Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Glimpse of What's to Come

Well, it's official. As of Wednesday, April 11, 2018, professors and other students began referring to me as Dr. Andrew Hollingsworth. Though technically speaking, the status Doctor of Philosophy will not be conferred upon me until the graduation ceremony (May 19, 2018), I have fulfilled all of the requirements necessary for the Ph.D. degree in Theology following my dissertation defense on April 11. So what does this mean? First, it means I have a lot of small edits and corrections to make for the final copy of the dissertation before May 4. Second, this means that I will now have time to write these blog entries I've been wanting to write, which brings me to restate my purpose in having this blog.

     As I stated before in my first entry, which I wrote a couple of years ago, my goal in this blog was to get some of the ideas in my head out for others to read. This goal has changed slightly. Though I will, out of necessity, be writing a lot of my ideas down for others to read, this is no longer my primary telos. I have decided to take up this blog, now, because God has provided all of the means necessary for me to earn a Ph.D. in Theology so I can better write for and teach his Church. Heath Thomas of Oklahoma Baptist University once told me to consider the following questions when trying to decipher God's will for my life: 1) What is God's agenda? 2) What is God's desire for all nations? and 3) How can I, with the education he has provided me, be a part of God's agenda? God's agenda is to establish his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. God's desire for all nations is to acknowledge him as their God and enter into fellowship with him, i.e. be part of his kingdom. So how can I play a part in this?

     Throughout my education, I have believed that God was equipping me and leading me to teach and write in theological academia. He has given me an insatiable desire to search for the truth, and he has given me the desire to relay the truth to others. I believe that God has called me to be a theologian. Granted, everyone is a theologian to some extent, but I believe that God has called me to the ministerial position of theologian. In other words, I believe that God has called me to teach his Church the truth about him and to lead his Church to pursue him. I believe that God has called me to do this from the platform of the classroom and through publications. He has not yet, however, provided me with that platform (which is not surprising since I have yet to graduate officially!), but he has provided me with access to this free blog! To clarify, though I believe God has called me to the classroom, I do not believe that he has called me to teach only in the classroom. He has not called me to be a theologian that can only talk to other theologians. Regardless of the ministerial office, be it pastor, teacher, missionary, student minister, church planter, worship leader, professor, etc., all ministers have the same instructions from Jesus: feed my sheep. With the desire to teach and write, God also has given me the desire to feed his sheep that are not in the classroom. That's where the ministry of writing, and this blog, enter.

     I want this blog to be a place where theologians and non-theologians alike can come and read stimulating articles that inform them about who God is, who they, the readers, are, and what God is doing with his creation. Regardless of your level of education, I want you, the reader, to read the posts on this blog and, as a result, have a better understanding of who God is, have a better understanding of who you are, and have a better understanding of what he, God, wants to do in your life. So this blog is intended for interested laypersons, college students, seminary students, as well as other professional theologians (I say other professional theologians because they need to be ministered to as well). If you fit any of these categories then this blog is for you!

     Some/most of these articles will be very practical in orientation. They will attempt to provide basic descriptions of theological and biblical topics that aim at aiding the reader to better understand God and themselves. Other articles will be denser, and maybe more abstract, but that does not neglect their importance. Some of the topics in these few posts will be more difficult to wrap your mind around, but if you can work through them, I promise that their content can have profound implications for your life! And yes, I will do everything I can to make these more difficult posts as ascertainable as possible!

     That is all I have for this post. Hopefully, you did not fall asleep while reading it! I look forward to writing these posts for you, and I pray that our Lord uses them to help you know him better and better walk through life in faith. Blessings!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

More to Come

So I don't think anyone has looked at this since my first post, which is perfectly warranted since I haven't posted since then (Fall/Winter 2015). Just in case there are some who have looked at it since, this is a post informing you that there are going to be more posts to come starting soon. I have a lot that my mind is processing and I need an outlet to put some of this stuff "out there." I look forward to writing and hearing your feedback.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

My First Blog

          Have you ever told yourself that there is that thing you will never do (for whatever reason) and then you find yourself doing it? Well. . .this blog is mine. I'm not really sure why, but I have always had an aversion to blogging. Perhaps it is because I have seen so many blogs where people go on mindless rants about whatever it is in which they are displeased instead of providing thoughtful reflections that might prove useful to readers. However, with some of the recent blogs by individuals whom I highly respect, such as Michael Bird and Scott McKnight, I suppose that I have decided to create my own page where I can have my own mindless rants about whatever it is at which I am displeased, or pleased. Not that the blogs of Michael Bird and Scott McKnight are mindless rants, they are actually quite mindful reflections, but I suspect that what I intend to be my own mindful reflections on "theology and stuff" will be taken by some to be mindless rants. If there is anything that I have learned from studying the hermeneutic philosophy(ies) of Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer, it is that Daesin exists within her own horizon of understanding and inevitably brings this horizon with her into any event of understanding or fusion of horizons. That Daesin always brings her own horizon of understanding, which includes her pre-understandings, to that place in which understanding, i.e. a fusion of horizons, takes place has become one of the most established concepts in hermeneutic philosophy. My point in mentioning this is to emphasize that though I might intend to provide mindful reflections on "theology and stuff", it is very likely, if not inevitable, that some readers will take what I write as mindless rants, given that they will always bring with them their own horizon(s) of understanding. In all honesty, there are some posts that I might write in which readers might be well-warranted in interpreting them as mindless rants. Though I am in training to be a professional theologian I am still from Mississippi and ergo am prone to bantering about things that "get under my skin." Nonetheless, the time has come in which I have apparently changed my view of blogging and decided to create my own. I hope and pray that what I write will prove useful and thought-provoking for those who read it.
          Just in case you, the reader, are asking the question that I think you are, the answer is yes, I randomly use words in other languages, such as Daesin, without providing a definition for them. Enjoy looking these words up!