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Come on down here and study Pneumatology! :-)

Come on down here and study Pneumatology! :-) August 22, 2021

Then there is Pneumatology. Pnuema is the Koine Greek word for breath, wind, and/or spirit (Koine being the common tongue language of New Testament times). Therefore Pneuma-tology is the way Theologians refer to the study of The Spirit, the Holy Spirit; and it is fascinating

Rev. Paulus Taylor, a Spirit-filled minister from the West Indies, once said “Anyone can pitch. I’m looking for better batters.”

Vanderbilt University strengthened its program with good pitchers, even if their method seems uncoventional. They have spent some time in Omaha, Nebraska at the College World Series before this year (although this is an older picture of the event).

DOD D. Myles Cullen | Game Two College World Series | Omaha, NB | 06.25.12 | public domain

Vanderbilt is also unconventional with their pastoral and Theological scholars.

i. Preachers are sometimes compared to pitchers

That’s what Rev. Paulus and I were really talking about in the middle of a crowd. Batters would be other types of preacher leaders, but I am not going to share all of our baseball lingo. For the time, we were able to have a conversation within a larger conversation, as if we were building our own room for dialogue, and he definitely understands Pneumatology.

This is what I was doing until about midnight last night (08.20.21), studying baseball and thinking about Pneumatology and ministry, but you probably won’t find this article until after service Sunday. The Talleys, my District Youth Directors in Northern California in the early 1990’s, warned me to try not to start new projects after midnight. So I turned in shortly afterward.

Regarding winning innovation at Vanderbilt University: not only is their baseball team unique, so is their research doctorate in Theology. They require basic Biblical languages, but their modern research languages do not have to be a combination of Latin and French, or other traditional languages.

For example, Spanish is considered a research language.

Statistics is as well.

ii. I have been well versed in both of these languages before

Trevecca Nazarene University and Asbury Theological Seminary are both possibly “Feeder” schools, to use a MLB AA Baseball term.

Trevecca is in Nashville along with Vanderbilt University. As a denomination the Nazarenes are a couple generations down from the Methodists such as Vanderbilt University, and remain a little more conservative. However, Vanderbilt University was still pretty conservative the last time I checked, at least in the Religion and Divinity colleges.

Asbury Theological Seminary is an independent school with historic ties to Asbury University, London School of Theology, and the Aldersgate Renewal Movement (a Pentecostal movement)

They are not really a sister school of Vanderbilt University per se. They may be more like a generation or two older than Vanderbilt University.

iii. Furthermore, Asbury Theological Seminary has an extension site in Memphis, Tennessee

Since neither Trevecca Nazarene University nor Asbury Theological Seminary have doctoral programs exactly like the broader Theological program at Vanderbilt University, but their graduate level programs could be considered preparatory, strong interfaith and scholastic relationships are necessary.

Some of my teachers in my graduating year at Asbury Theological Seminary excitedly talked with me about the developments at the Memphis extension site (Prof. Vickers, Prof. Kinghorn, and Prof. Hampton, who knew my dad from a strategy meeting with Josh McDowell).

The Memphis extension site had become fully functional, offering courses on site.

They also had streaming capabilities.

Asbury University, who works in close association with the seminary, were the actual filmographers for the Olympics at that time

The video capabilities of both schools are really top notch.

Then there is Pneumatology. Pnuema is the Koine Greek word for breath, wind, and/or spirit (Koine being the common tongue language of New Testament times). Therefore Pneuma-tology is the way Theologians refer to the study of The Spirit, the Holy Spirit; and it is fascinating

The extension site in Tennessee had become the hub for the study of Pnuematology.

iv. They were trying to get me to “Come on down here and study Pneumatology!” 🙂

Maybe I will if I can audit a course as an alumn. I know they know how to stream. Just think of studying Pneumatology from a graduate school that hails from a true renewal movement, like the Aldersgate Movement. Do you know about the Pentecostal revivals on campus in the chapel?

A Pneumatology study would help, since I have often taught about the Holy Spirit. It would also be a launching pad into a doctorate at some place in this part of the country like Vanderbilt University.


Vanderbilt pitchers, college world series, & building character

They persisted in the conversation, “Come on down here and study Pneumatology!” 🙂

vignette 1

May I to mention the time the Greek Orthodox educational leader was insistent that I complete a book by Julian of Norwich?

I said, “She is really quite deeper than I expected, so I put her on the shelf until I am ready to come back to her.”

She is from the West relatively speaking, but he said, “Then you will at least have to come down and speak to us about Orthodoxy from a Pentecostal perspective, because we are Ecumenical…

…I really would like to know what you have to say about Orthodoxy”

Once again, it was part of a larger dialogue with others as well about the lower case -c catholic church. However, further in the past I have been so struck by Julian’s work that I have muttered, “I am about ready to go on a date with Julian,” when I have opened the book to read.

Now why would I say that?

Why does the naked statue of David appeal to certain people, or any of the scantily clad Greco-Roman Christian art? Is it all an estrogen response, really?

Do not frescoes or Gothic church architecture throughout Church history or England do the same for those who have an eye for beauty?

Why do some Biblical authors minister to us in one season of our lives, and others do in other seasons?

We want the whole Bible, the whole counsel of God, but is there error in that, sitting at the feet of a teacher for a season?

By the way, Julian is not really a writer of romantic literature. She just vividly paints with words, mainly the suffering of our Lord. Oddly enough, I have a free source e-book option I discovered recently that she wrote, so I do not have to track down my hardcopy during this transition.

I can vividly hear the educational leader’s words, as well as picturing the whole situation now, and it really was not that long ago.

vignette 2

Then there is the time that the head of the Ohio State University extension site in Ironton set aside time, and then took extra time outside her office with me on a campus walk. I can remember her strongly encouraging me, really insisting that I pursue doctoral courses that I would want to teach at the undergraduate level.

Because of her coaching, I was also able to establish an educational curriculum vitae (C.V.) format, the very one used by her faculty, and all of Ohio State University. I hope to update the C.V. soon.

v. remembering and looking forward

All three conversations were not similar in topic or in the greater scope, but eerily similar in the insistence, the persistence of people who were used by God to encourage me.

When God uses ministers to “call” us, does He always have to use a fiery missionary or apostle? Is not a pastor-teacher a voice as well, and both are grammatically connected in the Greek (Ephesians 4.11).

If a pastor is a good pastor, there is probably teaching going on as well.

If a teacher is a good teacher, there is guidance that is offered for colleagues and students in a pastoral manner.

For now, I am still blessed that the library doors of Asbury Theological Seminary are open to me for the studies at hand.

However, glimmers of hope shine though especially when I start thinking about the amazing works of the Holy Spirit and all His majesty, and I review His goodness in educational institutions like I have mentioned in this piece, and at Vanderbilt University.


* footnote: MLB, “The story of top MLB draft prospects, Jack Leiter, Kumar Rocker, & MLB’s Pitching Factory | VandyBoys,” (Major League Baseball, 2021), https://youtu.be/OsNK8E6OBQ8

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