Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Miracles were not unique to Jesus. In fact, there were mystics before his time, in his time, after his time, drawn from other cultures, and faith.

However, a number of lessons stand out with Jesus. For instance, miracles were acts of love and compassion. He freely offered them. He was not after gains or fame. In the synoptic gospel, he refused to demonstrate any ‘signs’ when his opponents made demands. By the way, their position was based on the signs Moses performed before the elders of Israel and Pharaoh to vindicate his Calling by Yahweh to lead his people out of Egypt.

He also warned his disciples to follow his model on many occasions, for example: ‘freely receive, freely give’. Not to ask for money or favour, but as an extension of The Father’s love and compassion, knowing that “God is not unjust to forget our labour of love”.

To this end, I will be exploring the subject of Miracles from the accounts of the Evangelists (the gospel writers), with a view to recapture it’s essence.

Join us this for Jesus’ Miracles within the series: God was in Christ.

3pm – 4:30pm

The Parish Hall

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road,

Sidcup,

Kent DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

Like other nations of that era the Exile from The Promised Land, the destruction of The Temple; the captivity of the people was meant to be the end of the Jewish people. However it turned out to be their defining moment owing to the efforts of visionary leaders like Ezra, Nehemiah, and the company of faithfuls that bought into their vision, making that hard long journey from Babylon to Jerusalem. 

In similar vein, the movie Hidden Figures demonstrates the influence of leaders within Black Churches in that era. Their vision and hope for Social Justice will inspire women to work for NASA and IBM, and to be the best in their fields. In-spite of segregation, and other racial challenges these women excelled and made their mark in history.
This Sunday as part of my series God Was In Christ, I will be showing Hidden Figures with a view to demonstrate the church’s vital work of Reconciliation
Our role as Salt and Light. Our role in harmonising planet earth to God through our hunger and thirst for Social Justice.
Join us @ 3pm, light refreshments afterwards
The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX
Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Sin?

Some of the ideas we hold as ‘truths’ in judaeo-Christian traditions were very radical ideas when they were advanced.  
For instance when Amos took up the plight of the poor and disenfranchised (who at the time were seen as cursed by Yahweh), he was very unpopular with the ecclesiastical authorities and the people of him time. 
In fact, Jesus’ continuous mingling with ‘sinners’ was the chief reason why he was unpopular with groups like the Pharisees, eventually, leading to his death. In a strange way affirming that he died for ‘the sins of the world’.
I say this to note that what we term as ‘sin’ today have not always been absolutes. A case in point, the writer of Ruth vindicated Boaz for accepting Ruth (a Moabite) in marriage, in what can also be best described as a polygamous relationship. In similar vein Jesus challenged ‘sacred’ concepts like: fasting, giving, sabbath, and even Temple worship. 
Friends, we miss the mark if we don’t realise that Christianity and her older cousin Judaism has always been about people – especially those at the fringes of society. It’s about the bringing together of ALL, even the lost. It’s about creating ‘One New Man’.

Therefore, if people are hurting, we ought to be listening. If they are left behind, we should be reaching out. If they are tired, we should be reviving.
It’s also noteworthy to stress that most of what we refer to as the Old Testament was written retrospectively as part of nation building after The Exile.

As such, the Hebrew cannon (the Old Testament) consists of oral, administrative and historical documents that were edited and crystallised with a political vision of keeping the people and their culture together. A project which I believe Africa can learn from.

Perhaps, also important is the fact that the Christian notion of sin emerged from these Old Testament texts, and the prevailing view of the time. Hence we should be very wary when the shadows of these texts are cast on us today.
We need to build on the foundations laid by Christ: love towards God, through our love towards humanity, especially the ostracised. Even at the cost of our very lives. 

A discussion on “Injustice anywhere is a Threat to Justice everywhere” A quote from Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)

Introduction

In an era when the big issues on our agenda includes devolution, Brexit, Scottish independence; and a tory government that is promoting localism, are the answers to the challenges facing humanity local or global? In the age of globalisation, digital TV, telecommunication, cheap travel and the internet; can anyone be considered an outsider?

