November 30th, 2005



I finished Jaroslav Pelikan's "Whose Bible is It?" yesterday. The book is a short history of the Bible, written for a popular audience. What was perhaps the most interesting aspect for me was the in-depth chapters on how the Jews have viewed the Scriptures or "Tanakh" through the ages. From the time when the Torah was written to the modern day practice of Judaism, there has been an expansively rich history of interpretation, exegesis and tradition.
An ancient and weathered group of people read the books of what Christians consider to be the "Old" Testament, completely apart from Christ. What is the Old Testament apart from Christ? For those who practice Judaism it is everything.

I wish that I could find out how to use italics in these posts. No more "quotated" titles, no more capital letters for emphasis. Help me, if you can.

Thought Organization

I've put in an application to attend the University of Minnesota next year. I struggle with what I want to study. I do not have a career in mind; I have interests. I know that railing against the career-centeredness of the higher education system is the age-old script of the lazy man and the rapscallion (both of which I very well may be). But though my defiance is certainly not less than defensiveness, it is also much more than defensiveness. I do want to work and to enjoy my work. I do want to provide things for a family and for myself.

Sometimes I believe that going to work on a farm or as a carpenter would be such a blessing. I would work with my hands. I would put energy and effort into craftsmanship and quality. But I worry that this may bore me. All the things that fascinate me are theological and political and philosophical and so very intangible.

Perhaps all that means is that I view basic “close-to-the-earth” work as something that it is not: mainly a type of life that secludes and ignores the vast and wonderful things of God and Man. The more I consider this possibility, the more it seems terribly flawed.

Wisdom is revealed to those of humble and contrite hearts and the thing most likely to bring up the pride that festers inside of me is a theological/philosophical debate (a debate in which I usually add large, incomprehensible words that were stolen from a book I’ve read).

All that being said, I am still planning on going to school and studying some high-minded something or another. My original plan to study political science and philosophy has been scrapped. How dull. I mean, honestly. I love these things but they’ll do nothing but rot my brain.

So I’ve moved on and I am considering global studies with a specific focus on the region of Eastern Europe, or a program in environmental policy (biology, politics, conservation, etc).

I guess that the beautiful thing in all of this is that it is ultimately insignificant.

Kind of.

And again these questions occur to me: Can I not study some great and vast idea and then go to work on a small, seemingly insignificant idea? Can a farmer not have a Masters in theology?

But would not that degree in theology only put a name and classification to the truths that the work of farming would have already instilled in my heart and my mind? Is there anything else to learn apart from, “Come, take up your cross and follow me.”?

I'll be a college man soon. Put on your suspenders and kiss your mother for me.