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  • Writer's pictureMaddi


Updated: Jan 3, 2019

In a month, I arrive in Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, today I'm sitting at my grandmother's table writing a 5-7 page research paper on the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer*, an endeavor that is equally as fun as traveling to Northern Ireland. (This is a half-joke. I do love Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but I'm pretty sure traveling to Belfast will be more fun although I've never been so I can't speak to that with certainty.)

I've really enjoyed writing this so I thought I would include my favorite part of the paper so far (I've put it in the dividers so if reading this sounds like pulling teeth, you can skip it).


As Marsh writes [of Bonhoeffer's experiences in the American seminary Union Theological Seminary], “He noted with astonishment that he occasionally heard students – seminarians preparing for the ministry – ask ‘whether one really must preach about Christ.’” Bonhoeffer concluded that, “There is no theology here” (Marsh 104). Jesus is for everyone. This is not simply a nice bumper sticker or a good Sunday school message for kindergarteners, but should be the core message and mark of good and worthy theological doctrine, although not necessarily popular amongst reformed theologians as Bonhoeffer was. This is not to say that everyone chooses that Jesus, but Jesus chooses everyone. Often times, especially in religious higher education, it is easy to grow complacent and rely on intellect to experience Christ or to rely on awareness of social issues and the pursuit of social justice as in the case of the students at Union. The problem with either of these as ends within themselves is that if one or the other is championed, then Christ has only come for the intellectual or for those that have the means to pursue social justice to their greatest ability. This balance of intellect and experience was something Bonhoeffer came to America to find and he struggled to find it at Union.


Research Paper-Writing Playlist:

1. "Library Magic" by The Head and the Heart

2. The entire Home for Christmas album by Amy Grant (it's not Christmas at my house if this isn't perpetually playing through the month of December)

3. My Bon Iver playlist (it includes "Roslyn," an incredibly underrated song...don't hate me but it's on a Twilight movie soundtrack)

4. "Don't Stop Me Now - Remastered" by Queen

5. The movie Ex Machina (I should be more focused on this paper)


I plan on trying to post consistently (key word PLAN) on here about what I'm learning and seeing and whatever else seems relevant to include throughout next semester. It will be incredibly disorganized and non-linear. (In his book Ethics, Bonhoeffer says that the "natural" is unorganized and that it always seems to win out over the well-organized "unnatural"...this is what he meant, right?)

I hope to create videos and drawings and lists and writings and pictures to put on here. I feel that posting these things here on my website will keep people who don't care much to see what I'm up to won't have to scroll through a million social media posts. Nothing against people who don't care about what I'm up to nor against people who do post a million social media posts about their travels! I just wanted to try to keep everything in one place, both for myself and the people in my life who have a vested interest in my growth and flourishing. Hey dad, I know you're reading this. Thanks for your vested interest.

I'll talk to you all soon (probably). As a side note, I will most likely continue to edit this post until the next one is released because I'll most likely have more to say about this week. Visiting my family in South Dakota means I tend to get both tense and reflective. I will spend the next few days updating the list below:


Every time I come to South Dakota...

  • I pass by this rickety, wooden three-car garage every time I turn onto my cousin's street and watch it become more and more decrepit with each year. Things in California change constantly and if it was built there, it would have been torn down long ago. Yet, there is something comforting about the fact that this garage still continues to take up space on someone's property, aging and existing without seeming to be particularly useful.

  • I always find new old things. My grandparents don't seem to understand the concept of getting rid of (any) things and I've even found a box of (don't worry they are unused!) tampons from 1982. This time, I found a Thomas Kincade painting I hadn't noticed before, 7 curling irons of different sizes from the 1970s (3 of which give off a burning smell if you plug them in), and the infamous red pajamas that each Glanzer child and grandchild has been photographed in.

  • There are certain conversations that I've practiced a million times before and I still feel as though I haven't improved in them at all. Is this what growth is supposed to feel like? I really think (hope) it is.

  • I watch soaps with my grandma and find myself getting way more invested than I should, although I have to ask what’s happening every 2 minutes until I get a feel for the characters. I noticed this time that they changed the theme song for The Bold and the Beautiful unfortunately. The old one was better.

  • I get sent home with a loaf of bread and about 6 extra pounds of body fat from more bread consumed earlier in the week.


12/21/18 - Grandma Seyfarth in the study

*Post sponsored by Dr. Draycott (my professor for my Bonhoeffer class)*

**just kidding**

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