budding political scientist could salvage the message that a nation state that has financial strength, secure homes and clean air, food and water for our children still will have economic poverty, environmental degradation, energy shortages, global terrorism and local overtaxed land for tis citizens, without Christ as the centre and source of truth, knowledge and hope, we can not work together, continue to live selfishly and watch civilization sink further into the abyss of efficiency until its end. That end comes, via the forced upon demands for economic productivity and financial growth from human beings without their right to sustainability, stability and recreation, which bring with it a truly better standard of living, instead of the current rapid global economic development of world globalization which continues to enslave us one by one until we are one captive society, keeping us further away from a deeper sense of shalom, as Dr. Koyzis and Prof. Joustra have spoken upon in the past. With coauthors Goudzwaard, Mark Vandervennen and David Vanheemst giving us in the book some real world solutions to life threatening problems from the collective global crises, changes and challenges of today, we go to the cross, the circle and the palm tree and must individually look deep inside ourselves examine, review and find the common ground conscience and conviction we share to create genuine partnership now, towards concrete action in the future that includes caring for and sharing with one another, instead of our overdeveloping, overexpending and overconsuming, perhaps we need to stop underestimating God and His strength, power and glory forever and ever.

Yesterday, being Tuesday of this week, Sophie Scholl: The Last Days, a multiple award winning film, was shown by the history department, which must know that sixty seven years ago later this month is the anniversary of their execution, for that event which the movie was based on actually happened as the White Rose Movement and Manifesto of the Students of Munich intelectual resistance group in Nazi Germany, both of which had been motivated by ethical and moral conviction, all mainly being either Lutheran Protestant or Roman Catholic in belief. It tells of a young 21 year old girl arrested early one morning in February 1943 for distributing anti Nazi literature as part of their anonymous leaflet campaign with her brother Hans, which started in June 1942 on their university campus, along with her brother and friends, bravely refusing to give in, no matter the dire consequences, stand up for truth as it was and continuing to strongly resist including others, such as her professor of philosophy and psychology Karl Huber, in on the crime of actively opposing dictator Adolf Hitler's National Socialist Third Reich regime, though most would join her fate. The principles of courage, honour and trust made the six core members arrested by the Gestapo, found guilty and executed by decapitation some of the greatest heroes in German history, with the story being included with text from their sixth leaflet being smuggled by Helmuth Vonmoltke, from Germany through Scandinavia to the Britain, then dropped over Germany by Allied planes in July 1943, giving the White Rose Movement the last word in the end against the Axis. This 2005 German film by director Marc Rothemund and writer Fred Breinersdorfer really gives us hope that if another totalitarian regime with yet one more single answer official state ideology, perhaps we can see another Family Scholl and company stand up against the machine without violence, allowing for alternative ideas to permeate, pass along and flow throughout, giving any uniform nation state or culture a source of pluriformity it needs to defend itself as a properly viable worldview if it actually it. I know that God helped Sophie and the others involved in the White Rose Movement, all young intellectual students who risked all for no earthly reward but freedom, to lead them not into temptation, by giving and maintaining the stength and power needed for such bravery to stand ones ground, thus delivered them from evil of the day, making the wrong right again in the afterlife, to be absolutely completed in the future reformed world to be.

It truly has been one week for recovering ones conscience and discovering ones bravery here at Redeemer, always good to look at where you are, where you have been and where you are going on the roadmap of life, never wanting to forget the knowledge we have gained, as those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past, are fatefully condemned and destined to repeat them in the future.