Why Seminary?

“I guess I just don’t get it. Why seminary?” my mom asked one night around the fire pit.

I find it quite interesting, now that I think about it, that this whole time, we haven’t dived deep into “Why seminary.” At least I haven’t. What about seminary itself makes us feel called?

In fact, we have discussed almost everything BUT seminary. It’s like Bobby spoke the word “seminary,” and we instantly started talking about marriage, family, our church, our home, our neighborhood, his career, our lives. “Seminary” kinda turned into “moving.”

And of course, seminary implies moving. We do need to talk about moving. I don’t find complete fault in our thinking and conversations. Moving is a big deal.

Times we doubt seminary are not the times we are thinking about seminary. When we doubt (at least when I doubt), it’s something about our lives that makes me not want to move. I never doubt seminary. I occasionally doubt moving.

Ever since my mom asked that question around the crackling fire, I set my mind on answering it. I felt a certain sense of guilt. I should have answered this question yesterday.

So let’s rewind ten years ago: 2010, when Blockbusters still existed, iPads were new, and everyone was still doing the Harlem Shake. That decade was “cray cray!” (Anyone with me!?)

Bobby signed up for classes at Grace University. Why? “I just want to take Bible classes.” It took some convincing, but the student admin finally just signed him up for an undeclared major and stuck him in Bible classes. And he was a happy clam. Who does that? Only a future seminary student I think.

Enter Sarah Van Moorleghem. The girl who cried all the time because she just loved Jesus so much. (Ha! I did cry a lot back then… and I did love Jesus a lot!) Anyway, so this Bobby guy, went to school to learn about the Bible, and this Sarah girl, learned about the intense love of Jesus at that same school, and those two young scalawags… well, they started dating. How? By going to Ihop and talking long, long hours about the Bible. You guys, I kid you not—my and Bobby’s “first” date felt so awkward. I tell everyone, “I felt like I was dating my pastor!” Who says that?! Only the future wife of a future seminary student, I think.

Now let’s advance a few years: 2013. These two get married. Yay! They get involved in their church. They start a small group in their church. This small group… well, it started to get a little out of hand. Every week, it would turn into deep debates over Biblical topics, over theology, over something about something in the Bible. Bobby would lead a 1 to 3 hour Bible study with no bathroom breaks, and no bunny trails! It was no-nonsense. So, after a couple of years of intense small grouping, a good friend of ours told us she didn’t look forward to small group anymore. She felt like she had to come up with all the right answers and she couldn’t really contribute to the conversation. So Bobby simmered down. By the grace of God, for the sake of the church, he simmered down! Anyway, the point I’m making, is that Bobby’s intensity over the Bible was real. Is real. Who has that kind of drive and zeal? Only a future seminary student, I think.

Let me convince you some more. Let me show you how Bobby continued to grow and continues to grow as an obsessed Bible-nut. Did you know Bobby was converted by reading the Bible? No evangelists. No alter calls. No friend sharing the gospel. Just Bobby and his Bible, in his basement.

Did you know that Bobby spends 2 to 4 hours in personal Bible study every morning? Did you know he memorized the entire book of Romans in 8 months? Did you know every time I talk about women’s Bible study, he is jealous I get to go study the Bible with a bunch of people? Did you know that when he read Leviticus, he was giddy and wanted to preach a sermon on it? Leviticus, people. Leviticus! (And the sermon was really good, by the way.)

Did you know that when we moved into our first home, Bobby wanted me to decorate it with, “Bible everywhere!” So, we have Bible verse art in LITERALLY every room in our house. Including the bathroom! Did you know that whenever I ask him, “How can I love you better?” he just says, “Um… talk about the Bible more?” Did you know that he still doesn’t get it, when someone says they find it hard to read the Bible? He literally can’t even conceive the idea.

Did you know that Bobby has never once (NOT ONCE) confessed a boredom with the Bible, an indifference, a “low season,” or even neutrality? Did you know that when he went touring with Mannheim Steamroller, he extended his 2 to 4 hour personal Bible time to 4 to 6 hours? Not because he should, but because it just happened. Did you know you could go up to Bobby and say any book, and any chapter in the Bible, and he would probably tell you what it’s about? For example, I would say something like, “So I was reading Numbers 10 this morning… wait, tell me what it’s about!” And he would answer it correctly. I could go on and on and on about how Bobby’s life revolves around the Bible.

You guys, I just realized: Bobby even COLLECTS Bibles! We have about 100 Bibles, in different languages, different years, different translations, all over our house. He hobbies the Bible! I didn’t even know that was possible.

The Bible is his life.

So why seminary? I rest my case. There is nothing about Bobby that isn’t about the Bible. Bobby lives and breathes and soaks and oozes and devours and spews the Bible. So, I guess the only reason why he shouldn’t go to seminary, is if seminary isn’t all about the Bible. If it offers something not the Bible.

If seminary isn’t about the Bible, then seminary isn’t for Bobby.

It’s funny though. I still don’t think I have totally answered the question. I haven’t shown any reasons why he should go to seminary. I’ve just convinced you that Bobby stinkin’ loves the Bible. But I think that’s the point actually. I don’t think seminary is meant to be this big, epic life-changing turning point. I don’t know if seminary is the piece to finally finish the puzzle. I don’t think when we get to seminary, we will kick back, relax, and say, “Ah, yes! Finally! Life is complete!”

No. I think seminary is just… well, the next faithful step. And that’s pretty much it. I think seminary is just going to be another event to tack on to the timeline of “Bible Bobby.” It will be a big chapter on his timeline, but not the end. Seminary is the wisest way today to steward Bobby himself. Because Bobby has such a capacity, such a zeal, such a passion, such an itch for the Bible, he better use it!

It’s like a fire. When it has consumed all the wood, you throw more wood on. And when all the wood isn’t enough, you throw in some lighter fluid to really kick it back up. I think seminary is Bobby’s lighter fluid.

Anyway, there ya go, Mom. I hope that answers your question. 🙂

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