Thursday, April 08, 2010

To Blog, or not to Blog...

That is the question. I realize about 5 people read this regularly, which is fine by me. I mostly blog for my own benefit. But even when 5 people read the blog, one always feels an phantom pressure to put something up regularly enough that the 5 who do read it don't get bored with it or think it's not worth their time to check it. It is a strange phenomenon. I think it perhaps reveals that I do this not only for my own benefit, but also hope that others will be benefited. At any rate, for you 5... I've been working on this and this, which I think would be radically uninteresting for anyone not in seminary. But these are why I've not found much else interesting to write about/post recently.

Cheers!

9 comments:

Andrew said...

funny story: I'm actually going through Ephesians in my speaking on Wed. nights, and I'm currently starting study on Ephesians 2:11-22. So, as 1 of the 5 who read your blog (and I've posted once haha), thanks for all your posts and for this paper too!

Jordan said...

Matt, I also read your blog. Actually I check it everyday at work. Your posts are very enjoyable. Curious, you seem preoccupied with aesthetics or am I wrong... Of course any serious Christian is, when they seek to worship God.

Jordan said...

Matt, if I could ask a couple questions relating to your study in seminary...

What do you wish you had mastered going into Seminary that would make the work load easier? and what should anybody planning on attending Seminary know before they attend?

Matthew LaPine said...

Jordan (Hamilton???), I do have a fascination with aesthetics. I do because they have a lot to do with why I believe in God. And if we're honest they have a lot to do with why all of us believe much of anything. They're instrumental in the sciences and more generally in epistemology. I think beauty has been overlooked to some degree by contemporary philosophy because from a naturalistic starting point there is no way to explain it (also with morals). But that's one of the main reasons I want to go on to do a PhD in philosophy.

These things need not concern everyone but they interest me.

As to the question about seminary, I think a general background knowledge both of the Bible and of big picture theological concepts is helpful to process the new information that is coming in. But I don't know if I can nail down any one thing I wish I had learned or read.

I think Seminary is like any other experience in life, you learn what you put into it, and it won't teach you a certain set of ideas or principles. It just forces you to work in certain areas with certain deadlines. It will bring you along in the process of learning about God/Theology/the Bible faster than not going to Seminary. But it could also provide a new context of ideas without bringing you along with relation to actually knowing God.

Are you considering seminary?

For a better answer to your question, I could certainly provide a list of books or resources which I have found to be very helpful in thinking better about God. And I would be interested to get a list from you. :)

Matthew LaPine said...

Jordan Daggett, ah yes :)

Jordan said...

Yes, it’s me Daggett

Aesthetics…I agree. I actually base a lot of the assurance of my salvation on the aesthetic component of the gospel. My conversion was the first time I saw the beauty of the Gospel and loved what I saw.

Yes, Krista and I are making steps towards Seminary. We are looking a correspondence courses offered by TEDS. We will be filling out a FASFA form here soon to see what I qualify for and then go from there. I do have a list “per se” of things I will like to have mastered before Seminary, i.e. writing skills (that’s a big one), research methods, general theology (mainly systematic and biblical), and general Bible knowledge. But accomplishing what is on that “list” is only possible in a perfect world, for me.

I do find myself lost in anxious thoughts about pursuing a MDIV with working full-time (50 to 60 hours a week aver.), Krista staying at home, and both of us raising Christian and Emma. I worry about time…but at this point I don’t care how long this takes me. This is what I love and this is what I think and feel God is calling us to for his glory and our sanctification.

One book that has captivated me lately along these lines has been The Trials of Theology: Becoming a ‘Proven Worker’ in a Dangerous Business edited by Andrew Cameron and Brian Rosner.

Any wisdom you have concerning this process, I would love to hear…( i.e. Jordan I believe you are not called, not qualified, not prepared, etc.)

Jordan said...
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Jordan said...

I do read your blog. I have downloaded your papers you posted today and will be reading them (hopefully) soon.

Matthew LaPine said...

Any wisdom you have concerning this process, I would love to hear…

Jordan, I think the biggest lesson I've learned is this: seminary doesn't make you. You mentioned kids, working full time, and going to seminary. Those are definately challenges; but those are really what make you into who you are becoming. Seminary is a useful tool, and also a necessary recognition for certain types of ministry. But we shouldn't balk at the trial of going through the challenges we are faced with because those things are often the very things that God uses in our lives.

By the way, you should at least consider DTS. It would surprise you I think. It's been a good move for me. Plus there are more jobs in Dallas. What field do you want to study?

God speed!

shoot me an email and we'll chat more: enipal1 @ gmail.com