Friday, November 05, 2010
The Life of St. Paul Final Essay
Rev. Lucinda Parker
Sometimes despite all warnings and danger signs, we as humans forge ahead anyway. Taking this class for me was akin to seeing a “bridge out ahead” sign, and gunning my car in the vain hope of jumping across the creek unscathed.
The description warned me of Christian ahead, including the five lessons on worship, prayer and the Christian Way. I proceeded anyway, believing that I would actually learn more about St. Paul and broaden my horizons. Having slogged through 20 lessons of fundamental, Bible thumping Christian thought, I am truly happy to have completed this class. There were weeks I dreaded opening the lesson. The good thing is that I did read every lesson. I did have mental arguments with the author on every lesson.
And while my understanding of St. Paul and his life didn’t advance very far beyond where it was to start with, I understand all the reasons I am not Christian and why I have to sometimes work on my tolerance of those who are fundamentalists. The author added a good dose of anti-pagan language and more than a little glorification of a man. There was very little research about Paul presented that wasn’t simply Bible statements, written by who knows who.
For years, I attended a Unitarian Universalist church named St. Paul’s UU. The St. Paul they taught about was a very different individual than the one presented in this class. Perhaps he was really in the middle of the two teachings.
Compared to the other classes I have taken at the Seminary, this is one I would suggest only to Christians, and explain that it is entirely Bible based as not all Christians follow the Bible as absolute fact. There is little value in the class to those of other philosophies or religions.
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