This week on the Biastes we will be attempting a “FishBowl Dialogue” between Ernie P. and David J. This blog post is Ernie’s attempt to organize his thoughts in advance, based on his current best guess about David’s underlying Concern. Tune in next Tuesday 9/29/2020 to find out what actually happens!
Question: What exactly is Ernie trying to accomplish with The Great Reset?
Perspective: Show the Body of Christ how to empower disciples of Jesus to keep growing closer to Him — rather than us.
The modern church was born in the era of broadcasting: mass-market publishing, sound systems, radio, and television. These technologies enabled it solve certain tasks (e.g., teaching, worship music, announcing and producing events) incredibly well. However, by making some problems much easier to solve than others, those same technologies can subtly influence what we focus on and what we ignore.
We are now entering a new era of digital communication, with greater interactivity, richness, and immediacy than could have been imagined thirty years ago. What are the implications for learning, evangelism, discipleship, and outreach? What new problems does that enable us to solve? Which traditional problems and solutions can be profitably revisited? Can all these changes lead us to a deeper understanding of what God truly wants the church to be?
I belive the primary reason the church in America is not impacting the culture is that we expend most of our time, energy, and money doing many things badly instead of the right things well. We are amateurs competing against professional culture-makers.
To address this imbalance, I believe the church needs to “Go PRO.”
Prioritize making disciples of Jesus who do all (and only what) He asks of them
Recommission pastoral teams as missionaries to their community
Outsource the business of church to professional management that does it efficiently at scale
[NOTE: the official syllabus is now on the “Lead” page; this post is obsolete, but kept for the sake of historical continuity].
[Yes, I should probably have written this before the first lesson, but better late than never…]
In thinking about it, I ought to take my Curriculum one step further, and actually identify the passages and key learnings for each lesson. Not only will this help ensure I’m on the same page as my pastor, but it would enable others to write some of the lessons (since class starts on September 4th!).
I’ve also cross-referenced these lessons against two common systematic theology books:
As a counterpart (or even prequel) to my previous article about “safety skills“, I wanted to identify those theological topics essential for lay leaders to understand. In particular, I believe lay leaders need a more concise and practical “boot camp”, in contrast to the multi-year “officer’s training school” provided in seminaries.
Another difference in focus is that I believe (along with the writer of Proverbs) that the goal of theological education is wisdom, not mere knowledge. That is, the goal is to cover a small number of essential issue in sufficient depth to enable people to make more godly decisions — not simply provide an intellectual overview of traditional topics.
Given all that, here is my best attempt at a minimal 12-week course that covers the heart issues of contemporary theology. What are your thoughts and suggestions?
As I’ve been meditating on the idea of “Comprehensive Theology“, I’ve begun to realize that it’s main difference from systematic theology isn’t merely (or even primarily) the content. Rather, it is whole pedagogy associated with traditional theological instruction I am reacting against. I might characterize (caricature?) the traditional model as:
The purpose of Academic Theological Education [ATE] is to indoctrinate students into an intellectual understanding of, and belief in, the central truths of their religious tradition.
As contrasted with:
The purpose of ComprehensiveTheological Education [CTE] is to equip leaders for a lifelong journey of bringing their “whole selves” (heart, soul, mind & strength) and “whole worlds” (family, church, community & marketplace) into ever-increasing alignment with God’s purpose (redemption, kingdom & glory).
My original thought was “ATE bad, CTE good” — but that actually is not the case. Read more for details…