Early this year, I read a long, 20-year-old essay by David Powlison — his classic ‘Idols of the Heart and Vanity Fair’. It was my first time reading him, and it was the first time I truly saw —in practice, not just theory— how idolatry is the fundamental problem of all human hearts and how true Biblical counselling will always point towards the gospel and Christ as the only solution.
I picked up his ‘Seeing with New Eyes’. I thought it was a decent book the first time I read it, but nothing memorable. Until I read it again, and felt the gentle, soul-searching questions he asks about functional gods pierce me like the two-edged sword Scripture is meant to be. Until I found out that he had been diagnosed with cancer 4 times, which makes his 7 reasons not to worry not just clichés, but lifelines. Until I read his deconstruction of ‘The Five Love Languages’, and recognised that so much of our (Christians’) well-meaning advice or comfort to others is mere platitude, or worse, encouraging further self-centeredness.
Then two weeks ago, I read that CCEF (Christian Counselling and Educational Foundation, where Powlison is Executive Director) offers online courses, and their Fall term was starting in September. And I have… decided to sign up for a course, namely, ‘Dynamics of Biblical Change’ — taught by Powlison, and the foundational course for the rest of the CCEF curriculum (: (:
I’m so excited to be taking an online course for the first time, with actual credits and assignments and deadlines. I’m also so nervous — I have no background or training in theology, the timing totally clashes with my ‘peak’ at work, I don’t know what to expect at all, etc. But most of all I’m thankful for this opportunity to learn from a great teacher, for technology, for how the financial side of things got settled (it’s not cheap, and everything seems expensive when one has just started work), for the ministry I have.
Can’t wait (: