My last essay is in! That puts me two-thirds of the way through this theology degree and I have some reflections on why I would recommend it to anyone.
First: it won’t just affirm you and everything you believe, know or think you believe and know. If it does, you should change institutions. You will have to argue and articulate those things and consider why they are, and they will change and you will change.
Some of them you will lose forever – it will deconstruct belief and reassemble it again differently or not at all. It will be no kind of refuge from difficult questions of God and the harder edges of human life. It will give you more.
You will almost walk in front of a bus wondering whether the whole thing is even legit and you won’t fear that question anymore and you’ll never read the Bible in the same way again. Not as neutral history in need of theological interpretation but as theological interpretation already. And definitely not neutral. This is true for Genesis and Revelation and a hundred things in between.
Sometimes you’ll stand at an academic distance from the figure of Jesus who is the subject of philosophy, history and abstract concepts and sometimes you will meet head-on the Christ who awakens faith and hope and ‘goes before’ the disciples on the path to and through the cross and who beckons us to follow. Sometimes both at once.
You will cry. You will check if you are PMS-ing. Study will feel like worship and prayer and like a crisis.
You will also laugh and drink a lot of beer in pubs with other people whose old conceptions are dying while others are taking their place.
Anyone! I would recommend it to anyone.