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My Advice to Students — Doug Campbell Shares 2 Things to Cure Boredom and Theological Weakness in Students

Categories My Advice to Students

In our ongoing advice series to students, Doug Campbell (contributor to the book Four Views on the Apostle Paul) shares two bits of insight he wishes he would have received early on in his career.

The first thing he advises is, "You need to feel that you've been called to your subject." You will be fatigued and bored later in life if you're not passionate about the issues in a given subject. So unless you're passionately engaged, steer clear.

The second thing he'd want to say is, "there is a terrible theological weakness in a lot of students today." He says students often think we just need to just read a text and it tells us what it wants to tell us. Such a mindset leads to a "descriptive impericism that can be a little bland." He encourages students to "load up" on the heavy-hitting Christian thinkers to cure such weakness, beginning with who I would say is the most significant theologian since Calvin.

I won't spoil the surprise here, but if you engage his works every day, Campbell says that after 10 years you'll have the best theological education money can buy. If someone told him this 30 years ago Campbell says it would have changed his life—in fact he says he is doing it right now and it is changing his life.

Campbell offers some sound, practical advice if you're looking to cure vocational boredom and theological weakness. So take a listen, and be sure to take notes!

-Jeremy Bouma, ThM (@bouma)


"My Advice to Students" is a weekly video series designed to advise and guide students who are studying for a future of ministry in the Church, whether in the academy or in congregations. In these specially curated videos, leading scholars of biblical studies share their seasoned wisdom to help you navigate this important season of preparation.

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