How to Learn to Read Theological German
New baby boy - Jacob Graham Rowell

My Courses This Fall and Birthday Update

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two weeks in the Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) program at Duke Divinity School.  I am taking three classes and auditing one.  I have described a little about the classes below and then have written a little personal update.   At the end of that, I have placed links to the books we are reading this semester.   

  • Exegesis of Matthew Doctoral Seminar with Richard B. Hays. I am going to be doing a presentation later in the semester on Matthew 18 on "The Church in Matthew" and doing an exegesis paper on the "confrontation process" in Matthew 18.  There are two Ph.D. Duke University New Testament students, four Th.D. students, and a Th.M. student in that course.  Hays is also teaching an English exegesis of Matthew and Greek Exegesis of Matthew course this semester.  He has a book review called "Benedict and the Biblical Jesus" in First Things this month (August/September 2007) on Pope Benedict's new book Jesus of Nazareth.  (You can only read the article online if you have a First Things subscription).  It is not an entirely flattering review.  Hays didn't mention the review in class but I saw it at the library.   If you haven't heard of Hays, he is a well-known (though not to you), New Testament scholar who has written a lot about: the use of the Old Testament in Paul's letters, the Pauline phrase "faith in Christ Jesus vs. faith of Christ Jesus," the ethical teachings of the New Testament; and has written commentaries on Galatians and 1 Corinthians.  I was definitely drawn to Duke because of Hays.  Though an outstanding scholar, he has a heart for the church.   (See his books here at Amazon). 
  • Theology of Rowan Williams with L. Gregory Jones. We are reading basically all of Rowan Williams books.  Williams is the archbishop of Canterbury which means he is the head of the entire Anglican communion which is in a turmoil right now.  (See The Last Stand of Rowan Williams by Duke Divinity School student Jordan Hylden on the First Things blog for a great recent summary (August 30th)).  I am taking this course with two other students.  I also really wanted to study with Dean Jones (as they call him here at Duke Divinity School as the leader of the school) because of his interest in church ministry, theological education, leadership and theology.  (See Jones's books here and Williams's books here). 
  • Th.D. Seminar: Explorations in Practical Theology with Mary McClintock Fulkerson and Richard Lischer.  This is our one required course for the Th.D. program so the 7 of us first year Th.D. students are all in there together.  I am really enjoying this course as well.  I have read Open Secrets by Lischer (his memoir about being a young rural pastor) so it is great to get to have him for class.   Here are Fulkerson's books.
  • German Academic Research I with Derrick Miller. I have blogged about this class below in an update at the bottom of my How to Read Theological German post.  In short, I have taken the test for my German proficiency requirement but haven't heard if I have passed yet so I'm auditing this course.  It is good practice.

Personal update:

  1. Today is my birthday . . . that oh, so important 32.  We had the other Th.D. students over Friday night to celebrate and hang out. 
  2. I'm going to get new headphones for my birthday so I can listen to my MP3 player again. 
  3. We are still waiting for baby boy 2 to be born around September 26th.
  4. I am working as a research assistant for professor Randy Maddox ten hours per week tracking down references and preparing digital historical documents.
  5. I am going to the The Academy of Evangelism for Theological Education Annual Meeting October 4-6 at Ashland Seminary in Ashland, OH.  The Evangelism Professors and Fellows (like me) funded by the Foundation For Evangelism will meet after that conference on Saturday afternoon the 6th.
  6. Preview: I have just written something on Will Willimon but I am seeing if I can get it published somewhere else instead of just posting it here on the blog.
  7. In light of my old age, I have changed the blog from white font on black background to black font on white background.  Hope you like it.      

Here are the books we are reading this semester.  They are in order by first name of the author. 

Books I'm reading for Doctoral Program


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