Monday 21 November 2016

Crucible 7, 2 (November 2016)

The latest issue of Crucible, published by the Australian Evangelical Alliance and largely produced by the faculty of the Australian College of Ministries, is now available online here, with the below articles (abstracts included, where available).

The Cauldron: peer reviewed articles

Andre van Oudtshoorn
Love Child: The use of 1 Corinthians 13 beyond its original context and intent
In this article, I use the metaphor of the family to explore the potential of 1 Corinthians 13 to transcend its original purpose and context and participate as the living Word of God across different contexts and for different purposes. I argue that a text is born through the integration of a textual-Father (the implied author's purpose), and a contextual-Mother (the implied context). While many post-modern scholars argue that a text should be viewed as an orphan without any roots to the author or original context, I show that love in 1 Corinthians 13 has its own unique character which enables it to transcend its original context and purpose without losing its identity as the offspring of a particular textual-Father and a particular contextual-Mother. I argue that love is characterised by the way it operates within the eschatological tension between the already and the not yet within the church and also in the realm of epistemology.

Dean Smith
Growing pains: a reflection on the experience of suffering accompanying an epistemological crisis
The experience of suffering is ubiquitous and often the subject of attention by pastoral practitioners and theologians alike. The particular kind of suffering that is addressed in this paper is the suffering accompanying an epistemological crisis. For one facing such a crisis, the traditional schema of interpretation has broken down irremediably in highly specific ways, to the point where not only individual beliefs, but the entire belief system, fails to provide the explanatory power it once did. In other words, the world no longer makes sense. For a person facing such a crisis the loss of meaning and the inability to make sense of their world and their life can be experienced as intense suffering that inevitably has broader implications than those of a purely individual nature such as psychological, emotional and intellectual. For as Alasdair MacIntyre acknowledges an epistemological crisis is always a crisis in human relationships. In this paper I explore the notion that if properly understood within the context of normal faith development as outlined by James Fowler, an epistemological crisis can be interpreted as the growing pains signalling personal development and maturity. Such an interpretation may not only bring relief to the sufferer but has implications for the broader faith community.

The Test-tube: ministry resources

Craig Tucker
To Revitalise or Replant?

Geoff Eggins
The Viability of Missional Small Groups in Australian Churches
This article and associated research discusses the legitimacy of the use of missional small groups in the Australian context. Firstly, it overviews the use of missional small groups in the New Testament. Secondly, investigates the perceptions of the church in the Australian culture. Thirdly, it offers a brief evaluation of where the missional church movement is up to in the Australian Church. Fourth, examples of the historic use of missional small groups are given in order to discern their validity and usefulness in other contexts. Fifth, a survey and associated analysis is undertaken to discern their current scope of use in the Australian context. This survey then informs the discussion with contextually relevant information. Finally, based on the above elements, a recommendation that Australian churches should pursue missional small groups is given, along with recommendations about how to help that happen.

The Filter: book reviews

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