Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lament for Presbyterians

It came to me today why I feel a bit like a fish out of water with my own denomination. I don't want to make too much of this, but I realized that there have been no professors in PC (U.S.A.) seminaries that are also Fellows in Westar.

I may be wrong. I may have missed someone. If I have I will apologize and correct my error, but I know of no teachers of Early Christian Origins, New Testament, Philosophy, or Theology who both are connected with a Presbyterian seminary and Westar. It is true that most Fellows involved with Westar do not teach at a seminary but some do. But none is from a PCUSA seminary.

It is not a criticism. It isn't for me to tell professors what to do. (Although I do think that they and their students--future ministers--would gain a great deal by participating in the most unique theological scholarly enterprise in the U.S.) It does bring awareness of the huge gap between PCUSA scholars and me.

More than anything (including seminary), it has been the work of Westar that has helped my ministry. Their honesty, courage, collegiality, and commitment to informing non-professionals about higher criticism have shaped the way I preach and teach.

On this 25th anniversary, I salute the late Bob Funk and the Fellows and Associates of the Jesus Seminar.