Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How do you tell stories?

Last night I began my first class here at Southern Seminary. It's true I am not pursuing a degree like Josh is, in fact, I am merely auditing the class (more later on the action-packed schedule we will be attempting to maintain), but it was a seminary class and I go to it, and plan to read and learn as much as I can on the subject. The name of the class is "Visual Arts and the Protestant Tradition".

Now if you're like me, that name just jolts you and you begin to salivate. Tradition? (I think history). Protestant? (I think Theology). Arts? I simply cannot wait to see how these things are intertwined. It is no ordinary class. The professor, Dr. Halla (you can't imagine the amount of "halla" jokes) is young and quite fascinating -- for instance, he came to Christ at a Stryper concert in the 1980's.

I was literally leaning forward with my jaw dropped during a good part of his lecture, it was so engaging. He was giving us an introduction to Christianity and the visual arts, and he was saying things I just never hear theologians say, and posing questions for us to ponder considering art and theology. We are going to be discussing the way art throughout history really did reflect protestant Theolog
y (reformed Theology, specifically), mainly centering on the Reformation.

Our culture is increasingly visual based. Dr. Halla traced this shift in world wide culture back to the invention of photography, because that led to film, which leads to a whole new way to tell stories. How we tell stories is a huge indication of what kind of culture we live in. Before photography, the culture was largely text based, and stories were told through literature. Can you see why my jaw dropped? Telling stories? I'm hooked.

So why don't I just take this class for credit? Initially, I was, but when I started being realistic about my weekly schedule, I knew I would make myself miserable. Sunday nights we have the singles small group, which Josh and I are helping to lead, Monday nights I have class, Tuesday nights is Pendergraph Women's ministry (I am on the board), Wednesday night we have church service at our dear Clifton Baptist where I work with the children's ministry, Thursday night is Seminary Wives Institute -- where I am enrolled in 2 little classes (Embracing Femininity by Jodi Ware and Mary Mohler and Worldviews with Dr. Mohler).
I also work 40 hours a week! I love schoolwork, but I didn't think it wise to use all my leftover free time writing papers when we are really here for Josh.

I'll just be happy to sit in my little class and learn about Martin Luther and woodcuts.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting class! I received my copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible, and although I've only read a few pages, can tell the author is a master storyteller. I can see how the book appeals to children as well as adults.

MadMup said...

That sounds like a class even I would like! May you learn many, many interesting things and use them to help you in your ministry, Gret!

Anonymous said...

Gretchen, I wish I was taking a class too. Too bad you can't be getting credit. :( It looks incredibly interesting. Remember when we both took that directed study psychology class? I kind of thought.. "maybe I will do better than Gretchen". Heh. heh. I remember distinctly getting a B and you getting an A and me being bitter. I think I spent ALL my time on that stupid recipe box. (which I still have).

Gretchen said...

MR -- I'm so glad you like it! You're right -- a master story teller she is!

Mup -- thanks, man! I think you would like this class. Dr. Halla teaches another one you would love about Christianity and film, studying the visual art that film is, and the history of how christians have portrayed sacred things, and Bible events in film. At first I thought that didn't sound interesting, but I've changed my mind!

Anna -- whatever, I'm sure we both got A minuses. That recipe box sure lasted longer than anything we learned in Dev Psych! (Except watching that horrendous movie in the library!). Maybe next semester I'll take something for credit!

Emily said...

wow, that sounds so cool...they don't have aclass like that at Boyce, do they?...mmm...well in four years+ (when I graduate) maybe I'll take it.
-emma...PS--I'll keep you posted on my DACC lit. class, because I think you'll think it's interesting.