Stendhal Urges 'Reasonable Service' At Radcliffe Baccalaureate Exercise

"Your love for one another must be translated into the sort of 'reasonable service' where you use your gifts for others," Krister Stendhal, John H. Morison Professor of New Testament Studies, told about 150 members of the Radcliffe class of 1963 yesterday afternoon at the traditional Baccalaureate Services in Memorial Church.

Stendhal called on the apostle, St. Paul, for a definition of a "reasonable service" to mankind. "Prestige is for those who have too little to do," Stendhal said. "There are no menial tasks and no prestige jobs for him who uses his gifts instead of framing his diploma on a wall."

To achieve a life of "reasonable service," Stendahl said, one must be prepared not only to love, but "to hate all that is evil." He called the eventual realization that evil exists in the world a "simple compromise, not maturity." He noted that there no longer exists even indignation at evil in the world.

Stendhal said that one must discover the will of God to achieve "this 'reasonable service,'" but that this is a little more complicated than abiding by the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule.

Instead, Stendhal continued, the process of renewing our minds in a changing world is an "ever on-going" transformation. "Few consider," he said, "the type of faith which achieves this renewal. This is a creative, unpredictable adventure."


Achieve a Sober Judgment

In directing himself to the Radcliffe class, Stendahl noted that 'you have achieved a lot, and there is room for the right kind of pride." St. Paul recommended a "sober judgment." Stendahl said, "which neither brags nor is falsely humble."

Yet it matters little, Stendahl said, what is considered as the "right kind of pride." He noted that "even the little fellow may have that which is right."