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Semester in (Brief) Review


Beeson Divinity School
Originally uploaded by jacobgerber.
As of today, I am almost completely finished with my classes for the semester--I only have two classes left to attend on Tuesday. In all, my first semester of seminary has gone almost frighteningly quickly. Here is an attempt to quickly recap the semester.

My classes: Hermeneutics (how to study the Bible), Hebrew, Old Testament Survey, Church History, Spiritual Formation, and Introduction to Theological Studies (essentially a library course).

Favorite class: Tough call, but probably Old Testament Survey. We covered Genesis through Esther this semester, and my professor did a wonderful job of showing the context, theological emphases, and preaching points of each of the books.

Best class: Hebrew. For quite some time, I have dreamed of reading the Old Testament in its original language. I still can't, but I'm a heck of a lot closer than I was. I cannot describe the satisfaction of reading my English Bible only to wonder what exactly the text is trying to convey, and then to be able to look up the original text and usually get a pretty good idea. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I have an infinitely better sense of how the Old Testament works than I ever did. Oh, and my professor for Hebrew is a stud--we use the grammar that he wrote.

Biggest eye-opener: The fact that I know nada about church history. Good grief, I was embarassed to find out how deeply the roots my ignorance grew regarding what all happened in the church before the Reformation. This will need to change for me, and when I have a church, I am determined to make sure that my congregation learns at least something about church history.

Best seminary activity: The "J. I. Packer and the Future of Evangelicalism" conference held at Beeson on September 25-27 of this year. The speakers included Mark Dever, Chuck Colson, Richard John Neuhaus, James Earl Massey, and J. I. Packer himself. Perhaps I will have time over Christmas vacation to review my notes and blog some impressions that I gained from the conference. A-maze-ing.

Earliest morning: 2:30 a.m. Even for those of you who know that I am an early riser, that could be a shocker. Actually, it wasn't too bad.

Latest night: 1:30 a.m. I stayed up late finishing a big paper on the development of baptism within the early church. The only problem with staying up that late was that I did it on the same day that I had gotten up at 2:30 that morning--I pulled a 23-hour day. I think I almost died, but for the grace of God.

Quick lessons/recap:
  1. The books of Chronicles can blow your mind--you just have to read them correctly.
  2. Important things happened between Jesus and John Calvin. Honestly.
  3. Don't drink too much coffee in the afternoon, even if you had to get up really early that morning.
  4. Nebraska is indisputably my favorite place on earth.

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