Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Seminary "Effect"

As I draw near to the end of my Th.M. at Dallas Theological Seminary, I am periodically spending time reflecting on what manner of effect it has had on me. Has it had an effect? If so, what has been the nature of that effect?

Has it positively grown my faith and maturing in Christ? Or has it developed in me a cynicism regarding what many things that are popularly called "spiritual?"

Has it left me with a greater appreciation for the Word of God? Or am I emerging what doubts about its value to the Christian experience?

Have I been "liberated" from faulty traditions to which I should never have offered loyalty? Or am I adrift on a theological sea, cut free from familiar moorings of my childhood?

To what extent is it my responsibility to continue developing my theology from here? Or has seminary had the purpose of developing my theology to a certain fixed point to which I'm to be unwaveringly loyal from here on?

Has seminary been a template of spirituality that should guide me from now on? Or has it been an anomaly in my life, from which I can "recover?"

Will God always require that I study him this much to mature as a believer? Or will I be allowed to simply enjoy him at some point in the future?

Is it possible to exercise healthy faith in the future, even if I no longer give a damn about parsing pisteuo after April 27th.

Will I always have to denounce evolution in science to be a Christian?

Do I require that all the biblical writers have perfect data to teach perfect truth through their writings?

Can I reverse engineer my Christian faith back to a pre-fundamentalist, pre-evangelical, pre-reformation, pre-Roman era of the great creeds and still be accepted in a post-Renaissance, post-enlightenment, postmodern Christian community?

Will my family ever recover? Or have they just gotten used to me being obsessed over academic matters, and blaming Jesus for these obsessions by giving my disorder pious labels?

How harmed have my children been by my hypocrisies? Has God preserved them their soul, allowing them to comprehend his goodness in spite of my weaknesses?

Does Naomi really think I'm faithful to her? Or has seminary made her secretly resentful of the "mistress" called ministry?

Will I go and serve in the Church? Or has seminary cursed me to perpetually attempt leading in the Church?

What has been the seminary "effect" on me, and has it been positive or negative? Can I tell the difference? What will the Spirit do with me now?

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