Arts & Culture

  • Professor John Knox: Teacher, Author, and Servant

    Biblical Studies Professor John Knox (students call him Knox) arrives to class in a broken-in blue baseball cap and a Doctor Who character shirt. Students in class immediately wrap up their conversations and wait for Knox to begin his lesson. He is infamous for showing video clips highlighting lessons or to create conversations. Not one to hear himself talk, Knox encourages interactions between students. He often asks students to open their Bibles and read the text out loud with a James Earl Jones voice. Knox has been teaching and enriching peoples’ lives at George Fox for ten years. “I have enjoyed working for the past decade at GFU mainly because of the people—students, faculty, administrators—who have consistently demonstrated their love of God, others, and learning,” Knox said. “I sincerely think God has opened doors and used me in His service at GFU, and for that I am grateful.” At the start of this academic year he was asked to be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies.  His PhD focuses on the state of Religiosity in the West and he intends to add to his ever growing portfolio.  Knox is pursuing his other passion–writing.  Last year his fiction novella, The Letter of Alon, was published.  This academic year saw Knox publish three articles in an online Fuller Journal regarding radical individualism in the Pacific Northwest.  His most recent publication was on April 9 in Christ Cascadia entitled “Future Emphasis of the Church in the Pacific Northwest.” When asked about writing Knox smiles. “I loved writing my first novel published in August, The Letter of Alon, and have been working on its sequel as well as a new Christian SciFi novel, too,” Knox said. “It is a joy to utilize all my university learning in my writing—my ultimate goal for each is to produce works that are entertaining, educational, and inspirational.  Once a teacher, always a teacher.” With regard to the classes Knox teaches, they fill up fast and stay that way throughout the semester. His teaching style is engaging, refreshing, entertaining, and honest.  Knox requires students to read, question, and share.  There is no coasting in any of his classes. “If I had to define Knox in two words I would call him ‘unconventionally ingenious.’ Knox is one of the few Bible professors who reminds me every class session why I’m here at Fox,” says junior Jordan Nelson. “He displays the dedication, love of teaching, and love of learning that I’ve come to expect of George Fox professors. His non-traditional methods lead to non-traditional results. His students are not only intrigued by his lessons, but engaged in the Word beyond what one would expect of a standard Bible class or even an insightful sermon. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Professor Knox, a man whose teaching allows students to reach beyond the security of the conventional into the boundless void of new and unexplored knowledge.” As the next academic year approaches, Knox looks forward to the new experiences to come. “Regardless of where the Spirit moves me, like Dr. Seuss said, ‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.’  My GFU friendships and relationships have left a legacy of love in my heart,” Knox said.
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    Movie Trivia Quiz

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    April 17, 2014
    It’s a stressful time of year, so here is a little movie trivia quiz to take your mind off of things for a few moments.   1) In “Frozen,” Elsa was originally intended to be… A) The Villain B) Not in the movie C) A very small role   2) The “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was the first film with a sole female lead to top the annual box office since… A) 2012 B) 1973 C) 1997   3) “Thor: The Dark World,” is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe Film… A) To create a new language B) To have the hero work together successfully with a villain C) To not be set in the United States   4) In “American Hustle” each main character… A) Was written specifically for an actor or actress B) Was not allowed to improvise C) Had to make drastic changes to their physical appearance to appear in the role   5) “The Amazing Spider-Man” started as… A) Spider-Man 4, a direct sequel to the trilogy B) A one-time tribute to Spider Man released on the 50th anniversary of the comic C) A marketing campaign for marvel   6) In “Despicable me 2” if you call the number agent Lucy Wilde give to Gru you will hear… A) A random person telling you that you have the wrong number B) A recording of Lucy Wilde saying you have reached the anti-villain league C) Nothing, the number doesn’t exist   (Answers: 1:A, 2:B, 3:C, 4:A, 5:A, 6:B)  

