Spring 2004 | Volume 1, Number 1

Welcome to the Harvard Ichthus! The Ichthus is Harvard's newest and only publication of Christian thought, opinion and expression. This website contains the complete text of all articles we have published so far.


Searching for Veritas
In some ways, it’s not hard at all to find God at Harvard. The university was founded as a Christian institution, which shows in our architecture and in the religious services that live on at Memorial Church. But how do we approach the faith? Harvard students come from a variety of religious backgrounds and arrive with widely differing, preconceived notions about God. Moreover, most Harvard students find it difficult to spare the time they feel is necessary for such an exploration. The author hopes that the Ichthus helps ease that difficulty by fostering greater discussion about Christianity on campus.
by Jordan Hylden ‘06


The Real Losers of Locke v. Davey
The Supreme Court's decision to forbid public scholarships from being used for theological studies at college undermines the First Amendment guarantee of government neutrality toward religion. The government can never reclude itself completely from religion, and must learn to act neutrally. Its failure to do so harms religious citizens who would use government support to engage privately in religious study.
by Joshua Davey, Harvard Law School ‘06

Love and Marriage?
Perhaps contrary to popular belief, the concept of marriage based on love rather than on economic concerns originated in the medieval Catholic Church. A proper recognition of this should cause proponents of same-sex marriage to pause, because it indicates that the supposedly-human impulse toward marriage we take for granted in fact has religious roots. As a consequence when same-sex marriage advocates shrug off the Catholic legal tradition, they do away with the love that they claim to celebrate.
by Bronwen Catherine McShea ‘03, Harvard Divinity School ‘06

Right and Wrong: God, Law and the Secular State
How should Christians approach legislation in the modern nation-state? Both liberal and conservative Christians want to codify morality into law, but is this approach Biblical? The authors examine the Old Testament history of God's approach to human law, and propose that scripture would have Christians maximize the “moral capability” of citizens in a secular state to make independent moral choices, so long as their choices do not infringe on the moral capability of others.
by Paul F. Niehaus ‘04 and Jeffery J. Niehaus, Ph.D., Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary

Utmost and Highest
Oswald Chambers is widely known for his daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, a theologically-rich series of scriptural commentary derived from his sermon notes. In this essay the author explores and analyzes Chambers' theology, examines Chambers' life in light of his writings, and draws some lessons from both.
by Jeffery David Dean ‘06


Gay Marriage: a Moral Imperative
In this very brief foray into a difficult and highly controversial topic for the church, the author challenges traditional Christian thinking about gender orientation. Contending that the Christian faith involves developing a spirit of charitability rooted in Christ's example, and drawing on portions of the Bible not typically applied to sexual morality, he arrives at the conclusion that heterosexuality is not “uniquely blessed.”
by Stephen Dewey ‘07

"There's Something Missing Here"
What is central to Paul and the evangelists about Jesus' passion and resurrection is lacking in The Passion of the Christ. The movie lacks key portions of Jesus's life before and after his crucifixation that communicate the bulk of his message. The movie offers a spiritual dead-end; one might be moved by it, but “moved to what ends?” or “moved to do what?”
by Professor Ellen B. Aitken, Harvard Divinity School

Overcoming the Wall
Pink Floyd's albums Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall have attained fame for their musical genius, but fans are less aware of the band's sad story that forms the basis of the latter album. Syd Barrett, a friend of the band who was largely responsible for the masterfully psychedelic sound of Dark Side of the Moon, eventually had to be let go because of an addiction to acid coupled with schizophrenia. The Wall is an epic album that tells his story. To avoid hiding behind our own walls of isolation, the author recommends sharing our burdens with Christ.
by Dustin Michael Saldarriaga ‘06

The Da Vinci Con
The Da Vinci Code may be a best-seller, but this author contends the book is as much a web of lies as it contends Christianity to be. Assailing author Dan Brown's misleading use of ahistorical “facts” and reliance on discredited sources, Hilkemann warns that while the book's logic falls easily enough, its impact on more vulnerable Christians should be taken seriously.
by Adam D. Hilkemann ‘07

The Passion of the Christ
The Passion of the Christ depicts the suffering of Christ, but is this a sufficient or appropriate portrayal? Yes and no, according to the author. Understanding Christ's suffering - to the limited extent that a movie can accomplish this - is important to the Christian faith. Yet it is important to do so without idolozing the actors or the portrayal itself, or forgetting that Christ's significance is not so much in his death as in his resurrection.
by Ted K. Lim ‘06

Systems and Christianity
Systems theory is an emerging strain of thought in the business world, but rarely if ever has it been applied to faith organizations. Doug Hall bridges the gap with Systems and Christianity, a discussion of how Christians can turn the church into a “learning organization” that deals successfully with a more complex world. Drawing on cognitive behavioral theory, Hall explores the difference between systemic and systematic theology, and advocates the former.
by Joel Mitchell ‘04

Next of Kin
by Emily S. High ‘06

by Michael Cover ‘04

by Marie Laperle ‘06

Peace Surpassing
by Marie Laperle '06