All in Theology

Friends

I don’t have a lot of close friends. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of people that I love and with whom I interact, but close friends are few in number. As Chaim Potok put it in The Chosen, ‘two people who are true friends are like two bodies with one soul’. I was thinking about this yesterday while listening to an interview with Sen. Ben Sasse. Some of this is because I have moved around a lot and it is hard to sink roots deep when you don’t live anywhere for longer than five years. It is especially hard to have close friendships here in Scotland as there is the acknowledgement in the background that at some point, we are leaving. Scotland is a temporary stopping point for our family.

I Don't Belong Here

One of those funny things about doing a PhD is this feeling like you don’t belong. As soon as I got here, I talked to a number of colleagues and they all talked about feeling like an imposter. In fact, this phenomenon has been given the name ‘imposter syndrome’. To some degree every PhD student feels this at some point (or for the duration) of their program. Asking the question, ‘Do I belong here?’ Being convinced that everyone is smarter than you. Being afraid that you will be found out that you are a fake.

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday. While the story that is taught in school is the one of starving Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down together for a meal, the holiday wasn't established as a national holiday that day. Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.

Learning to Read

I have said this before, but I am convinced the vast majority of a PhD is learning to read. Yes, yes, I know that to do a PhD you need to know how to read before you get here. However, what I mean is that in doing a PhD you learn how to read someone sympathetically. It is a skill I thought I had, but one I have realized I need to hone more and more each day.

Gathering Together

So, I delivered my seminar paper for the Theology and Ethics seminar at New College yesterday. This is something every PhD student at the college will do. It is a gathering of all the post-graduates as well as the Theology and Ethics faculty.

Hope against Hope

In hope he believed against hope… This is how the Apostle Paul describes Abraham’s faith in Romans 4. In hope he believed against hope. The phrase has been with me a lot these last few days. As I think about what the future holds for our family.

Who are you?

Know thyself! This is the mantra, command, law of almost every person, philosophy, and religion. Everywhere you turn, you hear that the key to life is knowing yourself. Every person has a sense that human beings are in some way different from everything else. The questions ‘who am I and what I am here for?’ are central to so much of life. We are told, the most important question that you will ask in your life is: ‘Who am I?’ Know thyself!

Vocation

I had the opportunity to teach on theological anthropology (the theological study of man) last week. We looked primarily at Genesis 1 and 2. They are really fascinating passages. In them we not only get the creation of humanity, but also humanity’s nature, purpose, and vocation. That is in Genesis 1 and 2 we have answers to the questions: What are we? What are we made for? and What are we made to do?.

Our Refuge

It is amazing how many people I talk to these days that find their schedules completely jam packed with stuff. When I ask someone how they are the answer usually goes, ‘Good. Busy. But good.’ I get it. I feel like I am barely getting a moment free these days. On top of personal busyness, it seems like the news can keep us busy as well. No matter what side of debate you are on, you are being called to care deeply about everything. From Brexit to Scottish Independence to Kavanaugh to LeBron as a Laker, we are all supposed to have a deep emotional and temporal engagement. Life can be overwhelming.