Update: Candidacies, Proposals, Teachings

I realize that it’s been a while since I’ve blogged substantially. I feel responsible to give an account of my previous few weeks, with the hope that the next few weeks will result in more bloggable thoughts and experiences.

After spring conferences, I turned my focus to a doctoral proposal. Having experienced LFS (Lamentations Fatigue Syndrome), I turned my attention to Chronicles. After several go-’rounds with Prof. Jonker, I finally put something workable together. The tentative title is: “Sit at My Right Hand: The Chronicler’s Portrait of the Tribe of Benjamin in the Social Context of Yehud.” Last week, the proposal was approved by the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch, so I am officially a PhD candidate.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting the meeting of the Eastern Pennsylvania Presbytery of the PCA, with the goal of being accepted as a candidate for ordination. It was an encouraging time of worship, fellowship, teaching–and parliamentary procedure! My candidacy was accepted, and my internship proposal approved. (It helps when your supervising Teaching Elder is the chair of the Leadership Development Committee.) I received a charge from Galatians 2:20, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

This will be quite a quarter of instruction. I am teaching Numbers and Deuteronomy in Sunday school at church; it’s been challenging to adapt class material from an academic context to a church context. But people seem to be enjoying the class as much as I am–anyway, the ones who aren’t enjoying it aren’t telling me…

I’m also preparing to teach my first graduate class, Introduction to Interpretation of the Bible, at PBU. This course presents three particular challenges. First, it is a new course for me–it’s always tough preparing new material. Second, the object of the course is theological, rather than the text of Scripture. It’s much easier for me to show up and talk about a book of the Bible, than to talk about the Bible and how we should read it. Third, it is a compressed-format course, involving three weekends of 13 teaching hours on Friday and Saturday. There’s no room for error–either sink or swim the first weekend! But I am relishing the chance to reconsider my own views on Scripture and how they have evolved since I was a student at PBU.

To round out the explanation of the title of this post: I’m currently working on another proposal regarding church ministry, which it is not appropriate to speak of yet–but hopefully the time will come when I can share it. It’s good news–I promise!

So, some nuggets on Numbers-Deuteronomy, Chronicles, Doctrine of Scripture, worship music, economics, the New Jersey Devils–or anything else–may be coming your way in the ensuing weeks. Keep checking, and thanks for your prayers.

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, transplanted to Pennsylvania...lived and taught in Eastern Europe for six years…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth.
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