A prayer

God, creator of heaven and earth,
it is time for you to come,
for our time is running out
and our world is passing away.
You gave us life in peace, one with another,
and we have ruined it in mutual conflict.
you made your creation in harmony and equilibrium.We want progress, and are destroying ourselves.
Come Creator of all things,
renew the face of the earth.

Come, Lord Jesus,
our brother on the way.You came to seek
that which was lost.
You have come to us and have found us.
Take use with you on your way.
We hope for your kingdom
as we hope for peace.
Come, Lord Jesus, come soon.

Come, Spirit of Life,
flood us with your light,
interpenetrate us with your love.
Awaken our powers through your energies
and in your presence let us be wholly there.
Come, Holy Spirit.

God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
triune God,
unite with yourself your torn and divided world,
and let us all be one in you,
one with your whole creation,
which praises and glorifies you
and in you is happy.
Amen.

~Jürgen Moltmann, The Source of Life, 145.

Posted in prayer | 8 Comments

Conceiving a Fuller Seminary

As I think about the possibility of a theology of seminary education, I thought it worthwhile to revisit  a core text in my early musings on seminary: George Marsden’s Reforming Fundamentalism.  Indeed, I read this well before I considered attending seminary, while I was at Wheaton and still intending to go on to law school.  It and Marsden’s companion book Fundamentalism and American Culture formed part of my research in my American Church History class project on my family religious history.

Though it wasn’t an immediate factor, I strongly suspect Marsden’s book influenced my later decision to attend Fuller.  That and Fuller was down the 210 freeway from where I was living.  But mostly the book, I’m sure.  I didn’t choose Talbot, after all, and that was down the 57, about the same distance.

It has been 20 years and three degrees since I last read it.  I’m a little worn and so is my copy of the book. A mouse found the stored box of books a nice place to spend winter and chewed up the edges of its furniture.

No great damage done and a lot of very worthwhile information inside.  I think it especially interesting to note how Fuller described itself early on. Three passages from Marsden stood out to me in my continuing musings.

The first three catalogs included these three purpose statements (quoting from Marsden, 55-56):

 First, “no interdenominational theological  seminary of outstanding academic and evangelical qualifications” existed in the rapidly expanding “budding culture’ of the far west.

Second, “naturalist modernism had invaded many old line seminaries.”

And third, other independent seminaries, (meaning Dallas, Westminster, and Faith), were “too often associated with a particular doctrinal emphasis which limits their usefulness.”

Thus early on Fuller tended towards being apophatic in its self-understanding, emphasizing what it was not and who it was not like.

In more positive terms, Fuller understood itself as interdenominational and independent in the pursuit of both academic and evangelical goals.  It was West coast in expression and context, serving a specific developing region.  Pasadena had a population of 104, 577 in 1950 and Los Angeles had a population of 1,970,358, most of the surrounding area was farmland (cf. my family religious history link above).

Fuller (both the school and the man) sought a school that could be be a training center for evangelism and apologetics while pursuing a rigorous academic culture by both faculty and students.  As Marsden (p56) notes, Fuller’s first press release described it as a “research center for Evangelical scholarship.”

A well-to-do, famous radio evangelist got a group of well-regarded and highly educated pastors and scholars together to help ignite a renewed expression of conservative Christianity.

This emphasis on academics became a priority for Fuller Seminary, which makes sense given the rather low social and academic reputation of mid-century Fundamentalism. To be heard, to make a difference, they realized they had to be rigorous in scholarship and education.  Ockenga w Faculty at Old Campus.1

Alongside this emphasis on scholarship, there was also a strong initial push towards social involvement and, of course, pastoral expression.  Evangelicals were characterized by wanting to engage broader culture rather than feeling a need to separate from it, to bring back social action as part of a more holistic understanding of the Gospel.

John Wesley, of course, was not alone in seeing how evangelism and social reform went hand in hand. A significant number of social reforms were led by conservative Christians during the 18th-19th centuries. It was in the early 20th century that social action became identified with liberal theology. The Social Gospel was put in contrast to evangelism, liberals adopting the first and rejecting the second, fundamentalists prioritizing the second and distancing from the first.  Sadly this division defined religious development throughout the century.

