From The Storyteller
March 26, 2018, Choices
With a shake of his head, his mouth drops open and his eyes look like two 8” paper plates. Quickly his mouth slams into a frown and the eyes harden into a glare. The man sitting next to me is a self-declared, hard core, God’s word Literalist. He is having a bad day. He has just realized that our first year, Old Testament class at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology will include studying the many different ways Christians can interpret the sacred text.
Later, in the student lounge drinking coffee, he declares, “I can’t believe what I heard today. I actually found myself praying that God would not allow these thoughts to enter my brain.” Well, Perkins is definitely not a haven for Literalist, and on that day my friend discovered he had made a poor choice in school selection.
He was now faced with another choice - the proverbial fork in the road. With tuition paid, books purchased, and the semester underway, he was stuck. His choices were limited to withdrawing from school (to prevent ideas from entering his brain) and thus kissing those dollars good by or stick it out, finish the term, and then transfer. As much as he disliked what he was hearing - he chose to stay.
As in all things when a semester ends, final examines happen. The Old Testament final was straight forward. It covered the many different approaches we’d studied and required us to demonstrate our understanding using examples. When the grades were posted, I heard that God not only listened to my friend’s prayer, He granted it. My friend was able to clearly demonstrate that absolutely none of those various way of viewing bible passages had entered his brain.
Moral – Sometimes it is better to take your losses and go home.