Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And A Hush Fell Over The Crowd

Today was my first day of real seminary classwork. I have been out of school for four years now, taking just a few classes over two summers through Crusade, but this promises to be different.

My only class for the day was Biblical Theology & Interpretation. To put it in as simple terms possible for both my own understanding and yours, this discipline is concerned with the storyline of Scripture, with one defining characteristic being that it's temporal, or subject to time. I will probably share more in the future, but just think of it in terms of the question, "How do particular themes in Scripture develop in light of the different authors involved through Genesis to Revelation?"

That paragraph was for those of you interested in what I am actually studying. The rest is just a fun story from the class itself. My professor for the course is none other than the Dr. D.A. Carson. Many of you may not know who he is, but I can tell you that he has most likely influenced your understanding of Scripture. He is regarded as one of the eminent scholars on the New Testament and is known widely around the world. He has written mad crazy books (around 45) and speaks at like 200 conferences a year (that is a rough, hyperbolic estimate). His name is venerated here at Trinity and is one of the main draws. Just Google him or check out this funny website about him to get a small taste.

Now I am going to be honest, I have only read a few pages of one of his books, but know enough about him to know he's "kinda a big deal." People know him.

Anyway, we were a pretty social class of about 100-150 this morning at 8:15. Everybody busted out their laptops of various shapes and sizes; I had my trusty yellow notepad in my Gator leather folder. I was a bit intimated and may bring my Mac to class next time.

I was having conversation with a new guy I met named Josh, while hearing all the clamoring of other voices around me. Then I see him come in. We all see him come in. Dressed in a sweet short sleeved dress shirt with tiny red and white checkers coupled with a red tie, theDr. D.A. Carson innocently walks down the stairs to the lecture area carrying a box of papers and a faint smile.

Literally the entire room got quite. People cut their words off mid-sentence. Everyone watched his movements as if we were on a safari seeing a lion for the first time, not wanting to blink.

Was this the guy who writes all the books?
Was this the guy at all the conferences?
In all the videos online?
He's real?

It was quite funny to me. Hilarious in fact. I had a hard time containing a spontaneous eruption of laughter. "Is everyone serious?" was my initial thought. I then turned to Becca on my right and said, "this is funny." Those were the only words uttered out of my mouth in the deafening silence. Other than that I was a sheep like everyone else.

Truth is, Dr. Carson does deserve a lot of respect. His contribution to evangelical Christianity is something I am only beginning to understand, but I do know without much effort that I am indebted to him and what Christ has done in his life both in terms of saving him by His grace and also gifting him with the talents he has to serve the multitudes. I am grateful that Dr. Carson has responded faithfully to God's call on his life and look forward to sitting under his teaching as much as possible.

By His Grace.

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