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Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I was reading a post about the importance of the Hellenists over at On Earth As It Is In Heaven, and it brought to mind this:

I went to the orientation for my seminary on Friday, and was actually a bit disconcerted by the concentration of white, short haired males. Mind you, I am a white, short-haired male.

I noticed a fellow with long, raggedy hair, glasses and facial hair. He was very reminicent of hippies as well as pictures we see of Jesus. I though he might be a neat guy to get to know. As we were all walking to the 'food place' after the short worship service and briefing about the administration of the school, I heard him say "I couldn't wait to get out of there. Traditional services are creepy."

I felt pretty indignant. I thought, "Why the heck are you in seminary? If you can't deal with a worship style that's different than your own, you have a lot of growing to do." I chose not to sit with him at the food place, choosing instead to sit with the only black couple I could find.

Reading Steve's post, I realize that "hippie" WAS dealing with it. I would have felt pretty uncomfortable in a charismatic service, but if the Lord had called me to that seminary, I would tough it out and grow through it. Perhaps this man is doing the same. It is my task to reach out to him and others on the fringe of my denomination. Seminary will offer many chances to grow, indeed.


  • Hi Hammer,

    Perhaps you should consider the possibility that the Church has become stale as a result of the lack of diversity in Seminary. I would hope that your Seminary is not a course in indoctrination, but that it is a haven of holiness. From my perspective, the Church needs a revival, not more of the same.

    Perhaps you could make it one of your missions in Seminary to always give the hippie the benefit of the doubt and maybe even defend him when he is attacked by the more traditional Seminarians.

    I didn’t know you were staring Seminary. How are you going to manage with two jobs and a family to support? Do you have an organization helping with expenses? If so, can I donate in a way that the money would go to you?

    By Blogger David M. Smith, at 8/17/2005 01:16:00 PM  

  • My seminary used to be an indoctrination palace, where students were assumed to be "intelligent fundamentalists" and then told how wrong they were. Now they actually discuss the sources and merits of the critiscisms of the past and present, instead of just discarding them or embracing them because they are new.

    I think that the problem is not lack of diversity in seminary, only because seminaries vary widely. My seminary is one of the more "conservative" ones - believing that the Bible is true, and crazy stuff like that!

    I accept your mission.

    Life is strained. For example, I am at home and awake at the same time as other family members for exactly two hours on Tuesday and Thursday. The two jobs do not meet the costs, though I am confident that God will provide either greater income, reduced costs, or both. I am not attached to any organization that helps. Thank you for the offer! I'll send you an email, probably tomorrow.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 8/17/2005 04:36:00 PM  

  • Wow Hammer, you did not tell me. Cool! What seminary if you don't mind me asking? My husband is attending a So. Baptist seminary but there are many from varied denominations and that seems to be less of an issue than other things (personalities...). The discussion boards for class are much like our Salvation discussion and many of our blog conversations UGHHHHHHH! I'm actually going to be going to SBU in Riverside soon, but just undergrad because I'm not as smart as you all (LOL)--NOT! My husband is alread talking about his Doctorate--so that we will never get another project done around here again (LOL). He somehow manages his full-time law enforcement job, ministry, seminary, lawn duty and fix it man. It's hard but I very proud of him!

    By Blogger Teresa, at 8/20/2005 04:11:00 PM  

  • I am going to the SBC's flagship in Louisville. I will never get my doctorate - I am doing seminary as a means to an end. A Master of Divinity is required for military chaplains, so I am getting one. Will I be blessed and better for my seminary education? Perhaps - if I use it the right way and not for my own purposes.

    That is my prayer. As the Dean of Theology told us, too many use seminary knowledge to build up themselves and their own ideas, and attack others. You know, the guy who sits in church with his Nestle-Aland 27th edition Greek NT and mentally parses the sermon, or drops some Hebrew words or theological terms and history on others in his Sunday School class to demonstrate his learning.

    I pray that seminary makes me a better husband and father. Anything else is just a bonus!

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 8/22/2005 01:20:00 PM  

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