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:: Thursday, April 03, 2003 ::

Quote from the Pastoral Ethics class I was in today:

"Organic Christians are those who do not divorce faith and knowledge, love and theology. Organic Christians don't dichotomize spiritual vs. rational. Both things are always together." - Dr. Oswaldo Mottesi

I think this relates to a lot I've been saying on church leadership way back to college. And I think it relates to my worship mini-rant from yesterday. Too often we try to have either "form and order" or "spontaneity" in worship. We don't often have both. We want "traditional" or "contemporary". No room for the tertium quid. (And while we're at it, why not the quartum quid or the quintum quid?)

Basically, we discussed how impossible it is to really "do theology" apart from the church. This might sound obvious to most who will read this, but it is not a "given" to a lot of "theologians." In order to become "more objective" many theologians have tried to separate theology from the local church experience. This makes it "more pure," they think.

This fundamentally shifts theology from its traditional definition of "faith seeking understanding" (fides quarens intellectum) because such theologians often find that coming from a "faith basis" is not objective enough. So they have to set it aside.

But if, instead, the "act" of theology is (the) people of God reflecting on faith, we can never separate it from the church. We must not separate it from the history of the church or its day-to-day experience.

This further implies that those who are being trained for leadership in the church and in local churches should be formed, trained and "theologically educated" from within the church. This means bringing what is now known as "the seminary experience" back into the local churches (in so doing raising the bar in the local church, not abolishing systematic theological education altogether). We should develop experts in certain fields (theology, ethics, pastoral care, missiology, evangelism, formation/discipleship etc.) within each local church.

What do you think?

:: Matt 4/03/2003 11:01:00 PM :: permalink :: ::
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