Essays

Being a student means I write a lot. I write down notes in class. I write down notes after class. From time to time, I’ve even been known to write down notes at home. I scribble out my thoughts on material covered in class. I record reflections on life events that seem to be important, that I might look back on the present moment once the story has played out. I write detailed exegesis papers and short answers for pop quizzes.

Most of the things I write are nonsense; Some of it is not. The later is what I hope to share here.

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Akedah: Breaking the Bonds of Primitive Faith

This was my first attempt at studying a text for the purposes of exegesis. I wrote this paper for my Old Testament I class during my first semester of Divinity School. The passage of Genesis describing the near sacrifice of Isaac is one that I have been familiar with since childhood. For me, the text always carried a certain level of discomfort. As much as possible, I hoped to explore the meaning of this story in its original context and to discover what relevance it has for contemporary Christians.

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Homelessness: The Great Corruption

This paper was presented as my final project for Introduction to Urban & Social Ministries, which I took over the summer following my first semester at Divinity School. Over the course of the summer, I visited more than a dozen ministry sites in downtown Raleigh. From homelessness to AIDS; mental illness to chemical addictions; broken families, broken dreams and broken faith; clothes closets, soup kitchens, day cares and emergency shelters — my peers and I took it all in. After talking with staff, volunteers, government officials and clients at these service sites, I decided to conduct additional research on the issues associated with homelessness, focusing on identified problems in Wake County. The primary purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the fact that actually ending homelessness is indeed a very real possibility in contemporary society — one that Christians have an obligation to act upon.

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