An opportunity of theological proportions

Learning theology is like learning to speak a language. This can be said about many, if not all, academic disciplines or areas of knowledge and/or skill.  Over the years of my life in the church and studying theology both at school and on my own, (especially in the past year), I feel like have have learned this language well enough to possibly say something intelligible.

My initial desire to study theology was driven by my curiosity and desire to study a subject which had eternal value. And although my understanding of the subject of theology as well as what indeed is eternal has changed a great deal, I believe that this desire remains primarily unchanged.

I wanted to continue my theological training by pursuing a Masters degree because I felt as though I had barely scratched the surface as to what this whole thing was about. Or, to continue the metaphor, I was not even speaking this language of theology in full sentences yet.  Learning to speak a language and thinking in it are inextricably linked. My increased ability to speak this theological language, and my thinking that I may have something to say in it, are thusly linked. I have not, by any means, mastered this language, but I now feel as though I can speak it.

I have become, along the way, a theologian.

That is not said with any amount of pride and I do not believe that there is any intrinsic stature or priority in that title, but I believe that the category of the way I think and the convictions I hold about my self, the world, and the church have been labelled by my tradition as a theologian.

All this is to say that I suppose my life is on the path of a theologian, and in order to join this guild in any sort of official capacity these days, it must be accompanied by academic qualifications.

My desire and ability to contribute to this field, along with the encouragement of mentors and the support and love of my amazing and beautiful wife, have compelled me to pursue my Ph.D.  I have recently been accepted and will begin studying for this designation as soon as all the bureaucracy and paper work has been sorted.

What does this all mean?  Well, I will be housed and supervised by lecturers at Laidlaw Carey Graduate School, while officially being enrolled in the Department of Applied Humanities at AUT in Auckland. I will have to complete the majority of study here in NZ, which will extend our stay in New Zealand for another year or so longer than originally planned.

This was not an easy decision for us to make, as we dearly miss our family and friends back in Canada.  The availability and accessibility of such an opportunity has come about by surprise, but we feel excited about what the journey may hold and how it may impact our future.

Thanks for joining us along the way. We appreciate your support, love, and prayers!

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6 thoughts on “An opportunity of theological proportions

  1. Brenno-
    First off. Happy birthday to you.
    Secondly, congratulations on continuing your studies! We are really excited for you guys and all the learning you will get to do in the next couple of years.
    Looking forward to future visits and hearing more of your guys thoughts, etc. sometime soon.

  2. Congratulations, Brendon! I have no doubt that this continuation in your studies will only serve to enable you to articulate even more clearly this “language of theology”. It’s also awesome that you will get to spend even more time living in New Zealand. We will surely continue to miss you at Transcend but are excited by and proud of your continued journey.

  3. That’s pretty awesome Breno. I truly do understand what you mean about theoiogy being some kind of foreign language. I guess all of us who grew up the church might have a basic understandling, kind of like, when people know how to say “hello” or count to 10. But it’s not until you study some more that you realize that what you know is close to nothing, and despite the urge you might feel to comunicate what you want to say, the knowledge/understanding isn’t there. I know I often find myself want to share some kind of message to someone, but I have no way to make myself understood in a from a Theological point of view. I wish I had studied more!!! Anyway, it’s really great to see that you’re persuing this!!! I really hope the best for you and Mel!!!

    God Bless,
    Cavi.

  4. Congratulations Brendon! I’m looking forward to hearing God’s voice through the insights you share with the world.
    Dad says a trip to NZ might be in order for your graduation 🙂 Mom

  5. Thanks Guys!

    Yes this is indeed an exciting time. I am blessed by it and by the people such as you, who are supporting us in this. Thanks for that. I will continue to think hard and keep you posted on any new developments, and or break throughs. Much Love,

    Breno

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