The Life Story I Tell My Students

As I’ve indicated, my last class of the semester in my Introduction to the New Testament course is optional.  In it I explain to anyone who wants to come what I really believe and why I believe it.  The way I do it is by telling my life story, from childhood till today.  That takes about twenty or twenty-five minutes, and then I answer any questions for the rest of the time.  The questions could go on for hours – ...

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Learning to Teach at Moody

I will not be continuing this autobiographical thread (thread within a thread) for much longer (you may be glad to know), but I do want to get to the ultimate point (for the thread outside the thread), which is why by a couple of quirks/flukes I ended up better equipped to write books for general audiences than most of my colleagues in my PhD program.   The first has to do with what happened with me back in my days at ...

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Moody Bible Boot Camp

Back to my narrative about becoming trained in the Bible (as a prelude to what I started talking about — why my later technical training actually made me better prepared for writing books for general audiences than my peers who were not at all interested in the technical side of things).  So, I went to Moody Bible Institute – and took that entrance Bible exam – when I was all of seventeen years old.   And it was during my first ...

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Beginning My Study of the Bible

This thread is becoming a tapestry.  Its ultimate goal is to explain why, unlike most scholars, I ended up being able to write trade books and not only scholarly books.  I’m taking a rather circuitous route to getting there (to change the metaphor).   In my last post I discussed how and why I first became interested in the Bible, back as a fifteen year-old born again Christian.

At that point I became convinced that only Bible-believing Christians (who were, of course, ...

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My Resentment at Moody Bible Institute

OK, I want/need to bring this current thread – or rather, this current tangle of threads – to a close.   I started out talking about what, looking back, I thought favorably about my three years at Moody Bible Institute, and what I felt resentful about it.   This got me on to other things, which I was happy to do, since ten days ago I was at the end of the semester and the end of a book project (which happened ...

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The Threat of Judgment

Since I’ve been making these posts about my experience at Moody Bible Institute, I’ve been getting some reactions from former classmates there.  Some of these are in a public forum I’m on.  Others have been private communications.    A few of these have been kind and heartening.  Others … not.

Among the latter, some have told me that they pity me because of where I will end up on the day of judgment.   Others have suggested that I changed my theological beliefs ...

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Education at Moody

In thinking back on my days at Moody Bible Institute, part of my now-ambivalence has to do with not just what I learned (or more important, what I did not) but also about how the thinking process itself was handled.   That has both a downside and an upside, and I would like to say something about both.

I should start by reiterating that I am simply talking about my own personal experience.  Everyone’s experience would have been, and was, different.  Still, ...

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My Moody Experience

Here I continue with my reflections on my fundamentalist past.

For me, as an inordinately gung-ho evangelical Christian teenager, passionate about learning about the Bible, Moody Bible Institute was the ideal learning environment.   More than just about anyone I knew, even there, I thrived on the academic side of the school.  Moody at that time did not give a bachelor’s degree.  It was a three-year diploma.   For a degree, one needed to transfer credits and go to another college.  That’s what ...

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My Fundamentalist Beginning

Lately I’ve been thinking a good deal about my completely ambivalent relationship to my past, in particular in relation to my education at Moody Bible Institute.   In part my thinking has been set off by an email I received from my roommate and best friend at the time, and for years, who was the best man in my wedding and confidante and most closest male friend I had ever had.   He has remained a committed evangelical Christian all these years ...

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