Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Reformation Day from Our Little Flower

Isn't Abigail's flower costume the cutest thing you've ever seen? (Thank you, Martha, for lending it to us). That picture was taken before Southwestern's fall festival last Friday night. She didn't play any of the games really; mainly, she just meandered around and we chased after her. We got tons of candy, so if you know anyone who is suffering from a candy deficiency, please let us know.

Well on this day in 1517, Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses and sparked the Protestant Reformation. In honor of this day, I have two suggestions:

  1. Listen to Southwestern's chapel sermon from today. Go to http://www.swbts.edu/events/chapel_schedule.cfm and click on the chapel video for Dr. Blasing. (Other interesting chapel sermons include those by William Dembski and Kirk Cameron). You may want to fast forward through the music section.

  2. Watch the movie "Luther" (2003). It's out on DVD. We own a copy, so we can even lend it to you.

 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Road Blocks

We had to cancel our trip to Austin this weekend due to the bad weather. We are very sad to miss out on Kaeta's party and on hanging out with friends. But, we are hoping to come for a visit this coming weekend or the next weekend to make up for it.

In addition to the bad weather being a hindrance, our car needs the fender repaired. That's right; I got into a fender-bender. It was my fault, too. I just didn't see the other car until it was too late. Thankfully, it was very low impact and the other lady and I were both unharmed. Every time I'm tempted to be mad at God for letting this happen, I'm reminded that He protected us and it could have been a lot worse. Plus, I'm sure this fits into God's plan for my life somehow. Like maybe He's teaching me to be more careful when I drive ;)

Please pray that our car insurance won't go up too much, and that the weather permits a road trip later this month.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Whut I've Done Learnt

So, you haven't heard from me in a while--sorry. I've either been in class, or reading, writing, and studying for my classes here at SWBTS. I really enjoy them but they are tough work! Weds. night I stayed up the whole night writing a paper that was due Thurs. morning. It really came down to the wire writing that paper because earlier in the week I had a Greek test and another paper due that took up a lot of my time.

I tell you this to give you a slice of my life, but I am not complaining. I may feel tired but not bitter. More than that the Lord has been really good to me. So far my time at seminary has been a time of spiritual renewal and growth and I am very excited to be here. Oh yeah, and I have also been learning some amazing things in classes. So let me tell you about my classes and I'll also throw in a few comments here and there about my comments.

CHURCH HISTORY I (destruction of Jerusalem to Pre-Reformation)
This class is taught by a really smart professor. I am afraid to say something in class because I might sound stupid. But I am so extraverted that I just can't contain myself so I go ahead and answer questions in class and sound stupid anyway. Every week we research and write a brief paper over a different Early Church Father. It is pretty cool to read the original writings of the early Christians. They (shockingly) defended the scriptures, the deity of Jesus, the Trinity and stood against heretics such as the Gnostics. Oh yeah, and let's not forget they willingly died as martyrs for their faith. Unlike the "martyrs" of Islam who kill themselves and others, all these martyrs had to do was renounce Christ and the Christian name and sacrifice to the emperor and they would be spared. Instead, they refused and were tortued to death or fed to lions and gored by bulls.

BIBLICAL HERMENEUTICS (Bible Interpretation)
I like this class a lot! It is an essential issue for a pastor to study since pastors should properly interpret what the Bible says before teaching it. All Christians should study this though, so that they actually get some real meaning from the Bible and not some sort of mystical drop your finger on a random page sort of thing. A lot of the rules for good interpretation are common sense. For example, if you were looking at a Bible verse and trying to understand it then ask what genre it is (poetry, narrative, gospel, etc.). Also, look at the context of the verses around it for the meaning. Two common errors in interpreting the Bible are proof-texting and reader-response. Proof-texting is when you take a verse out of its context to prove a thought you have. Such as when an atheist says, "the Bible says, 'There is no God.'" However, if you read the whole verse, it says, "The fool in his heart says, 'There is no God.'" Unfortunately, not just atheists but Christians take verses out of context to prove all sorts of things the author was not trying to say. Reader-response is an error when you say, "what does this scripture mean to you?" In other words, whatever the reader thinks it means suddenly becomes the real meaning rather than what the author intended. By the way, every passage of scripture in the Bible has two authors, a human one and God.

I have learned that a noun in the genitive case can not only function as description but apposition to another noun. Huh? Ok, ok, this is a tough and sometimes not fun class. It is your typical, memorize-paradigms, language class. But I will say this about it--I opened up my Greek NT last night to the book of John and I could read some of the simpler sentences! This is really invaluable because people are all the time trying to argue about what the original Greek says to justify some sort of doctrinal stance. So it will be helpful to me to know what it actually says (although most modern Bible translations have good scholarship.)

We have a young professor for this class who has strong opinions about things in the OT that I have never even heard or considered. But I like this class a lot. The more I read and learn about the OT, the more I like it. I am convinced that all the OT points to Jesus Christ--that's right--you heard me fellow Christian, so don't be scared of it. Jesus even said that it pointed to him (Luke 24:27, 44). Here's a shocker, the Bible... is about... JESUS!

For one of my classes, I go to chapel 3 times a week on campus and we sing songs, read scripture, and a guest speaker preaches. I have enjoyed it. Most of the speakers are really good. The good speakers teach us seminary students about life in the real world of ministry or encourage us to be true to God through hardships. Two speakers, so far, have not been good. If you ever get the chance to speak on a prominent platform do not use it to advance your own agenda on an in-house issue. Use it to build up the listeners or commmunicate truth.

I hope you have found this post interesting.