    A Tribute to Mickey Rooney

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    April 14, 2014
    On April 6 Mickey Rooney, a beloved actor, passed away at age 93. His entertainment career spanned nearly his entire lifetime, lasting up until the day of his death. He co-starred many times along side Judy Garland, and was a revered showman. Here is a snap shot of just two of his many films. National Velvet. In this 1944 classic, Mickey Rooney stars along side Elizabeth Taylor as a scared former jockey who agrees to help a young girl named Velvet Brown, played by Elizabeth Taylor, train a wild horse for England’s National Sweepstakes. Rooney himself plays Mi Taylor, a young man who blows into town and finds work as a hired hand in a stable. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys old-fashioned movies, and inspirational stories. In addition, this movie is considered so important it was selected in 2003 to be a part of the United States National Film Registry in the Library of Congress for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant. Pete’s Dragon. One of Rooney’s later hits (1977), this children’s story slightly resembles the plot of Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee. It is, however, wonderful and unique in its own right. Following the journey of a boy with an invisible pet dragon, this film stars Helen Reddy and Mickey Rooney as lighthouse keepers who take in the boy with the dragon, Pete. They protect him from his evil adoptive family, and defend him even when he makes a mess in the town. If you have ever heard the song “Brazzle Dazzle Day” this is where that song comes from. The music in this movie is actually very good if you enjoy musicals, and it is one of the first movies to mix animation and live action.

    Resident Assistant Position Reaffirms Student's Passion for his Field

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    April 7, 2014
    George Fox University junior and psychology major Jared Larson expresses great appreciation for his position as a resident assistant of Lewis apartments; he also finds the role valuable in equipping him for a successful future. Upon setting foot onto campus in the fall of his freshman year, Larson was enthusiastic about the Christian environment the university had to offer. “I wanted to be surrounded by Christian leaders, who would help grow me as a Christian,” says Larson. “My youth pastor always told me that college was a time when people lose their faith. I didn’t want that to be the case for me.” Fully immersing himself in the community, an energetic Larson sought out opportunities to form relationships with those around him, leading him into an RA position his junior year. Far exceeding typical RA expectations, he strove to form a deeper sense of community within his residence area: planning community events, mediating residential conflicts and even providing occasional chocolate chip cookie deliveries to residents’ doors. “One of my goals in life is to be an inspiration unto others,” says Larson. “I just enjoy making my residents feel at home. I like to help and make others feel included and special. I like developing others and showing them the potential that they have in this life” Through his experience in serving at GFU, Larson has only become more sure regarding his goal of becoming a school counselor. “Being an RA has influenced my college experience by helping me develop experiences that will help me with my future career,” he says. “It has definitely helped me see who I am as a person and who I want to be when I am older.” As Larson prepares for his last year as a student, he is delighted at the opportunity to serve as RA of Woolman apartments for the 2014-15 school year. With his self-claimed characteristics of positivity, encouragement and sass he hopes to unite his newest group of residents and leave with memories that he will not be soon to forget.

    Chocolate Brownies Recipe

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    April 7, 2014
    Bored on a Friday night at Fox? Well, what better way to fill those otherwise-meaningless hours than with a brownie baking bonanza? Start out by melting three cups of butter (we actually substituted margarine, and they still worked out great). Lightly beat four eggs, then add the melted butter to the eggs. Combine 2 ¼ cup sugar, 2/3 cup cocoa powder, 1 ¼ cup flour, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients then beat with a spoon or spatula. Pour in a 13 by 9 inch pan and bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

