I’ve always been a bit of a seeker, and have re-examined and overturned many of my previous convictions as I gain more perspective. Beginning as a scientist agnostic, I explored many subcultures, and then did a stint in Charismatic Christianity. I then left it and explored yoga and Buddhism for a time, then returned to a Reformed Post-Charismatic Evangelicalism.
I never wandered into the Emergent camp, but I was not always comfortable with Evangelicalism either. So, as I am wont to do, I began reading, and I began to take issue with certain doctrines of Evangelicalism. And then I took a big step. I enrolled in the M. Div. program at center-left Fuller Seminary.
Fuller is infamous among evangelicals for abandoning the traditional view of scriptural inerrancy, though it still holds scripture in high esteem as “the written word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.”
In my first class at Fuller, Christian Ethics, my big aha moment was discovering the Christian Center, which essentially incorporates the best priorities of both Evangelical right and Left, and is well represented in the NEA’s For the Health of the Nation, as well as David Gushee’s The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center.
Now in my second class, New Testament 2 (Romans to Revelation), I have had my second aha moment (it seems to happen about midway through the 10 week class). I have discovered, albeit late to the party, the view known as the The New Perspective on Paul. And it is not trivial.
I intend to do a series of posts on it, but here’s the real comment I want to make.
I decided not to enroll in a traditional Reformed seminary in order to broaden my perspectives. I chose Fuller because, among other things, I too had decided that plenary inerrancy was illogical, and not taught in Scripture.
So this is the risk of attending a more ‘liberal’ (but not liberal) seminary – my perspective is being seriously challenged again! And it is irritating. But hey, I am getting exactly what I had hoped for. So there you go.