I love cruising around the library in the midst of essay writing season and paying timely visits to my little theologians as they wade through the slough of academic despond and embark on the ordeal of assessment. The smell of old and stale books being opened, the detective-style quest to find key resources, the aura of desperation to meet deadlines, copious caffeine consumption on their breath, the soft glow of laptops in twilight, and a pathological animosity harbored against the professor who set them such insane essay topics with illiberal word counts. The madness to this method is that the psychological purgatory of term papers, when tackled with the academic ardor of youth, always leads to the hermeneutical heroics of discovery that makes trial by essay so rewarding! An experience to be savored as much as survived. This semester, my Doctrine of God/Work of Christ class is writing on one of four things:
a. Discuss the theological validity of the Filoque clause in the Nicene Creed.
b. What is the practical significance of the doctrine of the Trinity?
c. What kind of knowledge does God have of the future?
d. Evaluate Karl Barth’s doctrine of the Trinity.
To my students, your essays should be in my now, hope they went well, hope you learned much along the way, better have done your footnotes properly, neatly justified your paragraphs, got lots of Calvin and Barth quotes, and I look forward to reading them next week!