Thursday, April 30, 2009

So you want to be a scholar?

I suppose this is a compliment to an earlier post, "Why a PhD?". D. A. Carson gave the following (excellent!) advice to those who might have an inclination toward scholarship at the conference, "The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor." [You can access video/audio of Carson's address and video/audio of Piper's address, both worthy of your time].

The following list is taken from my own notes.
  1. Don't just be a 'quarter-master' (i.e., scholar)
  2. Beware the seduction of applause.
    • It can come from an academic direction (academic peer approval vs. Divine approval).
    • It can come from the conservative constituency of your friends ("I'm more conservative than you are.")
  3. Fight with every fiber of your being the false dichotomy of 'devotional study' and 'objective study'.
    • Be devout in your most critical, detailed exegesis.
    • Never develop an upstairs-downstairs mentality.
  4. Never forget that there are people out there for whom Christ died.
  5. Happily recognize that God distributes different gifts to various pastor-scholars.
    • Rejoice even more at scholars who are more productive than you are.
    • Learn from those who have gone ahead of you to be strategic.
  6. Recognize that students don't learn everything you teach them.
    • Ask, "What do they really learn in terms of life-long commitment." 
    • They learn what I'm excited about. 
  7. Make the main thing the main thing - teaching students the 'how' not just the 'what' - don't just know what is right, but where in the Bible it comes from.
  8. Pray and work for a scholarly vision beyond that which is offered by publishers.
    • Don't get owned by publishers!
  9. Love the church.
  10. Avoid 'lone-ranger' scholarship.
    • Francis Bacon said, "Reading maketh a full man; speaking maketh a quick man; writing maketh an exact man." You want to collaborate with others who read; speak with them, and write in their presence.
  11. Be at least as interested in the work of others as your own.
  12. Take the work seriously but not yourself.

3 comments:

Cameron said...

Why education,

even though I might be on a different side to which I am getting my education, many people do not value or regard anyone persons opinion regarding an issue if they do not have a Doctorates. Needless to say, I am offended at the idea that people can say one mans knowledge is not good enough to his or her counterpart. I must rely and be careful not to end up believing in no absolutes that what one person says is acceptable as well as what another person says. However, I do not always believe that someone who has an education is worthy of my appraisal. Like the discussion we had a few nights ago about a teacher never learning to read but was able to teach a math class.

Now, on the opposite side, being able to accomplish and in some cases conquering the instructors challenges of receiving a Doctorates degree is an accomplishment. In today's age we need to have a higher education.

Someone said getting a baccalaureates is like jumping through hoops, getting a masters is like jumping through hoops that are moving, and getting a doctorates...well they just light the hoops on fire while they are still moving.

I plan on continuing my education when I graduate, getting a masters. You get the instruction you need to fully understand what your subject is. Which forces you to indulge in your inner being and cognitively come up with what you were taught but apply them and some how come up with an application to why we should hold that paper we hold dearly.

Continue in your hard work, remember the farmer does not bear fruit when they are lazy, God's rewards are plentiful...how ever we should not discover in our inner self the desire to become education and climb the education latter but instead be diligent to giving God the glory for what he bestows on us.

Cam said...

oh, i did not want to apply to the fact that i disagree with you getting an education, I think its great! I was just talking about how people do not listen to those who do not have a degree.

Getting a bachelors, then a masters, then a Doctorates is a great thing, and hard to do...
Good job in your hard work!

Josh said...

Thanks for your comments and your encouragement, Cameron!