Clearly issues like climate change, terrorism, disease and epidemics, immigration, tax evasion, etc., are best tackled through cooperation, and by sharing of resources and expertise. So what then was Dr King trying to convey to his audience when he stated that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”? The answer to this pertinent question lies in the spirit in which it was written in the first place. And by spirit, I mean the surrounding circumstances from which the author wrote — in a nutshell, the reason why Dr King wrote his seminal Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

So in this essay I will be treating liberation theology within Christian theology, and chief reason behind this particular letter.

Liberation theology within Christian theology

Cone (1970) argues that “Liberation is not only consistent with the gospel but it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. There can be no theology which is not identified unreservedly with those who are humiliated are abused” (p. 17). In reference to (Proverbs 14:21; Deuteronomy 24:14–15; Exodus 22:21–23; and Proverbs 17:5), Gutierrez (1973) alluded that “to love Yahweh is to do justice to the poor and oppressed” (p. 194)

Gutierrez (1991) argued that Job’s friends “follow the prevailing theology of the age: a doctrine of temporal retribution, which says that the upright are rewarded with prosperity and health, while sinners are punished with poverty and sickness.” (p. 147). Interestingly, this philosophy has survived through history and has been a source of shame, condemnation; leading to apathy and poverty of aspiration for those who have unfortunately found themselves on the other side of life’s wheel of fortune. But Jesus tackled this paradigm headlong when his disciple asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” he answered: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.” (John 9:1–3)

Evidence of this trajectory is visible in the history and formation of Western society as we know it today. Debt, poverty and suffering is often perceived as the fault of the victims. As a result, in times of hardship the poor and the disenfranchised tend to suffer the most through: loss of jobs, salary caps or freeze, reduction in welfare spending, immigration controls, reduction in charitable giving and aid.

But social justice is a cross cutting theme within the fabrics of the Bible. In Genesis we are introduced to the story of a people who went to a neighbouring country in search of food, only to end up there as slaves under a brutal regime. We are also privy to hear God’s side of the argument as he said to Moses: “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings” (Exodus 3:7).

As the story progresses, even the Israelites themselves were presciently warned by Moses: “When the Lord your God thrusts them out before you, do not say to yourself, “It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to occupy this land”; it is rather because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you.” (Deuteronomy 9:4). And after they had settled in the Land, the Jubilee (a year at the end of seven cycles of Sabbatical years) was introduced. During this season slaves and prisoners were to be freed, their debts forgiven, and their land and properties restored. The people are given the opportunity to start again, free from the chains of slavery and the shame of indebtedness (Leviticus 25:8–13).

Centuries later Prophet Amos would prophesy against crimes, injustices and greed; against the ruling elites who were imposing unfair labour and trade agreements on the people (Amos 6:1–7). The Prophet Jeremiah would pick up this theme in his era, citing the unwillingness of the ruling elites to observe the Jubilee as the reason behind their captivity and exile (Jeremiah 34:12–17).

In the New Testament, we see Jesus unveiling his ministry by quoting Isaiah 61:1 (Luke 4:18–19), and his work with the poor being fundamental to his daily activities, even so much so that Luke summarised his ministry in these words “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).

St Augustine’s idea of the kingdom of God, is highlighted by Rowland and Corner (1990): “Drawing upon his distinctive interpretation of the messianic kingdom in Revelation 20 as a description of the era of the church, Augustine argues that the church now on earth is both the Kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of heaven (City of God xx.9)” (p.114).

In reference to America’s origins, which happens to be pivotal in understanding the socio-political background of Dr King’s letter, Moltmann (1984) noted that, “the nation entered world history two hundred years ago with all the passions of political messianism. It lives from the power of the vision to be “a new nation conceived in liberty” (Abraham Lincoln)” (p. 148). For Atherthon (1994), and with reference to the church, it was “as a result of that war [the American Civil War], many Protestants gained the confidence to attack the new problems presented by industrialization” (p. 22). This rich history and lessons it provides, would eventually form the basis for community organising, and the strength of the prophetic voice of the church during the civil rights movement America.