Those who started Fuller knew their Bible and their history, so wanted to put aside these divisions.  However, without a specific advocate for this aspect, social engagement was not emphasized in practice.  Marsden (p82) notes:

“In 1947 the call for more social involvement among fundamentalists was little more than that–a call. In reality, this theme received relatively little attention at the early Fuller. The two overwhelming priorities were remaking the modern mind and evangelism. The school was to be a great center for scholarship; and it was also Charles Fuller’s school, a place for training a generation of missionaries and evangelists.”

Fuller was thus conceived as an expression of new hopes and goals for Evangelicalism, rising out of its Fundamentalist limitations to embrace, indeed return to, a more historic pattern of conservative Christian belief.  This embrace was to happen in a new context, a developing and highly dynamic context far away from the established centers of traditional seminaries back East.

I focused on the early understanding here, but it is worth noting that over the last couple of decades Fuller has very much developed in emphasizing social involvement.  This can be seen in various ways, such as engagement with the arts and social justice concerns.  Some may see this as a turn away from Fuller’s early priorities, but it is certainly not. Such emphases express some of the earliest, and long undeveloped, ideals of Fuller and Evangelicalism.

After almost 70 years, Fuller is still coming to terms with its own initial impulses.

For more on Fuller’s history, in addition to Marsden’s book I heartily recommend David Allan Hubbard’s 1979 lecture.

Posted in academia, education, seminary | 6 Comments

Reconceiving Seminary

Ever since Fuller announced they are closing their Sacramento campus, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of seminary education.

The stated reason for the closing was financial, but in financial decisions there are also philosophical and strategic assumptions.  We were the fastest growing campus. Recently given approval to offer the MDiv degree from our site (in fact this long process of approval concluded almost the same time they decided to close us down).  But, with a need to refocus the budget changes were made based on perceived future value.

Events suggest our perceived value.  Colorado Springs campus was similarly assessed.  Houston, Menlo Park, Seattle, Phoenix, Orange County have experienced varying levels of reduction in budget, course offerings, marketing assistance, and uncertainty. Even the main campus at Pasadena has seen a drop in classroom numbers, even as the overall student body continues to grow (albeit not as full-time students)

Online is the growth area in higher education. Regional campuses are not seen the same way.

I taught both online and at Sacramento this past year. My online courses would fill up and have waiting lists within a few days of open registration.  This is not uncommon.  My Sac classes would never fill and would take a while to get to a satisfying number.  Indeed, theology classes were often cancelled because of low enrollment prior to my arriving here and getting a favorable reputation.

Students take online classes in abundance.  Regional campuses were created prior to the internet, to offer students the ability to attend classes within a reasonable distance from their home and work. With online classes, students can attend classes within their home or work.  Convenience reigns.  Classes fill.  Education advances into the Information Age.

And yet…

In the recent commencement at Menlo Park, I read this in the program:
“Fuller’s mission is to equip men and women for the manifold ministries of Christ and his Church.”

That’s a paraphrase. The official mission statement:

“Fuller Theological Seminary, embracing the School of Theology, School of Psychology, and School of Intercultural Studies, is an evangelical, multidenominational, international, and multiethnic community dedicated to the equipping of men and women for the manifold ministries of Christ and his Church. Under the authority of Scripture we seek to fulfill our commitment to ministry through graduate education, professional development, and spiritual formation. In all of our activities, including instruction, nurture, worship, service, research, and publication, Fuller Theological Seminary strives for excellence in the service of Jesus Christ, under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of the Father.”

Thoughtful, purposeful, and powerful concepts.  These orient the practical directions of seminary: about what we should cut, where we should focus, what we should do.

More than that, however, I think about the possibility of a theology of seminary education.

What is the place of seminary education in a coherent Christian systematic theology?

Not what theology should a seminary teach, or how many theology classes a seminary should offer.  Rather, is there a “theology of seminary”?

I think yes, and I think this is a part of a broader ecclesiology (the study of the church). How we understand seminary shapes and is shaped by our understanding of Christian community. How we understand seminary shapes and is shaped by how we understand the role of education in and for the church, in and for this world.

Rather than try to plead the cause of the Sacramento campus, or regional campuses in general, or otherwise argue for a way to help navigate severe budget crises, I think it more helpful to explore this potential theology of seminary.  A seminary is part of higher education but should operate according to a unique narrative, the Way of Christ.  We cannot jettison our theological mooring even if we are facing a financial crisis in the midst of a massive ecclesial transition.

