First watch this:
Then watch this:
“Communities inevitably coalesce around some point of commonality, be it a shared belief or a street address, and such points of sameness create boundaries around communities that determine who is “in” or “out.” What do feminists make of such borders?”
Serene Jones, Feminist Theory and Christian Theology, 134
I have never run a marathon, but I’m guessing these past five years come pretty close.
I began my seminary journey while my wife was in her second year in residence. After peering over her shoulder as she read books and wrote papers I couldn’t stand it any longer and had to try it for myself. But my full-time job at a church made the in residence schedule impossible but the distance learning track ideal. (I think I may have been the closest distance learning student in history, living across the street in the Red Bricks and occasionally turning in my distance learning assignments by hand!)
I dove in with a year of Hebrew followed by a year of Greek. (I know there were some other classes in there too but the perpetual stack of flashcards in my back pocket put a slight haze on everything else.) My life at church and life in seminary continued forward, each consistently feeding into the other, from pastoral care to developing curriculum to integrating whatever I was learning in class into the next teaching series I would develop. I never had to wait for an internship or teaching church to find ways to contextualize what I was learning for I was immersed in a church context from day one. (This is a unique feature of the distance learning program, an ongoing and organic integration of theory and practice.)
This rhythm continued on and on, year after year, one set of classes always leading to the next. The onslaught of languages gave way to the captivating world of church history which led to the ever-expanding world of systematic and constructive theology and more. And before I knew it I had arrived in the final semester of my final year. When I began my seminary journey in November 2008 I knew that the mythical month of May 2013 would someday emerge. But here it is, five years later, the finish line of my seminary marathon ready to be crossed.
Only graduation is less of a finish line and more of a checkpoint. For it is not the end of my education journey and faith transformation, but rather an extended warm up that will span all the years (and potential post-grad classes) ahead of me. I’m learning to “run” so that I can invite others to lace up their shoes and do the same. There is no “finished” but rather an “accomplished,” meaning all things are ready for the next step forward.
And my graduation is exactly that, the next step forward. I am grateful for my time at Western Theological Seminary. I have encountered ideas and authors and formed relationships with professors and students that will last longer than any degree program. And they are all running alongside me, empowering me to take each step forward as I continue to integrate theory and practice in my life, work, and ministry.
After two weeks of posting my Thirty Seconds or Less podcasts here I’ve decided that this might be an experiment that has some momentum behind it. (It’s a fun challenge to write something that fits within thirty seconds. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself!)
And so I am officially launching another new website (yes, I know, I do this every other week): Thirty Seconds or Less.
You can listen to each podcast from the homepage or from each post. Or if you’re into iTunes you can find it there as well.
So bookmark, subscribe, change your web browser’s homepage, or just check back every weekday for a new thirty second podcast.
We may never become fully illiterate, but we may already be predominately aliterate.
Before the beautiful – no, not really before but within the beautiful – the whole person quivers.
What are you majoring in?
Ender’s Game is probably the one book I’ve recommended most (yet my wife still has yet to read it!). If you haven’t read it yet, go buy a copy today. That way you can join the rest of us in realizing just how much potential this movie has to be one of the best you will ever see. (Though if I’m honest, I actually prefer Speaker for the Dead, but you need to read Ender’s Game in order for Speaker to be the most amazing thing you’ll ever read.)
And if you’re looking for other ways (beyond the book) to prepare for the movie, check out I.F. Sentinel.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox
Join other followers