Thursday, March 27, 2008
Dr. Herbert L. Fuchs gave a good introduction to Christianity with a primarily Roman Catholic perspective, which I found helpful as I come from a Protestant background. We have two sacraments and Catholics have seven. It was good gaining insight into the meanings of many of our traditions. I also appreciated his simple Bible based perspective given to various issues that all Christians face such as abortion and gay marriage. Though his course was not as scholarly as some, it offered a simple, straight-forward perspective that would be especially helpful for the un-churched members of our seminary community. Anyone taking this course would understand basic Christian principles and traditions, and how to study the Bible, helping them grow in their Christian faith.
Bible study was dealt with very well by this teacher. He had a simple approach, encouraging students to look at several Bibles and pick the one that they understood and best suited their lifestyle and needs. Dr. Fuchs also walked students through a good introduction to Christian beliefs during a lengthy question and answer series beginning on page 6 of discourse 5. For people with little Biblical background, this course would be very helpful.
His discourse on the Trinity is done as well as I have seen it. Theologians have been fighting over the meaning of the Trinity for two thousand years, and Dr. Fuchs handles it this way: “See, in short you have it that the Father is one, the Son another, and the Holy Spirit another; in Person, each is other, but in nature they are not other.” Here we have three distinct aspects of God working as one. It is almost like one person with three distinct jobs, each supporting and completing the other.
Dr. Fuchs is clearly a fundamentalist, while I am a liberal, but I appreciate this course for what it offers to the mix at the Universal Life Church Seminary. We come from all faiths and backgrounds, so it is important to have a grounding and understanding of all faiths. This course gives a clear, concise understanding of the basics of orthodox Christianity. Christianity is the dominant religion in the United States and permeates through all aspects of our culture and society. Without an understanding of the basics of this belief, a Universal Life Church Minister will have difficulty understanding most of the people he or she comes in contact with. Though I disagree with aspects of Dr. Fuchs’ theology, I believe that this course is a positive presence as part of our curriculum.
Rev. Richard Alan Helmersen