(thanks to this article and this killer image by Seth, I am NEVER going to win the Distinguished Young Alumni Award from my school.)
First, a bit of business. If you are having trouble subscribing to the new site, try inputting the direct BLOG link into your reader service (Feedly, etc). If you want e-mail updates, you can go to the handy Contact page and find a place to sign up there. Thanks so much!
Second, this is a really hard week for so many. I want to acknowledge that and say that I have been grieving and praying and listening. Next week I will have an advent post up that addresses some of the issues of impatience, anger, and a longing for justice that so many are feeling.
Third, I wanted to link to a piece I did for Christ and Pop Culture on higher education and mutuality. This piece is born out of direct personal experience, as well as a general sense of dismay at how often we continue to marginalize those who are already excluded. I just read in Christianity Today that 49% of millennials believe that you need several years of intensive study to be able to understand the Bible correctly. This, I try and point out in my essay, is problematic. Here's the beginning:
"Don’t you folks ever read your Bibles?” reads the bronze plaque right outside the John G. Mitchell library. It’s a quote from the founder of the College I went to—the small, nondescript Multnomah School of the Bible. Trudging past that quote every day on the way to classes or our thrice-weekly mandatory chapels, it felt like a cruel hoax. Don’t we ever? It felt like that was all we did. Yet, the message remained, drilled into our soft skulls from an ever-increasing array of arsenal: Whatever we are doing, it isn’t enough. We can always learn more, do more, read more. And once we have done it—gotten our degrees, read the Bible enough—we will be validated. We will have attained something tangible, something that makes us different from those who did not attend here. We will be able to teach others.
I majored, like everyone else at my school, in Bible and Theology. I took copious notes. I read the entire Bible, multiple times. I slunk around the rain-smeared campus and memorized where my go-to commentaries where on the shelves of the library. A professor of mine, near the end of my time there, assigned us a simple assignment that turned out to be my undoing. “Write a one page document explaining why you believe the Bible.” That one page tormented me. Of all the logical, irrefutable, proofs for the Bible—none struck me as deserving of that one single page. Instead, I wrote sentence after sentence about faith. I wrote about how I had no clue why I believed it all. But still, I did.
Go on over to Christ and Pop Culture to read the rest. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!