Saturday, September 17, 2005

Is Anyone Still Out There?

Well I've been gone. No use trying to deny it. In fact I've been gone so long that I almost couldn't remember my blogspot password. And I'm not really sure where we go from here. I've had a number of thoughts bouncing around in my head, things that I've wanted to put down "on paper" (figuratively speaking of course--I mean, who writes with a pen and paper anymore?). I still haven't written that second piece on innerancy, that little bit on the emerging church and sotieriological agnosticism, why I want to plant a church (there are three primary reasons), or concluded my little series on Augustine and merit. So all of these are loose ends that need to be tied up. But since I'm trying to get back into things and don't have time to actually pound out some new material, I will begin my return to the world of blogging by posting some bits and pieces of stuff I've been working on in my abscence. Here's a little bit on theological formation, taken from an aspiring journal ariticle entitled, From the Church, For the Church: Lesson in Theological Formation from Postmodernity and Eighteenth-century New England.
The New England paradigm has obvious implications regarding pastoral training, but the implications regarding theological formation and social location are perhaps even more intriguing. Not only were future pastors trained by practitioners within a local church context, but evangelical theology was likewise formulated within a local church context. Early evangelical theologians in North America were practitioners, and the press of parish ministry was the soil out which their theological reflection grew. For theologians such as Edwards, the “efflorescence of scientific, philosophical, and later, psychological rumination took place within a context of weekly preaching on the Word.” The fruit of this reflection was then given to the academy where it was used to shape the theological matrix of future pastoral candidates. So in short, the flow of evangelical theology was from the local church to the academy and then back to the local church. Evangelical theology, though passing through the academy, was not born in the academy, nor was its primary audience an academic one. It was ecclesial in that it originated primarily in the local church and that it was primarily for the local church.

Such a dialect between the academy and the local church seems undeniably healthy. What better social location than the local church for those theologians whose primary task is to formulate theology for the advancement of the local church? Though I believe the seminary to be a vital component of pastoral and theological training, I am not as convinced that the academy should serve as the primary context for theological formation.
So there you have it. When I upload the paper to the web, I'll post a link to it. One of my better pieces if I don't say.

5 comments:

Todd said...

Of course, i'm here. but i am just your brother. what do i matter?

Todd said...

oh, and i make a new link to you from my blog. so now the pressure is on for you to blog more. oh, wait, no one reads mine either...never mind.

Gerald said...

Oh you matter, brother Todd. You matter. Thanks for the link.

Scottie P said...

I look forward to reading your "bits and pieces" no matter how much of it goes over my head.

the forester said...

Hey, the man is BACK! Yahoo! Now I can start checking this blog on a more regular basis ...