Wednesday, May 26, 2010

So, What Did You Learn in Seminary?

Mostly, that I know ~ nothing.

But I think that this was my favorite, and I hope that I am doing Famous Matthew Scholar justice when I quote his ruminations on what we do and don't know about Jesus, after 2000 years of Scriptural writing, commentary, the Jesus Seminar, and whatever:

"I was up in Maine, sitting on the beach one day and looking at a huge barnacle-encrusted rock.  And I thought, you know ~ I can't see a single portion of the original rock; it is completely covered in layer upon layer of barnacles.  But if you asked me, I could tell you the general shape of the rock."

                                                                                                 ~ Dr. Dale Allison

He also pointed out in each of the classes I took from him that "Jesus is and does what he says, more consistently and authentically than anyone else.  Take a look at the Sermon on the Mount."

I might have learned a few other things.  But I think that those are the big ones.


  1. I always say that I didn't learn stuff in seminary, per se. I learned to use my resources.

    I love that's not just encrusted with barnacles, that's also the rock in whose tidepools some of my mother's ashes were scattered.

  2. Then some of your mother and some of my son have been carried in the same tides.

  3. So lovely. We were there last I wonder if you were scattering your precious ashes at the same time. In any case, it's sacred space.
    Congratulations - I hope you have plenty of time to sit with the "not-knowing" and rest, now.

  4. When seminary was over for me I found that I wished I could do it all over again - that I had probably only absorbed the most basic of information but I wanted to go from there, deeper. Thankfully congregational life has afforded me that opportunity. (and then some)...

  5. Picture and story go together nicely. I especially like your comment about your son in the tides with Teri's mother.

  6. :-)
    may they play, swirl, and become pearls together.

  7. tonight... seems like I am hoping to be consistent at times and some what authentic