Reflections from Seminary Students

The [digital] fast I choose | On developing a rhythm of sabbath

February 27th, 2012 § 1 Comment

Holy one,

You formed the cosmos and all that is within. You spoke your creation into motion. And when you saw it was good; we were good, you rested. You ceased. Help me to understand what it means to stop, to refrain from the busyness that has caused me to forget–us to forget–that you have called us sons and daughters–not slaves. Renew in us a desire to rest in you.

Busy and Proud of it?
I am guilty of speaking openly about my busyness.

Perhaps unintentionally. » Read the rest of this entry «

Does academic theology matter?

November 28th, 2011 § 1 Comment

*Note: This was originally posted on Dr. Leong’s personal blog at davidleong.info. Watch for more guest posts from SPS Faculty and students, soon!

Henry Suzzallo, after whom the famous UW library is named, said that universities should be “cathedrals of learning.” Anyone who has visited the graduate reading room (I studied–and napped–there on occasion as an undergrad) should note the silent sanctity of knowledge in that place. The cathedral-college metaphor also evokes the distinctly theological origins of most institutions of higher education in the U.S., from the Ivy League on down.

Suzzallo Library

But the more I become solidly entrenched in the institution of academia, particularly theological academia, as a Christian and aspiring scholar, the more I sense a deep-seated skepticism growing within me about the endeavors of the Christian academy. I returned from AAR about a week ago, and while I am still processing some of the stimulating conversations and ideas that were presented there, I am also struck (perpetually, it seems) with the glaring discontinuity between the academy and the “real world.” » Read the rest of this entry «

Thoughts from the Cemetery

November 22nd, 2011 § 0 Comments

I wrote a column for University Presbyterian Church about seminary. It is basically a swan song to the SPS and its people. It was originally posted here: http://www.upctimes.org/thought-from-the-cemetery. Enjoy!

Erin (far left—yes, the guy with the glasses) with four friends who help keep his faith alive.

The summer before I started seminary, there were many well-meaning and lovely people who asked me, jokingly, if I was ready to start “cemetery.” I would always laugh politely and tell them, jokingly, “Well, yes, of course!” This half-funny reaction was the only response I had for such an unusual question.

I suppose I knew where they were coming from. I had heard that many people have taken the road to seminary only to lose their faith in academic Christianity. They come out on the other side of a theology degree with a head full of knowledge, but an empty heart for ministry and the church. Apparently, they enter the crypt somewhere in between “Church History 101” and “Karl Barth’s Dogmatics in Full.” » Read the rest of this entry «

LESSONS FOR THE PULPIT – LEVI’S “LEGACY” AD by Heather Juul

October 10th, 2011 § 0 Comments

If you spent anytime inside this summer going to see a movie or looking at the fall previews on Hulu, you likely saw Levi’s Go Forth commercial entitled “Legacy“.  The ad is a bit controversial.  Glenn Beck accused “Legacy” of “glorifying revolution” thus leading to a boycott of the jeans by Beck and his followers. Due to the riots in London this August, the commercial was band in Britain because it contains scenes of protest.  The images of the commercial rotate between 20-somethings at the beach, kissing, dancing in and out of concerts, walking down crowded city streets or standing up to riot police.  The youth are portrayed as making their world better, by enjoying life and standing up for what they believe in. They just happen to be doing so in a pair of 501s. » Read the rest of this entry «

HOW TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS THAT YOU ARE IN SEMINARY by Heather Juul

September 30th, 2011 § 0 Comments

http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org

It is easy when in Seminary only to spend time with Seminarians or, potentially even worse, only to spend time with Christians.  Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with “believers,” but there is just something special when a friend looks at you from across a steaming bowl of Udon and says, “So what is the deal with the Trinity?”   Honestly, where else can we beef up our apologetics?  There are significant problems with cross religious interactions, particularly when in Seminary.  I know, I come from what we call a “Non-Christian home.”  I did not grow up in Sunday school, I did not watch Veggie Tales with my younger sister and I have no idea what Adventures in Odyssey is. I have overheard friends say that I am studying to become a priest, despite the fact that I am 1) female, and 2) Presbyterian.  Similarly, when one of my old bosses learned that I was going to Seminary, she asked if I was going to be a “lady pastor.”  My roommate has had study sessions over at our house and people have taken one look at my bookshelf, filled with Luther, Calvin, Augustine, Bell, Pinnock, Wright and replied with a stammer so your roommate is…religious?

» Read the rest of this entry «

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