Saturday, July 07, 2007


Vancouver was great. The city is wonderful. Absolutely beautiful, with the ocean right there and the mountains just behind. It has a great international feel, with an especially strong Asian community. Awesome restraunts. We went to Little India, which was great, and would be great for Karthik. All sorts of cool Indian kids clothes.

The school was also good. I really liked it's general vibe. I liked that it had a Pacific Northwest feel, and I also liked getting the Canadian perspective. It seemed relaxed, but serious, if that makes sense. (As opposed to stressed and frivilous). I got a chance to sit in on a class with Dr. Harry Maier. It was an intro Paul class, and quite good. I liked what he had to say, and I learned quite a lot, as I haven't spent much time studying Paul. He was a really interesting lecturer, and seemed to be a fine scholar. Plus, he had a sense of humor, which is quite important in an academic, at least in my book. I ordered his latest book, so we'll find out more there.

The way the program works, I would spend about two years on the Th. M. (Master of Theology) degree from Vancouver School of Theology. That would cover research methods (where I need help) and some advanced bible coursework. Then the Ph. D. would take about another 3 years. There's no coursework for it, just a 100,000-word essay. But I would audit courses as I worked on it. The doctorate would come from University of Wales, Lampeter, so I'd have to travel back there once to defend the dissertation. The day-to-day advising would be done by Dr. Maier.

Looks pretty interesting. Maybe in two or three years.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Independence Day

I have real mixed feelings about the Fourth of July. On the one hand, it is the celebration of our nation, and that certainly has its good points. On the other hand, it seems to show us at our worst. The festivities I saw today celebrated violence, and our violent history. They celebrated our excess, and our conspicuous consumption. At the parade, almost everything was a commercial. People wished each other a happy fourth of July, but I hardly heard anyone wishing a happy Independence Day. And the fourth also celebrates our drunkeness. There were certainly things about the day that I really enjoyed. But I'm not sure how proud I am of the America that we are when we celebrate this day.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I'm on vacation visiting Melissa's family in Bothell, WA. It's nice to have a whole week of, and not even have to worry about preaching on Sunday. I've been at Coos Bay UMC for a full year now. I've been away from church several times, but mostly for meetings. I think this is the first time that I've taken a full week off, including a Sunday.

We're up here for the Fourth of July festivities. Always a good time in Bothell. Parade, barbeque, fireworks -- it's all good.

Thursday and Friday we're going to go up to Vancouver, BC to check out Vancouver School of Theology. I'm interested in the ThM and PhD degrees there, probably in New Testament. It's only about 2.5 hours from here, so that's nice. Anyway, I'm just checking it out. It won't be for at least a couple of years that I'll be ready to go.