    Making Friends With Trolls

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    Norwegian Troll
    April 1, 2014
    I was sixteen and staying with family friends in Norway. I saw very quickly the culture of trolls. Not the kind you meet every day on the internet, but the lumpy, bug-eyed version of trolls, the ones that smell Christian blood and haunt the forests and can have multiple heads but nothing in them. You could buy little troll figures in every souvenir store. They smile ugly smiles at every person who walks by. But I had been warned not to mess with trolls; generally I knew better. I met a troll while traveling between two cities in Norway.  My family friends and I stopped to get something to eat and outside the restaurant there was a hill and on top of that hill sat a troll. He waved out at us, holding his walking stick; it was obvious he was a traveler of these hills. Our plan was to go pay the troll a visit after lunch. I said that I did not think the troll would mind, we would be friends. I was sure of it. I was about to make a new friend. With trolls, however, you do not overstep your boundaries. My friend, her dad, and I climbed to the top of the troll’s hill. We stopped there to take a picture and I assured the troll that we were good friends, and I took one more picture. Then we made our way back to the car. On the way down somehow I managed to slip and fall on the uneven hillside. I said I was fine and kept walking. Back at the car my bottom was in a lot of pain from hitting the ground. I asked myself how I fell. I was being very careful. Then I realized, I must have done something to upset the troll. I overstepped my boundary. I did not earn the troll’s friendship, I assumed it. Even if you do not mean to, do not mess with trolls, and do not think that they will not let you know what they think. The myth and idea of trolls is so ingrained into the culture today, you cannot get away from them. Everywhere I went there seemed to be some evidence of them, but I learned that a friendship with Norwegian trolls was something to be earned, because you may just fall and end up with a bruise for the rest of your vacation. If you ever travel to Norway, you will see in random places that a troll has been put there. I do not know if they are for tourists or natives, but the idea of creatures that resides in the country that protect it but have some unscrupulous, possible dangerous sides to them gives it character. The trolls seen around the country may be funny or silly, but they give the culture character. It also shows the power of the myths of trolls that has survived today to give tourists glaring looks over their long noses.  

    Bon Cashier, Jenna Johnson, Keeps Spirits High

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    April 1, 2014
    Bon Appetite employee and widely accepted member of the larger George Fox University community is cashier Jenna Johnson. Johnson first set foot on campus in 2010 after seeking employment within the Bon Appetite food service company. Bon Appetite, though not part of George Fox has provided the university’s students and staff members with food service for many years. Such partnership has allowed employees like Johnson to establish a presence within the student body. “I’ve always enjoyed working here at Fox,” says Johnson. Johnson, unlike most of the community, encounters the large majority of students on a daily basis as she swipes their student identification cards for each and every weekday breakfast or lunch meal eaten in the Bon. “I’ve calculated that I have about three seconds with each student,” says Johnson. “Anytime working with the students is fun. I feel as if I’ve become part of the kids’ lives.” Though Johnson’s encounters with students tend to be limited, it is hoped that she will leave a lasting impression as her positive attitude, enthusiastic greetings and outward celebration of the 500th meal of the day are intended to have an infectious effect on those around her. “I just have the desire to always be positive,” says Johnson. “You decide what to do with the day. It can be a bad or good day. It all depends on how you look at it.” This mindset is nothing new to Johnson as she made the conscious decision to think accordingly many years ago when she was charged with the well-being for her three younger siblings after her mother fell ill. “I’ve been working ever since I was little,” says Johnson. “We were taught to work for performance. I think that is something that is lacking today.” Outside of her work, Johnson keeps a like attitude as she stays busy crocheting, sewing and working in her garden. When it comes to advice Johnson could give to students she says the key component to life is to keep going and not to quit when things get tough. “If you think studies are hard know that life is even harder. Just don’t give up,” says Johnson.

    Pizza Rolls Recipe

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    March 20, 2014
    Craving some pizza but 1) don’t feel like shelling out the cash for a delivery or 2) want to hone your sophisticated culinary skills? Then take heart, friend. These pizza rolls—quick, cheap, and easy to make—are calling your name. You’ll need a can of buttermilk biscuit dough. Take the biscuits and flatten them out into circles.   Add a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese to each. (You could also add some pepperoni or olives at this step.) Fold in the corners of each circle, making little balls of dough. Grease a baking sheet and place the pizza rolls on it. Sprinkle more mozzarella cheese on top. I also added some garlic salt and basil. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy just plain or with some marinara sauce! (Based off a recipe found at

