drowning in truth
(non-Christian readers, this may be incredibly boring to you- i’m sorry)
This may be the best or the worst spring break ever, depending on how you look at it. Monday I got my top wisdom teeth out and yesterday I returned to the doctor for yet another appointment to try to get my asthma under control (not being able to breathe is no fun)… and now both my mouth and lungs are feeling much better but my mind hurts. No it’s not a headache, but such a tangled swarm of thoughts and ideas that I cannot sort out…
This spring break my goal was to read a few books for my senior capstone project. I’m doing a research paper on the emerging church and doing a seminar on what youth ministry may look like in the emerging church (if I can manage to pull this all off…). I wanted to read three books this break but that may not happen (thanks to feeling sick the whole beginning of the week). But I am reading a lot and my mind is simply overloaded with ideas…
I’m trying to figure out this seminary -vs- working -vs- working and going to seminary decision. What should I do next with my life? I spent hours yesterday looking for part-time youth ministry jobs in the LA area and felt extremely discouraged. I didn’t really want to work at any of the churches. They were either all about “high-octane-energy-outreach” or babysitting the church kids and being an amazing communicator. yuck… And then I found a youth ministry job that actually made my heart jump with excitement- only it’s on the north-side of Chicago, not in LA. hmm… what does that mean?
But today that seminary -vs.- working decision went a little deeper than the practical issues of moving, money, timing, Mike, etc. What is the purpose of seminary? How important is it that I go now? I wanted to go to seminary right after undergraduate because I have not had a lot of time to take biblical studies classes or theology classes and I decided that I needed to know a lot more truth for myself before I could be a witness to truth to others.
But today, as I read, I had to ask myself, how important is [propositional] truth? How important is correct doctrine? How important is systematic theology? I know that Truth is extremely important (Truth being the person and work of Jesus), but how important is truth (with the little “t”)? How important is a seminary education to being a minister? Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God and love people, and he wanted his followers to know the truth of who he was, but how much did Jesus stress that his followers have correct doctrine?
My mind is drowning in truth today because there seems to be so many competing truths in Christianity that divide us while there is only one Truth. And if I know the Truth, and I am trying to love God and love people, and I am trying to know who Christ truly is, how important is correct doctrine? And if it is essential, what is a Christian supposed to do when so many truths seem to be competing?
As a Christian community we seem to be in the middle of a giant conversation trying to figure out all these truths. I love these conversations in my own life- discussing theology, alternative views, and surrounding myself with people who think differently than I do- but can truth ever really be found? (truth, not Truth) I believe that a lot of truth is only for God to know and will remain a mystery to us here on earth… so should I ever claim to know those mysterious truths or simply join in the conversation about them? How much energy should we pour into this conversation about truth? Or should we simply focus on loving the Truth and following him?
I would love your thoughts on truth, on having correct doctrine, and on going to seminary.