Today was a good day. Haddon started the class with a devotional from I Kings 22 and the story of Micaiah standing up against Ahab. This prophet alone stood up to the evil king even though all the other 400 prophets told Ahab exactly what the king wanted to hear. Micaiah's courage sprang from a phrase he used while addressing the king: "As sure as the LORD lives, ..." Haddon's point was for preachers to be just as courageous because we serve the Living Lord and we speak for Him.
We spent some time going over the different aspects of the thesis once again. I turned in my first chapter first thing this morning, hoping to get it back before we left for the weekend. Dr. Robinson gave it back to me after lunch and besides a few grammatical corrections and stylistic suggestions, his main critique was to remove some quotes from chapter one and put them in their proper places in chapters two and three. He then wrote at the end, "This should be a helpful thesis."
So, what is my thesis? I am writing on "Expository Doctrinal Preaching," using the debate of open theism's assualt on the divine exhaustive foreknowledge of God as a paradigm. Does that sound helpful to you?
This weekend will be spent correcting chapter one to Dr. Robinson's specifications and beginning to work on chapter two - the theological underpinnings of the thesis. I also have to prepare for our group teaching exercise on Tuesday morning. We also have a basketball game planned for Saturday afternoon between several guys in the class. Almost every one in the class is staying at this particular Residence Inn and there is a basketball goal between the condos. Tomorrow should be a beautiful day up here. It reached a high of 66 today and they are expecting more of the same tomorrow.
We also got our projects from the second residency back today. Everyone was nervous for some reason but there was no reason. Dr. Bryan Auday, the grader of the projects, said that our group was the first group where every single student passed. I was very pleased with my grade in the project. In fact, Dr. Auday put this note on top of the grade sheet: "Jeff, Would it be possible for me to have a copy of this project to use as an example for other D.Min. classes?"
Sunday should be fun. Paul Burton, one of my classmates who lives in the Boston area, made the mistake of letting it slip that he was preaching Sunday at his church. A bunch of us are going. I would HATE for that to happen to me but I know he'll do a good job. He also runs his father's athletic camp (The Ron Burton Training Village). We went out there last year and it is a tremendous ministry. It was once featured in a long piece on ESPN. Paul was the punter for Northwestern back when they rose to prominence and even made it to the Rose Bowl. So, Paul runs the camp (his father died of bone cancer a few years ago), ministers in a local church (Tremont Temple Baptist Church in downtown Boston, right off Boston Commons) AND he is a sportscaster for a large news network in Providence, Rhode Island. I don't know how he does it all.
After church on Sunday, Paul has talked his brother (who also played football in college and now works for the Boston Red Sox) to let us take a private tour of Fenway Park. After that, we head to Firefly's Bodacious BBQ for some ribs. That's a nice day.
Dr. Robinson dismissed class today around 1:30 to give us opportunity to put in some hours in the library. I was able to find several helpful journal articles in their massive collection of periodicals. I had almost forgotten all my library 'look-up' skills from seminary but they came back quickly enough.
Tonight was my night to choose dinner and I chose "Su Chang", a Chinese restaurant I passed every day on the way home for class. It was very fancy and very nice (not a buffet type but a sit-down and order a single dish type). I got something called "General Gau's Chicken" and it was a HUGE portion and maybe the best Chinese food I've ever eaten. We all shared off each other's plates (Steve had some great spicy chicken with peanuts and Daven had some even better sweet and sour chicken). We got all that for less than ten dollars a person.
I'll probably take the weekend off from this and let you know the details of Saturday/Sunday sometime Sunday night. Now it's time to watch a little ACC Tournament (I can't believe . . . well, yes I can . . . that Wake beat State!).