    A Myth About America

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    March 16, 2014
    When we think of history we often think of facts. But history, including American history, has its own set of myths. Pull out a one dollar bill and look at it. What we know about the symbols on our currency seems to be from the “National Treasure” movies, but there is more to the symbol and its origins. If you look at the pyramid on the left side and read the Latin above it, you may wonder what on earth it means, because you might be like me and you do not know Latin. So you look it up and find out that it means “He has smiled on our accomplishments” or “He approves of our undertakings.” While we may think that “He” is in reference to God in the trinity we know of, there is reason to believe that it is not. The dollar bill says “In God We Trust” on the side of the pyramid. If you watched the remake of “Miracle on 34th Street” as a child, you were familiar with this. During the founding of America, the Enlightenment was taking place. Those who were a part of this movement believed in reason and science. The idea that the founding fathers were Christians, similar to modern Christianity today, is a myth. They were Enlightenment thinkers and their religion was influenced by that. You can be sure that is what the American Revolution was influenced by. As a child, I was sure that my nation was founded on Christianity; though this may be partially true, when you look into history it seems that the ideas such as reason, independence, and science influenced our country’s founding rather than Christianity. The myth that lets us forget the power of the Enlightenment helps us forget what that period was about: human progress, science, and reason. Creating these myths shows what certain people value. Some value history, some value independence and some value religion. Still, what we value has importance that does not change historical fact.

    Art Student Kalissa Brooks Shares her Artistic Journey; 'We’ll just have to wait and see where God takes me.'

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    March 10, 2014
    Double majoring in graphic design and studio arts, George Fox University junior Kalissa Brooks keeps a full schedule. Upon enrolling at the college in the fall of 2011, Brooks’ artistic talents were almost immediately recognized as the submission of her artistic portfolio earned her the university’s art scholarship. “I have been passionate about the arts for as long as I can remember,” says Brooks, “I was initially only involved in studio arts but after getting involved in graphic design work I discovered that it was something I really enjoyed, too.” On campus, Brooks can often be spotted in the Steven’s building graphic design lab, working on her most recent technical illustrations, something that she claims to be her favorite part of her major. Though currently the majority of Brooks’ artistic works are completed for academic purposes, she strives to share her creations. Throughout the course of this school year Brooks has submitted multiple pieces for consideration to the university’s student art show, the Hagios book of student artwork, and the Beaverton symphony poster contest, all of which she expects to have positive outcomes. When not working on personal projects, Brooks continues her involvement in the art community through serving on multiple art committees and making preparations for the end of the year, student art, Lippy Awards. “I’m a very driven person. I like to interact and get to know people through getting involved,” says Brooks. “I encourage everyone to come to the art events.” In looking towards the future Brooks hopes that she may one day obtain a job as an art professor but claims that a position as a graphic designer in a large corporation is suitable in the meantime. “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where God takes me,” she says.

    Kids Movies

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    March 6, 2014
    So you have to babysit. The kid wants to watch a movie. Instead of suffering through two hours of a meaningless new kids’ movie, it’s time to introduce them to some of the things you watched as a kid. Here are just a few suggestions, a list of movies adapted from books by children’s author Roald Dahl. Matilda. This is a story about a little girl who realizes it is possible to punish grown ups (only when they deserve it of course), and finds a way to harness the power within herself to create her own destiny. Directed by and starring Danny Devito, this movie really is a great story with a great message, especially for little girls. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (The original 1971 adaptation) A musical film about a boy who finds a golden ticket, and journeys into the magical chocolate factory owned by the candy genius, Mr. Wonka himself. Starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, this is a well-loved classic. James and the Giant Peach. This movie combines live action and stop motion to create an adventure starring giant bugs and magical flying peaches. The story follows James, a boy who inadvertently grows a gigantic peach in his own backyard, and uses it to escape from his evil aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker.