Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
David McDonald, DMin
Len Wilson, DMin
Leonard I. Sweet, Ph.D.
Jesus invites us into a new life, not simply adherents to a set of standards. Jesus invites us through a power not our own to become most fully human; alive Spiritually, Physically, Intellectually, Relationally, and Emotionally (SPIRE). We become Jesus-InSPIREd holistic human beings, invited to participate in God-powered transfiguration of ourselves and others.
The United States Military uses challenge coins to encourage soldiers, and the coins display visual metaphors that echo the values and objectives of the donor and the donor’s unit. I made a challenge coin for Leonard Sweet as a gift of thanks for his generosity to me as a mentor, professor, and friend. The coin bears Christian visual metaphors, words invented or repurposed by Sweet, and other visual metaphors. In this dissertation, I exegete each element of the coin from multiple perspectives; the perspective of two thousand years of Christian tradition, meaning Sweet has imbued, and an example of meaning for use between a mentor and mentee. I offer an example conversational prayer for each element.
I provide practical application examples, including grief mitigation, a coming-of-age gift and affirmation process, and a replacement for minor league sports participation trophies.
The Challenge Coin, loaded with historical, borrowed, and custom-created meaning, can serve as a tangible semiotic to help orient personal agency with the transfiguring, integrating, resurrecting power of the love of the Father, the power of the Spirit, and the way of Jesus. We hot-wire our distracted, dissipated, and disconnected humanity, and enhance our surrender to the promise of Jesus of life and life more abundantly. It’s a Jesus-life-hack too comprehensive to fit in a TikTok.
Hyndman, Vern, "Semiotic Transfiguration: Becoming More Fully Human" (2022). Doctor of Ministry. 551.