Before I begin my three hours of algebra that precedes a full day of work and then an exciting Saturday night of...Algebra...I wanted to share something with you.
I've been writing for two weeks about the spiritual and emotional experiences I've had in my journey to graduation. But I wanted to share with you a few of the tangible, academic things I picked up in this wild ride. So here goes...
- I learned that, according to most scholars at least, Paul didn't write Hebrews. It was Peter but he was basically writing his notes on Paul's teachings in the school in Jerusalem. The grammar gave him away.
- I learned that I am definitely a "Young Earth" adherent.
- I learned that the very first time in Scripture that God reveals His plan to redeem us from the consequence of our bad choice, happened in Genesis 3:15. It's called the "Protevangelum" and it's the first indication of the advent of Jesus.
- I learned that in six days of Creation, God spoke everything into existence. We all knew this, right? Well hang on...here's what I REALLY learned. God spoke everything into existence. It's called "Fiat" and it means creation by command. He spoke the words and it just became so. It's also called "Ex Nihilo" which means "from nothing". "Nihilo" is from the same root as "annihilation" and both mean nothing exists whatsoever. So God Created everything we see here on earth..and earth herself from a literal vacuum. He did it all by speaking it and laid his hands to nothing, except...
- When He created man...when He made Adam and everyone since...He touched them. He scooped together enough dirt to do the job, he molded a man...probably about 5' 10", he shaped him with His own hands until he was perfectly satisfied and then He bent over and breathed his own Spirit into the man's lungs. He probably did it with a kiss. And Adam came to life. And in Psalm 139 when it says "You are fearfully and wonderfully made" the word "made" is the same word as is used to describe God forming Adam. That itself was worth the entire tuition I paid for two years.
- In Inductive Bible Study class I learned how to really study and understand the Bible and dissect it. I also learned that, sadly, few Christians ever learn this process and most pastors would prefer they never did.
- Church History was so fascinating to me and so emotionally impactful that it is the only class that wasn't part of my major that I chose to take more of. I was only required to take section one but I took section two because it was amazing and it tied me to the forefathers of my faith in ways I didn't know. I learned that the early church fathers would rip their clothes and put dirt on their heads and lament loudly if they somehow walked into the average modern day evangelical church. I also learned that The Catholic church is not the monster I was taught it was. She got way off track along her path but she was the keeper of the history of the faith for centuries.
- In my class on Romans I learned that an awful lot of people have gotten it very wrong on the whole "Grafted in" thing and they elevate modern day Israel slightly higher than it should be.
- In Intro to Church Ministries I learned that I am becoming a cranky old school guy who can't stand the whole "Emergent Church" thing. I also cemented my dislike for John MacArthur and learned about a thousand things that I detest about Mark Driscoll and his style of "ministry". I also learned that Dr. Ben Gutierrez at Liberty is a masterful Theologian and his little book on Phillipians Chapter 2 is wonderful. It's called "Living out the Mind of Christ" and you should read it.
- In my class on the book of Acts I learned more than I could list in one blog. But the highlights are that the book is basically two segments. Early Church history in Jerusalem and early Church History as she began to think missionally. And I learned that the real pattern for church leadership requires OWNERSHIP amongst the members. The Moses Model is wrong.
- In "Fundamental Theological Issues" I learned that no matter what...evangelicals will never agree on what it means to be Spirit filled or what use the gift of tongues has. SIGH!
- I learned in Philosophy and Contemporary Ideas that Christianity stands opposed to Philosophy only because Philosophers willingly reject the existence of absolute truth. It makes them edgy and cool and intellectual. If they ever accepted the Bible as absolute Truth they'd have to change majors to Business and get a job.
- Life Coaching has been a revelation. It's what I want to do for the rest of my days. Let me tell you the first thing I learned about Life Coaching. It's NOT counseling. We don't fix you if you're broken. It's not mentoring. A mentor is an expert in something that you want to become an expert in. It's more like a map-maker. It's someone who helps you find your goals and visions, draws those deep desires out of you and then helps you develop a plan to make them happen. Along the way he encourages, holds you accountable and looks ahead for possible pitfalls and obstacles. He is a coach.
- In Daniel / Revelation I learned that the word used in Daniel 9 where the prophecy says that the Anointed One (The Messiah) Jesus, would come and then after 3 1/2 years He'd be "cut off" ...the word for "cut" is "karat". It is the same word used when Jews would cut a covenant between them. They would cut a sacrificial animal in half and then walk in between the pieces. The blood of the animal sealed the agreement. God did this with Abraham. The same figurative is used. Jesus was our sacrifice and He sealed the New Covenant with His own blood.