Monday, March 22, 2010

Is academic stuff helpful?

As I've been going through my seminary courses thus far, one thing remains consistent: the more I read the Bible for class assignments, the more difficult it becomes to separate that mindset from the mindset of more personal "devotional" time with the Lord. I've experienced this for many years, including the time in college as well. But I've been reading more large chunks of Scripture in my current class than ever, maybe 20-30 chapters at at time for some of the old testament prophetic books. So, for me, this all begs the question, is the academic stuff helpful?

The clear answer is "yes, it's helpful". Maybe that's obvious enough considering Noelle and I are moving to Portland this coming July so I can go to school full time for this academically oriented stuff. But sometimes it's important for me to remember just why it's so important. That will be the topic of my blog tomorrow, because I just got done with an incredible class period revolving around the final chapters of Matthew. Alongside this great lecture and reading, I finished a documentary from the Discovery Channel called "Who Framed Jesus?" and the two coincide very well. I will get a bit more academic in my approach because sometimes it's necessary and helpful. The documentary does an amazing (and not very impartial) job of skewing certain historical "facts" and "difficulties" within the four gospel narratives (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), but mangles it pretty badly. If we aren't prepared with good, logical, academic responses for these make-shift scholarly accounts, we'd be in a pretty bad place after such a video. Hopefully the short essay will be helpful, as I know studying this stuff has been very helpful to me.

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