Archive for August, 2007

Seminary right around the corner…

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Well, tomorrow is orientation day for new students! I’ve decided to get an MAR (Masters of Art and Religion) and focus on Old Testament. I really enjoy theology, but I have this belief at the moment that there is no better way to develop an accurate theology than to learn about God from the Bible and become very proficient in the original languages. Knowing the language will help me overcome issues with bad translations (and the doctrinal errors that have grown up around them) and help me towards a more accurate picture of who God really is according to what we have available to us from the texts. Of course, its not my only source – a personal relationship with Him is what makes the old texts come alive.

I’m pretty excited to get started, but a little worried. Writing on this blog has helped me get used to writing a lot again, but I’m still rusty on doing really good writing on spiritual topics that would be appropriate for a masters degree level. But that will probably benefit everyone here who likes reading about deep stuff. Now I’ll have access to a huge library and will be able to quote stuff from legitimate authors and not just rest my arguments on my own opinions.  Good scholarship, like good science, seems to be a group effort.

Well, classes start next Tuesday. I’m starting out by taking one course a semester so I can figure out a balance in my life between seminary, freelance web-design/graphic design business, and my family (now wife and 2 kids!). My first class is: Psalms.

Wish me luck!

Aftermath of anger

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

After reading a similar post by John over at, I thought I would capture my thoughts here in a post based on my comments there.

It is amazing how anger can spur action and give us endless amounts of energy and creativity. My anger caused me to leave bad churches, reevaluate bad theology and religion, and rethink a large part of my beliefs about the spiritual life that I had just believed without thinking. It caused me to create a weblog and join a community of other folks like me who were also reeling from similar bad experiences – people who were also trying to figure out the spiritual life in the aftermath of their bad experiences.

However, as I mentioned in an earlier post on forgiveness, my anger has run its course. It has now been 3-4 years or so since my encounters with bad religion occurred. It has been one year since I started I have wrangled with those bad experiences and come out at peace. Even though I have not answered all the questions that come pounding at one’s door when life becomes painful, I have been able to answer enough of them sufficiently to be in a place of peace.

For me, something unique in my experience is happening. I have become pulled very strongly towards a greater cause that I don’t understand yet. It is a very strong feeling – one that is driving me even more strongly than my anger did (which I didn’t think possible): an unselfish desire to prepare my life for something very big – much bigger than myself. It was so profound a change in who I am and what fundamentally motivates me that it drove me to redesign my weblog from scratch – images and recoding templates, pack up my family and move to another state, and enroll in a masters degree program at a seminary there. It is the greater motivator.

In the aftermath of anger, there is something with more energy and creativity. Anger, like other things in life, was meant to lead us to a greater thing. It’s energy wanes – it was designed to have a greater thing take its place. It is not unlike how romantic love leads a person to embrace love in its fullest sense – unconditional true love.

So what replaces anger? What is greater? That’s what I want to explore here. Read the rest of this entry »