Why I haven’t been writing lately: Fall ’11, pt. 2

The final piece from my previous post, a description of my last two classes for the fall semester 2011:

Hebrew Exegesis (Job) with Dr. Charles Halton – Wow, have I hit the Hebrew big time. In this class we are studying the Hebrew text of the book of Job. This class has really stretched my Hebrew reading abilities as Job is commonly understood to be one of the hardest books to read in the Hebrew Bible. The challenge has done me well and been a lot of fun. It has also been interesting to see how this class has linked with my counseling class (see description below) because of Job’s friends’ poor example of helpful, biblical counseling in times of crisis. The smaller size of this class and Dr. Halton’s trained guidance in understanding the syntax of the Hebrew text have made this course very valuable.

This semester Andy Mckee has been the main act rocking in my headphones and keeping my Hebrew heart pumping.

Some of our books: An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax by Waltke and O’Conner (Highly suggested if you like thrilling, riveting, earth shattering, page turning excitement.) and The Wisdom Books: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes: A Translation and Commentary by Robert Altar

Intro to Biblical Counseling with Dr. Eric Johnson – Within the counseling program at Southern there are well known differences of opinions between professors. I intentionally took Dr. Johnson’s class because I was less identified with his views while at the same time being very impressed with some of the compliments I had heard about him. While he has been up front about his disagreements with other professors, he’s also expressed sympathy toward their views. And in my mind their similarities far outweigh their differences.

That said, this class has been everything I’d hoped it would be. Understanding people and applying the content of biblical truth in a formal and informal counseling setting is a huge part of being a pastor (and a Christian, period), so I deeply desired this class to be enriching. Thus far I am not disappointed. Dr. Johnson is very passionate, humble, and balanced thinker. The best part of the class, though, is our counseling lab. I meet outside of our regular class time with four other students and our group leader, a woman who is a practicing biblical counselor at “A Woman’s Choice Resource Center” in downtown Louisville. In this lab we put to practice what we’re learning in class by counseling one another with real problems we’re having in our lives. One person is the counselor, another the counselee, and the rest of us observe. The lab aspect of the class has been crucial for really putting together the pieces of how to counsel helpfully and faithfully.

Some of our books: Instrument in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul Tripp (Just finished it today, and it was soooo good. I will definitely make my way through this one again and very likely use it as I seek to train lay folks in biblical counseling.), For Self Examination by Soren Kierkegaard, and According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible by Graeme Goldsworthy.

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