Honors College students have the opportunity to attend a Chapel series featuring Dr. Richard Beck, chair and professor in the Department of Psychology. Beck is conducting an eight-week discussion based on the topics of his recently released book, Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality and Mortality.
“The book is about kind of the failure of church,” Beck said. “It’s about trying to figure out what is it about the church that causes it to kind of retreat into its own exclusive community and not be missional to people.”
As a psychologist, Beck said he wrote the book analyzing through purity psychology. His talks reflect his book by walking through different psychological processes related to purity psychology. This, he believes, gets in the way of the church welcoming outsiders, he said.
Beck said his message is crucial for college students.
“You already are the church, and you will be the church leaders for the next generation,” Beck said. “So if [students] find themselves in a church setting and they find people kind of withdrawing from the world, hopefully, they will remember Chapel and be able to speak a word in that moment about not letting the psychological group dynamics get in the way of the mission.”
Toni Maisano, sophomore communications major from Burnet, said she enjoys going to the Unclean Chapel. She said her favorite discussion focused on how the idea of purity is imported into the Christian walk and its potential negative consequences. He concluded that the Christian lifestyle is not about perfection.
“He was saying we should visualize it more as a journey rather than ‘I’m totally perfect now, I can’t sin and I can’t mess up.'” Maisano said. “I liked that picture, and I think that helped me with where I am.”
Maisano also said Beck takes an interesting angle to his subject matter.
“I think it’s fascinating to look at the psychology behind this because I’ve experienced a lot of what he has talked about personally,” she said. “It’s just interesting to see the science and psychology behind why people act the way they do and believe the things they do. That adds a really neat perspective.”
Unclean Chapel meets every few weeks in the Mabee Library Auditorium. For more information, visit www.acu.edu/campusoffices/chapel.