Yesterday was the final exam in my theology class. It was an eventful morning. The day dawned cold and windy. We had significant windchills and some blowing snow. My older son was to drive me to school (cast is off, but it will be a while before I can drive) and bring me home. About ten minutes into our ride, his windshield wipers stopped working. This is a bad situation when there is blowing snow and salted roads. We pulled over to the shoulder, and with the wind whipping around him, he looked at the problem. End result: we called my other son who quite providentially was also home for a quick visit. He arrived with my car and was able to take me to school while other son turned around and went to the shop to have the car looked at.
About another ten minutes into this leg of the trip, traffic slowed down drastically; something not typical of this road. After waiting 45 minutes and traveling little more than a kilometer, we saw the emergency vehicles bring two very damaged cars. I'm thankful we weren't the ones in the accident.
Thank goodness for cell phones. I emailed my prof and told him I would be late, and he was good with that. The exam ran from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and I arrived in the room at 10:00, with only three of the other students remaining. I was thankful to have arrived, limping along as I was. And now, I have a little break.
I was thinking about what I've learned this past semester, and I think what I've learned is not really anything entirely new. Sure, there are little factoids that I've learned here and there, but I'm familiar with the various doctrines we studied, because I have been reading theology for a while now. What has stood out to me the most is the things which have been re-inforced.
First, presuppositions. I knew going into this semester that pre-suppositions are important to consider and understand. I was reminded again about this as we read different views on doctrinal matters. Many times, I saw clearly that my understanding was more a function of my pre-suppositions than it was from anything studied. That is not surprising. We are all growing, and there are many things we believe because we have been told, and not because we've thought about it.
Second, Scripture. If people don't believe the same things about Scripture, the chance of consensus on anything is pretty unlikely. What we believe about what Scripture is determines how we approach all of the other doctrines. It seems to me that we are still battling it out with regard to Scripture, and as long as we differ on its nature, debate will go on.
Third, intellectual humility. I have been fortunate enough to have had a prof this semester who is very intellectually humble. He is not wishy washy in what he believes, but he is a willing listener, and gracious in discussion. He has been teaching for a long time, and he knows a whole lot more than his students, but he does not hold his knowledge with pride or arrogance. I've always felt like learning should make us feel grateful, and I've been grateful this semester.
I'm looking forward to next semester already. My texboooks for Moral Theology are on their way, and I'll be taking the second half of the theology course. Hopefully, I'll have less eventual trips to school.