Dr. Dennis Tucker wonders if our days full of Facebook, texting, and email messages are crowding out more important thoughts, things pertaining to imagination, things that have little to do with a modern world of hours spent pounding out comments and replies on a keyboard.
Tucker is the associate dean and associate professor of Christian scriptures at Truett Seminary, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, and the featured speaker for the annual Cornerstone Lecture Series, sponsored by Baptist Student Ministries at Hardin-Simmons University this week.
Tucker’s aloud ponderings to students, faculty, and staff, about the brevity of time and the quality of thoughts during those hours, was the preface to answers that are sure to come during the three-day lecture event.
“We are so bombarded with words and images that we have very little time to just sit and think,” says Tucker. “Are we losing our capacity to imagine?” he asks.
Showing the Giotto di Bondone painting, The Lamentation of Christ, from around 1300 A.D., which depicts Jesus’ body cradled by his mother, Mary, surrounded by friends and family in mourning, Tucker says, “I have been looking at and thinking about this painting for more than 20 years. It is telling the story of Jesus, it is inviting us in,” says Tucker. “Sometimes things need to challenge us to think and reflect. We need to allow ourselves to be invited into a world of thinking about what we should become and what the world should become.
“In a hyper-textual world, we miss the invitation to step into the picture. Sometimes we walk by right by God and don’t notice him. The world continues to need people who are willing to imagine, who are willing to grab the feeble and say to them, I know the way home.”
Tucker points to Isaiah 35, “The prophet tells us that when things are not right, when the world is upside down, to go and strengthen weak hands, grab others and keep pressing on to God. ‘Say to those with fearful hearts, be strong, do not fear; your God will come,… he will come to save you.’”
Tucker says, “It takes us about two seconds to read a text, and 294 billion of them are sent worldwide every day. Take a moment, more than two seconds, and soak it in. Read for formation, not just for the facts; be challenged to think and reflect.”
The Cornerstone Lecture Series continues tomorrow and Wednesday with:
“Theological Imagination and the Defiant Faith”
9:40 - 10:20 a.m., Chapel and 2nd Lecture, Behrens Auditorium
12:00 - 12:50 p.m., Student Luncheon
Johnson Building Multipurpose Room
Thursday, September 27, 2012
“Theological Imagination and the Transformed World”
9:30 - 10:15 a.m., Chapel and 3rd Lecture, Behrens Auditorium
The public is invited to attend all three Cornerstone Lectures in Behrens Auditorium this week.
Tucker has served at Truett since 2002 and has been associate dean since 2007. He has also taught at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he served as assistant professor of biblical studies and theology.
He received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Tucker received a Specialist in Education degree in educational administration from the University of Louisville. He has completed additional studies at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Cornerstone Lecture Series is endowed by the late Dr. and Mrs. Lee Hemphill in honor of his parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Hemphill of Coleman, Texas. The series of lectures started in 1966 to perpetuate the ideas set forth in the foundation agreement of Simmons College, now Hardin-Simmons University.