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My Advice to Students — Fred Sanders Says Master These 3 Things

Categories My Advice to Students

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9780310517092While I eventually learned in seminary that you can’t master it all, I wish I would have had this advice from Fred Sanders, theologian and co-editor of Advancing Trinitarian Theology.

Rather than shotgun it, he advises theology students to focus by mastering these three things:

  1. Master a major doctrine. “Resist the temptation to find some little tiny detail no one has looked at, but face up to a central doctrine of perennial importance.”
  2. Master a classic work (or two). While he says to stay up on the latest journal articles and scholarship, Sanders says know “a big old musty book” or two backwards and forwards.
  3. Master research languages early on. “Even though it’s a little bit crazy-making climbing the barrier of research languages early on…it really is worth doing.”

While you can’t master everything, if you follow Sanders’s advice, not only will you excel in your education, you’ll make a marked contribution to scholarship and Christ’s kingdom, too.

-Jeremy Bouma, Th.M. (@bouma)

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