Friday: A baccelaurate service in which Professor Blount told the graduating class of Seminarians to "pick a fight."
Saturday: A graduation ceremony in which President Torrance told us, in effect, not to.
Of course, they're both right. Trick is to know when to follow Dr. Blount, and when Dr. Torrance.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was someone who could help us decide?
Sunday: How convenient that the answer came the next day when Bishop Councell confirmed the Confirmation class at All Saints' Church.
Councell explained that Pentecost is one of the "big three" feasts of the year, but is too often eclipsed by Christmas and Easter, just as the Holy Spirit can be eclipsed by Father and Son in our perception of the Trinity. He urged us all to avoid the "American idols" of affluence, appearane and achievement, and to instead take the dangerous risk of living a Spirit-empowered life.
So yes, pick fights. And yes, avoid them. But attempting either without the Spirit whom we celebrated yesterday will translate into either arrogance or cowardice.
It's a fitting parable: The quandry one is placed in by the Academy (Friday and Saturday) is solved by the Church (Sunday).
Anyway, now that I have a degree whose unfortunate title implies that divinity can in fact be mastered, allow me to assure you that it cannot, for
"'Knowledge of God' is an oxymoron as long as we understand it strictly along the lines of 'knowledge of something as acquired according to the universal standards of knowledge'" (p. 45 of this fantastic book).The next degree won't be nearly as churchy. Please stay tuned for changes in millinerd.com in times to come. It may even be a whole new site. Who knows? I'll see what the executive staff comes up with, and will be sure to let you know.