Thursday, May 31, 2007


I went to Pastor's School a couple of weeks ago. The lectures were by Richard Rohrbaugh on a peasant reading of the New Testament. Incredibly interesting. It was great. And it sparked some feelings about call as well.

From the very beginning of my sense of call to ordained ministry, it's been a three-part call. So all along way I've been wrestling with these three things: pastor, scholar, missionary. I'm not sure where I'm going to end up with those three. Obviously, I'm a pastor now, so I've experienced at least one. But I've had the sense that God might end up calling me to all three of these at some time or other.

Pastors' School got me to thinking about the second one again: scholar. It was so great to be back in a school-like setting, to be studying again. I think I'm probably quite a bit better an doing the scholarly analysis of a biblical text than I am at making the tex relivant in real life. I'm good at finding all of the interesting little tidbits, all of the inconsistencies, all of the meaningful details. But those don't always preach very well. They usually stir up more questions than they ever bring answers. But I do love working with that kind of thing.

For a little while I've been looking at PhD programs in Liturgics, which is another area of interest for me. There seem to be good programs at Garrett-Evangelical in Chicago and at the GTU in Berkley. But now I'm thinking that the New Testament route might be the better way to go. With a PhD in Liturgics I'd be pretty well stuck looking for a job in one of a very seminaries that care about it. And despite my wishes, Liturgics doesn't seem to be very popular among Methodists at all. What can I say?

But the New Testament, with which I'm equally interested, would have a much broader usefulness, at least so it seems to me. The GTU still looks kind of interesting. I'm also looking at Vancouver School of Theology, which certainly doesn't seem to be as prestegious, but has the advantages of being close, and being on the European model.