Reason behind the Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)

By way of background, the Birmingham nonviolent desegregation demonstrations kicked off in April 3, 1963, taking the shape of a coordinated sit-ins and marches against racism and racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama.

This was a spearheaded by the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR), and Dr King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Seven days into this exercise, Circuit Judge W. A. Jenkins raised a blanket injunction against their actions. In response to his injunction, leaders of both groups announced that they would not comply, so on April 12, Dr King and other activists were arrested and jailed.

Like the Prophet Amos who was seen as an outsider when he travelled from the Southern kingdom with an edict against social ills in the Northern Kingdom, in a time of peace and prosperity; Dr King was considered an outsider by other factions in the fight against segregation. So much so that while in jail, eight White Alabama clergymen expressed their fundamental disagreement with his approach in a newspaper article under the tile: A Call for Unity. In this piece, they noted:

“We agree rather with certain local Negro leadership which has called for honest and open negotiation of racial issues in our area. And we believe this kind of facing of issues can best be accomplished by citizens of our own metropolitan area, white and Negro, meeting with their knowledge and experience of the local situation. All of us need to face that responsibility and find proper channels for its accomplishment”. (A Call for Unity, Birmingham, Alabama, April 12, 1963)

Furthermore they questioned his timing, approach, and legality of this stance; urging protesters to withdraw their support from him.

A copy of the newspaper was sneaked into the jail and passed on to Dr King by a sympathiser. So, in response to the criticism posed by his fellow clergymen, and in a bid to express his belief in our common humanity, Dr King responded with his Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

In this letter, Dr King put together a very robust defence, starting with their reference to him being an “outsider”. He used his position as the leader of the SCLC in his defence, citing its network of affiliated organisations, and perhaps most importantly, the fact that he was invited to Birmingham, Alabama. He took a further step to warn against possible division, which could potentially lead millions of African Americans to “seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies, a development that will lead inevitably to a frightening racial nightmare.”

On his tactics (public actions such as sit-ins and marches), which his critics cited as the main cause of the violence, Dr King noted that the situation had left them with “no alternative”, other than to pursue “constructive” tensions, with a view to cause meaningful negotiations with the oppressors. He noted, “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

On their questioning of the timing of his actions, he noted that, “Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’”. For Dr King, the constitutional rights of the African Americans was long overdue, so citing Chief Justice Earl Warren, he noted that: “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” Dr King went on to argue that “Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, ‘Wait.’”, and that change was the product of “tireless efforts”.

On the legality of his actions, even though Dr King stressed the need for patriotism, for him civil disobedience was reasonable when faced with unjust laws. He argued, “I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.”

On their accusation that he was using “extreme” measures, for Dr King “the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?”

Last, and by no means least, Dr King challenged their view that the police maintained order non-violently. For Dr King, the police were part of the power structure, therefore instrumental in helping the oppressors “to preserve the evil system of segregation.” His praise will be reserved for the nonviolent demonstrators, “for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes.” he noted.

Conclusion

In response to the questions posed in my introduction (1. Are the answers to the challenges facing humanity local or global? 2. In the age of globalisation, digital TV, telecommunication, cheap travel and the internet; can anyone be considered an outsider? Meier (1990) argues that, “Both secular society and the Bible start from the simple experience of a right or just relationship among people living in a community, and from the need for “putting things right” in society when correct relationships are thrown out of balance and chaos threatens to set in” (p. 278).

