Give my head peace

Give my head peace

Dear prospective students,

Thank you for your enquiry about possibly becoming a student at Corpus Christi Seminary this next academic year. Maybe I can help you in your decision by saying a little as to what we are all about.

There is an expression in Northern Ireland – “give my head peace”. We do not intend to do that. We have no intention to disturb your faith but we have every intention to disturb your brain.

Our lecturers are nice people but they are not just cuddly teddy bears. If you state a view, they will (gently, for sure) ask you why you hold it. If you take one side in a controversy, they will ask you whether you have considered the arguments for the other side. If you describe an experience, they will thank you and thank God and then show you how to interrogate that experience from the scriptures as to meaning. If you assert a particular way of life, they will suggest you look at Christians from another culture to see how they read scripture on that issue. They will not just build a magnificent edifice of historical or denominational theological truth in front of your eyes, they will also show you the cracks in the building (It is a universal truth; all old theological buildings have cracks.)

And they will not just teach you truth. They will ask you to consider the implications of truth and ask you to ask yourself why you have not applied it to the way you live. They will not just exegete a passage as if it were dead text, they will ask whether it has come alive in your brain and heart and life. They will not give you career guidance so much as ask what you are going to do with your life for God.

Why? Because we live in an age of secular dominance of the media, of shallow Christian ideas and books which can mess you up, of people on wrong paths believing wrong things, of a mission field which is a pretty muddy field, not easy to play on. If you want to live well in today’s world and serve God truly, this is no time for peaceful heads.

Of course, there will be joyful times, delightful community, peaceful hearts, the strengthening of our belief in, and commitment to, the gospel and the Word. But these will not be bought by the bad coin of unthinking, un-applied faith. That is not our job.

Knowing this, I hope you can be happy here as a student. If not, I am sure you will be able to find another theological education institution which will give you an easier ride.

Your sincerely,

the principal

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One Comment on “Give my head peace”

  1. perryshaw Says:

    Wonderful Graham! We recently had a faculty discussion wrestling with these same issues, and I think you have captured what we long for our students. I particularly appreciated the sentence “We have no intention to disturb your faith but we have every intention to disturb your brain.” Making sure we do both affirming of faith and disturbing of minds is a challenge – but a worthy challenge.


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