Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A New Year

I've been trying to figure out what to do with this blog through this next year, and I'm not exactly sure.  I've enjoyed keeping it.  It's been a good place for me to write down my thoughts, but I know myself and I know that if I don't have a purpose in mind I probably won't do much blogging.  So...what should the purpose of this blog be.

I have a few ideas.  One, I need to go back and read the Old Testament books I skipped while moving to Oklahoma.  That will take me about a month.  I also have a number of books I've been meaning to read, but haven't disciplined myself to actually start.  If I blog about what I read, it might provide me with the motivation to actually follow through on my intentions.  My last idea, and I really don't know if anything will come of this, is related to going back to school.  I fully intend to begin a Doctorate in Ministry program.  I was hoping to possibly begin this summer, but my wife and I just learned that we are expecting our second child, and its due date is right when I would begin course work.  That means I'll have to postpone my possible work toward a D. Min. until the summer of 2013.  I thought I might get a head start on some reading, however, and if I do, I could keep my thoughts on this blog as well.  For now I think I'll stick with going back and reading Daniel through Malachi, and starting in on my own reading list.

That having been said...the book of Daniel.  Today I read the first three chapters.  As you can find out from a quick google search, there is some debate over whether the book of Daniel is apocalyptic literature or prophetic literature.  That debate is tied closely to the debate over the authorship and date of the book of Daniel.  More conservative scholars typically argue that Daniel wrote the book during the 6th century.  Less conservative  scholars date the book during the intertestamental period, possibly as late as the Maccabean Revolt during the 2nd century BC, and argue for an anonymous author or authors.  In this specific instance, I find myself leaning toward a less conservative stance because of how strongly the book reflects apocalyptic literature, a  very intertestamental form of literature.  However, for me, this makes the book no less canonical.  It's been quite a while since I read through Daniel.  I look forward to my memory being refreshed.

On another note, I also began reading Dr. Richard Beck's new book Unclean.  I have a high regard for Dr. Beck.  He is the Department Chair of Psychology at Abilene Christian University, my alma mater.  My sister was one of his graduate assistants while earning her masters in psychology.  I highly recommend his blog, experimentaltheology.blogspot.com, which is always full of thought provoking posts.  Anyhow, his recent book is a discussion of how disgust psychology influences the theology and mission of the Church.  I'm only a few chapters into it so far, but I have enjoyed it.  Expect a few posts on his book over the next few weeks.

I'll be up in Indiana next week visiting family, so I doubt I'll do any blogging there, but I look forward to getting back into the swing of things upon my return.  I hope you all hade a great Christmas and New Years, and I look forward to interacting with your comments in 2012.

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