I started the coursework for my seminary course on the Patristic Fathers tonight. Cup of Evening Delight tea (Safeway Select’s peppermint chamomile concoction) in one hand, Henry Chadwick’s The Early Church in the other, the fire crackling in the TV (a fireplace DVD—need to get our real fireplace safety-checked*) I set about my task to read 2 chapters in the book and listen to the first lecture.
The verdict to this point:
1. I am an incredibly slow reader and probably for that reason not worthy of the “Seminary Student” title. Consider: it took me 2 hours to read the 40 pages that made up the first two chapters of the book. Not good. While it’s true that the flow of the text isn’t great (and I’m tired, which is a bad combination), I will need to learn to read much faster than I do.**
2. The lecturer isn’t particularly engaging, but he sticks to the outline and the lecture is pausable and rewindable, so I can’t complain. I’m about halfway through the lecture. I don’t think I’ll finish tonight.
3. Despite #s 1 and 2 above, the topic is fascinating from the get-go: church history, church order and heresies from the get-go. Much of this was familiar territory (thanks to Mr. Gonzalez in 2006), but I don’t mind the refresher (Boo, Gnosticism! Boo, Marcion!)
4. Fireplaces on DVD aren’t so bad.
*We’ve lived in this house for more than a year and have yet to use our fireplace. I’m not sure what to make of that. Every time I consider just lighting something in there already, I get images of chimney fires in my head. I just keep forgetting to call someone (and when I did in the past, no one got back to me).
**The slowness of my reading is mostly due to wanting to catch everything in the text, which results in going back and re-reading. This gets worse when I’m tired, as I’ll suddenly find myself “reading” the book without comprehending a single word. My concern with reading faster is missing a lot more information, but maybe that’s OK.