I argue that a stronger theological mooring in light of our mission statement is precisely what will contribute to Fuller’s continued creative approach to mission, theology and ministry.  In this, we will participate more fully with the work of the Spirit, who is already raising up men and women for service in all sorts of places and all sorts of ways.

I’m not saying this isn’t happening or that I’m a lone voice crying out in the wilderness on this topic. There’s a lot of people thinking about these issues.  Because of my indeterminate circumstances, however, I want to dig deeper into it myself. I’m not an expert on higher education. But I am a good teacher (so I’ve been told) and I am an expert on ecclesiology.  I have experience in various campuses and have recently had a wonderful experience in Sacramento come to a rather abrupt and disappointing conclusion (albeit a very abruptly slow conclusion).

Again, over the rest of this summer, I want to consider a “theology of seminary.”  This isn’t devoid of practical suggestions, but just won’t start there.

After thinking about this a while, I wanted to start with that most basic of questions: what is the purpose of seminary.  And I invite anyone who is interested to muse along with me.

Posted in academia, education, seminary | 12 Comments

invocation

On June 10, I gave the invocation at the Fuller Seminary Sacramento commencement. As part of this, I was asked to add a few thoughts on the topic of education at Fuller. 

Here’s what I had to say:

In Matthew 25, Jesus gives this command to his followers:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Make disciples. What is a disciple?  Someone who understands and lives the teachings.

How do we make disciples? We learn, we teach, we reflect our salvation in Christ in a transformative way, so that in the power of the Spirit we are growing in Christ as a community in this world.

That has, then, been a key goal for the church since its beginning. Learning, teaching, enacting.

Very early in the church’s history, leaders realized the need for formal training, to teach those who were missionaries, ministers, teachers. Those who are sent out into the community, throughout the world, need training, so that they could train—could disciple–others. Education has thus always been a major part of the mission of the Church, an education that is not only learned but also lived.

In 1947, a group of Evangelists, pastors and scholars established Fuller Seminary to help continue this mission. Founded as the flagship institution for the new movement of Evangelicals, Fuller has trained men and women to serve as ministers, teacher, missionaries, and many other roles.  Alumni have gone all over the world to make disciples.  You are now part of this spreading story. 13528238_1193350570688948_1226412045210159905_o

Our goal at Fuller was not to teach you everything, that’s impossible to do in a ten week quarter, and too hard to do even in a small number of years.  Our goal was to initiate learning about our historic faith, to teach you about Father, Son, and Spirit, about Scripture, about the history of the Church, about how we can best use our gifts and calling in service to this church and God’s mission in this world.

Fuller comes alongside men and women who have been called to ministry, some vocationally, many not, to help propel their—your—calling forward. As teachers our goal is to introduce you to the depths and breadth of our faith so that you can then continue this work in your setting, wherever God calls you. And now, having done what we can do, we celebrate your accomplishment of graduation.

Though you are now finished with your classes, this graduation is really a new beginning. This mission of the church, this mission of Fuller, continues to carry on in the mission in your life. This mission is to continue to learn what we introduced here, continue to teach what you have learned to others, continue enact in your life and your context the life that Christ calls us to live.  Go and make disciples.

Let us celebrate this beginning, praising God for what he has done in your life, what he is doing in your life, and what he will do in your life as the Spirit continues to do a good work in making disciples here in the Sacramento area and throughout the world.

Let us celebrate with great hope because Christ is indeed with us, to the end of the age.

Posted in academia, education, seminary | 13 Comments

A Brief Guide to Surviving Seminary

Back in 2011, the fine folks at Fuller Seminary invited me to teach a class called ST511 Orientation to Theological Studies. The course was a requirement for students who were accepted to Fuller on a probationary status. Maybe they had low grades, or didn’t finish their undergraduate degree, or some other reason. The main goal was to teach writing and research skills. I adapted it to be more of an introduction to the main topics in seminary with the writing and research skills developed through exercises along the way.

We spent a couple weeks focused on Biblical Studies, a couple weeks focused on theology, a couple weeks focused on church history, and a couple weeks focused on ministry. Each week I also wrote a short reflection on an issue or theme related to the exercises, the topics, or general seminary issues (like navigating seminary faith challenges or how to read a book).
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Even though Fuller doesn’t let me teach this class anymore (it’s for PhD candidates not PhD graduates), they have graciously invited me to teach other classes, more advanced. Yet, I continue to have students in these classes who would benefit from taking ST511. Fuller does not require a background in Biblical/Theological studies and allows students to take their theology/church history courses in any order and allows students to begin their studies in any quarter.

