BIO: Kristina Parks Knutson

From: Kristina Knutson temporary computer (
Date: Tue Aug 06 2002 - 01:33:02 EDT

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    >Name: Kristina Parks Knutson
    >Age: 44
    >Vocation: PhD Student in Pulp & Paper Science

    >Educational Background: BA in Chemistry with Honors, 1979, from Carthage
    >College, Kenosha, WI (a Lutheran liberal arts college) Attended
    >Vanderbilt University 1979-1983 as PhD student in biochemistry - passed
    >qualifiers but became depressed & left without completeing degree After
    >God cured my clinical depression in 1996 - returned to graduate school in
    >1998 at the Institute of Paper Science & Technology in Atlanta, GA, USA.
    >Completed MS degree in 2000; expect PhD in fall 2003

    >Vocational Background: after leaving Vanderbilt U, worked as
    >technican(biochemist) for 13 years, primarily in academic laboratories

              Came to Christ at a Billy Graham movie in high school. Grew up as
    a mainline Lutheran (Found mainline Lutheran churches to be "thin" on
    theology) Attended an Assembly of God church while in high school (great
    experiences & do hold Bible to be the standard but overemphasis on "Gifts"
    resulting a great lack of seeking the "Giver".) Since then, I have attended
    many different types of churches. As an avid reader I have also exposed
    myself to a multitude of beliefs, primarily from Christian devotional
    classics of previous centuries. When asked for a denominational
    affiliation, my standard answer has been - "and in what city will I be
    living this year?" My denominational affiliation changes when I move, but
    my beliefs do not.
              I was clinically depressed, in therapy & on medication for 10
    years. During that time I married a depressed man (who was nominally a
    Christian but turned out to not even be a believer). When our marriage fell
    apart, I overdosed with my medication. I awoke in the ICU on my 37th
    birthday (in 1994) I have not been on medication since. After separation
    from my now ex-husband, I found a job in a small town & started attending
    an evangelical church - (selected because it had home Bible studies & meet
    at 10:30 rather than 9 am). This American Evangelical Free church
    deliberately emphasized the power of God to work in the lives of "ordinary"
    people, yet did not practice any of the Pentecostal-type gifts in its
    services. God healed my depression & took away the compelling repetitive
    thought of suicide that had plagued me for more than 10 years.
              I have come believe a number of things:
    1. God does speak & his power is available to ordinary believers - IF they
    are willing to surrender to God & let God act by whatever means He chooses
    - even if it does not conform to what they think is good church practice (I
    can not recommend "Holy Laughter" services to people because the services
    emphasize feel-good experiences over good teaching - yet God used such a
    service to heal me of a deep emotional wound from early childhood)
    2. There is no one church with the "perfect" theology. God has gifted each
    of us with different interests, abilities, levels of emotional expression
    & callings. While there are some denominations that preach beliefs contrary
    to the Bible, in most cases churches vary by what they emphasize & the
    degree of emotional expression, Most people pick churches that make them
    comfortable. Since we have different callings, it takes different churches
    to appeal to all. For a while, I attended a church that heavily emphasized
    evangelism. While I liked the people & the preaching, there was little
    place for me, called to encourage burdened Christians.
    3. While it is best to avoid listening to preaching with serious errors (I
    think "name-it & claim-it" beliefs end up treating the God of the universe
    like celestial bell-hop), what matters is our own personal relationship to
    God & fulfilling our responsibilities as He has called us to - which may be
    different that what our church preaches.
    4. As for errors - as Warren Wiersebe said - if we sincerely seek God &
    mistakenly believe He is leading us a certain way, would not the God who
    created us & who went to great effort to redirect the disobedient prophet
    Jonah certainly be able to redirect an obedient but confused servant ?
    5. Legalism can be deadly (I know - condemnation from fellow believers that
    I was a bad Christian for feeling suicidal led me to think that if I am
    such a bad person why not kill myself?)
    6. Our God is a God of second chances. God does not give up on us even when
    our churches do. And God is willing to forgive - & we need to remember that
    when fellow believers condemn us because we don't behave or believe exactly
    as they do.
    7. God does much more than you would ever dream off when you bring Him your
    problem to solve and leave it to God to as how to solve the problem (change
    the circumstances? change you? - don't tie His hands. He does know best)

              I like what Alexanian said yesterday. There are both physical &
    spiritual aspects of reality but how they jibe together is unclear. I like
    to think of the spiritual as being another dimension or 'ether" that
    interpenetrates with the world we experience through our senses. What
    happens is "our" world affects the spiritual realm & vice versa. If God is
    outside of time, would He not be able to see the end from the beginning
    even while the people acting have free will to make their decisions? Think
    of Flatland & how the being of 3 dimensions could comprehend & do things
    that the two-dimensional creatures could not.
              As for arguing over specifics like creationism or end-time
    theology: I think of a line from a George MacDonald story - in reference to
    an unlearned man & his well-educated sister: (inexact quote) "It is better
    to be faithful to the truth you know than to spend your time learning the
    Bible without applying any of it" When I have personally witnessed
    arguments over some Biblical beliefs, I usually observe that the verses
    about "wisdom from above is gentle & entreatable" do NOT apply to the
    protagonists. It is not that I don't hold strong beliefs about such things
    (my beliefs on some issues includes "we just don't know" - anathema to
    someone with a vehement belief) rather I follow Paul's admonishment to
    Timothy "Don't get caught up in vain discussions"
              I like the motto from the American Evengelical Free church I
    attended as God changed my life. "In essentials, unity. In non-essentials,
    liberty. Over all, charity"

    WHY I Joined ASA
              I found ASA one lazy day while searching through a thick tome
    entitled "List Of Associations" I was very glad to find ASA. The
    publications of creationism-based organizations usually embarrass me for
    their poor science. ASA is different. I also appreciate the existence of a
    forum where individuals from different camps can exchange views without
    being lambasted - unorthodox IDEAS are discussed, addressed and possibly
    refuted - without the PERSON being attacked. Discussing ideas and views is
    important. How can we learn to think correctly unless someone points out
    the inconsistencies, logical fallicies or neglected facts?
    Once I complete my PhD I hope to have time to become more active.

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