Saturday, April 05, 2008

Choked by Theology

Given the limitation of time and money, I'm not able to really sit down and bury my face in my books.

Just a few months back, I was busy with history of the ancient Israel, the relation between science and theology, biblical theology, and further back, the historical Jesus. Now I'm looking into systematic/dogmatic theology. And each of these subjects keep developing. Every month, publishers keep coming out with tomes and tomes of literatures. Every month, my rented room has less and less space for books. Goodness... capitalized academia!

The best thing to do is, of course, to focus. I told myself a few times to focus only on one subject at a time. I did that. The time given to each subject is rather short. Hence, not much that one can do with it. And I wonder what am I doing with my life.

Among those (ranging from my friends to my customers) who already told me that I should continue to pursue my interest, the most recent fellow who told me so Don Hagner. Met him at TTC the other night. After the lecture, I was supposed to wait for Gordon Wong. While waiting, the principal came to talk with me and nalika. This is my first time talking to the boss of the college. A warm person, apparently.

He extolled us to engage Don Hagner, something that I didn't thought of doing. But since he insists, I approached Don and joined into the conversation which he was having with Jimmy, an Indonesian pastor. Found out that Jimmy was talking about the Jesus Seminar. I was surprised because to me, the seminar is now so irrelevant to current historical Jesus research.

Anyway, I joined in the conversation by asking Don one question. Somehow my fate-lessness with theological studies was mentioned. And somehow names and institutions and books got leaked out from my mouth. After that, Don looked at me and said that I should be doing what the rest are telling me, that I should be pursuing theological studies. Then I remind him that, as a presbyterian just as Don is, I am predestined not to be studying at this point of my life. And Don responded, "Then keep doing what you are doing now..." He even asked me to teach in my church. "WOW LAU... siaol meh?", I thought!

Ambivalence.

Dont know should I take that as an encouragement or something else. Anyway, the next day, I googled Don Hagner to learn more about him. Found out that his commentary on Matthew is an award-winner, and he has an essay on Paul and Judaism. So I emailed him to meet up for a coffee session. Since he replied that he will be free most of the afternoon, probably we'll meet up next Tuesday.

Seems like next week will be a NT week to me. Meeting Kar Yong and Don Hagner, two NT scholars, in a week. The only NT subject that I know a bit of is the historical Jesus research. Goodness... I think I'll need to read up a bit on NT so that my frequency is in-tune with theirs.

OK...got to go home to change for St. James Powerhouse now. Hope I will get enough rest later because I have security duty tomorrow morning at the church. That means no drinking for tonight.

1 comment:

Kar Yong said...

By the middle of next week, you will have an overdose of NT.... :-)

I think Don Hagner is right - I have high respect for him. Go for theological studies, if that's your interest. My passion with NT finally leads me to specialise in Pauline studies (I am outdated with the Jesus Seminar, and also, surprisingly(!) the New Persepctive of Paul..hahaha)

Look forward to seeing you tomorrow evening!