Me


It has now been almost 5 months since my last post. My absence has been due to 1) moving to a new country, 2) not having internet in our home for the first 3 months, 3) starting a doctoral program, and 4) not being sure how to fit the concept of blogging into my life as a PhD student.

In essence I’m questioning how much time and effort I should put into ‘joining the online discussion.’ I’m working hard to just do my PhD stuff, learn French and German, keep building my Greek and Hebrew skills, not to mention work on my research. If I keep up with this blog I think it will become a place I will post thoughts about my research, book reviews or things like that. I have decided that I feel no pressure to ‘join’ any community. This blog is a place for me to put down some of my thoughts. So, as good as the discussion online is, I feel no pressure to comment on other people’s blogs or to necessarily respond to everyone who comments on mine. I welcome all people to read my thoughts, but I have to be careful that my blog be an addition to my ongoing education not a detraction from it.

All that is to say, I’m not sure where this blog is going, but I’m not quite ready to give up on it. We’ll see.

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Well, we have now made it to Durham and we are beginning to settle. I haven’t quite managed to get into a routine of research yet, but I think that I will really like it at Durham. It really is a fantastic place. For example, so far in my few weeks here I have had class with Francis Watson on Theological Hermeneutics, had lunch with and had class with Walter Moberly and have spent a morning with Jimmy Dunn helping him move and chatting about all things Bible and faith (for those of you who are up on theological or biblical studies at all, you know that what I’ve just done there is name dropping). So far so good.

As for this blog, obviously I haven’t posted in quite some time. However, we’ve made the move and life is beginning to settle in a routine so I hope to use this blog as a forum to discuss topics related to my research and interests. Thus, I hope to be blogging on things I’m reading and thinking about in the areas of: 1 Samuel, Septuagintal Research, narrative criticism and theological hermeneutics. Hopefully, this will become a good place to ‘host’ some of my thoughts.

Update: And I have now sat through a presentation from J. Cheryl Exum (Sheffield University) on the Song of Songs.

We are now sitting at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, WA. We are on our way to Durham! It is exciting that this is finally here. Hopefully, I will be able to pick up more blogging after the move. Thanks to all who helped us get here whether by actions or by prayer!

Jim West and John Anderson have posted their reflections on 9/11/2001. Though this blog post may say 9/12, it’s still 9/11 (albeit 10:17 pm) where I am in the Northwest US. I still remember 9/11 too, and I thought I’d offer my reflections.

I was a freshman, living in dorms at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC, Canada. I remember my RA coming into my room and waking me up quite frantic. “They’re bombing the World Trade Center,” he said. I got up in half a stooper and joined the half a dozen other American students from my floor. We went to our RD’s office (the closes TV with cable) and watched as they showed, over and over again the second plane hitting the south Tower. 

I remember having to go to my intro to philosophy class. My professor was so affected by the events that he said he didn’t know what to say. So we spent a few minutes in prayer and then he dismissed the class. Soon after that, a notice from the university was sent out canceling classes for the whole day.

I went back to my dorm, still in shock, and watched more of the news. I must have seen that second plane hit the south tower three dozen times that day. 

Shortly after that, that same day, they held a special chapel. There was a short message (from the President of the University, I think). Then, they asked all of the American students to stand up. The Canadian students and faculty then gathered around us and prayed for us. I remember being very moved and feeling that the whole experience was very surreal.

The rest of the day was busy finding out about this friend and that friend’s family member who was in New York, and figuring out if they were ok.

I remember most, being an American in Canada and the feeling when the Canadians in chapel prayed for us. It was a profound moment. I felt the sense of tragedy most, when us Americans were prayed for by our fellow Canadian students. Strangely, I felt that I could deal with that sense of tragedy best in that same situation. Maybe it was their sense of empathy. Maybe it was because in that moment we were not Americans and Canadians, we were humans. I’ll never forget it. I still remember too.

I have not found time to post on this blog since my wife and I are currently in the middle of our move to England. I don’t see any blogging light on the immediate horizon so I doubt that I will be blogging much of anything over the next few weeks. Hopefully, however, I will resume blogging as an official PhD student with reinvigorated posts on Hebrew narrative, theological interpretation of Scripture, and the character of David.

I just completed my oral exam for my ThM. It was one half a defense of my thesis and one half an oral exam of the coursework that I’ve done here at Western. The good news is that I was given a “pass with distinction.” Whew! I am very happy about this. My time at Western has been very beneficial but I do look forward to being able to move on to new things (and new places).

Now if I can only get this visa process figured out I’ll be set. Thanks to all who have prayed for me and listened to me complain and struggle through this process. It has been a rewarding experience!

Words: 51,400, footnotes: 530, pages: 133, finishing the first draft of my ThM thesis: PRICELESS!

Yes, that gag is overdone, but it still made me chuckle, and that’s the point. . . isn’t it? Maybe not. Anyway a big part of my work is done. Most of my thoughts are now on paper. Now I just need to work on making them good and coherent thoughts. 

Title: “The Story of the Vineyard: Jesus’ Retelling Isa. 5:1-7 in the Parable of the Wicked Tenants”

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