My name is Marvin Smith. And welcome to My Theological Playground!
My wife and I met while we were working in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association office in Minneapolis. We have been married 44 years and live in Limerick, PA. We have one daughter who is married to a children’s pastor; they have two children, in 4th and 6th grades.
God has graciously given me four years of service in a church as youth pastor and minister of Christian Education, twenty one years of service in a Christian university as a librarian and as a member of the faculty — teaching Christian Education and Bible courses, ten years of service in the retail sector, and now just over three years of service as a theological librarian. My family and I toured Israel in August 1994 and we lived in Brussels, Belgium for five months in spring 1997 when I taught courses at Continental Theological Seminary.
Both of my M. A. in Theological Studies (1977) and my Doctor of Ministry (1998) degrees were earned at Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. And along the way I also earned the M. A. in Library Sciences (1985) from the University of Minnesota.
I strongly believe in serving Christ through my local church. During seminary I taught the 3rd and 4th grade children’s church and team-taught young marrieds. Since then, I have team-taught 5th graders, played trumpet in the church orchestra, led small group ministries in my home for many years, and have team-taught an adult class for several years. During my daughter’s elementary years my wife and I coached a Junior Bible Quiz team and later provided leadership for that ministry. In addition to my local church, I have served Christ in many other churches through workshops in Christian education and through other lay leadership training endeavors.
The Bible is very important to me and I spend a lot of my time making sense of Scripture. My personalized reading schedule keeps me on track to read the entire Bible through in one year – which I have done many times. On my tombstone I hope they inscribe these words: He Taught the Bible Creatively. Using video as parable is fun for me because I passionately attempt to make God’s word relevant and easy to understand. For example, Parables from Star Trek is a 13 week series that I have written and taught several times. Hopefully you will discover some of my creative efforts in this blog.
Working as a seminary librarian is the perfect job for me because I love books — anything theological or about the biblical world or dealing with church leadership or church history or American history or medieval history or …… well, you get the idea! And I like organizing information (I have spreadsheets for car expenses, Star Trek episodes, my personal library, my clipping file, my Star Trek ornaments … and lots more). Speaking of my clipping file, I am addicted to reading the newspaper and clipping articles touching on anything theological or about the biblical world or …… here we go again! Sorry, fiction books and novels don’t exist in my world.
And I like to travel. I like remodeling our house (I’m good, but I’m slow at construction). I like gathering genealogical information and organizing pictures of my family and my ancestors. I really like playing Rook! A day with my wife at an antique mall is a good day. And I wish I had time for sports, especially golf and rugby (ok, maybe NOT rugby).
But playing Pounce with my wife and my grandchildren and their parents is the best!