by Barrett Hendrickson
It's that time again where I update you on my educational process. Let me start by telling you how grateful I am, not only for your support of me going to school, but especially to Reformed Theological Seminary. One of the things that had for years kept me from pursuing any more formal education was those who I saw leading Theological Academia. I often thought there was a disconnect between living out a humble faith and those who were writing theological books and teaching classes.
I went into seminary trying to avoid conversations with professors, because I thought they would be too intellectual for me to handle. I immediately found out I was wrong. My first on-campus class was with our Chancellor, Rev. Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III. The prefixes, first initial, and suffix in his name shout "unreachable" to me. But as he walked into the classroom reciting a call to worship from Psalm 96 and prayed for our class, I was thrilled. I've told many people that I've tried not to like him, but his teaching and preaching style, and his love for his students, his school, the Church and the Lord have made me appreciate him to the point I follow him on Twitter, and I've even pointed friends to some of his writings and posts on The Gospel Coalition website. Every one of my professors has been the same way. They have all been, and most still are, in pastoral ministry, while desiring to grow the next generation of Church leaders.
This summer I took a preaching lab (of which many of you participated by hearing my Psalm 46 sermon), and Poets on campus. I'm also taking History of Christianity I (from Jesus to the Reformation) from a distance. In Poets, I learned to read the poetry of the Bible more effectively from Dr. Mark Futato, another great shepherd. In my preaching lab I had to give 2.5 sermons and critique those of my classmates. We also work-shopped a little on building a good sermon. I like history. It's a lot of reading, but it has given me much more of an appreciation for where the church has been, and insight on practical issues like schisms and eldership.
I know that many people are praying for me and my family through this process. It has not been easy, but it is growing my faith, which hopefully is growing yours as we work together to be used by God to show Himself to the world. Carrie, the kids, and I thank you for your support, and your trust in our elders who have made this process possible.