My classes are going so well. I am learning so much in all of my classes and I love it because it's actually stuff that I can use in everyday life. For example, in my New Testament class, we had to write a paper reflecting upon the beliefs of Bart Ehrman (who believes the Bible is false and we cannot know what exactly Jesus said) verses the beliefs of Nicholas Perrin (who counters Ehrman's argument and says we can know exactly what Jesus said). This was very interesting to write about. I read Nicholas Perrin's book, Lost in Transmission?, and loved it! His book refutes what Ehrman says in his book, Misquoting Jesus. For my essay though, I didn't have to read Ehrman's book, I just listened to his address at Stanford University. Ehrman states that we cannot know what Jesus actually said because the translations we have are not the translations of the original manuscripts. And, on top of that, the scribes probably reworded what Jesus said in order to make it relevant to the readers as well as the fact that the people who copied the originals probably saw mistakes in the originals and therefore tried to correct the mistakes and made even bigger mistakes and so the problems grow bigger with each copy. Perrin says this would not have been the case and he makes a trememndous argument against Ehrman. He says that Ehrman is wrong because this was an oral society and these men were trained to memorize huge chunks of information. Not only that but they knew how important this information was so they would want to write it down as it happened so that this guy (Jesus) was either proven right or proven wrong. They would have written down the facts in order to preserve the truth. The book says SO much more! I am only hitting the surface level and I'm probably not even giving the argument justice at all. Nevertheless, the book was so good and I encourage everyone to read it. It's written really well and in terms that everyone can understand even if you don't have a degree in theology haha.
Another class, my Evangelism and Discipleship class, is going really well too. I love it because we always debate big issues within the church during class. The other day, all we did was debate issues that have risen in our lives lately. Such as sex before marraige, baptism as a key to salvation, judgment in the church, and things like that. It was cool to hear a lot of personal stories and why people believe what they do. One guy brought up an issue and used personal testimony and, of course, the bible to back up what he believes and so we dug further into the bible to see what the bible has to say on the issue. This was so neat because I had my beliefs challenged and I had to stand up for what I believe. Some people in the class were purposefully refuting what a lot of people said just so that we would have to refute what they said with the bible. It challenged me and I left feeling like I had learned so much pertaining to what I believe and why I believe it. I didn't realize how vocal I am about my opinions when challenged but I think that's a good thing. You see what comes out of a person when they're squeezed and if you know anything about me, you know I hate confrontation and I hate being challenged, so I was definitely being squeezed in a sense. I found out that I will fight for what I believe which is great, but I also found out that I may be a little prideful in what I believe and I wasn't willing to listen to other people's views on some of the issues. I was thinking I was right and that was that. I was being hypocritical in what I was thinking. I never voiced this aloud, but I'm glad it hit me like that. I should not be prideful in my thinking. I should be open-minded and if I am ever challenged, then I should check it with the bible. We live and learn from these experiences. I'm glad my eyes were opened in this. (PS please don't judge me for being so open about this. "[We all] fall short of the glory of God". I am not perfect and hopefully from reading my blog in the past you've noticed I mess up. A lot. But I am learning little by little.)
As far as other updates go, I went to Georgia this past week with Clay and his family. I had so much fun and the property was beautiful!! The weather was perfect and so was everything about the week. We spent a lot of time just relaxing and spending time with Clay's family. I also went hunting for the first time with Clay. Unfortunately we didn't see anything, but Spencer (Clay's brother) and Jenny (Spencer's girlfriend) went hunting the same afternoon and Spencer got an 8 point buck, so for the first time ever, I got to witness them gut it. It was gross!! I can't believe I didn't get sick haha but it was a neat experience. I felt super country which I loved. Other than that, I had a great time and I loved every minute of Georgia except for the fact that I had to miss out on everything with my family, but it was worth it.
Another update, I got asked if I wanted to be an adult leader on the upcoming trip to Haiti this summer with the high school students. I am so excited! I cannot wait to go back (especially since this is only for a week this time). I love Haiti and my heart will always be there so even just going for a week will be amazing for me. I'm super excited if you can't tell.
Okay, I think that's all as far as updates go. I can tell this isn't written as well as the other ones. I feel like my mind is going in twenty different directions right now. But I hope you liked this update. Thanks for reading and keeping up to date with me. You all mean a lot to me! I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving and I hope you ate way too much ;)