the last paper

On the left ,you see the pile of papers that have been read and had little red numbers assigned to them. On the right you see the last one. I wrote “The last one” on the cover. Its author stated in our last class meeting that he gives me five years before I’m back in the classroom. I saved his to be the last one.


The “Beliefs Thesis” is an idea that I brought to Covenant where students are given basic categories of theological query and then given reading assignments and assigned to think about this reading in light of those five categories. Then we talked about it. You don’t have to agree, just consider it. This course work is designed to prepare them to think their way through their beliefs. They must wrestle with what they believe about the Bible, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and then they grapple with man, sin and salvation. Heavy questions. 

I have taught church-going Christians, agnostics, atheists, Muslims, Jews, Mormans and a lot of people who just could not yet pin themselves down. In the last 14 years here and 2 back in Roanoke, I figure that I have read well over 7,000 pages of these theological musings. It has been humbling to read the honesty with which my students have written. This year’s batch (seen above) is no different.

I don’t think many remember much of what they wrote. But that wasn’t the point. The point was that they will have wrestled with thier beliefs and with God in such a way that they have, at least once, articulated them to someone (me). I am grateful to have had the chance to take part in this important exercise.

Now, on to the last paper.


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3 responses to “the last paper

  1. a moment of surrender…. 🙂

  2. Carol

    So What do you think you will be doing 5 years form now? Does the author of “the last paper” make you ponder?

  3. phil

    yup thats right 5 years and you will be back mabye even less than that but 5 is the maxium

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