Monday, February 1, 2010

Is Academia paradise?

One thing that caught my attention and bewilderment in John Piper's talk The Pastor as Scholar: a Personal Journey was his discussion on his struggle to leave his position teaching at Bethel College and take a position as a pastor. He says,
I knew what this would mean to leave the world of academia.
  • It would mean no more Summers free to read and study and write.
  • It would mean endless administrative pressures and challenges.
  • It would mean an uncontrollable schedule.
  • It would mean an audience who would not want or reward academic prowess but pastoral warmth and presence.
  • It would mean funerals and weddings and baptisms and counseling and hospital visitation and emergencies and conflict resolution and staff management.
  • It would mean that the days of publishing articles in New Testament Studies and Theologische Zeitscrift and the days of being on the cutting edge of any scholarly discipline were over.
  • It would mean pressure to write a sermon or two or three every week would be relentless.

I don't doubt that this is what it meant to Piper. However, for the record his experience in academia is anomalous. Be assured that in the twenty-first century in practically any university or theological college there is plenty of administrative pressure, staff management, conflict resolution, lack of reward of academic prowess, ...

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