It’s no secret, the School of Divinity is getting a new building! But what is less known is that the faculty of the School have been working long and hard on changing their curriculum to adapt to the changing face of a seminary in the 21st century. When the new building goes up, it will house a very different School of Divinity. Just what exactly that means, however, is still up for grasps. So why don’t you join in the discussion? What should the perfect seminary look like? Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘change’
The Western world is in a time of cultural change so dynamic that our time could be compared to the Renaissance or the Reformation. Just as with the shifts in culture that occurred more than five hundred years ago, technology is once again driving this change. Will the church react as it has in times past, retreating from change to take cover or ignoring change so as not to become stained by the world? If so, then the church is retreating from one of the greatest opportunities to reach people with the gospel that has ever existed.
Huge cultural shifts can be scary things for people. Culture is the way we know, experience, and understand our world. Culture’s written and unwritten rules help us to construct reality, and when culture’s fabric changes, the result is a cultural earthquake that upsets our very basis for understanding life. When the old rules of culture change, people become insecure and look for answers. Again I ask, will the church retreat to try to keep itself pure and safe, or will it earn its right to answer some of the world’s questions by conversing with culture and speaking the new language? As J. Randall Nichols once observed, “. . . people do not have a burning desire to hear about the Jebusites.” That is, unless the Jebusites can help us live life better today. Read the rest of this entry »
Renewal is not easy to define. It is neither the “old” nor the “new” but the process of change that takes us from one to the other. Sometimes we understand what is “old” only when we are confronted with the “new.” Often we do not understand the full implications of the “new” until we find ourselves swallowed up in its grasp. Challenged by the differences between the old and the new, we are most surprised at our own position in the midst of the changes. These challenges are immense, because renewal knows no boundaries. Renewal has no exit!
It is not technological progress, scientific revolution, competitive market strategies, or human ingenuity that defines renewal. Any of these forces rarely transcend their own boundaries. Rather, it is the Spirit of God who drives the old to the new. To say this is not to reduce renewal to theology. On the contrary, to speak of renewal as a dynamic of the Holy Spirit is to acknowledge the presence and activity of God in all things. Renewal dynamics are found in all aspects of life and can be pursued from many different perspectives. In fact, different disciplines and forms of knowledge are necessary to approach an understanding of the dynamics involved in the renewal of humankind, the world, and the cosmos. Theologians, scientists, physicians, lawyers, politicians, economists, environmentalists, psychotherapists, philosophers, linguists, astronomers, historians, musicians, and others are needed to speak in any comprehensive fashion about renewal. What we do then, in a sense, is the intellectual pursuit of renewal. You may call it “renewal studies.” At the heart of this pursuit stands the realization that an understanding of renewal is limited only by the boundaries we place on it. The pursuit of renewal begins with an investigation of ourselves. It follows the dictum: renew your mind … and the rest will follow! The question is: Are we prepared to deal with the changes?