Because ST511 is not required for most entering students, I regularly have students who have little experience with the topics and even little experience with writing essays. They’re not dumb, they just come into their courses with passion but not training in how to do well in the tasks. Students often need support with more than the technical aspects of seminary.

Even those who are good writers, whether from previous education or by being at Fuller for a while, encounter troubles in their studies: too much to read, too much to write, too little time to rest, material at odds with their assumptions about the Bible, theology, society. Navigating the emotional travails can be as taxing as navigating the course work.

So, I’ve continued to post my some of those ST511 musings in my theology and church history courses. Not as required reading but as optional support material for students in need. Over the last few years I’ve been asked about material to help students navigate research, writing, spirituality and I’ve sent my musings onward in those directions. But, it’s been somewhat scattered and disorganized. I figured it was worth putting into better shape. So I put these musings together in a book.

Here’s the table of contents:

Introduction 2
Writing in Seminary 3
Practicing Writing 7
Citing Sources 9
Spiritual Life while in Seminary 11
Writing as an Art and a Craft 1551j2JmyvGHL._SY346_
A Brief History of Fuller Seminary 18
Motivation and Writing 23
Sources for Research 28
Faith Crises in Seminary 30
How to Read in Seminary 33
Choosing and Prioritizing Sources 38
Writing an introduction paragraph 41
Thoughts on studying theology 46
Footnotes 51
Writing a conclusion 55
Time, Life, and the Temptations 60
Writing a research paper 67
Why we study theology 70
Theology and Ministry 82

So, a short book on big themes. It’s an introduction, an introduction to seminary. I call it A Brief Guide to Surviving Seminary. Available at Amazon as a Kindle e-book and now as a print book. Different covers, same content.

Posted in academia, education, seminary | 22 Comments

Seminary in Sacramento

Later this evening, Fuller Seminary Sacramento is having its commencement. I’m going to put on my fancy duds and join in on the ceremony and celebration.

This is an exciting event, and yet one tinged with a bit of sadness. I neglected to mention hereabouts that Fuller decided to close down its regional campus here in Sacramento. Well, decided to close it down on June 30, then decided to only half close it and keep a sharply modified version running until September 2017.

They made this decision in early February. Needless to say it was quite a blow for staff, for students, for me. I wasn’t in danger of losing my job, my contract is for three years and can adapt to different modalities like online classes or teaching at other campuses. Indeed, I wasn’t even asked to move. Yet, it was still a blow to me. Others are losing their jobs, friends and co-laborers at the campus here. Students are losing a good community and Sacramento–and the Central Valley of California–is losing a needed resource.

Fuller Sacramento was small but growing, one of the fastest growing campuses in Fuller’s system (it might have been the fastest growing). We were increasing becoming a hub for theological and pastoral connection as well as a training center for vocational and non-vocational ministers throughout the region. People who attend this campus tend to be from the area and stay in the area, so Fuller was increasingly shaping the churches in the region through its network of alumni.

Out of the blue, they told us that we’re shutting down. Budget crisis, you see. Not unique to Fuller, part of the landscape of theological education and indeed higher education. Fuller has to restructure. It’s not, as a whole, in danger of closing but does need to focus resources and investments.

Sacramento didn’t make the cut. Nothing we could have done, or do about it. We were doing quite well, in fact.

It’s not you, it’s me, they told us.

That never makes the breakup easier. They found someone else, someone even more popular. Online education.

Students want to take online classes a lot more than classroom courses. So much so, that Fuller sees online as a priority. And in a budget crisis, the wave of the future crashes over the rocks of the past.

I won’t go into more specifics, and I certainly don’t want to use this space to gripe or rant. Well, at least not about that.

So, tonight is Fuller Sacramento’s last commencement ceremony. A celebration tinged with sadness, but it does not leave me sitting with that sadness. As is my tendency, I think about what could have been done (nothing) and also what can still yet be done. Not necessarily in terms of Fuller Sacramento (though I’ve not entirely given up hope–Fall 2017 is a long way away), but about seminary education in general.

