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Showing posts from November, 2018

Freedom: A Universal Human Right versus A Value within a Particular (i.e., Christian) Tradition

The purpose of this brief essay is to offer a different basis for freedom than that given in post-Enlightenment, free societies of the West.  The argument presented is that freedom understood as a universal human right ends up with various conflicting views and fails in a variety of ways.  Christians often seek to establish freedom for their faith on the grounds of universal rights, but the position taken here is that they need to articulate their view of freedom from within their own religious tradition.
The Present State of the Argument
The defense of freedom in free societies seems to require defending not only good things but also bad things.  We defend free speech, but to do so we end up defending the free speech rights of hateful groups or the purveyors of pornography.  Freedom of religion is defended in such a way as to defend all belief systems: to defend one, one must defend the right of all.  This only makes sense to those who do not enquire too deeply into the beliefs and …

Twenty-Five Theses on Theological Education in North America and Beyond

In Martin Luther’s day, a list of proposed theses would be posted somewhere in public (like the church door) so that they could be read ahead of a debate.  Day in and day out, I am involved with discussions or debates about theological education—its curriculum, its costs, its goals, its modes of delivery, etc.  These theses, then, represent views I have come to ‘after the debate’.  And yet, most points below are highly controversial and, I expect, too challenging to implement given the present structures and commitments of educational institutions in North America.  My hope, then, is that my points offer alternatives for those developing theological training elsewhere in the world.  My appeal is: Please do not duplicate the model of theological education that dominates the scene in North America.  Yet, even in North America, I expect that these theses will someday become relevant due to the issues being faced—financial, pedagogical, technological, ecclesiastical, ministry and missiona…