May 23, 2013

Lesson 74: What I Learned In Seminary

A couple weeks ago a friend and I were excitedly talking about graduation, reflecting a bit on what we had finished, and considering what we were taking away from the whole seminary sha-bang. He, being the awesome future-campus-minister that he is, gave the thoroughly sanctified seminary answer which is to say, "I learned just how much I don't know."

I promptly replied, "Booooo!" (As you can see, I am not as sanctified as said friend.)

Y'all, let's hope that after 3 1/2 years, I learned slightly more than the fact that I don't know everything. In order to prove to myself and my friend just how much I've learned, I decided to compile a list for you.

This my friends is a free crash course in seminary!

- I learned that just one class can lead to four classes, which leads to five more, which eventually leads to a degree.
- I learned that as simple as that first sentence sounds, there is still a whole lot of work involved. 
- I learned about eschatalogy, that we are living in the "last days", that we are currently in the "already, but not yet" and that this place in history explains a lot.
- I learned that Genesis 3:15 is the first gospel, the proto-euangelion, and that right from the beginning, the Lord had a plan to redeem his people.
- I learned covenant theology, progressive revelation, and the depth of the revelation and fulfillment that came in Christ.
- I learned that a baby can nap in all sorts of places (ex. the bookstore supply room).
- I learned how to love women, how to be a friend, how to have gospel-centered conversations, and how to carry people's burdens.
- I learned presuppositional apologetics, the transcendental argument.- Thank you, Dr. Anderson. Please ignore the next sentence.
- I learned way too much about non-Christian philosophers, and more importantly, I learned how grateful I am for the faithful men who have stood for truth over the years.
- I learned the cheesiest evangelistic line ever. (On an elevator say, "Are you going up? I mean the whole way up?")
- I learned time management. 
- I learned that Jonathan Edwards took time out of every day to spend with his wife.
- I learned to trust my husband. Similarly, I learned to trust my husband's call.
- I learned about the early church martyrs and was amazed by their demonstrations of faith. 
- I learned to exposit Scripture and teach the Bible in a much more systematic way.
- I learned about the holiness of God. - Thank you, Dr. Kelly.
- I learned to be a parent. (I'm still learning this.)
- I learned Greek. - Thank you, Dr. Cara.
- I learned that Cyril and Methodius created a very important language.
- I learned about Martin Luther's "Here I Stand" speech. 
- I learned to think, like really make my brain strain and hurt, think. - Thank you, Dr. Anderson again.
- I learned how to have fun in the kitchen with girls, preparing for an event. - Thank you, Tari!
- I learned about typology. Seriously, WHO KNEW?!?!
- I learned the categories of prophet, priest, and king.
- I learned at least 9 questions and answers of the Westminster Shorter Catechism ... and then promptly forgot them.
- I learned that such a thing as grade idolatry exists. It is not pretty. - Thank you, Steven Chitty (not for suffering from it, but for exposing it.)
- I learned grace and forgiveness.
- I learned about Biblical Counseling ... and that it is amazing!
- I learned what it felt like to study for an exam in which I actually cared about the content. 
- I learned that the Proverbs 31 woman is an ideal, not an actual person. Phew!
- I learned about the Great Awakening, Wesley and Whitefield, and how even Benjamin Franklin was impressed by these guys. 
- I learned to appreciate the humor of Hebrew prose, especially in Judges.
- I learned that commentaries exist ... and that they are helpful.
- I learned about the recapitulation of Revelation, and my mind was blown. - Thank you, Dr. Kruger.
- I learned to cry more. - Thank you, Holley Gregory.
- I learned that there is much more to the Puritans than Hester Prynne and "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."
- I learned how important genre is in interpreting Scripture.
- I learned the power of consistent prayer before the Lord, especially in the darkest of circumstances. - Thank you, Lindsay Franks. 
- I learned about Adoniram Judson, the first American missionary. 
- I learned about the Church, the body of Christ, and how dearly the Lord regards her.
- I learned more fully the heart of the 10 commandments.
- I learned that all those dry bones passages with Joseph and Ezekiel are connected and important.
- I learned about gnosticism, pelagianism, arianism, modalism, adoptionism, and liberalism ... and that they are no good.
- I learned that worship should be both transcendent and immanent. 
- I learned to sit under the preaching of newbies ... and have my heart changed.
- I learned how to be married and how to make friends as a married couple. 
- I learned to mourn with a community of Christians, as one of our own lost a sweet baby to the Lord.
- I learned a ton of beautiful hymns.
- I learned about controversies in my denomination: genre of Gen 1-2, federal vision, Sonship, and I hopefully learned how to winsomely engage with brothers and sisters who come down differently than I. 
- I learned the gospel ... again and again and again.
- Y'all, I learned about the Lord, and as I learned about Him, I grew to love Him more. I became more steadfast in my convictions, more joyful in my faith, and more hopeful for our future.

This really is just a snapshot. I could go on and on. What a wonderful, enriching time this has been! I am so grateful!

The Lord is so good!

Lesson Learned: Even if this list was exhaustive concerning my knowledge attained, I am still humbled by just how much I still don't know. Maybe we were both right?


  1. Wow.. you made me think I need seminary. But really, how amazing that you've learned so much about our faith, the Word, and how to communicate it to others. Jealous. (in a righteous sort of way, I think?)

  2. I'm still learning to trust my husband and his calling! I think if we're honest...we've always got more to learn. :)

  3. Katherine,
    I agree that you are both right. Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." I think your friend is expressing a healthy fear of a truly incomprehensible God and you are expressing a healthy joy at finding intimacy from the One who really is unsearchable. It is a mind staggering proposition when carefully contemplated. I am excited for both of you as you continue learning how to love and serve Him.

  4. I'm so glad I made you cry more ;) Love you!


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