Monday, July 22, 2019

Ideal Seminary for The Future

Brian D. McLaren (born 1956) is an American pastor, author, activist and speaker and leading figure in the emerging church movement. McLaren is also associated with postmodern Christianity and progressive Christianity and is a major figure in post-evangelical thought.

He said American churches are build on modernity concepts: reasoning, debate, dialectic, argument, discussion, etc. It does not fit to build future churches for the next generation any more, so we need to make shift to postmodern way of doing church, which we don't know much about, and therefore sort of scary.

He suggested the ideal form of future seminary -- what it would be like. He identified three basic elements of such seminaries: one part monastery, one part mission agency, and one part seminar.

By monastery, he said seminarians live in community of some sort, to experience a real sharing of life, duties, and spiritual practices, is good for spiritual formation. This way, the sociopathic types of people would not survive the shared life and works. They like power or they like being right or they need attention but don't love or serve people much, community life would weed them out.

The mission agency part is closely related. In stead of focusing on systematic theology, comprehend all the conceptual truth and knowledge from lectures, postmodern way will focus on mission, on our role as agents of God's Kingdom. -- We will be God's people for the world.

He said let seminarians travel and experience different places where mission is happening, such as churches, employment centers, small enterprise development projects, care facilities, hospitals, community organization and community redevelopment initiatives, orphanages, summer camps, etc.

The seminar part would be different from a traditional school, which assumes that people learn best by listening. However most people learn best by talking. So seminary would be based on seminars, not lectures. They would read or experience something(a book, a CD, a movie, a conference, an interview, a retreat, a website, an art exhibit), then they would discuss it.

Teacher would make sure that needed content was conveyed and understood. Sometimes assign them a teaching task on the subject may be an effective way.

What do you think of Rev. McLaren's suggestions?

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