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Enabling Congregations to Become Theological Communities

Rees, Frank D. (2006) Enabling Congregations to Become Theological Communities. Evangelical Review of Theology, 30 (1). pp. 4-12.

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      At the height of the 'Adult Christian Education' movement which swept through churches around the world a generation ago, Findley Edge proposed the idea that every local church should be a miniature theological seminary. He envisaged a new period of growth in faith as a result of all people being engaged in biblical study and reflection upon many practical implications of their faith, ranging from the nature of the church through to skills in pastoral care and evangelism. Edge saw a great need for the church to become a mature comminuty, conscious of its identity and purpose: 'It is imperative that we become a people who understand who we are, who God is, what God is about in the world and what God is calling us to be about in the world.' Outlining the core curriculum of the local church as thological seminary, Edge identified five areas: Bible, theology, church history, mission and ethics. In fact, however, most local churches do not see themselves as theological seminaries. On the contrary there is much to suggest that pastors and local church leaders see theology, church history and many aspects of biblical studies, as irrelevant to their concerns.
      Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson challenge the contemporary church with their small book, Who Needs Theology. Their answer is that every Christian needs theology in order to live as a disciple of Jesus. But this idea can make sense only when theoloty itself is seen as directly related to the living witness of Christians, individually and collectively. They begin with a distinctive description of theology, which conveys this purpose and relationship:
      'Christian theology is reflecting on and ariculating the God-centred life and beliefes that Christians share as followers of Jesus Christ, and it is done in order that God may be glofified in all Christians are and do.'
      (Refer to the PDF attachments for the complete introduction and remainder of the article)

      Item Type: Published Articles
      Repository Version: Published Version
      Keywords (separated by commas): Adult Christian Education, social responsibility, worship, fellowship, community, priest-hood of all believers, discipleship, narrative, contextualization
      Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
      Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
      Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
      Subject Area(s): D - Pastoral Studies
      C - Systematic Theology
      Association with University of Divinity: Whitley College
      Depositing User: Cate Headey
      Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010 09:38
      Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 02:39
      URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/344

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