Princeton: Myth and Reality

<%image(20050412-princeton.jpg|102|54|princeton)%> Jules and I packed up some books and went off to Princeton this past Saturday. We had this ambition to get a lot of work done and figured that some of the brain energy there would rub off on us. I also wanted to get my paws on some of the volumes at the Princeton Theological Seminary Library. But I was not prepared for what we encountered there . . .

While the book collection at the seminary was comprehensive and overwhelming, the place was kind of . . . depressing and a bit dumpy. And believe, Biblical seminary (my academic institution) has been through some renovations, and I have SEEN dumpy.

While I understand that a library does not have to be any great shakes, it really surprised me that the cream of American religious scholarship was getting a library without nice tables, desks, carpet, 1 outlet in an entire room, old wooden chairs, etc. It made me very grateful for my own school, where we have nice desks set up along windows. Each desk has an outlet with a network connection port in addition to wireless all over campus.

I realized that Biblical and Princeton are really in two worlds. Biblical, not even on the map for many, wants to be the premier school for young, evangelical leaders and to be a hub for emerging church thinking. Wifi is a must in this world it would seem. Blogs, discussion boards, and online zines are the medium for this conversation, and that’s where the focus has been. Books are nice, but the online world is tops.

Princeton puts their money into the books on the shelves. The walls could rot all around them, provided that the elite scholars are on top of the latest research and insights found in the printed word.

On another note, we walked through the Princeton University Campus and were in awe of the beautiful buildings. They were simply some of the finest buildings that I have ever set eyes upon. The architecture is sweet and the campus is laid out so well. Some of the dorms have doors that look like the Shire. We were expected hobbits to come hobbling out and offer us some tea . . .

nuff rambling for now.

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