First Week at Seminary

Well it’s been a few weeks here in SoCal as they say down here (Southern California as opposed to NoCal which by some standards is a completely different country). I started classes at Fuller a week and a half ago, and by all accounts it is going great. We’re still working out a few of the details, but all in all we couldn’t be happier.

We are living on the corner of two rather busy streets, which is okay once you get used to oversized engines/egos peeling out of the stoplights and hip hop music shaking the living room windows. Our residence is part of a larger urban themed outreach community which we are very happy to be a part of. What it will look like in a few months is up in the air, but we are excited non-the-less.

Warning to future grad-students, get your health insurance in line before you go to school, as it is a pain to do your shopping at the last moment.

I came across a interesting article, “Why Christians Shouldn’t Vote for Bush”. It elicited quite a few responses from my friends. Those interested shouldn’t hesitate to drop me a line.

For classes this quarter I am enrolled in New Testament 1 which covers the Gospels and NT 2 which covers the rest. Evangelizing a Post-Modern Generation makes up the latter third of my schedule. Each of these are fairly interesting, though especially the latter.

Concerning the NT classes we are dealing currently with the themes, sources, and content of the various books that make up the NT. Frankly it is quite dry, (imagine this: Jesus, Paul, and Peter teach a related message…WOW, I didn’t know that) But from an academic perspective it is indeed very important, especially for the sake of apologetics.

The “Evangelizing a Post-Mod Generation” class is much more interesting for me. I’m starting to be able to put vocabulary and history to the way I think, something which is always a positive development. One of the main things I have realized is that modernity is really no better or worse that post-modernity. (Which yes, is certainly a post-modern way of thinking and saying that last statement.) Both words describe the way that non-Christians in the west think about the world. Due to the fact that all Christians struggle against the flesh which is affected by one or both of these world views, and the fact that we are to be in the world, though not of it, Christians in the west will have similar mind sets to their pre-saved friends. I wish we could all be in agreement that as followers of Christ we first and foremost have a Christian mind set, i.e. the “mind of Christ”, but this ignores the fact that for better of for worse we are affected by our culture.

For instance the “Modern” Christian takes the Modern idea that truth must be proved in an absolute sense and develops apologetics. This need for truth, and Christians providing of truth, are based on the rather cavalier attitude and proposition that humanity is in a position to make such truth claims. I’m not saying that apologetics is bad, but that it is based on a modern mind-set.

On the other hand the Post Mod. Christian mind set is apt to make the statement that “since I can’t be sure of my hypotheses I won’t bother making one or trying to live my life by what I see to be truth in Gods word.” This is similarly a problem I am unfortunately all too familiar with, as it has been inadvertently spouted from my own mouth on more than one occasion.

Any and all ideas are welcome concerning witnessing to a generation with a Post Mod. mind set, as I will be doing some papers on the subject and would be happy for any advice one might like to offer.

If you have any good arguments concerning why women should or should not be ordained, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, allowed to speak in church, I would love to hear them as well, as the topic is currently on my front burner.


A Dose of Philosophy

Mississippi, pronounced missipy, is where we have been at the past few days, visiting friends of Joeys from Belize. The three days prior to this I found my self up north, near Chicago, talking philosophy and theology with a very astute, self taught man, who is working on his degree in philosophy.

If your not aware, in an absolute sense, I think you will have a hard time proving Christianity, or the existence of Jehova. That there is a God is nearly beyond doubt, but that His name is Jehova and that he functions as the Bible describes is very much up in the air from a purely reasoned, philosophical point of view That does not make it non-rational, but it does make it based on faith. I would be happy to get into this with anyone. Just comment below or shoot me a line at my e-mail address listed at the right.

This gentlemen’s current dilemma is weather God can lie or not. Yes, he and I both know the Bible says he can not, but if he can lie, his saying He does not is of little help. For me, the lack of absolute knowledge about God, the potential for God to change, and the potential for God to lie, are all nearly a non-issues. I have been vaguely aware of these facts for a while. He helped these vague ideas become more concrete, while at the same time strengthening my ability to refute these erroneous claims.

I feel bad for him because the only people able or willing to discusses these serious questions at length are from a Unitarian church, which he is now attending, a fact which is most definitely a black eye on the Evangelical church in his area. The Word of God says we must be willing and able to give an answer for the hope that is in us. I don’t think that every Christian needs to make the study of philosophy or apologetics the center of their life, but a rudimentary understanding is essential, and the fact that the pastors he spoke with found him to be more of a nuisance than an asset is egregious.


On The Road

Well were off and running. In the next three weeks we will put over 4000 miles on our car as we travel home to Wisconsin, then down to Chicago, Mississippi, Arkansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Las Vegas, and finally Pasadena.

For us this is a very exciting time in our lives. Everything will be new when we reach Pasadena. We will have a new church, school, neighborhood, and friends. What God will make of this we can only guess, but we know that he is good, and will work everything for a favorable outcome.

Being home in La Crosse right now is nice, as we can touch bases with close friends and family, and think over some tough issues while talking with them. Home is a good place, but where the Holy Spirit calls is a better place. Right now that is Pasadena, a place we can’t wait to get to.