Monday, March 6, 2006
Briercrest Trip #3
So this time, I am staying at Sundbo Place (a residence/dormitory for mature men – ironically). It smells like old stinky cheese – I was in flash back mode for the first 30 minutes so…
I quickly ground up some coffee and made a pot and voila things are smelling better already…
Today’s class was an interesting one since the first part of the morning was a lot of review from the course I took in fall but there were a few interesting highlights along the way today.
Our Prof: Marv Penner outlined some presuppositions that he was going to use throughout the course. It was interesting what showed up because undoubtedly he has chosen these over and against some others that might have competed for his attention.
Human development continues throughout the lifespan
This one I would have thought was a no brainer. Obviously people continue to develop though out their lives.
Human development is cumulative. Again to say that our development builds off of itself seems a little redundant but he said there are other ways of seeing yourself. I suppose one could isolate certain developmental phases and consider them closed or no applicable to the rest of life. That seems so counter intuitive. What is interesting is that when you look at the type of redemption that Christianity has ‘sold’ over the last number of years, I can see how we have compartmentalized how it all works. We’ve said that our sin is wiped out after conversion. We say that Christ removes our sin when we confess, repent. Forgiven and forgotten. That would seem to be where we have dropped on the theology side of things. But is it really that way? Can we ever really transcend our past to the extent that it no longer affects us? If we can not humanly walk away from our past with all its complexities is teaching the kind of theology that we do merely a form of escapism. We never actually have to deal with our past. That’s why we can take kids to Mexico or wherever and a few years down the road they really are not that different – they don’t have to be.
Regarding Keeping up with culture. If you go to my brothers blog you will notice that he has given up trying to keep up with the changes in culture. (Who can blame him?) what Marv said was interesting. He said he was glad that people like Walt Mueller as willing to watch culture so that people like him didn’t have to. That’s all fine and good as far as it goes. The question that pops into my head how do you know who to trust? We all get our culture from different sources. Gil checks Alqueda and Ryan reads Theologist Weekly and Mark finds stuff out from the kids themselves and Paul… …well Paul has not quite found anything printed in Russian yet so… But do you know what I mean. In this agenda driven world who do you trust to get your source material from. And on top of that you put our natural tendency to just read the stuff that we agree with, NOW what are you left with. I think it’s pretty easy to just stick our heads in the sand thinking all the while that that is precisely what we are not doing. I got no answers here just makes me a lot more humble. Its like when I heard that somebody was reporting that students were going home at lunch time and having group sex all the time. The thing is that if that stuff was really happening kids would know about it and would be talking about it – somebody would be bragging about it. And either mark or I would have heard about it by now. But obviously some got some information somewhere to indicate that this was going on and because of their agenda of fear decided to basically spread lies. Stupid. Have ther ever been kids who go home at lunch to have group sex at Kate Andrews? Well it very well possibly could be. But to say that this is in any way typical or the growing trend among young people is just not true. Maybe some day it will be but for now…
And to me that just shows that we choose to believe whatever we want to about culture and are not very open to have our opinions changed.
Marv also talked about adult reaction to adolescents
In that discussion he said, “they are gonna rebel against something but you as a parent can decide what that something is gonna be! So let them rebel!”
He said when he sees some of the body modification e-zines it’s like a giant middle finger to adults
He said most parents are terrified of screwing up their kids with bad parenting. His advice get over it. You’re gonna screw up – you’re human. Fear is crappy motivator. So maybe we gotta get over our preoccupation with messing up our kids and realize that the most important thing is to have a good relationship with them.
We also spent some time talking about the way teens are perpetually abandoned. Given over to institutions to care for, fix, entertain, teach, and build faith. Expectations are high because parents who are detached from their kids need to be reassured that their ambivalence is not hurting their kid. So if their kid starts malfunctioning they come back to the institution to “get their money back.” I know that is what I have felt often in the church. And I am sure Bonny and Jessica and Gil find that in their work as teachers. It is unfair that parents have dropped their kids off and then expect us to pick up the pieces. It’s like they’ve forgotten that when you drop something it usually gets dented or broken.
That’s about it for day one.
Char might be interested to note that I ran Dale Dirksen and asked him if he would read past page 15. he said he would but that it would not help my mark any. Whatever? I guess I have some revising to do tonight back at Sundbo cheese shop.
Peace to all of you