Friday, October 13, 2006

academia land

Yesterday I went to a lecture at Regent College by Miroslav Volf on "Faith that Makes a Difference." He seemed like he had his head on straight. It actually sounded pretty common-sense to me, but I got the sense that this fit the structure of the three-lecture series quite well. The first lecture had been a bit of a "shocking diagnosis", the second (the one I attended) was a "return to the foundations" message, which is why it was filled with good-sense-making theology, and I think the third was going to be more of a "radical outcomes" kind of lecture.

Anyway, it was interesting to be back in the academic theology sphere. On the one hand, I felt how easy it would be so slide right back into that comfy niche and to be all brainy and buddy-buddy with the student sitting next to me. He had a scruffy half-beard, was wearing jeans and a t-shirt with an open plaid shirt over top, and laughed loudly and genuinely at all the theological insider's jokes. The notes that I read over his shoulder were things like "blessing---relevance to Didache?" and "sex and St. Augustine---in conflict with Volf's deliverance theme?" These notes made my brain hurt, because I knew that I should probably be able to understand exactly what he was thinking, but at the same time, I didn't give a rat's ass about Augustine or about making witty references to Volf's ecclesiological clashes with Ratsinger.

Basically, it all boils down to this: I'm doing good and important work these days, and theological-academia-land is not the place for me right now. I don't really miss being in school. Maybe one day I'll want to bring all my work experience to seminary with me to get an M.Div. and then get better at doing ministry work again, but until I start running low on fuel or inspiration or something, I'm staying out of university.

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