Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"The Seven Woes of the Don" #5: Woe to Those Who are Sucked in by the Aura of Academia

I see it happen every year.  Hundreds of students converge onto the campus of Trinity Evangelical Divinity school: future pastors, youth pastors, missionaries, professors, and even business people who want to have a great grasp on theology.  It's beautiful.

But then these very different people who have been called by God to do very different things with their lives sit through my lectures and they are in awe.  I have such a grasp of the material, such a command of the biblical languages, and such an entirely handsome face (despite what those losers on RateMyProfessor.com might say).

In some ways, sitting through my lectures seems to restore a sense of childlike wonder to many, many people.  And, even though the Don is certainly the best example of that, I'm not the only one.  Many people are captivated by the lectures of Dr. Vanhoozer, Dr. Younger, and Dr. Cole among many others.  Even our token staff Arminian receives great evaluations on a regular basis.

The downside to all of this is that many people who enter TEDS begin to forget why they came in the first place.  They get drawn into the aura of academia and think that maybe they've been called to write books and teach at a university.  And some of you may be called to do just that, but not as many of you as you think.

I understand the draw.  Aside from your childlike wonder is the fact that being a world-renowned theologian is a lot like being a rockstar:
  1. You get to wear leather
  2. Women go wild when they see you in public
  3. Your books end up on the bestseller list
  4. The autographs are amazing!  You sign books, papers, and photos.  Mothers have you sign their baby's heads.  Women try to get you to sign their bra straps and overweight men try to get you to sign their "bro" straps (I never do either; Joy would ring my neck).
All that to say: I understand the allure.  Heck, I am the allure.  But at the end of the day, please, do what God has called you to do.  If He's called you to pastor or do missions or work in an office building with a great knowledge of who He is, then do those things.

Don't be sucked into the aura of academia if it's not what God has for you.

Leave that to us rockstars that God has appointed.

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