Seeing Clearly

By Dr. Greg Trull, Dean of Ministries, Professor of Biblical Studies

During my first semester of seminary, I began having regular headaches, and not just during Greek vocabulary quizzes. By the end of a long day of classes, I felt like my head was going to split. Was there not enough room for canonization, contextualization and Calvinism in my tiny brain? Was Mom right that I had watched so much Cowboy football and Three Stooges that my mind had rotted? Was I allergic to hermeneutics?

My family doctor sent me for a brain scan. It revealed nothing. Maybe Mom was right. Eventually my doctor sent me to an eye specialist. Understanding we needed to check off all possibilities, I kept the appointment. “My doctor just wants to eliminate any eye problems,” I said to the ophthalmologist. “I have perfect vision.”

The doctor’s wrinkly smile belied his many years of experience. He turned out the lights, leaving a single spot on the opposite wall. “Please read the second line.” I looked at the gray glowing blob and laughed, “That’s a good one doc, very funny.”

He replied, “That’s the line you need to see to get a driver’s license in this state, smart guy.”

I quickly realized he wasn’t joking. My eyes were the pranksters. He adjusted a set of lenses and the fog became an eye chart. Soon I traded in my headaches for a pair of glasses.

How was I supposed to know? I had seen the world the same way my whole life. I needed someone to help me find clarity. We all do.

I’m delighted to bring you three lens adjustments in this issue of Dedicated. Jack Willsey reviews Church in the Present Tense, a collection of essays that seeks to illuminate the murky issue of the emergent/emerging church. Mark Jacobson takes a fresh look at a familiar passage on walking by the Spirit. Lee Ann Zanon examines Moses’ call to help us view our own callings more clearly. So pick up your reading glasses if you need them, and take a look.

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