So I have gotten a bit sick of the limitations of Tumblr and have officially decided to make the cosmic leap to WordPress. Hopefully this will be the last switch I’ll be doing while I still blog. My new blog can be found at seminaryramblings.wordpress.com and starts off with a nice long post. It’s a paper that I turned in this afternoon on the formation of the New Testament Canon in the earliest stages of the 1st and 2nd century church. If that’s of interest to you, check it out!
So I was told that I have not blogged in a while (and apparently USC football videos do not count….which by the way is not true). Because of this though, and since I’d already made this list recently, I figured I’d put up a list of my top 10 favorite albums based on a pretty quick skim through my iTunes. So these may not actually be my top 10, but they come pretty close. And this list is oh so subjective….but hey, that’s why it is my list (with a bunch of runner-ups afterward). Be a pal and comment if any of them are your favorites too. Here goes nothing:
Top 10 Albums in no particular order A Love Supreme-John Coltrane Pet Sounds-The Beach Boys The White Album-The Beatles Study in Brown-Clifford Brown and Max Roach The Complete Concert 1964: My Funny Valentine+Four and More-Miles Davis The Shape of Jazz To Come-Ornette Coleman Graceland-Paul Simon Live at the Loa-The Ray Brown Trio Raising Sand-Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Simon and Garfunkels Greatest Hits-Simon & Garfunkel
And the jazzier runner-ups Trio 99—>00-Pat Metheny Speak No Evil-Wayne Shorter Sinatra at the Sands-Frank Sinatra (w/the Count Basie Orchestra) Light as a Feather-Return to Forever E.S.P.-Miles Davis Miles Smiles-Miles Davis The Greatest Hits-Nat King Cole Locked in a Basement-Heernt Maiden Voyage-Herbie Hancock Saxophone Colossus-Sonny Rollins EnRoute-John Scofield Coltrane’s Sound-John Coltrane Elastic-Joshua Redman Wake Up! (To What’s Happening)-Matt Wilson’s Arts and Crafts The Real McCoy-McCoy Tyner Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook-Ella Fitzgerald Now He Sings, Now He Sobs-Chick Corea Live in Paris-Diana Krall Free For All-Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Moanin’-Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Gently Disturbed-Avishai Cohen Trio
And the other runner-ups Every other Beatles album Sweet Baby James-James Taylor Aja-Steely Dan Dirt Farmer-Levon Helm The Stranger-Billy Joel Greatest Hits-The Band Chronicle-Creedence Clearwater Revival The Best of Don McLean-Don McLean
Going slightly crazy with my good dead buds Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Why did they write so much……………
One of the most amazing things that has been happening with technology these days, and overall a very cool and encouraging trend, is the availability of a seminary level education online for free. Over the past couple of years, several amazing resources have sprung up whereby anyone can take seminary courses. [Note: courses dealing with original language work are for the most part necessarily excluded] And while the online nature of these resources prevents any personal interaction over the materials (and I would submit than anyone pursuing more theological training (and every Christian!) needs to be regularly involved in a local church) nevertheless, these resources that are now available to us are truly astounding. For your enjoyment, and hopefully your encouragement in the faith, here are four of the best resources that I have found. If you know of any others, I would love if you’d pass them along.
Resource #1: BiblicalTraining.org A firmly evangelical resource, this is hands down the best of the four. World class scholar Bill Mounce (along with friends) has put together this still-developing website that offers nearly a full slate of traditional Master of Divinity level seminary courses in the forms of recorded audio lectures. A great resource for training lay leaders in local churches, or for personal enrichment, this site has a lot of awesome features. For example, nearly every class has full lecture outlines for every lecture, often along with complete written transcripts of the recorded lecture.
The list of courses offered can be found here. What is more, most of these courses are top by scholars in the absolute top of their field, the likes of which you could not get all in one place at any seminary in the world! Pretty much every course on here looks amazing.
Resource #2: iTunes U An awesome feature of iTunes, if you don’t know about it, the iTunes University (found on the right side of the top menu of your iTunes store) is a place where colleges and universities upload teaching materials for public distribution. Often times, these include entire courses in high-quality video or audio formats. What’s more, many seminaries have started offering classes for free on here, some of which are even from amazing scholars who are now deceased. In my searching, Westminster Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary have the most and best resources being offered. Here is a sampling of some of what I thought were the most exciting looking audio courses.
Westminster Theological Seminary Biblical Theology—15 lectures (Edmund Clowney…I am currently listening to this one during my car rides) Medieval Church—10 lectures (Carl Trueman) Theology of Hebrews—20 lectures (Richard Gaffin)
Reformed Theological Seminary Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World—33 lectures (Ed Clowney and Tim Keller) History and Theology of the Puritans—16 lectures (J.I. Packer!!) The Gospels as Histories—4 lectures (Richard Bauckham) The Law and Christian Faith—10 lectures (Roger Nicole) Christian Apologetics—26 lectures (John Frame) Genesis through Joshua—27 lectures (Richard Belcher)
Other schools which have some good material up include Dallas Theological Seminary, Covenant Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Wheaton College.
Resource #4: Dimension of the Faith I would be remiss if I did not mention something from my own school, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. This is a lighter weight set of 10 courses aimed at the lay person in the church that can be done at your own pace. I imagine that it would be a great starting place for anyone who might be a bit hesitant about jumping completely into some of the courses offered up above. Here you can get some top professors offering surveys on the Old and New Testaments, Church History, Theology, Missions, and Biblical Interpretation. These courses can all also be found on the iTunes U. What’s more, they offer certificates for completing the full curriculum.
In Conclusion So there are what I have found to be the most exciting and most well done seminary-level resources currently being offered on the internet. These things are great because they can be done at your own pace, and if you regularly make commutes or are in the car for a while they can be great ways to make the drive more profitable, and to learn more about our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. I personally hope to use resources like these to continue lifelong education for years to come, and so far I have been vastly enjoying the lectures I have listened to. Let me know what you think if you check any of these out or know about any others!
Soli Deo Gloria!
I will say to the north, give up, and to the south, do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.