Friday, August 21, 2020

Degrees & Diplomas

I am forever grateful to be a pastor because I don’t have to gown myself anymore with academic regalia during graduation ceremonies. Only today I decided to make sure I knew where to locate my degrees and diplomas. It took more than 20 minutes foraging in my store room and many boxes but then the few scrolls were located in a drawer underneath the television. I took out my diploma for my Bachelor of Theology which I did not frame (regrettably) since it was already showing signs of moulding. That degree cost me more than RM100K over two years of study in Auckland and now I am going to invest in a wooden frame of RM35.00 in order to keep it clean or in its somewhat damaged state. For both degrees, bachelor and doctoral, I did not attend the graduation.

In May 1995 when my BTheol was conferred on me in absentia I was in the middle of the jungle, in the interior of Borneo with oil lamps and battery torches to light the night. In August 2003 (exactly 17 years ago) when my PhD was conferred in absentia again, I was busy pastoring my home church which grew more than double within 5 years. Degrees and diplomas surely mean something; it is not for nothing that I am called a “Dr” or doctor by some of my friends. Even Martin Luther, the great reformer was proud to be a Doctor of Scripture and I intend to use the full breath of scriptural knowledge which God has granted me to effect the next reformation as biblical literacy has never been so low and it is only getting worse.

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