Thursday, September 20, 2007

Seminary is up and going. ..

for the second year none the less. This semester I bumped it up a level (because I had to at some point) and I am taking four classes. By this point I have had all of my classes at least twice (each one only meets once a week), and I have a fairly decent opinion forming about them now. Since you are probably reading this because you are interested in my opinions, here is what I am taking and what I am thinking.

Missions in a Global Context: Thus far this class has been absolutly miserable, and that is mostly the fault of the professor. This is no exaggeration, he spend 90 minutes telling us how to read a book, and in those 90 minutes he only got past the blasted table of contents. However during this time he also ruminated over the finer points of quantum physics, recollected the history of scientific theory as related to philosophy, and who knows what else. If every class is full of the insane ramblings of an ADHD professor then it will make for a very, very long semester.

Methodist Polity: I fear this class will be dry and a bit on the boring side. This is mostly because the finer points of how an organization like a church is organized is not an exciting topic. Plus when the main text is the Book of Discipline, it is hard not to be a soozer. Fortunately, the professor realizes this and is more relaxed in his teaching style. It seems that as long as the students are engaging the Discipline in some aspect he is more than happy to entertain tangents and deviate from his plans.

History of Global Christianity to 1500: I do believe that this will be my favorite class this semester. I like history, I like Christianity. The combination of the two is good stuff. To top it off the professor is very good at what she does.

Education and Formation in the church: I think that I am just incompatible with education classes. My experience with education classes is that they ALWAYS take the most ineffective and annoying way to relay information, and this class is not to much different. For example 20 minute group presentations in groups of 8 to 9 is stupid. I am hoping that the second half of the class, where we are to read short Christian Education books and basically discuss them in "book clubs" will be a bit better because I might actually get to learn something from the books.

So in the end I really like one class this semester. I am kind of lukewarm to one. In between lukewarm and hate to the other, and I hate the last one.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Absolutly Brilliant!

A Doctoral Thesis in the Making

It just won't be mine, because while I would like an answer I don't want to do the research. Anyway, in of my classes a fairly complex question came to me that basically got the teacher with a deer in headlights look and no answer. Basically my question is that the concept of God that most denominations hold of an invisible, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, and all loving being is, in Piaget's developmental stages, a formal operations thought. When we teach this concept to children, who are in a preoperational development stage, they literally can not fully understand the concept. Thus, they adapt the concepts to the framework they understand. Doing so creates and influences their God image, and a psychologist, Ana Maria Rizzuto, argued that the God image we form as children will impact how we view and understand God for the rest of our lives. So for (a crude) example, if a child ask how old does God live and lives in heaven, and a Sunday school teacher answer that God is older than anyone else and lives in heaven, the child might construct an image of God which consist of an old man sitting on clouds. No matter how juvenile and incorrect this image is, Rizzuto argues that on some level this God image will always be present and influece the inidivudal's perception and relationship with God. The question is how Christian educators teach the nature and character of God to children in a way that does not impact their God image in undesirable ways?

If anyone has an answer to this question, let me know!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

This is cool

Though you probably won't get it, and that is ok