Let’s try this again: “Going (Back) to Seminary”


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Years ago, on my first go-around with seminary, I wrote for a website called Going To Seminary. The site was started by an old campus minister of mine, and it was meant to be a place for wisdom and encouragement in seminary life. Looking back on the posts I wrote then, I still can’t believe how overzealous and eager I was, just six years ago.

Anyway, the last post I ever wrote for them was called “Realizing Seminary’s Not For You“, in which I wrote about my experience of deciding to drop out of school. Many people found this post encouraging, but astonishingly, the post inspired some comments that were some of the harshest I’ve ever received online for something I’ve written. People couldn’t imagine that God could call someone to seminary and then call them out before it was finished. Surely it must be a lack of trust and faith on my part, right?

Well, I still stand by that decision, and one of the main reasons why is that it set me up to now return to seminary with a much more clear, gracious, and (hopefully) mature mindset on the whole enterprise. Since I’ve been going back to seminary, I suppose it’s time for me to go back to writing on Going To Seminary. And so I have. Today marks the return of my writing on that site (I gave y’all a heads up last week).

Appropriately, my first post is an update and follow up to that previous piece. It’s called “Going (Back) to Seminary“.

It goes through each of those reasons why I left seminary and talks about how God worked in me and my life to lead me back, albeit to a different school. I hope each of you are able to be encouraged in your own journeys with God. Also, leave some comments and let us know what you think!

Check out the rest of my Going To Seminary posts.

An idiot defends the Patriot Act


paul-american-flag-coffee-mug-12-03Perusing around, I ran across this response to an article by Dana Milbank from 2003 on the anniversary of 9/11. The article originally appeared in The Washongton Post, but I could only find it at this odd site. Here, the commenter offers a summary of the article and an opinion:

This article is about recent comments President Bush made recently on expanding the Patriot Act of 2001.  These are surprising comments due to the fact that the Patriot Act is already one of the most controversial Acts ever passed by Congress.  The act extremely expanded federal police powers by severely restricting the civil liberties of terrorism suspects.  Under the act, federal officers need less than ever before to find “just cause” in apprehending, detaining, and punishing those accused of terrorist acts.  The “Patriot 2” as it has been dubbed, would contain clauses allowing for the issuance of subpoenas without grand juries, holding of suspects without bail, and the pursuance of the death penalty in a broader spectrum of cases, still involving murder.  Many politicians are telling the media that the Bush administration is trying to fight sudden “Anti-Patriot Act” feelings by going on the offensive: Talking of expanding the original Patriot Act.

In my opinion, the comments made by Bush were so logical and fair.  As a strong supporter of the original Patriot Act, I see nothing wrong with Bush asking Congress to give federal officers the exact same powers to apprehend terror suspects as they do to apprehend embezzlers or drug traffickers.  Many of the politicians are also putting these negative feelings on John Ashcroft, when he has apparently been doing an incredible job.  Ever since September 11th, there has not been a single other terrorist attack on American soil.  In my opinion, he needs to be given the ability to continue whatever he is doing.

The person that wrote this was me. I wrote it over 10 years ago as an assignment for my High School AP Government class, where we had to read and respond to current event articles.

If you have ever stumbled on any political post on this blog (after 2007 or so), you know that I am not of this same mind at all. In fact, this was my “one-issue” that determined my Presidential vote this year. (Hopefully, you can also see that my writing has somewhat improved–yikes!). Shortly after this was written, I sat deciding on whether to go to a large urban university or Liberty University. My decision was made when my dad told me that he thought I “grew better in thorny soil”. That’s where I went, and that’s what molded me.

So let this be an encouragement that neither the environment you’re raised in nor the zeal with which you hold an opinion can close you off from change and growth. Always keep your mind open, pursue knowledge, and doubt your doubts. And spend some time in thorny soil. Happy New Year!