Saturday, January 10, 2004


Apologies to Jesus, but hey, they seem like such fitting words after a major ordeal.

So, here's my take on the GOE: Overall they weren't that bad. Honestly. I mean, when the first question asks you to clarify why the resurrection of Jesus is a central tenet to the Christian faith . . . Didn't need 2-1/2 years of seminary for that one. It was a good start. And truly, it's not generally the question that gets you (with one major exception -- see below), it's the time limitations and the pressure that puts you under.

Question 2 was under the auspices of "Liturgy and Church Music." This, apparently, is where they hide questions because nobody can think of an actual liturgical question. Last year the seniors were asked to give the history of the daily offices. This year we were asked how the ordination of a priest presented a coherent theology of priesthood. We weren't overly happy about this one.

Question 3 was history and they wanted to know how the origins of the Church of England and ECUSA were shaped by the politics of their time and how that affected the authority of bishops, priests, deacons and laity.

Question 4 was contemporary issues and wanted to know if we would argue for a park in our part of some nameless city, or if we would argue for the development of low income housing.

Question 5 was scripture and asked us to reflect on the prophetic ministry of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. This was the all day question, 9-5. The general consensus of the SWTS seniors is that this was the most fun. It was really cool to examine a gospel as in depth as we could within the timeframe given.

Question 6 was ethics and moral theology. Before I comment on this, I want to list the questions.

In a three-page essay:

A. Identify and describe distinctive elements of Caroline moral theology, including its close association with ascetical theology. Demonstrate how these elements are expressed by at least three Caroline Divines.

B. Demonstrate how historical and theological contexts shaped Caroline moral theology's emphasis on individual conscience formed by ecclesial catechesis.

C. Show clearly and explicity how the distinctive elements of Caroline moral theology and ascetic theology can be incorporated into the educational responsibilities of a parish priest today.

Okay, first of all -- the Caroline Divines weren't even on the curriculum. They were mentioned once in passing -- as in: "The Caroline Divines were a bunch of theologians that essentially defined Anglicanism and some helped create the 1662 Prayer Book". This is the question that I am most interested in seeing my score. I think I did pretty good on the entire GOE, but I have my doubts about this one. At least it was open book.

Finally, question 7. This is the famed "coffee hour" question. We had six areas to address in the area of "Practice of Ministry", closed book. As it should be, since you can't always run to your bookshelf when someone in the grocery store asks you something like, "Aunt Sarah wants to be cremated. How will she be resurrected if there is no body?"

We covered ministry of the baptized, a youth group mission trip, problems with the new musician, the refusal of postulancy by the COM & bishop, prison ministry, and an older parishioner who wanted his dog annointed because it has cancer. Believe it or not, I was actually finished at 4 but needed to spend the last 45 - 50 minutes getting down to my 3 page limit.

So we are finished. Results come back in mid-February. My immediate plans are to find a football game and sleep for six hours. My wife and Kid are back home after being banished to the Hilton all week, and life seems to be returning to normal.

Thanks to all who kept the seniors in your prayers.



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