I live for new ideas! I love other perspectives. I’m getting large dosages of both in and outside of class. Seminary is awesome. I really enjoy it here because I’m constantly challenged and engaged. I love MS106 because I can hear the stories of others and I absolutely love it. I go through my week giddy with all these things I’m learning.
We learn a lot of terms and concepts here but the biggest overall thing that I’m learning is responsibility. Religion, the Bible, and life in general for that matter is very complicated. It is irresponsible for people to overlook these complications to get what they want out of a text. Two groups that come immediately to mind are the fundamentalists and the atheists.
These groups are two vastly different approaches that share the same irresponsibility. The fundamentalists read the Bible literally and ignore all the other methods and even the tradition and history that spawned the Bible. They get what they want out of it. The atheists do much the same thing. They ignore all the criticisms and methods and just label all religion as “Hocus Pocus.” Both methods are irresponsible, as they take no steps away from what the groups comfort zones.
I think this is directly linked to comfort. This is a comfort that starts with a hunch and will not further explore it for fear of having to change. A dude in my class added "apathy” to this concept, and I too will add this in saying that these people do not want to challenge their worldviews and are apathetic about doing so.
Atheist i have less of a problem with however. they seem to be resisting worshipping a false idol... they have no idols! well, there's always the idol of self, consumerism, etc. but as jose miguel bonino said in his book Room to be People "Only a atheist can be a good Christian." of course both of these groups that i have problems with are presented much more simply here for brevity's sake and i realize that there's a larger more nuanced issue at hand, but this is a quick explanation of what i'm struggle'n with.
As I see it, we have a duty to study and find our way through the world, we have a responsibility to the world. I know my strong and weak points in learning. I know I’ll struggle with Greek and Hebrew as this is wrote memorization. I know my strong points are concepts and theologies. If I can play with concepts and apply them to other things, I have no problem learning. I guess I’m a process learner as I must learn through relationships. I might not have agreed with Plantinga in Theology 101, but I understand him and where he’s coming from. I cannot understand where fundamentalists are coming from.
It would be irresponsible of me to say that I do not have a comfort zone as well. I take great comfort in this seminary. I take comfort that people are looking at the Bible, are struggling and debating. I respect the work involved. I am depressed when people will not take these steps, either by literally reading (or reading into the Bible the words they want to hear) or by not reading it at all. Either way, no further steps are taken to get the story IN the text as well as the story OF the text or to put it another way, the story the text tells and then the story of how that text came about and was written. I am ready for more, keep the challenges coming.