Looking for Answers, Finding More Questions
In Hebrew Readings, Dr. Moyer guides us through 1 Kings 22. We engage the text and discuss how prophecy worked in antiquity. Was prophecy a Word of God whispered into the ear of the prophet, or was it simply intuition and discernment on the prophet’s part, retrospectively attributed to God? When two prophets’ messages collide and contradict one another, as in 1 Kings 22, who is to say which prophet is correct? Likewise, in History of Christianity with Dr. Leonard, the class reads document after document of early church theology, becoming acquainted with the words of Augustine, Pelagius, and Luther, all of whom did not agree with one another. Who was correct?
Even now, the church en masse wars with issues of theology and discernment. One pastor discerns and preaches one perspective, while another discerns and preaches the contrary. One church clings to tradition, while another pushes forth in what is deemed progress. How do we know who is correct? There should be critique on both ends of the spectrum, in that, all tradition is not necessarily of the Creator’s will, nor is every act of progress. But where do we push and where do we pull? These are the questions of this first-year’s mind.
As I listen to my fellow classmates discuss class material, and I hear their personal theologies through their words, I ache over some of the thoughts that I hear which I perceive to be misguided. But at the same time, I must acknowledge that I myself have such misguided thoughts and beliefs. So, then all the questions turn inward. What do I currently hold to be true that needs to be refined or changed? What do I currently hold to be true that I must stand firm in while in the face of opposition? My most earnest prayers of this year have been to this end: that the Lord will guide us, the Wake Div student body, in practicing discernment and holding true to the Divine Architect’s will.
Ethan Cagle was born and raised in North Carolina. He attended UNC Chapel Hill, where he earned his BA in English, with a double major in Religious Studies and a minor in Music. After graduation from UNC, Ethan interned with Service Over Self, a non-profit organization in Memphis, TN. He recently moved back to North Carolina to begin his studies at Wake Forest, working on the MDiv/MAEd dual-degree.
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