Today is Friday, May 11. Bar the (graduation) shouting the academic year at Princeton Theological Seminary is over. Last final exams were yesterday for almost everyone. At least three of my friends have already gone home for the summer. People are leaving the dorms today too, and I guess that by Monday the only people left will be those waiting for commencement. This morning I returned the remaining library books in my room, including J. Stuart Russell's fascinating The Parousia.
My first blogpost from Princeton was fairly lengthy. Reading it again, I'm surprised how accurate some of my first impressions were. I have indeed had a great year. I've received much in almost every way, so that Luke 12:48 is on my mind these days. It's too early to reflect on what I have gained, or to assess how I have changed. At the moment I'd say that many of my thoughts and ideas about church, theology, and modern life in the West have been confirmed by my time here.
Over the last months I've learned that the world is a lot bigger and a lot more complicated, and I remain rather naive in the middle of it all. But I've decided that the Christian gospel is big enough and simple enough to embrace the world in all its complexity. The difficult thing about the gospel is not understanding it, but accepting it. It can appear too good to be true. It can seem too fantastic to be real. It can be attractive and it can be shocking.
Based on Psalm 2, and some verses in Paul's letters to the Corinthians, the truth of Jesus Christ is crisis and consummation. Christ's final appearing will be the most welcome and the most obnoxious of all events. A few people long for it. Others scorn the thought. Many are hopelessly ignorant of the prospect. If Christianity is true, all people will experience this dreadful and glorious day, it will be for all either the most welcome or the most obnoxious of events.
One day Christ's new creation will be manifest for all to see.