Please help me go to seminary! (a request, a plea)

paul-greek-manuscriptIn 2008, I graduated from college and moved to Philadelphia to head to seminary. I ended up not returning to that seminary program when the year was out, primarily for money issues (and some others). Four years later, I’m now going back (to a different seminary). And again, I’m trying to be conscious of money.

I know this is weird, and maybe a little presumptive, but I’m asking blog readers for some help with my seminary textbooks. I have made an Amazon Wishlist with my Fall textbooks, and I’m just throwing it out there to see if anyone could help buy me some of these. They are mainly just “normal” books that are being used as textbooks for classes (nothing over $20), but put altogether, they can add up. I have specifically chosen the Kindle version for some books, and the physical for others, so whatever is on the list is what I need.

I’ve been running this blog for over 8 years, and have written over 800 posts so far. It has been named one of the Top 50 Divinity blogs, has sent me to Guatemala, given me the opportunity to write for several other sites, and has twice been featured on the WordPress homepage. My hope is that if I may have (accidentally, of course) said a thing or two that was helpful, challenging, or enjoyable to you, you might consider coming alongside me to help support and further the work for which this blog has been my primary outlet.

If money is more your preferred way of supporting those in need, you can also make donations through PayPal. And of course, if you can help in neither of those ways, I would appreciate all the prayer you can spare me. So if you read this post, and know you won’t be able to support monetarily, would you take a few moments and offer a brief prayer for me?

I know this is all weird. I’m not expecting much (if anything), but I’m interested to see what happens. So, I would appreciate if you can give as you are able, to show your support for what I do and what I want seminary to help equip me for. Thank you so much for any way you can help. Once more:

P.S. I’ve never used an Amazon Wishlist before, so if there are any problems, please let me know. Thanks again.


10 thoughts on “Please help me go to seminary! (a request, a plea)

  1. Are the books equally needed, or is it preferential based on listing. I enjoy reading your blog, and would be happy to support this effort. Best wishes for your studies.


  2. what a pretentious picture…just kidding!

    as someone who knows Paul well, let me just say that he’s a good guy and will be used by God as an agent of mercy and grace in many people’s lives.

    Supporting him is well worth it.


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  4. “When WAS the last time you spoke to 3 such people? ”

    When I was in a neighborhood around my university. Though their answers aren’t always verbatim “lack of personal responsibility”, they’re just variations thereof. Although I can have the same discussion in my own neighborhood around my house where I grew up. My own mother will have that discussion with me. She has become very aware of what it takes to make a successful career and she’s very busy at failing (or having already failed) at it, and she knows it, and she knows why, and she doesn’t have the determination to get it done. She lacks in the grit department.

    “”there is indeed cultural and institutional alienation and exclusion that needs institutional changes to rectify”

    I don’t dispute that there are factors weighing populations down. We all have those factors, or different ones. We must overcome them.

    I personally feel like the cultural ones are biggest, and they are the least likely to be fixed anytime in the next hundred years, or in fact maybe ever. You can’t stop people from making their own culture of poorness and delighting in it. You’ve got christian culture where the highest calling is to give away all you own, rich men are unlikely to get into heaven etc., you’ve got rap culture where being from the streets and gang activity etc. are enshrined above bettering yourself, the list goes on and on. And before you take issue with the christianity one, I will tell you I have some personal experience with it. My own mom has this mindset and other christian minsets instilled in her, mainly from religion, and they are undoubtably holding her back. I think she’s finally coming to realize this actually, at least somewhat. In any event, those are hard to stop, maybe impossible, and they’re probably the biggest factor.

    As to the institutionalized stuff, sure, there probably is some. But I really don’t know what it is, perhaps you can enlighten me. I’m all the time hearing vague rumors and not seeing much evidence. And perhaps you could also enlighten me as to why people are relying on these institutions to better their lot in life in the first place.

    Besides all that though, I don’t think you can get around the fact that their failure to overcome these obstacles is still a lack of personal responsibility. I could have decided to adopt the small town culture I grew up in as my own and not amounted to much. I made the decision to overcome it, a very similar person to myself did not, and didn’t amount to much though he is just as smart as me and otherwise similarly situated. It was his lack of personal responsibility that held him back. I see no difference in the other people’s culture holding them back compared to his holding him back. Same goes with the institutions, save perhaps universities. You shouldn’t be relying on institutions (other than perhaps universities) anyway. And I’m afraid, if anything, universities are racially biased for minorities, not against them.

    In short, I’d love to see the evidence for all this, but I don’t see it, and I thus don’t see the basis for your theological standpoint as a result.

    ” if I have not earned such trust from you yet,”

    I trust you to make proper quotes, I just don’t see the evidence yet and so don’t even necessarily believe your sources, even if properly quoted. At least to the extent they go to make a special exception for the inner city people as opposed to the rest of poor people all struggling with their own set of setbacks that they must overcome, and which they seem to perennially fail to do.

    Also, I’m not sure if you responded to the offer to buy you books if you’ll read the two by sagan, the thread says there are 7 responses (one more than when I posted mine) but the thread only shows 6. If you want the deal it stands. Trust me, pale blue dot and demon haunted world are both kind of dry reads around rather magnificent and trancedental topics, and somewhat written for a different age and so they might be slightly difficult to bear. But they get the point across just the same.


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