September 26, 2003

On being a Disseminarian, Pt. 1

As I mentioned earlier, I'm participating in the inaugural seminar at The Disseminary, a project which, at the risk of sounding prophetic, I'm convinced represents the future of theological education. (Er, wait a minute...if there are no grades, why am I already resorting to flattery? Old habits die hard, I suppose.)

The seminar I'm participating in is called, "The Ethics of Interpreting the Bible." (You can follow the conversation, and even comment, here at the seminar blog.) Thus far my "participation" has been limited to reading, and lots of it. I'm not complaining, though; actually I'm quite enjoying the readings and finding them very relevant to my own theological journey.

I've already formed some observations about the experience that (I think) are interesting:
...Given the digital character of the seminar, it amuses me that I'm most comfortable printing out the readings and attacking them with a pen and highlighter rather than simply reading them off the screen. How archaic!

...The nature of this beast is that I've never met my fellow Disseminarians and am isolated from them by thousands of very physical miles. I find myself missing the obligatory "Let's all introduce ourselves" session that kicks off most "real world" educational experiences of this type.

...I'm uncharacteristically hesitant to be the first to chime in with my thoughts on what I've absorbed so far. Part of my reluctance comes from my uncertainty about where AKMA and Trevor intend the discussion to go...but some of it also arises from a sudden lack of groundedness I'm feeling that's grown out of my recent discussions with Karl Thienes, athanasius, Leighton Tebay, and Justin Baeder over at Radical Congruency. Suddenly I'm being forced to look at my own theology of the Bible from a different perspective, and it feels a little like jumping out of an airplane -- exciting and terrifying all at the same time.
Enough for now -- I do have a sermon to prepare for Sunday -- but I'll keep you informed as to how the seminar is progressing.


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