On Friday, I was attending an on-campus job fair when one potential employer asked how long I had been in Louisville. My answer took me somewhat by surprise: it has been just over one month. It seems appropriate, then, that I write another installment of the “Chronicles of a First Year Student” series. Today, I would like to make a few observations about life at Southern Seminary.
First, dorm life in graduate school is not nearly as bad as one might think. The rooms are certainly small, and we are able once again to experience the “joys” of community bathrooms. But on the other hand, a small room with limited conveniences does much to remind one of how little a person actually needs convenient things. It also does a lot to remind me of how many convenient things I still have. As I look around my room I see my coffee maker, my computer, a mini-refrigerator, a microwave oven, a comfortable bed, an ample desk, two chairs, and more bookshelves than I thought could fit in a single dorm room.
Second, I am often impressed at the caliber of people I have met here. I am not naïve—they’re normal people, and by no means perfect. But they are, as far as I can tell, normal people who have a rare recognition of their own sinfulness and of their need for God’s grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.
Third, I am moved at the passion and humility of the faculty. It is obvious that my professors care as much about our own spiritual well being as they care about our academic performance—and they care a lot about our academic performance. My lecture classes are peppered with passionate pleas to fear, love, and trust in God above all things. The professors care about their academic disciplines because they care about Christ. Also, as Terry wrote earlier, the President and Mrs. Mohler and the Dean of the School of Theology, along with much of the administration of the seminary were serving students free food after high winds caused a power failure.
Fourth, it is becoming increasingly easy to understand John Piper’s admonition that Southern Seminary is posh. Even though the dorms in Manly hall may be less than what we’re used to, they are still so much more than we need. We live here under conditions that are very close to ideal, even taking into account the community’s quirks. O, that we might not become overly attached to the comforts we have here! The power outage has served as an ideal example of how dependent we are on the luxuries of internet access and even electricity.
Fifth, I am both pleased and frustrated by the difficulty of my search for a church to join. There are so many good churches here that my decision is not at all easy. I have visited four churches, so far. I think I will visit two more next week, then I will try to pray through and finalize my decision. I miss having a home church. The difficulty of the search is encouraging, though, in that it means there are many good churches here in Louisville. Regardless of where I join, and regardless of where you are a member, may we pray for all of our churches, that working together, they will get the good news to everyone in our cities.
Chronicles of a First Year Student
Part One: Moving in at Southern Seminary