Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Featured Author: Laura Wood

Laura McKillip Wood, Registrar at Nebraska Christian College of Hope International University (as of January 2017), writes a regular column about missions in The Lookout magazine.

Laura also writes a thoughtful blog on the same topic called, Something Complete and Great. Check it out!

Image from

The Lookout began publication in 1888 and has been one of the flagship publications of Standard Publishing along with the Christian Standard to the present.

"The Lookout serves the local church by promoting Christian education and Christian living" with a circulation of about 40,000.

Individuals may subscribe to digital or print editions of The Lookout magazine. It is available only in print at the Darling Library in Fullerton as well as the Swedburg Library in Papillion.

Laura is married to Dr. Andrew Wood, Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies at Nebraska Christian.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Featured Author: Brady Heiner

Photo from Dr. Heiner's CSUF faculty profile page 
Brady Heiner, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Affiliated Faculty of African American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. His research and teaching engages broadly in the humanities with specialization in critical social and legal theory, political theory, feminist philosophy, continental philosophy, and critical philosophy of race.

His work has been published in anthologies such as Death and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration (Fordham University Press, 2015) and States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons (Palgrave, 2002), as well as journal such as Philosophy & Social Criticism, Radical Philosophy Review, Continental Philosophy Review, Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, Social Justice and City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action.

Heiner is also a founding member of the statewide steering committee of CSU Project Rebound and the Director of Project Rebound at Cal State Fullerton, a program that supports the formerly incarcerated on their journey through successful reintegration in a college setting.

Dr. Heiner will deliver a lecture on campus at Hope International University's Center for Public Leadership. The Center for Public Leadership invites experts in the fields of social justice, politics, theology, or international relations to help students find creative ways to address the world’s biggest problems.

Hope International University's

Distinguished Lecture:
Dr. Brady Heiner
California State University, Fullerton
"Should Prisons be Abolished?"

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Room 205

For more information, contact Dr. Roberto Sirvent.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Featured Author: John Hendee

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Ministry and Biblical Studies, John Hendee, is the Chair of World Evangelism at Hope International University. He has authored more than 12 books and training materials on evangelism over his nearly fifty years of ministry.

His newest book, Training Disciples who Can Make NEW Disciples, can be found on his website: along with many other free downloadable books.

Books by John Hendee (all published by Standard Publishing) available for checkout from the Darling Library include:

  • Smart fishing: Ways a Congregation Can Reach More People for Christ, 1991.
  • Recruiting, training, and Developing Volunteer Adult Workers, 1988.
  • Discipling New Christians With the Spiritual T.E.A.M. Coach's Manual, 1986
  • Ambassadors for Christ: Training for Evangelism, Student's Manual, 1984.
  • Ambassadors for Christ: Training for Evangelism, Trainer's Manual, 1984.
  • A Peace Treaty with God, 1984.

Friday, October 28, 2016

HIU in the Christian Standard

The Christian Standard is the principal magazine connecting the congregations of the Christian Churches / Churches of Christ. The November 2016 issue has three articles about or by members of the Hope International University community.

First, a three part article, "Studying the City" by Jennifer Johnson focuses on three of our colleges that are involved in studying their local urban communities; Ozark Christian College (Joplin, Missouri), Johnson University (Knoxville, Tennessee), and Hope International University's City Semester program.

Second, "The Church Needs the Hood" by Justin Horey is about the work of local Fullerton ministry program,Solidarity, and its founder and executive director, HIU alum, Tommy Nixon.

Finally, our own professor of Intercultural Studies, Dr. Kip Lines, has written a thought provoking yet practical article on "Missional Justice" where he asks difficult questions such as, "What does it mean for the church to demonstrate God’s justice in the world?"

The Christian Standard is available in print in the Darling Library.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Can a Search Engine Sway Voters?

Image from Life Without Biases

It has been claimed that Google is biased in favor of Hillary Clinton. According to a report by psychologist Robert Epstein, this could sway as many as 3 million votes in the upcoming presidential election.

“How can a search engine be pro- or con- anything?” you ask. The problem, according to Matt Leiberman, is with the autocomplete suggestions that appear as you begin to input your search. Allegedly, Google is more likely to suggest positive rather than negative results about the Democratic Presidential Candidate – no matter how badly you want to find something disparaging about her.

Of course, Google denies the allegation. And according to this claim is false. But if you search for "Snopes bias," you will find numerous hits dismissing Snopes as liberal.

Besides Google, I used Yahoo! and Bing to search out information on this with similar results. But the two competing search engines return different results than Google when searching for dirt on HRC.

If you can’t trust a search engine to find unbiased information, where do you turn?

Having both a registered Republican and Democrat in our household, we receive the mailings from all the different candidates, taxpayer associations, and interest groups hoping to assist us in making informed decisions.

We watch the presidential (and vice presidential) debates from beginning to end. Afterwards, we channel surf through the variously biased news analyses to compare their takes on the issues. We surf the Internet for fact checking sources and discuss. Of course, fact-checking sources are also suspect. A popular fact checker,, winner of a Pulizer Prize in 2009 for their coverage of the 2008 election, is accused of being liberal by

This is a problem for me as an American citizen, but also as an information professional. Last week I carpooled from North Orange County to a professional association meeting in Los Angeles with a librarian colleague who is a Korean born naturalized American citizen. During the 90 minute commute (each way), the subject of the elections came up. We did not talk about Google but our discussion centered on how to get good information about local candidates. We both want to exercise our right and privilege to vote but despair of being properly informed. And we are information professionals!

Librarians value opposing opinions. In fact, the American Library Association has a Library Bill of Rights which says,
“Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” (Article II)
So the idea that Google might be withholding relevant information with biased results was alarming. Google is a brilliant information-seeking tool. But we must remember that, as is the case with standard authoritative reference works such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, Google is man-made and therefore, not infallible.

