13 June 2006

Studying again!

I've been doing a correspondence course with Moore's Theological College, working towards a Certificate in Theology. Yes, I'm crazy, if that's what you're thinking! But it's something I've always wanted to do - study the foundations of my faith in a serious and systematic way. In med school I totally envied people who had time to do that, even more those enrolled in seminaries. It's been a long time coming, but finally, after completing my Masters' and settling in KL, I can do so..

In spite of everyone telling me Moore's is as conservative as it gets, I enrolled. For two main reasons: 1) I grew up in a Brethren church - nothing can be more conservative than that!, I thought.. 2) I go to a church whose pastor was a Moore's product, and conducts a small group study for this course. Interaction and having a guru's brains to pick on are crucial, I felt, for a really gratifying study.

I believe we are in the most volatile of times in history, and religion has never been so brazenly brutalised and so violently defended at the same time. It's at such a crossroad of my own life and history that I find myself wanting to know what it is that I believe. What is it that is worth living and dying for..

Two weeks ago I sat for the exam on the book of Romans. It was an exhaustive 10 weeks preparation, and the final 5 days was mind-numbing as I swept through the themes of the letter, front-to-back and back-to-front. But it was worth it. Not only have I learnt things I have never realised was there, and had many of my presuppositions challenged and corrected,.. Not only do I know now how all the parts of the letter fit together and which parts can be used to address what issues.. More than that, I feel I have gained a whole new level of confidence and conviction about what I believe and whom I have believed. And that is priceless.

Though I feel like I've only scratched the surface, getting through the term has given me confidence in the Christian message. The sort of confidence that spurs one on to action. (Although the greatest action prescribed seems to be one of in-action, FAITH.) It has also given me a far greater love for the written Word like nothing else could have. Wrestling with the Word and its implications makes me love it more, and thirst even more.But I am warned that the written Word is not an end in itself - it points to and I must find it's journey's end in God Himself.