Furthermore Alan Torrance argued citing The Theological Declaration of Barmen 1934 (a document produced by Christians who were against the position of the German Christian movement, who were in coalition with the Nazi government and their ideology) in his essay in Eberhard Jungel’s Christ, Justice and Peace, that:

“the theologians who met at Barmen stood against the stream of ‘culture Protestantism’ and civil religion by making two central affirmations. First, there is no area of human life over which Christ is not Lord. This means that the one Word whom we are to trust and obey in life and death can neither be localised within some prior, subjective realm of individual piety nor translated into some form of cultural self-affirmation. Second, to confess the Lordship of Christ over all areas of life (intellectual and cultural, ecclesial and civil) means that, in the light of the Gospel, we are unconditionally obliged to be true and obedient to the One who is in person God’s Word to humankind.” (1992, p. 7).

Therefore, and in similar vein, we have Dr King’s noteworthy statement: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Reference

Atherton, J. (ed.) (1994) Social Christianity: A Reader. United Kingdom: SPCK Publishing.

Cone, J.H. (1970) A Black Theology of Liberation. 4th edn. Philadelphia: HarperCollins Publishers.

Gutierrez, G. and Gustavo, G. (1973) Theology of Liberation. United States: Orbis Books.

Gutiérrez, G. and Gutierrez, G. (1991) The God of life. London: SCM Press, London.

Jungel, E., Torrance, A.J. and Hamill, B.D. (2014) Christ, Justice and Peace: Towards a theology of the state. United Kingdom: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Meier, J.P. (1990) The Mission of Christ and his Church: Studies in Christology and Ecclesiology. Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier.

Moltmann, J. (1984) On Human Dignity: Political Theology and Ethics. United Kingdom: SCM Press.

Rowland, C. and Corner, M. (1990) Liberating Exegesis: The Challenge of Liberation Theology to Biblical Studies. United Kingdom: SPCK Publishing

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship!

Leadership: On His Majesty’s Secret Service

In recent studies on leadership, I was a surprised to notice the arguments the disciples had on the subject. 

As always, Jesus’ response was quite radical. He said to them:

“But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” – (Mark 10:43-45).

To this end, I will be embarking on a series on leadership, entitled: On His Majesty’s Secret Service.

Drawing from Scriptures, biographies and contemporary Christian thinkers, we will be exploring biblical leadership principles for effectiveness in ministry, business, scholarship and career.

Come and be inspired!

(3:00 – 4:30)pm
The English Room

Ground floor,

Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Road, Bexleyheath, 

DA6 7DA

(Free parking and access via Goals, next to the Asda car park)

What is the value of Christian theology taught at University?

Introduction

In an earlier essay entitled: what is Christian theology, and why does it matter,my arguments leaned heavily against too much theology in favour of simple Christian piety.

The term too much theology was coined by Daniel L. Migliore, describing it asabstract and unfruitful. He argued further, that it is “theology that gets lost in a labyrinth of academic trivialities” (Migliore 1996, p.6).

Cornel West’s Crisis of theological education, draws up similar conclusions ontoo much theology noting that it was excessively frivolous and meretricious in its enactments. In his words:

the demystifying of European cultural hegemony, the deconstruction of European philosophical edifices, and the decolonization the third world has left theology with hardly an autonomous subject matter (hence a temptation to be excessively frivolous and meretricious in its enactments) and with little intellectually respectable resources upon which to build (p. 273).

Darragh (2007) sees the role of curriculum shapers and lecturers as critical success factors in providing the right balance between both sides of the spectrum, he wrote,

The role of theology teachers in academic institutions is not just to inform students what other theologians have written, nor even to teach them the art of critiquing the writings of other theologians. This turns theology into commentary on endless commentary. The role of the theology teacher is also to teach students how to do theology themselves. This is not just a matter of exposing students to good theology and hoping they will guess how it is done. It is a matter of being very explicit about the methods of practical theology, and at the same time of being self-critical about those same methods (p. 2).

To this end, my essay seeks to:

– evaluate Colin Gunton’s essay on the practice of theology;

– assess the value of Christian theology taught in universities; and

– draw up a conclusion.

