Reflections from a Seminary Student – Year 2 :: Embrace the Intellect

Everyone has specific ways they process things. Everyone was created with a wiring to be creative, intellectual or something else. At times these things are easy to discover; sometimes you have more then one. At times you live in the tension balancing them like spinning plates on your fingers. It takes effort and skill.

I’ve always dubbed myself as a practical man. Don’t call me a scholar, don’t call me an academic, the last thing I am is an intellectual. I liked to say I was someone who saw what others don’t – someone who has vision and passion, but intellectual? I want to take things to their smallest level so people can practically understand it for their daily lives.

Maybe it’s my background in sports. Maybe it’s my aversion to authority. Maybe it’s my pride. Maybe it’s because as a child I lived in a world where school was humdrum and all I wanted to do was be active and play. Maybe it’s because as a child there was no field of study which fascinated me – other then sports. Maybe I hid it for years because I knew deep down how God was shaping me and I actually didn’t want to follow that road.

Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve always known I can write – even though I desperately tried to hide it.

I’ve known I have a brain which can think and analyze well. I’ve known certain gifts I possessed, but I always ran from my intellect. I don’t know why.

Over the course of the last calendar year the academic year the stirring of my soul and my mind has been a constant reminder to embrace my intellect. After all, if I didn’t want to be stretched in this way, why did I ever sign up for graduate school? If I didn’t want to walk this road, why did I study religion at California State University, Fullerton and somehow make it on Golden Key Honor Society? I never imagined getting a Bachelor’s degree, now I’m in grad school.

Sure it’s seminary, but I believe there is power in studying the Bible and my faith from an academic perspective. It provides me with tools to break free from misguided notions of youth, upbringing and culture. It allows with the ability to get back to the basics and help equip people to be full disciples of Jesus, on mission, for their communities. So I study and I learn. It was this process at Talbot School of Theology which made me realize I had to transfer to a graduate school which would test me academically and intellectually while letting my soul be shaped from people who do not always think like me.

So I felt God leading me to Fuller Theological Seminary – the largest seminary in the world. It has thinkers and theologians all over the spectrum. Some I’ll agree with a lot. Others I’ll disagree with. But in the end, it will allow my thoughts, opinions and values to be shaped even more as I learn to walk with men and women who share the core of our beliefs (Jesus, cross, grace) but differ in methodology, and the minor beliefs (i.e. women in ministry).

It’s going to be harder and a lot more work, but I need to embrace the intellect.




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