The Chair and the Desk, 9/14/15

Something from the chair:

I believe; help my unbelief! -Mark 9:24

I can’t quite explain why this verse brought me to tears this weekend, but I’m glad it did. I think it’s a fitting verse for seminary, and perhaps a fitting verse for your day.


Something from the desk:

As theologians, we ought to speak of God. But we are humans and as such cannot speak of God. We ought to do both, to know the ‘ought’ and the ‘not able to,’ and precisely in this way give God the glory.

-Karl Barth, “The Word of God as the Task of Theology,” (177 in The Word of God and Theology, 2011, trans. Amy Marga)

This week is my first lecture simply titled, “Barth,” and it will likely be the first of many (one in every class?), based on what I hear about Princeton Seminary. Nonetheless, this quote makes me look forward to more of his thoughts on Scripture and preaching. I don’t know about the rest of his work, but these two sentences capture a lot of how I hope to study theology.


“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake. 

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