Since the time of Constantine, baptism has often been one of the strands holding together the knot of national identity and Christendom.
In other situations, the fear that a child, tainted by Original Sin, might end up in hell for all eternity if she were to die before being baptized has led parents, grandparents and other guardians to seek out baptism in churches as though it might provide some sort of magical fire insurance.
Today I returned home from the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion which was held in Montreal, Canada.
This has been a weekend of firsts: my first trip to the AAR, my first trip to Canada, and my first presentation at a national conference. All in all it was a lot of fun…
In the third installment of factors leading to seminary, it seems good to talk about the denominations along the road and the gifts that each one gave me for the journey.
But as I started writing this entry, I realized it was waaaaaay too long. So I’ve divided it into two parts. The second half will come soon…
Another reason I eventually chose to attend seminary can be traced back to the Documentary Hypothesis. I didn’t know back then that that is what it is called. But the popular work of Richard Elliott Friedman changed my world in 2001.
I had only been back in church for about a year and was a member of a congregation that highly valued Bible study and daily Bible reading as a form of personal devotion. I was reading whatever I could get my hands on. I picked up a copy of Who Wrote the Bible? and, as it turned out, I got more than I had bargained for.
Now that I’ve had a break from school for a couple of months, I think it’s time to reflect on some of the things that nudged me toward the seminary in the first place. Atonement immediately springs to mind.
Last week the APA released a new report regarding sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), more commonly known by some of its more common forms such as conversion therapy, reparative therapy or ex-gay ministries.
The Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation looks at a variety of published research findings from the 60’s through 2007 in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness and/or potential harm caused by the programs in question.