Thursday, October 21, 2004
The questions
O Lord, the house of my soul is narrow; enlarge it that thou mayest enter in. It is ruinous, O repair it! It displeases thy sight; I confess it, I know. But who shall cleanse it, or to whom shall I cry but unto thee? Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord, and spare thy servant from strange sins. --St. Augustine

Funny how the words of a North African Bishop from the fifth century wind up sounding like they were written by John Donne. Still a moving prayer.

I have two essential questions that tower before me during this seminary season:

1) Do I pursue a degree and future life in academia or in vocational ministry?

The answer to this question then determines my continuing course of study. Presently I'm straddling the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (the academic route) and the Master of Divinity (the vocational ministry route). Of course, if the rumor is true that most Ph.D programs require the M.Div. (and that doesn't quite make sense to me just yet) than this dilemma solves itself.

2) If it is vocational ministry, do I pursue ordination in the Methodist church? Do I engage in the contemporary institution and work to renew it or do I reject it all together?

Something tells me that if I choose the former, I better be pretty damn sure that's where I'm called to be, as that won't exactly be like tending roses. To choose the later is to wander into the vast unknown.

So there's no pressure in deciding my future here or anything.

I've visited United Methodist churches the past two weeks, and truly I cannot see myself being happy in that structure.

Can I see myself as a professor? Yes, I can. A pastor? Well, umm... As a "servant to the servants of God," as Gregory the Great puts it? Yes, I can. But I think it would have to be in, not necessarily a non-denominational setting, but certainly a non-traditional one.

Wednesdays are brutal. Matters are not helped on 3-hours sleep. Stupid. Kingdom, Church and World is a 3-hour class in the afternoon. Don't ask what I'm learning, because in seven weeks now, it's still every bit as vague as the name sounds.

But today we had a visitor--Keith Wasserman, the Executive Director of Good Works. Can I picture myself being involved with that? Yeah, I think can, too.

As if I needed more options.

posted by Peter at 1:43 AM
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