- In 1984, I had no idea what the definition of holy was nor how it applied to my understanding of God. I found the word to be without either clarity (what Pastors were saying) and without real meaning because the word flew over my head or over the cuckoo's nest perhaps. I would give myself a 1 out of 4 for my score during this time - since I at least knew it had no clarity and no meaning for me. I wasn't oblivious to that fact.
- In approximately 1994, the beginning of my first decade of real work on the definition of holy (I really was only working on it and not blessed regularly), I realized that the traditional definition of holy needed to be questioned. I learned this from Dr. Daniel Payton Fuller at Fuller Theological Seminary. His own proposal at that time had ties to the meaning of "worth". What I learned most at the time was that there was the threat of an error here and an opportunity for correction from Scripture. Dr. Fuller, though his own definition was not a great substitute, at least made me aware of a different SWOT analysis - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Beginning with 1994, I would get a 2 out of 4 score due to moving up to a specific awareness of searching the Scriptures and going beyond the translation in English in front of me.
- In November 2004, the beginning of my second decade of definitive work on the definition of holy, I realized the usefulness of the clarity given to the meaning of holy by the use of Eugene Nida's TEAR or semantic domain analysis in a more simplified form. The problem was that I did not also tie to this the aspect of the meaning level from his dynamic equivalence translation theory. So I missed out on an opportunity to move up to a higher score. The two major developments now was by better knowledge of both a traditional definition ("set apart") and a classical definition ("morally whole"). So I would give myself a 3 out of 4 on most of what appears in my blog. It is clarifying in distinguishing two major candidates for defining holy naturally and Scripturally.
- In September 2014, I completed my first manuscript for Mental Health for Everbody: A Field Guide (the title at that time). Since that time, using the pictures or diagrams in that book I was able to figure out that blessed better fit the classical definition for holy and that holy fit with a more meaningful understanding of levels - 1/4 full, 1/2 full, 3/4 full, 4/4 full. The kind of holy being defined by holy fit with the 4/4 idea. So now I can score myself as barely inside 4/4 - maybe a 4-. After I finish my work on mental health, I may achieve a 4. After that and with the completion of a paper specifically on the definitions of blessed and holy in the effort to earn a full Ph.D., then I could maybe get a 4+. The point is that there is always a little more to do in the next race you run.
How well I can persuade others is not yet part of this score. This only scores how well I am persuaded myself. It is my self-score. That is a great beginning but it is not the ending.
Feedback like scores in seminary will come later, as I work on getting my ideas out there and before professors. I am persuaded, though, that the definition I have arrived at is the one that in essence will stick with me for the long haul.
That fact is what will make my Ph.D. work so worth pursuing further. Having a good idea when you start a race of where you are going is a good thing and not a bad thing. Take care.