"I hope none of you came to class hoping to have me blindly affirm all the things 'your Pastor' told you in church. We won't just regurgitate things we've heard preached from the pulpit. I expect you to take Scripture and prove your position. This isn't about bible stories, but applying Scripture to the gray areas of life and ethics."
He had me. I was exhilarated! This was going to be awesome! All of that quickly dissipated as he continued, however. Over the next 20-30 minutes he began to critique and criticize conservative evangelical theology. Those of us who dared challenge him, he would ridicule and belittle. I left completely deflated and more than intimidated. I now knew why no other freshmen had signed up for this class.
Over the course of that semester, I was tested in harder ways than I had ever been before or have been since. He was critical, argumentative, condescending and unbiblical.
It wasn't easy, but I survived. I didn't get through it because I was always prepared or always right. I didn't always speak in love. I said things I had to go back and retract. I spoke in haste rather than in Truth. There were times I was motivated to correct a wrong rather than protect the Truth.
I survived because I had a Dad who taught me to love the Word, not just the stories but the theology. I survived because despite my pride, which was often too present, I had been taught to love the Truth more than I loved my opinions. I had been taught to love Truth more than I loved being right. I had been taught that God didn't need me to defend Him, but He invites me to "stand firm" not for my glory but for His own. I had been taught these things by my favorite professor, my Dad, Dr. Alan Posey.
I talked to my Dad almost every day as I studied the Word, wrote papers and prepared my oral defense. He was a sounding board and a Truth-teller. I treasured his advice and counsel. He is a man who is zealous for the glory of God and the veracity of Scripture. He is wise and knowledgable. (And I quickly discovered the value of both.) He is gracious, patient and tender. The Sword is always safe in His hands. I am glad I am his daughter and his student.
I learned a lot during that fall semester 1996, but it wasn't in the classroom. It was in the hard stuff of Scripture under the shepherding of my ever-patient Dad.
This experience was one of those watermark moments in my life. It shaped me then and is shaping me now. More on that later...