Tidbits from Seminary

Upgrading my Master’s degree to “M.Div Equivalency” – prerequisite for the Doctor of Ministry program I’ve been accepted into – has been a lot of work, but also a welcome change. Marinating in theological academia can be an ivory tower trap, I know, but for short sprints, it’s pretty invigorating.

Speaking of which, here’s something from my Synoptic Gospels class, which is emerging as an early favorite.

“But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children who sit in the market places and who call to others, saying: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance, we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said: ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they said: ‘Look, this man is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ And wisdom is justified by her deeds (Matthew 11:16–19).”

And some observations from our professor:

“One kind of Christianity assumes that the more we abstain, the more godly we are. (Or, conversely, the more godly we become, the more we will abstain from things.) This assumption is in our hearts, and minds, and pulpits, and schools. But it is not in the Book. The Bible warns against such false spirituality in quite a few places. Our God is no friend of excess. But an abstinence kind of godliness is very hard to find in the Sermon on the Mount. And it was very hard to find in Jesus himself. Drop it.”

Fascinating to hear this articulated at my alma mater. First round’s on me.

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