πετροστελος

November 3, 2009

Advice from a father to a divinity student

Filed under: poetry,theological education — Petros @ 6:37 am
Tags: ,

My son, I see you’ve finished in part
Your studies of the divine art.
It is called theological,
But don’t see it as magical.

My son, I heard it’s not easy.
Your faith will be queasy.
But it’s the Lord who will lead you,
When it’s Him, you’ll make it through.

My son, disregard the liberals,
Don’t consider them heros.
They will destroy the subject of dogmatics
And deform the science of hermeneutics.

My son, make sure to guard your heart.
Search the Bible from the start,
So that theology of a human bent,
Does not mask the divine scent.

My son, a servant of mighty degree
Doesn’t really have need of a PhD.
You should have a holy walk.
About which all the others talk.

My son, work off your ass,
And pay attention in class.
Your parish will be more demanding,
Its growth won’t be subsiding.

My son, once you’ve graduated,
And your brains have been sated,
Sort out what is now in your head,
And the church will be in good stead.

By Moussa Bongoyok, Translation by P. W. Dunn (November 3, 2009) from CONSEIL D’UN PÈRE À UN FUTUR THEOLOGIEN

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April 3, 2009

I was a soldier / Je fut militaire

A few years ago I was teaching a course in church history in Bangui, and one of my students came to see me.  He wanted to explain why he was studying at the seminary.  He said to me in French, “Je fut militaire” (I was a soldier).

I remember this because of the simple past tense, which is literary and sounds funny in spoken French.  He had been a rebel soldier and had spent years in the forest of Congo on the opposite side of the Ubangi river from Bangui; as a rebel, he could not return to Bangui until President Ange-Félix Patassé was deposed by François Bozizé, the current President.  While in the forest, he said, they had little to eat and nothing to do. They started reading the Bible together and praying, and so the soldiers in this new church elected my student to come to seminary to become an army chaplain and to lead them as a pastor.
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February 25, 2009

Degree Mills

A degree mill is a school which grants higher degrees on below par educational standards.  As a policy, degree mills are harmful because they allow a person to claim academic credentials while they have not really taken the time to study.  This is a type of dishonesty on the part of the school, for receiving money from a student to provide a degree, and a fraud on the part of the student who receives the degree.  It is disturbing to me the number of Christian degree mills that exist.  Often a degree mill can be spotted by the fact that their “doctors” have their diplomas from their own institution or from another degree mill.  Once I found a Christian degree mill whose president had a PhD from another degree mill whose president had a degree from the first degree mill.

My review of Grant Jeffrey’s book, The Signature of God, placed considerable doubt on his scholarship.  Now I learn from his website that he has a PhD from Louisana Baptist University.  Google search for “Louisana Bapitist University” and “degree mill”  yields this result.  I leave it for you to judge.  Any comments?

February 13, 2009

Journey to the center of Africa: First impressions

Journey to the center of Africa: First impressions (1999) by Peter W. Dunn

An account of my first teaching expedition to Central African Republic and my trip to the forest to visit the pygmies.

January 20, 2009

Education in Early Judaism

Education in Early Judaism: A Historical Model for Theological Education Overseas (pdf)

In 1991, I presented a version of this paper to a seminar course at Regent College on Theological Education Overseas held by Profs. Ward Gasque and Paul Stevens.  In a recent conversation with Richard Houmegni, registrar at Bangui Evangelical School of Theology, it became apparent that the non-western model offered by education in early Judaism could be helpful for addressing the problems facing youth in Africa.

NB: I became discouraged from offering this paper for the Carl Armerding festschrift because I was utterly depended on secondary sources; so I wish to offer my gratitude for the authors of the bibliography of the paper.

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