Moral Contradictions

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

Earlier this year when I began to sense a call to ministry, whatever that would look like, I fought God like a... well, I was hoping for something witty there, but it's too late. Suffice to say, I resisted, yet was affirmed through diverse sources. Before I knew it I was looking at various seminaries, yet neglected to take a good look at the one in my own backyard.

My tendency is to be a bit of a home-body, but I didn't want that to be the reason why I would pick BTSR. I wanted to ensure that wherever I went I would be equipped with the necessary tools for ministry in a setting which fostered diversity, encouragement, and community.

Today I had a great meeting with Dr. Rodgersons-Pleasants, Professor of Church History at BTSR. Time flew by as we discussed numerous items. In a sense we interviewed each other - me seeking to learn more about the school, her learning about me and affirming how church history should and could fit into my education and calling.

I have been incredibly blessed, yet I feel like I totally do not deserve any of it. I struggle daily with my walk with Christ. I'm my own worst critic - I know intimately of my shortcomings and failings, yet realize that God knows me way more than I know myself. How can God even consider using me?

One of the many lessons I've learned in the past few years is how to accept grace. God has proven that He can and will use anyone He wants to achieve His will, even me. I just pray that I can be the best steward of the gifts and talents entrusted to me and look forward to a 'holy pat on the head'.

So, please excuse me if posting frequency decreases a bit as I work to get my application complete. This blog was started and solely exists as a gift to my wife so her ears don't explode from my rantings and ravings. Truthfully I could care less how many people read my amateur attempts to sort my brain and heart out. Whether three or three thousand people read this thing, MC exists for me.

Would I mind more readers? Yes and no. At times I would like the chance to appeal to larger audiences, but most times my opinions are not fully worked out and I don't want to be pinned down on an issue on which I'm still chewing.

I'm a bit interested to see what direction MC will turn once I start classes September 7th.


  • Well, congratulations on your decision. In fact you may get more readers when you go to school and tell people about your blog. Still not that many people in ministry blogging yet. I graduated from BTSR five years ago (a small heart-attack just occurred)and the academics will help increase the topics you write about. In fact I just posted about a book that I read in seminary.

    But congratulations again on your decision and good luck.

    By Blogger Matthew61, at Thursday, July 06, 2006 6:40:00 AM  

  • Congrats! BTSR is a good choice. I graduated from SBTS twice, the second time just before the fundies took over. Disgusted with what was happening to my alma mater, I took myself off the alumni list and (for a small contribution) "became" a BTSR alumnus.

    I know many of the faculty and you will greatly benefit. Phyllis Rodgerson Pleasants was Glenn Hinson's TA when I took his church history course. You'll also like Sandra Hack Polaski in NT (I was once in classes with her husband, Don Polaski), and Beth Newman in theology and ethics, a fellow pacifist. If you are very lucky, you will get to study with Henry Mugabe, Principal of the Baptist Seminary in Zimbabwe, who semi-regularly teaches at BTSR as an adjunct. We used to live a few houses away as Ph.D. students and sometimes babysat their kids so that Hermina and Henry could actually have a dinner out alone. (We didn't have kids, then.) :-)

    BTSR isn't perfect. It shares with all SBC schools and post-SBC schools (Alliance and CBF origins) the problem of being far too white--with neither faculty nor students reflecting adequately the wide multi-cultural diversity of the rainbow Body of Christ, for instance (But they are trying and continue to improve). But the folks are good there and the closeness of Union Seminary of VA (Presbyterian) and Virginia Union University's Proctor School of Theology (Progressive National Baptist and American Baptist) give a great ecumenical context. Take advantage of cross-registration opportunities.

    Seminary is a great growth experience and, unlike me, you won't have to study while watching fundamentalists keep trying to get all your favorite professors fired! Enjoy! Work hard and have fun.

    By Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White, at Thursday, July 06, 2006 9:39:00 AM  

  • Thanks all for the support and overview. T-minus 2 months to a new chapter.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Thursday, July 06, 2006 10:01:00 PM  

  • :)

    God bless you Nathan.

    By Blogger Marty, at Monday, July 10, 2006 10:46:00 PM  

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