Friday, July 10, 2009

Why am I in a theological college?

It seems that everyone have been asking me this question. My Christian and non-Christian friends alike are curious why am I spending three years studying theology.

Actually I myself not too sure about that. I'll usually tell my Christian friends that I have passion in the subject, major especially to understand the relation between sciences and theology.

And when I told that to our theology professor Roland Chia, who is also my Family Group mentor (Family Group is some "spiritual formation" exercise), he asked for clarification, "So you are here to learn apologetic?"

I said, "Yes", although I know that I am not.

And when I started to do a bit of reading just to get myself ready for this Sunday's field education, the book helped me to understand better why am I at a theological college. (Field education is an exercise which required theological students to visit various different churches, and submit a paper reflecting on each churches along the semester.)

Here's how the book helps,
"As humans, we marvel at and ponder our existence, our behavior, and the world around us."
(Jack David Eller, Introducing Anthropology of Religion, p.1)
I am at a theological college to ponder over my existence, behavior, and the world around me. I don't deny that I hope that through these pondering, somehow I will be granted opportunity to share them to others. But jumping from that hope to a vocation, say apologist, is quite a huge quantum leap.

Vocation has to be flexible and ever-changing given the changing needs of each different situation and context. Jurgen Moltmann mentioned this in one of his lecture. And I'm still sticking with it.

And by the way, field education does not required reading Eller's book. I got the book about two years ago but did not had the urge to read it. I'm reading it now because I believe it will help me to understand liturgy anthropologically.

I ponder.


Sivin Kit said...

Oh dear, I can't believe Roland asked that question : "So you are here to learn apologetic?"

relation between sciences and theology is part and parcel of the theological learning right, not necessarily merely about apologetics.


Okay Okay .. reading your entries reminds me of my first week in seminary in Malaysia.

I wasn't that informed of theology like you are. I was a full blown Charismatic man!

Perng Shyang said...

All the best in your theological studies! Enjoy it!

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Sivin, I think I might had give your the wrong impression in my post...I'm sorry if so.

After telling Roland that I want to learn more on the relation between science and theology, I also told him that one of the reason is because I have met many people who say that science has falsify religion.

May be it is because of that, he asked whether am I here for apologetic training.

Sorry. Now I'm feeling guilty thinking that I might have possibly led you to misunderstand Roland.

Sze Zeng said...

Perng Shyang, thank you! :)

Sivin Kit said...

No worries Sze Zeng, context matters and I may have missed the nuances.

For all it's worth, looks like you are having a great time. Keep up the postings. It will keep TTC on her toes!