Books and college

July 8, 2006

For all of you who are curious, this is what I have read this summer:

Death Note, volumes 1-6

Why I Left the Christian Contemporary Movement by Dan Lucarini

Night by Elie Wiesel

The Face of New Testament Studies edited by Scot McKnight and Grant Osborne

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

New Testament Theology by I. Howard Marshall

God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament by Richard Bauckham

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket

Reinventing Jesus by J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer and Daniel B. Wallace

What I hope to read by the end of this summer:

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Tartuffe and Don Juan by Moliere

Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoevsky

Introduction to the New Testament by D.A. Carson and Douglas Moo

New Testament History by F.F. Bruce

Lest You Fall: Mediations to Fight Moral Impurity by Rand Hummel

As you guys can guess by reading my blog, I hope to go into the field of biblical studies in the future. After having an illuminating and exciting discussion with my assistant pastor’s son, he mentioned that while Christian colleges provide a good moral environment, they lack in scholarship. This kind of rocked my boat a bit, I guess, since I was fairly decided on what college I was going to attend. However, now that he recommended that I go to a secular university with a strong classics department before heading off to get something further than my B.A., I’ve decided to start looking around a bit more.

I figure that if my current SAT score is an indication of how I’ll do on the ACT and on subsequent testing on the SAT, I won’t have a huge problem getting some financial aid and enterting a college I’d like.

So if you have time, pray for me to have wisdom in college decision and things of that sort. Senior year is approaching quickly!

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4 Responses to “Books and college”

  1. Senora Happy Says:

    Well, boat-rocking aside, I guess you’d have to take your assistant-pastor’s son’s advice with something of a grain of salt–and don’t take my having attended a wonderful Christian university as a bias for recommending one.

    Two things:

    Numero Uno–There is much to say about a good moral environment. There’s accountability, encouragment, support, guidance, wisdom, prayer, opportunities for leadership, Biblical teaching in ALL classes–including the classics, spiritual strengthening, the opportunity for maturity in a nurturing environment–to name two or three. And as you look around you, Rob, many of your current role models (alumni of Christian institutions of all sorts)–while they may not be as scholarly as you aspire to be (as you rightly should)–they are godly, kind, warm, generous with a large measure of Biblical knowledge (perhaps to the capacity to which they are able at this point in their lives). AND GOD USES THEM.

    Numero Dos: I’m hoping that you are weighing his accusation of a lack of scholarship with some reasonable measure. Scholarship could be–and perhaps should be–measured fairly by its effective impartation of truth, and in Biblical studies that should be Truth with a capital T. While it IS fair to say that at any Christian college or even university taking theology from Professor Hayseed might limit your pursuit, I DON’T think it’s fair to say that Christian institutions are less scholarly than secular ones across the board. (I also don’t think it’s unscholarly to spell “Biblical” with a capital B.)

    Now, Erudito, I pray the grace of our heavenly Father, the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit be evident in this decision-making process of yours.

  2. Rob Says:

    Senora Happy,

    I wouldn’t take your attendance at a Christian university as a biased thing.

    I understand that there’s much to say about a good moral, supportive environment. And I also understand and appreciate your concern about those who are used by God, regardless of how academic their knowledge of the Bible may be. I never place knowledge above character, but there’s a place for interaction with ideas that I think is lacking in the kind of Christian institutions that are usually pushed around here.

    The accusation of lack of scholarship is a general one, not meant to impugn the character of every Christian university. I’ll give an example:

    A friend who went to Tennessee Temple told me that their business department is shabby. However, I’ve heard that Bob Jones students are very in demand in the business world because of their great education. So it really differs from college to college. I realize that there are gifted and knowledgeable professors in Christian colleges too.

    I am glad to hear a variety of opinions. Of course, I appreciated the assistant pastor’s son’s comments because of his education in the field I am pursuing. I apologize if my comment about Christian institutions’ academics offended you.

    My comment was more directed toward scholarship in the biblical studies area. It is known that Bob Jones business graduates and Pensacola nursing graduates excel in their careers. And then you have the Tennessee Temple example (granted, Temple is primarily a bible school). However, it seems that universities such as these fail to interact with current study in the field of biblical studies. I can ask any graduate of the universities that are usually pushed, and they’ll have no knowledge of the people who are making headway in conservative biblical studies. I’m not saying they are ineffective or not used by God, but rather that a certain knowledge of contemporary study is lacking, and it is into this contemporary study that I wish to go.

    Of course, my judgment is limited because I have not sat in on every bible class in every Christian college. And I don’t think it’s unscholarly to spell “biblical” with a capital B either. 😉

    Thanks for your comments, Senora Happy! Sorry if I was a little long-winded, I wanted to retract a bit if I stepped too far, I suppose, and to clarify.

  3. Kyle Says:

    It’s very easy for attempts to provide a “good moral environment” to turn to legalism and moralism. It kills the soul. It doesn’t have to become that, but I think it’s often very likely.

    If you want some rules and strictures to help you not to fornicate like a wild animal, you’ll make friends have that that kind of accountability anywhere you go. If you really think you need some kind of Christian boot camp, you’ve already lost the battle, methinks. :0P

  4. Senora Happy Says:

    There’s no necessity to retract even an inch, Roberto. I’m not in the least bit offended (the drawback of written communication is the limited non-verbal communication–Senora Happy is still happy). I AM sold on Christian education, and I hope you’d think less of me if I weren’t. But I do know that God has plans for a few of His dearest children which does not include higher education at a Christian institution (I’m married to one of those, and his knowledge of Scripture impresses me on a daily basis).


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