A delegation from my alma mater, Virginia Theological Seminary, stopped by in Tokyo on their way home from a week or so in Hong Kong and China. I took them to meet the VP of St. Paul's University, helped them navigate around town, found a nice Japanese restaurant for dinner, showed them the hospital and the Ginza shopping district, etc.
It was fun to show off my city and my hospital. And I really enjoyed spending time with my old New Testament professor, Dr. John Yieh. He's a Taiwanese Presbyterian minister and scholar. Brilliant, humble, orthodox, irenic, sweet all the way around.
His classroom was one of the few places at VTS where I felt like I even recognized the theological landscape. Same gospel. Same sense of humility and reverence in front of the Scriptures. Same organic connection with the previous 2,000 years of Christian history. Same delight in the Word made Flesh and dwelling among us--a delight which yearns to be shared, is rightfully shared, is an act of profound love to share.
There were also two new VTS graduates along, a husband and wife, both newly ordained. I enjoyed meeting them and spending time with them. But I also realized, or reconfirmed, that we are not co-religionists. The faith that these two young Episcopalians are eager to go out and proclaim is, as far as I can see, not the faith once received.
It's certainly not the faith that turned my life around. It seems to be an amalgam of feminist liberation and a Democratic Party agenda, clever scepticism, hip-ness, and generous heaps of affirmation. God doesn't make garbage.
Well, interfaith relationships are important in our shrinking global village. So I guess I can hang out with Episcopalians from time to time.
Just don't bring up the subject of religion!