An evaluation of Colin Gunton’s essay on the practice of theology

Faith seeking understanding, was Anselm’s take on reason and faith. For Kant, faith and reason were mutually exclusive as he argued that it is not rational and logical to make sense of a God who could not be truly known. Schleiermacher’s view leaned towards feeling as to reason. Feeling he acclaimed, was central to our humanity regardless of religious inclination. He argued further that religion was essentially what makes us human, hence he saw theological pursuit as useful in describing the supranatural.

I think, therefore I am religious, came to be known as Hegel’s strap line for his contribution to the debate, as he embarked on combining revelation and reason. All through the age of enlightenment the pendulum kept swinging for, against or in between faith and reason, with further contributions being injected into the debate by many others, most notably: Kierkegaard, Barth, Ayer, Wittgenstein and Polanyi.

In similar vein, thinkers in Jesus’ era would have had similar debates over his messianic claims — little wonder why many did not receive him. Which brings me to a statement he made when the seventy came back from their mission and were giving him an update of their activities, “At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Luke 10: 21–22).

Perhaps in the same way the internet disrupted commerce and communication, the impact of these thinkers have left indelible marks on the minds of Christian theology students all around the world. According to Gunton (2001),

There are two ways in which we can compare situation of the ancient theologians with the modern who operate in the university. On one hand the situation is similar, in some ways remarkably so. Not only is philosophy neutral, or actively hostile to Christian theology, then as now; but theology operates in a world, like the ancient world, when many different religions are competing for attention and acceptance (p. 454).

Interestingly in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he said, “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ (Ephesian 4:11–13); then to Timothy — his protégé, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

The latter quote puts the demand for excellence on followers of Christ — do your best. To do is praxis, an outworking of our Christian service demonstrated in preaching, praying, worship, teaching, hospitality, civic activities, Bible translation, and other means of communicating the gospel in an ever changing world. The challenge to keep the gospel relevant to old audiences, while reaching out to newer and younger audiences is ever before us.

Strengthening this argument, Forde (1959) boldly stated that, “Theology is for proclamation”, emphasising the outreach element as most crucial to its underlying purpose. Again, very much in line with 1 Peter 4:11a, “Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God”. According to McGrath (2011), Christian theology means the systematic study of the ideas of Christian faith, this includes: sources, development, relationships, and application (pp. 101–102). Note that, proclamation as highlighted by Forde, sits comfortably with McGrath’s application.

In Migliore’s (1996) effort to highlight the various tasks of Christian theology, he grouped the voices of the major schools of thought under the following strands: to provide a clear and comprehensive description of the Christian faith, to emphasise the importance of translating Christian faith into terms that are intelligible to the wider culture, to think about issues from the perspective of Christian faith, and as a reflection on the praxis of Christian faith within an oppressed community. According to him, underpinning all these various arguments is “the assumption that faith and inquiry are inseparable”, and this perspective defines the theological task as a persistent search for fullness of the truth of God made known in Jesus Christ, as to the notion of a body of repetitive traditional doctrines (p.1).

So I sum up Darragh’s idea with the words, learning culture. But in order to develop this culture we will need to invest our time and resources in studying the sacred texts and body of work of other academics, and perhaps no other environment is better placed to lay these foundations than Universities. They provide students with a forum for intellectual intercourse and circulation of thoughts, to help students to understand, live out, and exemplify their Christian faith; very much like what John Quincy Adams described as the highest glory. In his quote on how America’s fight for freedom from British rule was underpinned by Christian values, he mentioned, “the highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity”.

Centuries later, we see these same principles giving impetus and delivering lasting changes on issues like slavery, suffragettes, civil rights, and in more recent years, rights for gays and lesbians.

