Sunday, August 30, 2009

And the times they are a-changing

There came a time when it had been so long since I last blogged that it became easy to ignore this blog. But as a friend kindly pointed out, the point of having a blog is to blog about things. So after nearly 5 months of silence, I'm back!

So what has happened since my last blog? I have continued to get to know a bunch of wonderful people at Regent college; I recovered from appendectomy; I completed one third of the modules I need in order to 'convocate' from Regent college; I contracted a bacterial infection in my gut (the side effects of which have still to clear up) resulting in me canceling a trip to New Zealand; I have seen grizzly bears, bald eagles, seals, sea lions and otters; I visited Vancouver Island and failed to spot any whales on a whale watching tour. And I have discovered that I really like semicolons, not just for blogging but in assignments too.

What have I studied? Across some 210 hours of lectures: An overview of both the Old and New Testaments, pastoral care, an overview of the relationship between Christianity and culture since the reformation, Ethics of the Christian life, evangelism in the post-Christian world, and Christian ethics in relation to Hollywood movie industry.

How much have I read? Somewhere in the region of 7000 pages of theological material, which is probably more than the previous 3 years put together. A sobering thought.

How much have I written? Somewhere around 45000 words. And to think that once upon a time the idea of writing a thesis was intimidating!

It is impossible to explain the impact that all this has had on me, but I'll try anyway:
  • My studies have reshaped my understanding of how discipleship is a whole-of-life life-long process that is community based and that the gospel has truly universal implications and intentions; though I thought I grasped this before being here has helped me see (in a good way) that the more I learn and grow the more there is yet to understand, and that we need each other to keep us on the right track. I hope I am learning to be more gracious towards both myself and others.
  • My health struggles have challenged me to grapple with how my confidence is in God and His grace rather than my ability to control my situation.
  • Being part of the Regent community has helped me realize anew how wonderful it is to be part of the body of Christ and learn some new things about what it means to be a part of that body.
What is to come? I am studying four more courses: introduction to biblical languages, an overview of the relationship between Christianity and culture pre the reformation, introduction to Christian counseling and, perhaps most daunting of all an advanced class on the missional church (where each person in the class has to give a 20 minute lecture presenting a 6500 word paper on an issue of their choice in relation to the missional church). So in total that's another 5000 or so pages of reading and 28000 words of writing.

I am working part time at the college assisting with the orientation of students who come to Regent across the 09/10 academic year. It's a huge privilege to be able welcome in the new students and help the get their heads around Regent and life in Vancouver. Because it is a paid job it will cover a chunk of my tuition fees, which is handy.

Oh and what has changed? The layout of this blog and I have a beard.