few things. Speaking Christianly, of course one can say thatnfrom the perspective of faith, the same reason will exist fornbeing happy at Christmas 1990 that has existed ever sincenthat unique Nativity in Bethlehem just about two thousandnyears ago. But knowing reasons for being happy in principlendoes not always guarantee being happy in practice. However,nleaving aside the many bad things as well as the goodnthings that could happen between a late September magazinendeadline and a December publication date, let us castnan eye on some of the lesser reasons for hope and happinessnthat we can discern on what Herman Dooyeweerd callednthe temporal horizon.nOver twenty years ago I returned to Harvard’s WidenernLibrary — it was in the summer of 1968 — and met John H.nFinley, Jr., the professor of classics whose teaching fellow—none of many — I had been a few years earlier. Even then,napproaching retirement, Mr. Finley already represented then”old Harvard,” where the “stock of the Puritans” was stillnalive, as “Fair Harvard” says, and the university could stillnmake some claim to be a “bearer of truth and a herald ofnlight,” if no longer “the bearer” and “the herald.” Lookingnout of his study window at the newly trashy condition ofnonce-verdant Harvard Yard, Mr. Finley asked me what Inthought of the changes. Then, without waiting for annanswer, he continued, “It’s exciting — all these brilliantnyoung men and women, such questioning, so much imaginahon.nIf only it weren’t all so sordid. . . .”nMr. Finley is now very old, and quite thoroughly retired,nin a genteel nursing home. Visitors have reported that hisnold wit frequently still shines through. But he is no longer upnto making visits to Widener Library, or to the Harvard Yard.nThe grass is verdant once more, and such sordidness as therenis is no longer so superficially apparent. Unfortunately, hencannot travel to the hinterland, and therefore he probablynwill not see what can be seen from library windows here.nI hope that this does not sound too much like annargument pro domo. But while Professor Bloom laments thenclosing of the American mind and the State University ofnNew York publishes The Moral Collapse of the University,nthere are signs of new life. In The Decline of the West,nOswald Spengler predicted that the 1980’s — just closednout —would be marked by an “increasing primitivism of thenpolitical process.” Nineteen eighty-eight did nothing tonrefute him. He also predicted that international politicsnwould begin to be dominated by monetary concerns (setn”oil” for “money” and he is right on target). But what he didnnot predict was increasing numbers of young men andnwomen turning, with zeal, enthusiasm, and vigor, to thenstudy and propagation of the Christian tradition. There aren15 theological schools in the Creater Chicago cluster. Onenof them. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has 40 percentnof the total number of students.nThe late Samuel Sandmel, a noted rabbinic scholar, oncencriticized his celebrated contemporaries Paul Tillich, RudolfnBultmann, et al., with the remark that he had alwaysnthought that Christianity made sense if one really believednits doctrines to be true, but only then. Conservativenevangelical schools such as Trinity, Gordon-Conwell, andnWestminster, to name but three, and renewal-orientednRoman Catholic schools such as the Franciscan Universitynof Steubenville, by no means have the luster and prestige ofnHarvard, Yale, or even Notre Dame and the CatholicnUniversity of America. But they do have the students inntheology and related disciplines, “brilliant young men andnwomen” who really do believe the Christmas story to bentrue.nStudents who peruse the Books of Daniel and of thenApocalypse, and observe Saddam Hussein masquerading asnthe new Nebuchadnezzar, may well wonder if we are notnwitnessing the “signs of the times” that herald the End.nBut — as Martin Luther said — if you know that the worldnwill end tomorrow, you should still plant a tree today.nAmong the many ominous signs of the times, there are alsonpositive ones, and among the most positive, in my evaluation,nis the existence of such an energetic throng of youngnstudents who don’t have a closed mind, who reject then”moral collapse” of the academy, and who are serious aboutntheir faith. It would be wonderful, from an evangelicalnperspective, to have a foothold in the older universities, butnlacking that — at least for the moment—it is encouraging,nand a sign of hope for the future, to see where so many ofnthe students are. <^nHarold O.J. Brown teaches Christian ethics and theologynat Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois and isneditor of The Religion & Society Report.nDOWN, NOT OUTnby John Shelton ReednThe editor has asked forn”a few lines on somensign of hope, some change fornthe better, some reason fornoptimism” from my territory,nso here are three cheery newsnitems, two more or less havingnto do with the South, onenwith my trade of sociology.nFor starters, how about thenfact that National Public Radionhas opened a Southernnbureau? Since I’ve said somenhard things in the past aboutnthe bicoastal bias of NPR, I’mnhappy now to give them creditnfor trying. True, they’ve set up shop in Chapel Hill, whichndoesn’t provide much of a challenge to the dominant NPRnsensibility, but at least they’re not in Atlanta. NPR’snSouthern correspondent, David Molpus, apparently hasn’tngot entirely above his Mississippi raising; he got oflFto a goodnstart by explaining that he chose to locate in North Carolinanfor its basketball and barbecue.nBut in fact you can now get decent barbecue innCambridge, Massachusetts. That’s my second piece of goodnnews: right there in the belly of the beast, in the heartland ofnsecular humanism, they’re deconstructing pigs at Jake &nEarl’s Barbecue. When I first heard about Bay StatennnDECEMBER 1990/25n