A couple weeks back, Ben Myers posted a tongue-in-cheek list of theological vices, for instance:
1. As a theological student, your aim is to accumulate opinions – as many as you can, and as fast as possible. (Exceptional students may acquire all their opinions within the first few weeks; others require an entire semester.)... If at first you don’t feel much conviction for these new opinions, just be patient: within twelve months you will be a staunch advocate, and you’ll even be able to help new students acquire the same opinions.Today he posted his corresponding list of theological virtues, including:
6. Love: Theological formation should be driven by a love for truth, not by animosity towards untruth. Truthful theology always involves polemics – but since truth takes form as love, it can never be used as a weapon to wound another person. Where this occurs, truth becomes a falsehood....If, like me, you need the reminder, do check out his lists.
9. Truth: Ambition for the comfort and respectability of a career is a deadly temptation which the theological student must resist. One can serve the idol of career only by compromising the call to speak the truth – that is, by sacrificing one’s entire theological vocation. Theological education is not about garnering academic favour, nor about treading the eggshells of correctness and respectability; it is about loving the truth and speaking the truth faithfully, while “taking no thought for tomorrow” (Matt. 6:34).
10. Prayer: Prayer is the theologian’s most fitting and most distinctive activity. A theologian who does not pray is a grotesque aberration – like a literary scholar who doesn’t read, or a music teacher who cannot play an instrument. Above all else, “the theologian is the one who prays” (St Evagrius).