My husband says he applies the "hermeneutic of suspicion" to his own psyche, assuming that, although he may not be aware of it, he is biased or has an ulterior motive to believe what he already agrees with. It is my professional opinion that we must endeavor to suspect bias in every source, including Google and ourselves.

As far as the election goes, I trust in the system of checks and balances and hope that enough of my fellow Americans do too.

Related post: Thinking Critically About the Election, by Tyler Watson


Robin Hartman is Director of Library Services at Hope International University. She is curious about how the organization and communication of information shapes society and is committed to equipping students to impact the world for Christ.

Featured Author: Stephen Backhouse

St. Paul's Theological Center
Stephen Backhouse, D.Phil., will be our next speaker in the Voices of Christian Thought series this semester. Sponsored by the Pacific Christian College of Ministry and Biblical Studies at Hope International University, VOCT brings Christian thinkers to campus to present lectures and engage in dialog.

Dr. Backhouse is a Lecturer in Social and Political Theology at Mellitus College, London.

Dates of Residence (including book signing): October 23-27th.
A special lecture open to the public will be held on
Tuesday, October 25th in Room 205 at 7:00pm-9:00pm.
(For more information, contact Brittany Bauman.)


Backhouse, Stephen. 2011. Kierkegaard's Critique of Christian Nationalism. Oxford theological monographs; Oxford theological monographs. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (ISBN: 019960472X)

Backhouse, Stephen. 2016. Kierkegaard : A Single Life. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. (ISBN: 0310520886)

Read more about this author on Zondervan's blog or his Amazon page.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Neighboring Church: A Book Review, by Dr. Joseph Grana, II

Rusaw, Rick & Mavis, Brian. The Neighboring Church. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2016. 184 pp. $24.99.

Ecclesiology is changing. The manner of how we ‘do church’ is being evaluated not only in culture, but also within the church. Even, perhaps especially, the mega church is taking a deeper look at how we can better reach and engage our culture. Rick Rusaw and Brian Mavis of LifeBridge Christian Church in Longmont, Colorado have captured the biblical, cultural, and practical insights into the movement from the attractional model to the incarnational model.

Chapter three’s title gives a keen insight, “Being a Good Neighbor is Better Than a Good Program”. This concept takes the church back to its roots: “Day by day… they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2:46). Rather than being program oriented they are emphasizing personal relationship. Rather than just meeting in the church building, they are advocating meeting with one’s neighbors in one another’s homes.

In the “Externally Focused Church” Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson ask, “Would your community weep if your church vanished?” In “The Neighboring Church” Rick and Brian ask, “Would my neighbors care if I left?” They bring the church to a different level than just the organizational church in a church building. They bring the church to the home! Their conclusion/opinion is, “Pragmatically, we don’t think the church, as it is institutionally expressed, matches the future. (p.11). Their book is then an exploration of what the future church could/should become.

Theologically the concept of being a good neighbor is tied to God and Jesus. They state that God was the original-the first good neighbor because he created a place for humankind to live with him (p. 31). Jesus then demonstrated that attitude by moving into the neighborhood (p.33). He tented among us, as John 1:14 states. It is an interesting metaphor worth contemplating. If God/Jesus were good neighbors, perhaps, we should be too. That approach may what the upcoming generation will respond to.

There is still a place for corporate worship in this model. However, that service is not the focal point of the church. The main ministry takes place where people live, in their neighborhood.

Rusaw and Mavis reiterate an important concept from the ‘Externally Focused Church’. “While evangelism may be our ultimate motive, it is not our ulterior motive” (p.111). This concept is an important one regardless of the model being used.

Perhaps, there is a new wind blowing in the church. That wind is a fresh wind that comes from the early church. Now may be the time for the church of today to learn from the church of the first century: day by day in people’s homes they shared and expressed their faith!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it well:
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the one who loves those around them will create community.”
(Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community, p.27 quoted by Rusaw & Mavis on page 45.)

Available for sale on Amazon.
Coming soon to the Darling Library.


Dr. Joseph C. Grana II is Dean of the Pacific Christian College of Ministry & Biblical Studies and Professor of Church Ministry of Hope International University.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Featured Author: Ann Hidalgo

Ann Hidalgo is the first speaker in the Voices of Christian Thought 2016-2017 season. VOCT, sponsored by the Pacific Christian College of Ministry and Biblical Studies at Hope International University, brings Christian thinkers on campus to present lectures and to engage in dialog.

Dr. Hidalgo is a specialist in Latin American feminist theology. She earned a Ph.D. in Religion, Ethics, and Society from Claremont School of Theology. Her dissertation, Liberating Liturgy: Voices of Latin American Theology, uses feminist and decolonial theory to examine liturgies in the liberation theology tradition that empower marginalized communities.

Ann is part of the editorial team for Perspectivas, the journal of the Hispanic Theological Initiative, and Horizontes Decoloniales, a tri-lingual journal focusing on global political and religious discourses. She also currently works as the acquisitions librarian at the Claremont School of Theology Library.

An evening lecture, "Covering Itself in Ashes: A Brazilian Church Repenting and Making Amends for Racist and Colonialist Theology,” is open to the public on Monday, September 26th, 7:00 to 9:00, in Room 205 (2nd floor of Nutwood East).

“Spray Paint on the Border Wall: Challenging the Waning Sovereignty of the Nation-State” Claremont Journal of Religion January 2013.

“¡Ponte a nuestro lado! Be on our side! The Challenge of the Central American Liberation Theology Masses” IN Liturgy in Postcolonial Perspectives: Only One Is Holy. 2015. Cláudio Carvalhaes, editor. Palgrave Macmillan (Postcolonialism and Religion Series). ISBN: 1137516356