Monday, March 26, 2012

loving college life: part 2

A vibrant campus like this not only provides opportunities to mentor young people, but an endless lineup of seminars and lectures to shape my own thinking. Unfortunately, Wheaton offers far more events than I can ever hope to attend (usually at least one major speaker a day, sometimes more). If I gave you a list of all the world-renowned speakers whose sessions I have skipped this year it would make you sick to your stomach. It does me. But this week I've cleared the deck so I can participate in the science symposium entitled "Evolutionary Theory: Implications for Science and Christian Belief."  Evolution? Yes, you read that right. I've pretty much studied only the Bible since high school, so I don't feel like I have enough of a handle on this issue. It's time to take another look.
I'm learning a TON this semester, and I'm so blessed to have professors and classmates to help me process it all, over lunch, tea, and in between. John Walton's Ancient Near Eastern Backgrounds class is rocking my world. I admit, signing up for it was like taking my medicine, knowing that I ought to take it because I didn't know enough about the ancient world. But wow, what an eye-opening experience! I've absolutely loved it, and I'm hoping to take an archeaology course next year (those of you who've known me for a long time can gasp now).

Eliana is also studying ancient Mesopotamia in 5th grade, and Danny is reading through the Chronological Study Bible (including all the historical and archeological notes). All of us are reading the Bible with new eyes. If you want a taste of what we're learning, check out one of Walton's books. I recommend either Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament (an excellent introduction to ancient worldviews and how they help us understand the Bible) or The Lost World of Genesis One (a thought-provoking look at the creation narratives in Genesis in light of the ancient world). If you can understand my blog, then neither of these books would be too difficult. The second is especially designed for the non-specialist to be able to read. If you do read either of these books, I'd love to know what you think!

Honestly, I'm blown away by the priviledge of being here, and sobered because I know that "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required" (Luke 12:48). This blog is a feeble first step toward sharing these riches with others. Thanks for reading!


  1. i just finished walton's book, ANE thought and the OT and i loved it!! i would love to come to wheaton just to learn from him!

  2. Denise,

    Great! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.
    I just finished it, too. Learning from Dr. Walton has been one of the biggest blessings about studying at Wheaton so far. I hope you get a chance to do the same! :)


  3. Oh, and Denise ... do yourself a favor and write up a 3-page review of the book while its fresh in your mind. If you do end up at Wheaton, you'll be so glad you got it done ahead of time! :)