An anniversary

I just realised that it was forty years ago this month that I started studying theology. 
My first class was at Queensland University in the BA course. I started with the subject, The History of Christian Thought. It was taught by Ian Gillman, a wonderful teacher. Engaging, encouraging and very entertaining. We did New Testament to Wycliffe in the first semester and the Reformation to the present in the second semester. 
I can’t remember who was my tutor in first semester, but I know Peter Carnley was in second. I remember being interrogated by him on my disdain for Bultmann (for which I had no real explanation since it was just required of me as a fundamentalist, as I was then). 
Dad was in the same class. He was doing a BD for his own interest and personal growth. I actually enjoyed being in the same class with him. He could be a very good informal tutor when I let him. My first assignment was on Augustine’s “Enchiridion”. Even though I’d never written an essay of that length before and didn’t really know what I was doing, I got a 6 (a distinction), largely because of Dad’s advice and support I think. 
So began my journey. 
What have I learnt in forty years of studying theology? Forty years of thinking, reading, discussing, writing and teaching about God? I’ve learnt how little I actually know about God. I’ve learnt to expect and be comfortable with the way a person just recently come to faith, or a person who sees God through a different cultural and linguistic lens, can completely disarm me with insight and wisdom that had been beyond my imagination. I’ve learnt that the presence, power and love of God is so simple that a child can grasp it and yet so profound that not even the greatest scholars can fathom it.
I’ve learnt that doing theology can be a real hoot sometimes, and that sometimes it saves lives… 
  Simeon the Theologian

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