Sunday 15 February 2015

The Asbury Journal 69, 2 (2014)

The latest issue of The Asbury Journal has been posted online. This fascicle contains four papers on the formational role of theological education, along with various other essays as below.

From the Editor

Joy Ames
Teaching as Formation: The Vision of Ephesians 4:11-16 and Pedagogical Implications for Routine Teaching Tasks
This paper seeks to incorporate the vision of teaching in Ephesians 4:11-16 into an understanding of theological education that involves the holistic formation of students. First, a brief exegetical study of Ephesians 4:11-16 is presented in order to accentuate its vision for teaching as formation. Secondly, the task of grading is viewed as a major opportunity for student formation. Thirdly, an emphasis is placed on hearing the voice of the text for today in the task of teaching the text-based exegetical course.

Jordan Guy
Eden University—Nurturing Life for the Real World
Teachers are responsible for equipping students with wisdom for survival in the “real world.” One method for fulfilling this task is to transport three essential elements from the Garden of Eden into the classroom environment. This means: 1) exposing students to every “tree” in the garden, 2) inviting “the serpent” into the classroom in order to make every decision tempting, and 3) reflecting together on the benefits/consequences of every decision. Students and teachers who explore, wrestle with, and reflect on real world problems first in a nurturing community are better equipped to survive and even thrive in the “real world.”

Jeremy B. Griffin
Teaching Through Guided Reflection on Short-Term Missions
This paper was presented at Asbury Theological Seminary on March 14, 2014, at the Interdisciplinary Colloquium. This work examines the three sections of a short-term missions trip: pre-trip, during the trip, and post-trip. These sections have unique opportunities for teaching, and each must be navigated with different types of teaching and guided reflection.

Susan Murithi
Contextual Theological Education in Africa as a Model for Missional Formation
This paper argues that teaching of contextual theological education in Africa can aid in missional formation of students, teachers, and their communities. Further, common African struggles are explored as a way of discovering how theological education can be used to address Africa’s unique situation. The paper further asserts that the only kind of education with the power to form humanity is the one that relates to them and addresses their unique situations, and answers their questions. To form missional Christians in Africa, we need contextual education in our training institutions.

Bill T. Arnold
Lessons of the Jerusalem Council for the Church’s Debate over Sexuality
In the contemporary issue of same-sex marriage within the United Methodist Church, the Jerusalem Council’s decision-making process to include Gentiles in Acts 15 has been appealed to as a model for the church to redefine and reshape its current interpretation of scripture. This article demonstrates how the hermeneutical approach of the Jerusalem Council, which made use of Old Testament understandings of Torah-authority, especially using Leviticus 17-18, did not aim to redefine or change the meaning of the Torah, but to use it for guidance and direction. Applying such a method to the current issue of same-sex marriage would be incompatible with this hermeneutical decision-making process of the early Church.

Christopher T. Bounds
New Testament Considerations on Unity and “Amicable Separation” in the United Methodist Church
This paper explores the proposal of “Amicable Separation” in The United Methodist Church through the lens of New Testament teaching on Church unity and schism. First, the concept of ecclesial oneness is examined closely in the Gospel of John, Ephesians, and other related passages. Second, every instance of schism or threat of schism is studied in Acts, I Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, I Timothy, and I and II John to see how separation is understood and addressed. After a summary of the study is given, application is made finally to the “Amicable Separation” proposal.

Jody Fleming
The Faith and Praxis of Women in Missions in the Early Pentecostal and Holiness Movement
Women in the early years of the Pentecostal and Holiness movement played a very important part in the advancement of local and world mission. This paper examines not only the contributions women made during this time period, but also the balance they had between their faith and the practice of that faith. This study includes a select group of women chosen for their comprehension of Christian faith and how it impacted their understanding for reaching out to the world around them. Some are better known than others, but each of their stories represents the impact of women on Christian missionary work of their day.

Christopher P. Momany
Faculty Psychology in the Holiness Theology of Asa Mahan
As America awakened to a greater antislavery consciousness, Asa Mahan, president of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute, presented his seminal reflection on Christian Perfection. Mahan offered an unusually precise definition of perfection or holiness. The Oberlin president borrowed from Scottish Common Sense Realism to suggest an understanding of Christian Perfection that was both personally rigorous and socially prophetic. This conception of holiness was also rooted in a commitment to objective truth.

Moshe Reiss
Esau, Son of Isaac and Grandson of Abraham: The Model of a Faithful Son
The story of Esau and Jacob, the two powerful sons of Isaac and Rebekah is one of the several conflicting families noted in the book of Genesis. Jacob, whose other name is Israel, is the father of the twelve tribes and thus the founder of the Jewish people. Rebekah may be the most powerful of the matriarchs; the one God talks to directly about her role in the covenant. The reconciliation of the brothers is one of the more powerful descriptions in the Bible.

Samuel J. Youngs
Creatio Ex Amore Dei: Creation out of Nothing and God’s Relational Nature
The opinion of many feminist thinkers and process theologians has been that Christianity needs to shed its allegiance to a God conceived in terms of omnipotent sovereignty. As an alternative, many of them have envisioned God in more relational categories, focusing on the metaphysically “limited” nature of God, with the first step along this path often being a refutation of the traditional doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. This essay summarizes such critiques before proceeding to argue that a robust understanding of creatio ex nihilo, viewed through the lens of kenosis, can actually speak more effectively to God’s relational nature and sacrificial love.

From the Archives: Sunday School Cards – An Innovation in Christian Education

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