Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Fall is in the air!

Fall has certainly arrived here in Winston-Salem, and the leaves are incredible. Gay and I are hoping to a take a day this weekend and drive to the mountains.

Everything is going well at school. I am finally starting to get the feel of being a student again. I haven't written much on the blog, because I have had a bunch of papers due lately. I am hoping to be able to finish some of them early, so that I don't have to worry about writing over the Thanksgiving break.

Two of my classes, Church and State in America and Congregational Health have now ended. That leaves me with Art of Ministry, Old Testament I, and, of course, History of Christianity.

So far, the experience is about what I expected. My favorite class (this is question I have been asked most often) is definitely Old Testament. When you take the time to really dive into the text, the stories are amazing. You couldn't make up better characters if you tried. This is not a theology class, that comes later. The purpose of this class is to read the text, study what contemporary scholarship has to say about the text, and interact with the text ourselves. The professor is excellent, and does a great job of bringing the text to life.

A lot of the ministers I talked to before I left expected divinity school to challenge some of my beliefs. I haven't really experienced that yet. As an example, my Old Testament professor said that some people might be shocked to find out there is little or no archaeological evidence for the conquest narratives in Joshua. The first two cities conquered, Jericho and Ai, were not even occupied at the time the conquest is believed to have occurred. The professor said that if we wanted to believe that the conquest of Jericho was a literal truth, that was fine, we just had to say that all the archaeologists were wrong. In my opinion, whether the stories are literally true is not the important things. The important thing is the lessons to be learned from the stories. Lessons like: if you want to get married, go to the village well, and sleeping with the king's concubines is the same thing as making a claim to the throne! These are the valuable lessons to be learned in divinity school.

Things are getting better on the home front. As some of you know, the furniture from the house really didn't fit right into the new condo. We had a sectional couch that would have worked great if either the sectional connected on the other side, or if we had an condo on the other side of the building. We ended up having to order some furniture, and we are very happy with it. We should now be able to finish up packing, and set-up the guest room so that we can have some visitors.

I will be posting an edited version of my church and state paper shortly. One of the speakers spoke on the condition that our conversations would be off the record, so I have to remove that portion.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers!

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