An assessment of the value theology taught in University

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the value of something is: the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

Most major work on the value of a university degrees allude to the fact that it adds value to the lives of graduates and communities at large. Sadly like most things these days, these researches focus majorly on monetary values. But by pure chance, I came across a report by The University of Washington with some interesting data. According to their piece, graduates vote at a higher rate than non-graduate citizens, and are more likely to volunteer (43% of citizens with a BA or higher report that they volunteer at some during the year). Also, “College graduates have significantly lower rates of unemployment and poverty than high school graduates, are healthier, and more public spirited.” (Source: What is a college education worth… for the Citizens, Community, Employers, State and Students?).

So, what then is the value of a degree in theology?

A useful pointer from Migliore (1996), states: “Christian faith invariably prompts questions, sets an inquiry in motion, fights the inclination to accept things as they are, continually calls in question unexamined assumptions about God, ourselves, and our world” (p.2). With this statement as a backdrop, let us first consider the intrinsic value (the end) of theology, by having another look at Ephesian 4:11–13. From this reference, we could deduce that the end is for the work of ministry and building up of the body of Christ. So, assuming this as an end goal, how then can universities be placed to meet these goals?

By drawing from Darragh’s idea I mentioned earlier in my introduction, we understand that people are integral. Why? Because they shape culture, develop curriculum, run institutions, run organisation, lead communities and even nations. For this reason two universities can deliver similar courses with completely different outcomes for students. As a result leadership, succession planning, recruitment, induction, retention, and high quality continuous personal development programme; become integral in making lasting and sustainable impact for students.

With this in mind, it might be best if we talk in terms of universal and local values. Universal value being the ultimate goal of the Christian follower or observer, local value being the vision for the university and perhaps its faculty of theology. Once this is achieved, we can then progress towards developing further matrices for measuring inherent and imposed values of the subject at hand.

Conclusion

In a letter to the Corinthians Paul wrote: “Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 8–13).

This passage explains in simple terms that our growth in knowledge are constrained in our humanity, even as we believe or reason our way through the maze of life in pursuit of God. The prophetic voice of Isaiah are ever resounding today as they were centuries ago when they were first declared, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9).

So, our faith calls us not into conformity to all major influences, but rather to be transformed and innovative (Rom 12:2), in our quest to make lasting positive impact in the world around us with the love of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore the value of Christian theology as taught in university is largely dependent on policy makers, delivery team, resources available, and how these resources are deployed. The impact will ultimately be measured in the lives the students lead, and their legacy.

In the words of Gunton,

It is an exciting time to study theology, as questions claimed to be closed open up again, and the Christian tradition appears once again ready to contribute to the great questions of the day, and perhaps especially questions about the nature of the human person in the world apparently threatened with depersonalising forces (p. 454).

Bibliography


Forde, G. O. (1959) Theology is for proclamation. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers

Gunton, C. E., Holmes, S. R. and Rae, M. (2001) The Practice of Theology: A Reader. Edited by C. E. Gunton, S. R. Holmes, and M. Rae. United Kingdom: SCM Press

Migliore, D. L. (1996) Faith seeking understanding: an introduction to Christian theology. Grand Rapids: William B Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Mcgrath, Alister (2011): Christian theology: An Introduction. Chichester: Blackwell Publishers

Neil Darragh (2007), The Practice of Practical Theology: Key Decisions and Abiding Hazards in Doing Practical Theology. Australian eJournal of Theology 9 (March 2007)

Victor Anderson; Yancy, George (2001): Cornel West: A Critical Reader.Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

https://admit.washington.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/WhatIsACollegeEducationWorth.pdf last accessed: 10/4/2015

Tonight’s lecture: Jesus as an organic intellectual

When Jesus read from the scroll at the synagogue, he crystallised it by saying:

“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” – (Luke 4:21).

So dear friends Jesus did not just read and talked about scriptures, but rather he lived and breathed them. He brought them alive through active participation and engagement with the messiness of humanity.

So join us tonight as we explore themes along this thought.

(6:00-7:30) pm
Art Centre, Drama Room, Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Rd, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7DA
(Free parking in front of the school and adjacent streets)