I realized yesterday that I only have two more regular classes in my theology class. On the 20th I write my final exam, and on on the 23rd, my Moral Theology paper is due. I will be sad when it's over.
I have been in class with most of the students all year. The majority who began with me in September also took the second half of the course. Some of them are also in my Moral Theology class, and often on Thursdays there are discussions about that class as well. I have come to really appreciate and enjoy these people. And what I really like is the diversity of ages and experiences. Yesterday, as usual, there was laughter and fun in the midst of learning theological truth. I'm really going to miss that, and I'm going to miss my prof's teaching and wisdom.
I think this year more than any other, I have seen how we need to value older teachers. As I have listened to Dr. Fowler, I have heard more than just someone who knows theoretical knowledge. He has also practical ministry experience. In Moral Theology, when we discussed divorce and re-marriage, he shared personal insights about his own experience as a pastor. He has done a lot of work on the issue of baptism because his doctoral dissertation was focused on that. But he has also dealt with baptism in the capacity of a pastor. All of the theological issues we have learned this year he has dealt with both experientially and academically. I wonder how many pastors have a certain idea of what they believe regarding various doctrines, only to have those challenged as they confront them pastorally.
This year, school kept me busier than last year, and that was a good thing. I spent less time online, although I still need to pare that down a bit. Yesterday, it was a cold, slushy, bitter ride home, and I was glad to come home and unwind with a cup of tea as I checked my email. I had a brief look at Twitter, and I was struck by how we can become so keyed to what see online that we may not have time for other things. There is much chewing over Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option. And there is some issue regarding a Billy Graham rule and a Donald Trump rule. At this point in the semester, I don't have time to check that out. Sometimes, getting embroiled in these matters (which will be cast aside for something else in a few weeks) just eats up time I need to spend elsewhere. And it exhausts me just watching how long some will continue a debate in 140 characters, refusing to let someone else have the last word. Where do they get the energy?
This time next month, I will be spending time with my family, celebrating my dad's 80th birthday. I'm heading out to the prairies, and am eager to get my camera out and re-charge. But I will miss my weekly meetings with my fellow students. I'm looking forward to Greek I and Church History beginning in September.
And now to get that term paper done and study for my exam.