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The Christian Studies Blog

 

Dr. Todd Hall

Todd Hall is the director of the library and an instructor at Austin Graduate School of Theology. Todd graduated Austin Grad (then the Institute for Christian Studies) with a B.A. in Christian Studies in 1999, and a M.A in 2001. He began working with Austin Grad in 2006 and completed a M.S. in Library Science at the University of North Texas in 2008. Todd has a Ph.D in Education from Texas State University. His research focuses on the pedagogy of spiritual formation, especially as it takes place (or doesn't) in seminaries. He has a daughter whom he has raised as a single father, having lost his wife Jennifer in 2000. His research and writing interests include grief and grief ministry, theological bibliography and information-seeking skills development, and pedagogy and spiritual formation.
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Recent Posts

"Don’t Judge” and other Ironies

Posted by Dr. Todd Hall on March 21, 2017 at 9:30 AM



Perhaps the greatest irony of our present age is the absolute moralism of a culture which rails against institutionalized morality. “Don’t force your morality on me” is often uttered in complete sincerity and without a hint of irony.

Increasingly in our contemporary world, this commitment to the morality of moral relativism is becoming manifest in the church. And as has always been the case, there’s “no Catholic like a convert.” One can often see in the language of these converts to the new morality of the West all the righteousness of the raging prophets, dealing out the fiery judgment of God against those who would dare to “judge others.” This desire to raise ourselves above others—to present ourselves as righteous crusaders for God’s cause—is not new; in fact it is ancient, maybe the oldest impulse of humanity. But it can be terribly destructive, and it is symptomatic of a deeper problem: the desire for self-justification (usually in comparison to others, maximizing their “faults” while minimizing our own) is the full expression of a lack of trust in the goodness of God.

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Topics: On-Topic Today, Relationships

Black Friday and Blue Laws: What’s Lost in Post-Constantinianism

Posted by Dr. Todd Hall on January 26, 2017 at 9:30 AM

Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon argue in Resident Aliens that the opening of the movie theater in their hometown on Sundays represented the end of Christendom, and the beginning of an opportunity for “real” Christianity to emerge from the shadow of Constantinianism. This insight is important, and there can be no doubt that the end of “blue laws” at least embodies the shift in epoch experienced as these United States transitioned from a society structured around the edifice of the religion called “Christianity” to a secular, market-driven social structure. Is this a good thing, though?

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Topics: On-Topic Today, Church History, Politics

Welcome to the Austin Grad Library!

Posted by Dr. Todd Hall on November 15, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Pictured here are some library staff: Stephanie Byers, Vernessa Dyson, and Dr. Todd Hall

A few years ago, Austin Grad’s David Worley Library hit a milestone: we passed 30,000 catalogued items. 

This is significant for many reasons, not least of which is the legacy it represents—the legacy of dedicated servants in their development of this library in the past. This legacy began with G.H.P. Showalter and others. Indeed, as a student at Austin Grad I have been a beneficiary of their careful stewardship, and I now count myself blessed to be caretaker of this legacy.

A part of the legacy of this library as built by each of my predecessors is dedicated service both to students and to churches as well as to the local community. In keeping with this commitment, Austin Grad’s library remains open to church members interested in theological research, and we invite you to make use of our facilities and resources. In addition, I am available to anyone interested in reference support in his or her own research.

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Topics: About Austin Grad, Teaching Moment

Heavenly Bodies: Resurrection and Renewal of the body

Posted by Dr. Todd Hall on September 15, 2016 at 9:30 AM

In 2010 I was given the honor of meeting my fiancé’s (who will become my wife on November 12th) brother, Merrik.  Merrik was born with a genetic condition which has left him with severe disability. It hasn’t broken his spirit, though, as shown in his thoughtful looks and smiles, and as he has proven in living far beyond any expectation of his doctors. I haven’t had enough time with Merrik, but it didn’t take more than one meeting for me to recognize his beautiful soul.

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Topics: On-Topic Today, Personal, Teaching Moment

Public Policy and the Humanities. Wait, what?

Posted by Dr. Todd Hall on August 22, 2016 at 8:41 AM

In a day in which everything is political, and the political is incredibly polarized, it is vital that we develop a dialogue about ultimate things that goes beyond immediate and technical application.

If we are to get out of this thing alive, we need to develop a long term discussion and a shared vision of human flourishing and responsibility that truly engage thought regarding the good, the beautiful, and the true. Theology, in dialog with the humanities, can serve as a vital partner in developing this vision.

We live in a “practical” world that is always in search of a technical solution. There are several reasons for this, of course. We won’t have time to exhaust them all here, but I want to explore a couple of these reasons and then suggest some ways that the humanities—rather than political or technical solutions—might better serve a society in search of longer term answers to problems that plague us, currently.

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Topics: On-Topic Today, Teaching Moment, Politics

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