So, I’ve long known that I’ll be sent out again to the nations. Confirmed powerfully on my trip to Kurdistan, and refined more throughout 2010 … yep. I’m figuring >90% that I’ll be in the middle east by the age of 30. And sooner would be fine too.
But I wasn’t ready to begin training until just recently. Now the trouble is … how?
I’ve long feared that running through a structured course of study might box up my faith journey, or somehow compartmentalize my understanding of God. I’ve heard some bad stories about seminary. I’ve known some theology jerks. I’ve long avoided training programs because of these things.
Fortunately, I have a great mentor in a man named Geno. When I explained all this to him, he simply suggested that I self-study through a few very thick books. Grudem’s Systematic Theology, along with some other work by some dead guys.
The fear rose up again. I said “Geno, so far my life with the Lord has been very experiential, and relational, and very sweet. I have this terrible fear that books this thick will somehow contort my passion into something cerebral and dead.”
He waved me off, leaned across the table, and said “I understand. I do. But … these men loved Jesus. They loved Him the same way that you do.”
I sat back and smiled dumbly. It was a beautiful moment. Geno didn’t actually answer the concern that I laid out … he simply answered the fear in my heart. It was all that was needed.