You have probably noticed that I have not updated this blog since October. I have a few articles I have been working on but nothing really worth posting at this point. I thought before I begin regular posting again (hopefully around January 1st) I would update you on my first semester at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
I took three classes this semester: Elementary Greek, Biblical Hermeneutics, and Church History 1. I really loved all of my classes. I have not gotten all my grades back yet but I think I will have an A in Hermeneutics and History and a B+ in Greek. I am most proud of my B+ in Greek because one thing I learned this semester is that I am NOT good at foreign languages. The same part of my brain hurts that hurt taking Pre-Calculus (which I failed) in High School.
Other than my deficiency in learning foreign languages it is really difficult to narrow down the things that I learned this semester. I know that my hermeneutics class opened up for me a more clear way of viewing the entire canon of Scripture. Dr. Wellum did an excellent job of showing how biblical theology (the “big story” of Scripture) effects our reading of Scripture.
Prior to the class I knew the importance of reading a text in its context. I also knew about the analogy of faith and reading a text in light of other texts of revelation. But what I had never put together was that each text should be read on three horizons: textual, epochal, and canonical. Textual is reading a text in light of its immediate context. Epochal is reading a text in light of where it is in the unfolding of God’s redemptive story. Canonical is reading a text in light of all of Scripture. Before this class I had been introduced to biblical theology, but I never really knew how to tie everything together. Dr. Wellum’s class, I believe, set my on course to read the Bible as it really is—a big story. I also enjoyed reading Dominion and Dynasty by Stephen Dempster.
In my Church History class I was really struck by Dr. Wright’s historical humility. What I really came out of this class with was a realization that history is not as black and white as we would like to think. You cannot accept everything Augustine said nor throw out everything that other historical figures had said and believed. I came out of this class with an appreciation for the rich diversity among the people of God.
My Elementary Greek class will be very beneficial for me for quite some time. I can now read a decent portion of the New Testament with comprehension. I look forward to taking syntax and exegesis. Dr. Plummer is an amazing teacher; not many professors could make an 8:00am foreign language class interesting.
Next semester, I am taking (at least as of today) Church History II, Personal Spiritual Disciplines with Dr. Whitney, New Testament II with Dr. Schreiner, and Systematic Theology III with Dr. Ware. I am very excited about next semester. I hope to get much of my reading done before the semester begins—and I also hope to do a better job of blogging. Once, we get moved to Jasper, IN and I begin having set office hours again, I should be able to write more.
Thanks for all of your prayers and support throughout this semester.