Odd and Ends

In case no one has noticed, my updates have been fairly patchy over the past several weeks. I think I have a perfectly legitimate excuse for this (my first semester of seminary at Gordon-Conwell). I don’t expect to suddenly be blessed with the ability to swear of sleep, therefore I don’t expect to get back to my summer posting level of about once every other day. However, I do plan on trying to post occasionally, it’s a decent outlet for me and it helps those of you who are interested have some idea of what’s going on with me. So, this post is going to cover everything from seminary, to ministry, to whatever. It should be interesting.

Seminary:
History of Liturgy – This class is going amazingly well. I think the official count is something like 1 Dispensationalist, 2 baptists, 1 emerging church guy, 1 Assemblies of God, 1 Orthodox, and the rest (10ish, maybe?) Anglican/Episcopal. I’m enjoying the discussions that take place, and the reading has been truly excellent. I may now speak of my Anglican friends who are attempting to convert me.

Greek I – Currently I’m riding a wave of good grades in this class that is simply euphoric. No doubt having taken Greek, with the same textbook, once before is helping with this. This Monday is our first exam, so I’m sure I’ll have less of a sense of euphoria and more of a sense of frustration and dread after Monday morning.

Exegesis in Samuel – I’m enjoying this course. Mandy and I have found ourselves quite adequately prepared thanks to Dr. Snyder. I wish the course was formatted a little different, with a little more time spent actually doing the steps of exegesis. We’re spending a good amount of time actually translating in class, but I’d like to spend some time actually doing text criticism, in class – as opposed to just talking about it. This is a preference thing for me, but it would be nice. Dr. Petter has some good thoughts on things, I just wish he’d stop trying to remind us all that he isn’t postmodern/emerging after he says something truly interesting.

Anthropology – Not my favorite class, but I’m learning stuff. Dr. Lints has a mildly interesting concept that the Imago Dei has to do with Idolatry (I don’t think the concept is original with him, but he’s done a bit of work on it). Rather the better way to say it might be that Idolatry has to do with the Imago Dei. I’m becoming somewhat convinced myself that we’ve created this huge theological construct out of the Imago Dei when the whole point in the Bible was to simply explain that A) Humans are different from animals, B) humans are special to God, and maybe C) There is a way in which humans are similar to God. We’re covering the Biblical and historical development of the Imago Dei at present. As we move onwards towards the more modern issues, I think it will be fascinating to talk about our context today and how that impacts personhood. My paper for the course is probably going to end up being something to do with personhood, technology, and adolescents.

Intermediate Hebrew Grammar – I took this course already, at Davis, with Dr. Snyder. But review is always good, and I am learning things. I’m also enjoying the challenge that Micah presents. On the other hand, Dr. Stuart said that Adonai dictated the poetry in Micah to Micah. I wanted to cry.

Ministry:
Sunday School – We’ve been talking about some Christian Practices in Sunday school. You can read about the process of designing these talks here, here and here. Many thanks to Brian for the suggestion about Way to Live. So far things have gone well. We’ve discussed (by which I mean to say, I’ve taught and the students have asked questions – sometimes) Lectio Divina, Confession and Accountability, and Prayer. At least one of the teens has tried Lectio Divina, which is pretty cool. We have two Sunday left (Silence and Solitude, and Bible Study) before we close out this series and move on to actually doing Bible study together. But that is a post all in itself, if I ever have time to actually write it.

Wednesday Nights – This is where I’m stumped. On the one hand I think the students come because they have nothing better to do, or because their parents make them. I also think that Wednesday Nights (by which I mean, our weekly youth meeting) lack any kind of coherent reason for being. We’re talking about this with the Youth Task Force, and I’m hoping to start introducing some changes in the next few months. However, changes need to be made slowly, and explained as they are made. I’d also love to talk more about this, but it really deserves its own post. Maybe it’d be worth while though, if only to help me think things through a little.

Other stuff – I am, however, getting to know the students at IBC better, and I’m really enjoying it. This is, in many ways, the most important part of ministry. There are some geeks in the group that are a blast to hang out with. Also, about half the group loves Anime, a quarter sort of like it, and a quarter tolerate it or don’t know what it is. This is a completely awesome situation. It looks like we’ll be watching Spirited Away, Advent Children and Escaflowne at our Anime Movie night in October. As the Hebrews would say – Cool Cool.

Entertainment and Relaxation:
Video Games – I don’t have time. I’m still on the second disc of Final Fantasy VIII. Squall and crew are still waiting for me to go lead them in valiant battle against The Sorceress.

Novels – I have about eight unread Dragonlance novels that beckon to me. But alas!

TV and Movies – Mandy and I do try to spend some time together on Saturday nights watching a movie or a couple episodes of a TV show we have on DVD. Recently this has resulted in us watching Stargate SG-1 season 10 or Stargate Atlantis season 3.

Basically, I parse Hebrew verbs for fun. I’m not being facetious either. I really do have a blast translating passages from Micah and the Samuel corpus (for Hebrew Grammar and Exegesis respectively). I’m also, dare I say it, having a fun time with Greek. Although, to be honest, we haven’t touched verbs yet, so this enjoyment of the language may desist rapidly once we arrive at verbs (or it could end next week when we talk about third declension nominals). I also read my textbooks for fun. I know this sounds odd, but I really do enjoy them. I also have a blast every Wednesday night, and at other times of the week when students and I hang out (even if only on AIM). Of course, I realize that I do need times to just kick back and relax; thus Saturday evenings with Mandy.

Well, this is almost 1200 words, and I need to go study Greek.

(NOTE: I have not the time to proof-read this post, so my apologies in advance for horrible grammar. You may also find a plethora of misspelled words, or alternatively the occasional case of dittography.)

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