A few more thoughts crept into my head from the previous post.

Constructive Criticism

Part of theological study is evaluating and critiquing other opinions and writings. It can sometimes be difficult to evaluate evenly what you think is rubbish but that’s part of the challenge. Godliness is still a requisite in essays.

Secondly, learn how to take constructive criticism. Sometimes it will come gently, other times more abruptly. But it’s always with a view to sharpening your thinking. If you have an overly gentle nature (or soft skin) you may find some parts of studying rather cut throat. But that’s the two edged sword of theological study: it’s not there to make you feel good about yourself (though in some places it’s highly encouraging) or give you head knowledge, it’s there to teach you how to wield and defend scripture – and sometimes you’ll need to make deep cuts.

Get Fit

There’s a good reason why I neglected to mention this the first time – it’s something I struggled with during College, especially my final year. But thanks to my good friend Dan Au for mentioning this – get fit. Physical exercise sustains you better as you study and maintaining it will be good for you long term in ministry. Time to dust off my basketball shoes…

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One response

  1. I would say read widely. Don’t just read the people you know you agree with. Stretch yourself. If dumb stuff is being said academically now you’ll be dealing with it pastorally in 5 years. It’s a similar point to avoiding a narrow reading of Scripture, but I think just as useful – especially because the discipline of academic reading isn’t something you’re likely to keep up in ministry.

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