What is the future of seminary? I’m a theologian and church historian, who dabbles in teaching additional other subjects, so my tendency is to explore beneath the surface and see how underlying elements lead to later events. When I ask about the future of seminary I keep stepping farther and farther below the surface to find the key issues at hand. These are generally assumed without being discussed, and are often acted on without being reflected on. That latter tendency leads to a fair amount of incoherence. Acting in a way that makes sense in light of a current concern but not in keeping with core goals or values or mission.

Church history is full of this tendency. People acting for the church, in the church, in ways that are quite missing the point of the church. Indeed, the Bible is full of this, from beginning to end. It’s a very human tendency. We get caught up in goals and get caught up in frenzy. Unreflected action follows.

It doesn’t mean it’s always bad, though sometimes it is, and sometimes things work out in the short term, even as they suggest long-term dysfunction.

That’s not to accuse or blame Fuller’s decision to close the campus. I disagree with the decision for a number of reasons. But I also understand the situation and need to make structural changes. It was a tactical decision.

But it leaves me still being me and thinking about the underlying issues and overall strategy. Which is something that I want to ponder about over the next few months here. The quarter is over, finally at a point where I don’t have brand new classes to teach, and so I have time to get back to professional pondering.

I begin by asking, “What is the purpose of seminary?” That’s the beginning question and a vital one as institutions all over the country are trying to figure out a way to survive in an era of significant change.

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The Confrontation of the Cross

An excerpt from my forthcoming book:

It is the narrative about the path to the crucifixion that we find the starkest confrontation between the way of God and the ways of this world. The cross is an expression of obedience and trust, both of Jesus and then by those who trust in this obedience for their own salvation. Whole trust in God that resists being co-opted by the systems of this world despite their claims for absolute authority and meaning. As this is a pattern established by both the writings and the prophets of the Jewish Scriptures as well as in the ministry and teachings of Jesus, the Gospels are not simply passion narratives with extended introductions.

What we see in the whole of the Gospels is a coherent expression of not only the solution to the crisis but also a living example of what it means to live this out in real contexts among real stories. It is the culmination of the whole narrative of Scripture thus far. The cross, then, is the end point, the fully exposed confrontation that exists throughout the ministry of Jesus, insisting on the ultimacy of God’s lordship across personal, social, and societal systems. This lordship is expressed in terms of love and commitment, but defining such in an absolute way that rejects syncretic attempts to see God as being another system among the systems, a god among the other gods. God brings the people out of slavery, they are to have no other gods. In contemporary terms, we are to have no other systems before him. God co-opts the systems, the systems respond, the result is the cross.

Thus the confrontation of Jesus in the trials that lead, ultimately, to his seemingly untimely and certainly violent death are themselves imbued with theological and sociological meaning. The contrasts begin at the beginning of the chapter, and are important in how the narrative develops. This is not a minor disagreement about methodology or even a religious dispute, this is a wholesale cosmic confrontation. Judas is filled with Satan. The priests are servants of the darkness. The disciples are all at risk. Jesus thus asserts the priority of his narrative as the true expression of God’s work. This is a narrative that will be brutally assaulted, leading to the vulnerability of all those who align themselves with Jesus.

The cross is a definitive call to reject the patterns of identity formation offered by the various systems in an environment. This is rightly understood as a way of death, rejecting the systems entails a rejection by the systems who seek to preserve and replicate their fundamental place in a society. The resurrection is the promise that rejecting such patterns will result in an even fuller life. Liberation of the oppressor comes through the way of the cross but promises a new story in light of the resurrection. Which brings us back to Moltmann’s admonition not to dwell on what people lose but what people gain. We let go of patterns and systems of death and dissolution because we do not need their promises of identity or security. We are freed from such anonymizing demands. Radical trust in God leads to radical realignment with the systems, embedded in them with a cohesive narrative of the Spirit’s transformative power.
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As a confrontation to the systems, the cross absolutizes the kingdom in contrast to the ways of society. These occupy the same environment—the world—but are expressing a substantively different narrative, a different way. It is absolute in that one cannot find a middle ground between the religious leaders and Jesus, the Romans and Jesus, the zealots and Jesus. Both sides reject such a synthesis. The systems want nothing to do with Jesus. Jesus rejects the systems. This does not, however, suggest that Jesus is a separatist, with the church called to isolation. Jesus does not abandon the world to itself; he enters the world in love. Separation may be a calling for particular Christians, but the church as a whole is embedded in the context no less than the systems are. By being defined according to a different narrative, a holistic and unifying narrative, the early Christians were committed to the world, in the world, through the Spirit of Christ.

