In HOPE 7.22 

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David Timms  

Ministry Resource

Eugene Peterson's latest published work The Jesus Way (Eerdmans, 2007; 289 pages) completes the trilogy he has been working on. The other two volumes are Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places (2005) and Eat This Book (2006).

The Jesus Way continues Peterson's tradition of insightful analysis of Scripture and culture. He calls us to Kingdom living - the Way - and leaves no doubt about how counter-cultural this Way is.

Hope Happenings

Students are returning to campus this week and weekend, and classes start next week. The Fall semester is about to commence.

We rejoice that this year's incoming undergraduate class for Pacific Christian College looks like being the largest in the school's history.

Please pray for our students, both undergraduate and graduate as they prepare themselves for another year of study and personal growth.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831



"What numbers are to a mathematician and what colors are to a landscape artist, names are to Christian language." -- Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way.


From Aaron to Zophar, the Bible is full of names. Ever wondered why? We find many of them unpronouncable and most of them fairly uninteresting. They belong to people far away in both time and geography.

But names matter.

Names give color to a black-and-white world. They transform the ordinary into the intimate, and change people into persons. If I speak of "my wife" I reduce her to just one married female among many. But her name -- Kim -- adds personhood and history, connection and intimacy. When I use her name I no longer objectify her; I personalize her. I define her by more than a label. Kim's name elevates her. Mysteriously, it makes her more real, as it does for all of us.

Have you noticed that we demonize our enemies by refusing to use their names? We assign them labels, not names. They become "him, her, them, opponents, enemies, militants, etc." We depersonalize them, to make our retribution and violence easier.

Names matter. And they deserve our careful attention, because the Lord gives them His highest attention.

Whether it's renaming Abram to Abraham (Gen 17:5) or Jacob to Israel (Gen 32:28); whether it's mentioning Muppim, Huppim, and Ard (Gen 46:21) or delivering a prophetic message through names like Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Isa 8:3-4) or Jesus (Matt 1:21), we dare not diminish the importance of any name.

The Lord calls us by name and prepares a new name for us (Rev 2:17). Names matter.

"I'm horrible with names" betrays either our ignorance of this truth (that names matter) or our tendency to resist intimacy. If I don't care enough to know your name, how much do I care for you?

Names are foundational to Christian language because they're foundational to love.

When we speak to people, let's use their names. When we speak about people, let's use their names. And let's be glad that He knows our name, not because He knows all things but because He cares.




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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.