I am in my third week of classes at Reformed Theological Seminary, currently sitting in Systematic Theology 1 class taught by John Frame…
I thought it might be cool to share with you what I am taking this Fall and a little comment on each class…I know, I know…exciting stuff. But I have found little points of connection in several of these classes that are helping me flesh out a theology of the arts.
As I mentioned above I am taking:
- Systematic Theology 1 (ST1): God and Scripture with John Frame. If Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando were the universe, John Frame would be the sun. His influence is extensive here at RTS and rightly so, his mind is massive. I am excited to be under his tutelage.
- History of Philosophy and Christian Thought (HPCT) also with John Frame. Both ST1 and HPCT are requirements but they are causing me to remember the days of my philosophy courses 20 years ago and bringing me up to speed quickly.
- Introduction to Pastoral and Theological Studies with Reggie Kidd. Another requirement, one that sets the tone “content wise” for pursuing a degree here. Dr Kidd is a unique individual who I am looking forward to getting to know and learning from. He has a sympathy for the creative. You’d know him from across the campus here as you see him in his bright white fedora.
- The Parables Of Jesus with Simon Kistemaker. A wonderfully charming Dutchman who laughs at statements that he has probably been teaching for decades. Even at 79 he still is impassioned for the Bible. There have been sevreal moments already from the content of the class and readings where I have seen parallels with the arts…but more on that in another blog.
- The Westminster Standards with John Muether. Mr Muether is the schools librarian and it so evident. He loves books. He begins each session with a reading from Calvin’s Institutes (in honoring Calvin’s life as he was born 500 years ago this year). I have enjoyed hearing about the history behind the ancient creeds (Apostle’s, Nicean, Athanasian) as well as hearing about the way the Westminster Standards came to be.
- The Message of Jonah with Mark Futato. I am taking as much Old Testement as I can while here because artists use the OT alot to make their case for the importnace of the arts in Christianity. Dr. Futato is the OT prof here and is incredibly capable and clear in his teaching. He has gotten me thnking about the possibility that Jonah may be fiction…or history…and either is ok. Don’t worry he doesn’t think all of Scripture is fiction just that Jonah could be in the same vein as Jesus’ parables…to teach to understand the Kingdom and God’s purposes in this world.
In all six classes there is alot of work of course, but I am loving it.
Kirk (and Sarah)
So glad to see this blog in action again! Congrats, Kirk for taking this risky step and for your passion for the arts and theology. Look forward to hearing more about your journey and benefitting from your studies.