Chapel Speakers

This post was highlighted as a guest blog entry on The Huntington Cynic on March 11, 2007. 

A small group of my colleagues today (which could probably be extended into a much larger group) were unsettled by today’s chapel speaker. I’m not one to name names, but let’s just say it was insulting to us on both an academic and a theological level.

Kingsley made a number of statements which made a group of us look up from our work (be it Greek translations or some other amusement) and turn our heads to the side.

Some people think that Christ gave up part of his omniscience when He came to Earth. But that’s just not the case.

Jeremy Kingsley

I’m not sure whether I agree or disagree (the Christological question hasn’t been something I’ve set to work on at any point – possibly because it doesn’t come across as all that alarming of a question) but I take issue with him based on principle. How can he brush aside an entire theological debate with the wave of his hand?

Kingsley’s entire talk was steeped what might be called a “youth leader’s” mentality. There was a very real sense of him saying “I’m going to use big words like omnisciencenow that you don’t know, so just pay attention, okay?” At one point he even took a moment to mock academic Christians by telling the chapel to “put their theological caps on” and “get ready to judge me.” His attitude toward educated Christians was probably due to his apparent lack of Christian scholarship, but I digress.

Chapel speakers at Huntington are notorious for being poor. I don’t mean poor like the I-can’t-buy-a-Big Mac-and-I’m-hungry kind of poor, I mean poor academically. Most speakers are “youth leaders” or at worst aspiring “youth leaders.” There isn’t much respect paid to actual Biblical or authoritative work on subjects; instead flowery and excessive emotional language is preferred.

This isn’t an isolated event – that’s the sad part. I only hope that not everyone in chapel took Kingsley’s word for it. I hope some students get angry about it and do some studying and find out the very real (and no, Kingsley, not stupid) options which exist as answers to Christological questions and questions on the nature of divinity. I hope students become concerned to the point that they start making noise about chapels. I hope students demand more out of their chapel program.

If we don’t become upset, if we don’t start talking about it – loudly – will anything ever change?

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