November 28th, 2011 §
Advent is upon us! Like Lent and Holy Week, advent is a special time in the church calendar where different themes, practices and scriptures are highlighted. We at the SPS blog want to feature the Advent season and emphasize what we find most meaningful in the weeks approaching and anticipating Christmas.
When I was a kid there were at least two days that I would attend church with my grandparents; both were in Advent. My sister and I usually got to light a candle for one of the Sundays of Advent. In the Presbyterian tradition Advent is celebrated by candle lighting: three purple candles signifying hope, peace and joy, one pink candle symbolic of love and in the center one white candle which is lit on Christmas eve to signify the coming of Christ. Christmas eve was the other service that I always attended where everyone would get to hold a candle lit from the Christ candle.
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November 24th, 2011 §
A word from the father of missional theology, Lesslie Newbigin:
The Spirit is the source of hope – not just hope for ourselves, but hope for the completion of God’s whole cosmic work. ‘In this hope we are saved’ (Romans 8:24). It is because of this work that we are liable to be invited ‘to account for the hope that is in [us]’ (I Pet. 3:15) and so to become involved in the missionary dialogue. Seen from this point of view, mission might be defined as ‘hope in action.’ – The Open Secret, p.63 » Read the rest of this entry «
November 16th, 2011 §
I spent many of my formative years as a part of an evangelical church in south Seattle. For my experience in worship services, this meant a number of things that you might expect – monthly communion, focus on personal sin and the work of the cross to redeem that sin, the centrality of the gift of teaching as a part of liturgy, the worship leader designated specifically as a musician…corporate worship practices are generally limited to prayers led by the pastor, sermons, baptism, and music, etc… » Read the rest of this entry «
November 7th, 2011 §
Over on my blog – I recently spent some time reflecting on a recent spate of posts in the media and blogosphere trying to get at the so-called “Future of Seminary Education”. The web portal Patheos.com has sponsored a large online symposium addressing the question that continues to grow.
As a seminary graduate myself, faculty member at a few seminaries mentioned in the discussions as well as the Associate Dean at Seattle Pacific Seminary, I have been following the discussion but must admit that I am left scratching my head a bit with what I am seeing as the conclusions and predictions. Here are some thoughts to add to the discussion.
For starters, given that the changing face of Christianity is certainly not white and male, reviewing just the faces of the key discussion leaders offers up a pretty ethnically and economically homogeneous group to write reflections on what they see as the future… given that they themselves are not the future in a majority sense. » Read the rest of this entry «
October 14th, 2011 §
The single most influential book in my time at Seattle Pacific Seminary so far has been one that I would never have expected. It taught me a new language for my faith. And though I don’t use that language that often, the same language also offered me a new way of looking at the world and the Church.
When I thought of seminary and life-changing books and theologians, I first thought of all the magna opera that we expect to read, the staples of a theological education, like Augustine’s City of God, or Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, or Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love. » Read the rest of this entry «