But, because of the mutual exclusivity established by and through the cross, Christians could not be identified with both the systems and the kingdom. Either Jesus was right in saying he was speaking for God, or the Jewish leaders were right. Either Rome is the way of peace, or Jesus gives us a more expansive way. Either the methodology of the zealots is the way to social reform, or the way of Jesus. The curious nature of the cross, however, also mitigates putting these two patterns in conflict. The way of Rome or any of the systems is self-protection and self-perpetuation, as is the goal of the human ego. The way of the kingdom, however, is a fractal transformation from within. The story erupts from a manger and consumes the Empire from below.

As this is an issue of a new way and a new identity, a re-birth into a new story that transforms one’s past, present, and future, it is not feasible to seek meaning in both approaches. One is either with Jesus on the cross. living in the narrative of God, or with those who put Jesus on the cross, living in the narrative of the systems of this world.

Posted in Jesus, liberation, theology | 3 Comments

Hope for the Oppressor

Here’s a bit from the conclusion of my newly completed (but not yet finished) book. Main writing is done, but there are a lot of assorted tasks to do before it’s ready for printing. Divine DanceFor now, though, I celebrate the end of the most significant stage. Writing is done, now on to editing.

A small part of what I had to say:

In this text, I am unapologetically pursuing a particularly Christian theology. Such an approach begins with presuppositions about the nature of this world, past and present and future. My fundamental argument is that liberation, true and lasting liberation, happens only in light of the work of Christ, oriented and empowered in the work of the Spirit who leads us to fullness in communion with the Father. Thus, this is also evangelistic. I am, as fits my abilities and the confines of this medium, preaching what has long been called the Good News. What makes this news good? God. This nature and engagement by God in creating, redeeming, and renewing this world is the heart of a gospel of liberation. This Good News is music we play, a rhythm we live, a chorus of like and unlike together joining together in celebration with God’s freedom. Liberation is indeed a new song.

Such liberation involves a transformation of desires, an empowering and enlivening renewal in which the best of who we are becomes fully realized. Such liberation does not negate achievement or pursuit of one’s best. If desires are repressed or if a person is restricted or their ability to achieve their goals is reduced, the tendency is to fall into despair or learned helplessness, where effort is no longer productive. In light of the Spirit, our pursuit of our best endures because we find fulfillment in being in rhythm with God’s work in our lives and contexts. While seemingly counterintuitive, this is the experience of artists, musicians, and others who are engaged in a task with passion. The efforts rarely result in riches but do lead towards fuller sense of self, in which broader acclaim or validation is not necessary. Our desires become integrated with each other and with this world, coherent with God and with others so that there is no longer a constant clashing of demands and restrictions. We experience a freedom for many that includes many. Liberation is a dance.

Posted in God, Holy Spirit, liberation, writing | 5 Comments

My job is teaching and writing theology. But I tend to be moved significantly by movies about artists. I’m not an artist at all, but find resonance in these stories. The movie Rivers and Tides is one of the few movies that I watch repeatedly, it’s one of my soul-cleansing movies for whenever I feel particularly parched.

Maybe theology really is much more than it is a science, a way of bringing out beauty and learning how to notice, bringing to light that which others may see without knowing what they’re seeing. Theology has turned into lectures, content to deliver, rules to keep, arguments to arbitrate, the insights of all of gathered reality formalized and structured. Maybe theology is about helping people see better, hear better, feel more, think deeply, awakening in them a sense of hope and life they never before new existed. Maybe theology is better conceived as art, paintings with words and using language to explore the bounty of truth all around us, initiated by God, exemplified in Christ, sanctified through the Spirit, drawing us all back into the swirling, dangerous divine.

I just finished watching a 2006 movie, Local Color, and it got me to thinking, encouraging and inspiring me in my own, well yes, art.

Posted in academia, art, writing | 2 Comments

“In the Gospels, sickness is part of the understanding of what it is like to be a real person. For wherever the Savior appears, the sick come to light… They come out of the dark corners of cities and villages to which they have been banished, out of the wildernesses to which they have been relegated, and into the spotlight where they reveal themselves to Jesus. Thus Jesus sees the internal and external disabilities of the people. Jesus comprehends us, not from our sunny sides where we are strong and capable, but from our shadow sides, where our weaknesses lie.” ~Jürgen Moltmann

Posted in Moltmann, quotes, theology | 5 Comments