Reflections from Seminary Students

Book Review–Anthem

November 21st, 2011 § 0 Comments

There has been a resurgence in popularity for Ayn Rand in the last few years.  Certainly her books were something of discussion 50 years ago while she is still alive and writing, but America, of late, has begun a new interest in Rand.  Ayn Rand is known for her philosophy of Objectivism which holds both selfishness and Capitalism as pillars. This new interest, particularly for her novel Atlas Shrugged, is likely due to her unwavering belief in Capitalism, which today seems to be dying. » Read the rest of this entry «

Worship Wednesday – The Book of Common Prayer

November 16th, 2011 § 0 Comments

I spent many of my formative years as a part of an evangelical church in south Seattle. For my experience in worship services, this meant a number of things that you might expect – monthly communion, focus on personal sin and the work of the cross to redeem that sin, the centrality of the gift of teaching as a part of liturgy, the worship leader designated specifically as a musician…corporate worship practices are generally limited to prayers led by the pastor, sermons, baptism, and music, etc… » Read the rest of this entry «

Lessons from The Lorax

November 15th, 2011 § 1 Comment

My favorite Dr. Seuss book from childhood would have to be the story about the star bellied sneeches and how discrimination and the strive to be popular can leave a person (or sneetch) penniless, which is captured in The Sneeches and Other Stories.  Because of my love of the sneetches I was delighted to discover The Lorax as an adult. » Read the rest of this entry «

Book Review–The Marriage Plot

November 10th, 2011 § 1 Comment

Jeffrey Eugenides has finally taken a break from writing short stories for The New Yorker and finished  a third novel, The Marriage Plot.  Eugenides is the author of The Virgin Suicides (you may have seen the movie) and Middlesex.  Both The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex are coming of age stories concerned about the impact dysfunctional families have upon their teenagers.  The Marriage Plot concerns a slightly different subject–college and the few meandering years that follow.  The novel focuses on two late adolescents, Madeline and Mitchell, as they graduate from college, reflect on the experience and  attempt to figure out how they want to live their post-college lives.

Madeline and Mitchell become friends at Brown University in the early 80’s during their freshman year.  From the moment that Mitchell sees Madeline at her dorm party he wants to marry her.  During the course of college and the year or so that follows they fall in and out of unrequited love with one another, others, books, ideals, and dreams for their respective futures.  Throughout the novel Madeline and Mitchell frequently engage in several non-SPU accepted activities such as sex, drugs and binge drinking.  The Marriage Plot also involves the familiarity of dirty apartments, negotiations with roommates, embarrassment because of  parents,  awkward yet flirty encounters at lousy parties, and infatuation with books.  All of these element are understood by anyone attending any University. » Read the rest of this entry «

The Church as the future of seminary education – a reflection on Seattle Pacific Seminary

November 7th, 2011 § 0 Comments

Over on my blog – I recently spent some time reflecting on a recent spate of posts in the media and blogosphere trying to get at the so-called “Future of Seminary Education”.  The web portal has sponsored a large online symposium addressing the question that continues to grow.

As a seminary graduate myself, faculty member at a few seminaries mentioned in the discussions as well as the Associate Dean at Seattle Pacific Seminary, I have been following the discussion but must admit that I am left scratching my head a bit with what I am seeing as the conclusions and predictions.  Here are some thoughts to add to the discussion.

For starters, given that the changing face of Christianity is certainly not white and male, reviewing just the faces of the key discussion leaders offers up a pretty ethnically and economically homogeneous group to write reflections on what they see as the future… given that they themselves are not the future in a majority sense. » Read the rest of this entry «

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