Saturday, June 9, 2018

Forming disciples - theologically

Every month the magazine of the Victoria/Tasmania synod of the Uniting Church carries an article by a member of the Faculty of Pilgrim Theological College. This month it was my turn. I took some remarks from Cornel West's eulogy to James Cone a as a springboard for some reflections about the connection between discipleship formation and theological formation.

West referred to the challenges Cone faced when growing up in deeply-segregated Arkansas in the pre-civil rights days. He drew attention to the way Cone’s family and his church (the African Methodist Episcopal Church) had shaped him to be the person he was and to have the gospel commitments he did.
Professor West made two points about this. First: “That’s what we need these days,…the spirit of the tradition that produced a James Cone.”
Second: “He was already fortified before he got to Union Theological Seminary.”
Both of these comments are worth thinking about in the context of the Uniting Church. They prompt two questions: ‘What kind of people should our church communities produce?’ and ‘What does a theological education contribute to those already formed by their churches as Christian disciples?’

You can read the whole article here.

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