Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Moment in the Academy

I got to talk about Africa yesterday to 23 Master of Divinity students at Beeson Divinity school. They are taking Introduction to Christian Missions and I was a guest lecturer on church planting in Africa.

I was amazed that no one raised their hands when I asked who was familiar with current discussions of the church needing to be missional. That's where I started in an attempt to show the relevancy of what I would be sharing - that it wasn't just how to live in the Kingdom somewhere else, but how to be participating in the Missio Dei here.

The rest was basically about how everything is God's, and our best work is to not screw up what He is doing. The Spirit of God will lead and work if we don't try and control everything out of our patronizing and ethnocentric tendencies.

All in all I enjoyed the experience. Without a context of knowing the students, or much about what they've already studied, I shared what I shared and have little idea of how it agreed/conflicted with what they've already heard. The damage may be irreparable.


Anonymous said...

I find it strange that there is a degree called "Master of Divinity".
One can only hope the kind of "damage" you caused was irrevocable.

Ken Haynes said...

Interesting feedback....From talking to Paul Cunningham it sounds like the undergrad might be getting more missional exposure than the grad school. I know much has been written on seminary needing an overhaul....but my sense is that it probably can not be overstated. I am reading this "Character of Theology" book by John Franke and it is "on spot". I thought it was going to be just another intro to theology ....but he really takes the time to posture the purpose of theology within the missio dei and how that shapes content and approach.

Missional/Incarnational sensibilities seem to re-frame all the traditional subjects taught in seminary from Theology/History to Homiletics and Spiritual formation.

More on the Franke book ..on a pretty good blog here:

Frank Bellizzi said...

Wow, not one recognition of "missional"? Would love to have heard the talk, Greg.