Seminary is really quite extraordinary. Think about it: on a regular basis I would gather some of my peers to discuss and dissect some of the deepest, most significant, and challenging ideas we’ve ever encountered. When I graduated in May, one of my most inward fears was that I would somehow lose that community of learning. Anyone who works in a church knows that you are often so busy planning, preparing, and organizing events for congregants that you rarely get to engage in a text simply for the sake of engagement. Midrash & a Meal will allow me the opportunity to continue to participate in a community of learning with peers.
I recently finished our text for Thursday, Ross Douthat’s Bad Religion: How We Become a Nation of Heretics. I was struck my his analysis of the current state of American Christianity, and especially his exploration of the current trends in Christian scholarship, the proponents of the so-called “prosperity gospel”, and his insights into the conflation of American patriotism with Christian theology. While I agreed with a good amount of analyses, I also feel that he is operating under an idealized, modern-era worldview in which the litmus test of success for Christianity is institutional church attendance. Perhaps Douthat could have also explored smaller, organic expressions of Christian faith that have arisen in our postmodern context.
I am so looking forward to the reciprocal dialogue, mutual agreement, cordial disagreement, and all-around beneficial conversation with other members of the Central community of faith at Midrash & a Meal.
Tyler Tankersley 2012 M.Div.
From early on in life my desire has been to follow God and serve Him in any capacity that was available to me. My grandparents, who actively involved me in the spiritual life of our family, raised me in a Christian household.
I accepted Christ as my personal savior when I was nine years old. As a teenager I felt a strong, consuming desire to do more with my life, especially as it related to life within the staging church. After much prayer and spiritual counseling, I answered the call to preach when I was 16 and delivered my first sermon when I was 17, becoming the fourth generation of pastors/ministers in my family. Eventually, my responsibilities within the staging church increased. I have served as Youth Minister, Associate Minister, Assistant Pastor, Interim Pastor, and Senior Pastor in churches in Missouri and Texas.