Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Help, I'm trapped in a Christian Bubble!

I've enjoyed my time at seminary so far. I've found the lectures and reading to be both stimulating to my mind and edifying for my soul. But one thing that I keep on thinking about is how seminary students can be so easily secluded from the "real world." I live on campus, because it is convenient and more affordable. There are great on-campus accommodations here, so many students live on campus. And if Rachel were to get a job on campus, our whole lives would be lived among Christians and seminary students: we wouldn't have to leave this "holy hill." I'm in two small groups with other seminary students (one required by a class). Sometimes, I engage in stimulating discussions about a theological topic. I read extraordinarily articulate, complex books written by classic Christian thinkers. But I wonder if you were to put a non-Christian or for that matter just an ordinary non-seminary Christian layperson into our conversations, would he/she care about anything we are saying? Or would he/she understand anything we are saying? My point is not that theology is not important, I think it is. But it seems as if we train ourselves to talk to ourselves. Not to communicate these deep truths to the world that is lost, to ordinary people who have ordinary struggles, fears and anxieties. But don't misread me, I'm not saying seminary education or theology is inherently impractical; I think when it's truly understood by mind and heart (with the help of the Holy Spirit) it is immediately practical -- let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Rachel and I would really like to build relationships with non-Christians, and we are looking for ways to do that. And hopefully I can find a way to really flesh out deep, careful theology in ordinary language and relationships, in ways that engage our deepest fears and everyday struggles.
P.S. On an unrelated note, we saw a mouse in the Chinese grocery store we go to, Super 88. It was gross and frightening. What will happen next at the Super 88?


jenn said...

did you buy anything at the store on that visit?? we went to the chinese bakery one afternoon and saw some roaches - we walked out and haven't been back. But we probably have a few more options of places to go then you guys.

Mitzi & Jerry said...

We saw a mouse at someone's home in K and it was kinda funny that no one thought it was a really big deal (even us - I guess we are getting used to living there.) However, our hostess told us about her friend from the UK who had been visiting and saw the mouse in the bedroom she was sleeping in. She REALLY freaked out and asked my friend to get rid of it. It is hard to get a mouse quickly, so my friend went in the room, shut the door and started banging around and pretended to catch the mouse! And then her UK visitor was fine.

I think it is funny that the 2 comments on this post about theology both have to do with the Super 88.