Challenging the Darkness - Norwood Jones 2012

Posted by cservaes on June 19, 2012 in "Norwood L. Jones Convocation", "Os Guinness", "Other News", "The College", "Upcoming Events" Ottawa University hosted Dr. Os Guinness as its annual Norwood L. Jones Convocation speaker on March 7-8, 2012. Guinness presented two lectures, “Can Freedom Last Forever?” and “Challenging the Darkness.” He also presented a seminar aimed at clergy members. “Can we really change the world?” Guinness asked audience members during Wednesday’s presentation. Guinness said many people believe they can change the world – and they believe it to be a fairly effortless task at that. “It’s as if we just have to say it to do it,” he said. “Other people believe that changing the world is nearly impossible and that today’s leaders are going about changing the world in the completely wrong way.” Guinness’s own way to answer that question is simple. “I firmly believe that the church and God have changed the world and can change the world,” he said. “The church is the most diverse community on the Earth. The scriptures are the most translated book in all of history.” Guinness also took time to talk with OU students in the Mowbray Union about how quickly today’s generation of young adults moves, thinks and conducts their daily lives. “We are the first generation to live at a speed beyond human comprehension,” Guinness told students. “Time is a really tricky thing.” Guinness said because of today’s speed, Americans tend to think only in the short-term. “People in America are so concentrated on the immediate now,” he said. “Many Americans are remarkably short sighted.” He urged students to think through this short-sighted approach to life and think in the long term. “We are in a world where we see everything as it happens and all of the information of the world can flow at us,” he said. “The next step would be to challenge us all to think through our timejuggling strategies.” Guinness is an author, social critic and Senior Fellow of the EastWest Institute in New York. He was born in China in World War II, where his parents were medical missionaries. A witness to the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to Europe where he was educated in England. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his Doctor of Philosophy in the Social Sciences from Oriel College, Oxford. He has written and edited more than 25 books, including “The American Hour,” “Time for Truth,” “The Call,” “Invitation to the Classics,” “Long Journey Home,” and “Unspeakable: Facing up to the challenge of evil.” His latest book, “The Case for Civility - and why our future depends on it” was published by Harper One in January 2008. Guinness laced his lectures at OU with elements from the book. OU Professor of Religion Dr. Richard Menninger says of the latest release, “Os Guinness provides a visible model of how to treat others with civility in the public square.” Since coming to the United States in 1984, Guinness has been a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and a Guest Scholar and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was also a senior fellow at the Trinity Forum from 1991 to 2004. He is a frequent speaker and seminar leader at political and business conferences in both the United States and Europe. Previously, Guinness was a freelance reporter with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Dr. Guinness’s lectures were made possible through the Norwood L. Jones Convocation Fund established in 1973 by Mr. and Mrs. Norwood L. Jones, Carolyn Jones Fletcher and Anne J. Mills. The fund enables Ottawa University to invite distinguished individuals to campus to stimulate and inspire students in their religious life and involvements. In addition, Dr. Guinness’s seminars were sponsored by a grant from the Ervil A. and Ronald E. Thiel Charitable Trust.