Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Christian scholars therefore carry a double duty in that they should not only be competent in the particular demands of their academic disciplines but also in appropriate methods of Biblical hermeneutics that fits their field of enquiry.
Casual readers of ancient texts, like the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures that make up the Bible, often make interpreting mistakes in that they do not consider the historical and cultural distance between themselves and the first authors and audiences of these texts. Biblical Hermeneutical methodology assist the serious interpreter of the Bible in reading these texts in an integrative, reflective, analytical and yet devotional manner. These models of interpretation are drawn from the conviction that what is needed is a multi-disciplinary approach to reading the Scriptures that keeps in mind at minimum the literary, social, cultural, historical and theological dimensions of the text and its people.
It might helpful here to define three of the terms that are often used to describe the process of Bible interpretation: exegesis, exposition and hermeneutics. Exegesis is the process of interpretation in which we pursue the original meaning of the text. It is the process to uncover the meaning of the message that was heard by the original recipients. Exposition is the application of the Scriptures to modern times. It is the quest to find the application or relevance of these texts to our world. It is the process that should follow exegesis. Hermeneutics is the completed process of interpreting the Scriptures. It includes all the models, rules, principles, theories, and methods of Biblical interpretation. It covers the process from trying to understand the original meaning of the text to what it means to our world.
The relationship of the terms with each other in the context of Christian scholarship can be described in the following way. To understand the Scriptures properly Christian scholars practice hermeneutics by first applying exegesis because they hope to uncover the original meaning of the text. Secondly, an exposition of the text is done where the meaning of the text uncovered in exegesis engages with the embedded tradition of the scholar as well as the subject matter of the academic field in which she works. The South African scholar Ferdinand Deist succinctly describes this interpretative process in the following definition: “Bible interpretation (Hermeneutics) is therefore the circular process of understanding sacred Biblical literature, namely interpreting the component parts of the sacred text in the light of the whole and the whole in the light of the its parts. It is the ongoing dialogue between one’s initial understanding of the sacred text and the impressions of the Holy Spirit gathered from subsequent readings and reflections on it. It is the dialogues between one’s own frame of reference (one’s own sphere of existence) and the context of the text. “
 Deist, F. 1992. A Concise Dictionary of Theological and Related Terms. Pretoria: J. L. Van Schaik.
 Grønvik, K. 2005. Letting Scripture read you. Conversations 3:1 (Spring 2005).
Monday, February 19, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
- The use of exegetical methods to explore leadership
- The relationship between scripture, faith, theology and leadership
- Models of biblical spirituality and leadership
- Models of tribal and other forms of leadership in the Pentateuch
- Models of ruling, leadership, governing and organizational structures in the history of early Israel
- Leadership values in the wisdom writings of the Hebrew scriptures
- The relationship between prophecy and contextual leadership in the prophetic material of the Hebrew scriptures
- Comparative studies of leaders and leadership models across the Hebrew and Christian scriptures
- Historical studies of leaders in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures
- Group dynamics in the Gospels
- Historical Jesus and leadership research
- Pauline perspectives in leadership
- Organizational design and dynamics in the early faith communities of the Christian scriptures
- Follower-leader relationships in the Christian scriptures
- Organizational and leadership values in the Christian scriptures
- Models of spiritual and leadership formation in the Christian scriptures
- Models of future studies and strategic foresight in the apocalyptic material of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures
A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. It will come into being through principles of listening, service, incarnational mission and making disciples. It will have the potential to become a mature expression of church shaped by the gospel and the enduring marks of the church and for its cultural context.
There is another church in the UK that fits this bill perfectly: Carmel Christian Centre in Bristol, a ministry led by Pastors Gerri and Michelle di Somma. It is by far one the healthiest and vibrant ministries I have observed in Europe. The Di Somma's steadfast faith, enduring love and consistent desire for Gospel relevance are a witness of the transforming work of God's Spirit in the UK.
Fresh Expressions: http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk/
Carmel Ministries: http://www.carmelcentre.org/church/
Friday, February 09, 2007
The Christian Desert Fathers and Mothers Movements in the fourth and fifth centuries after Christ, understood that societal and organizational development are only possible once personal inner transformation has taken place. They followed the call of the Spirit into the Egyptian and Palestinian deserts in an attempt to imitate Jesus as He faced the temptations of the devil in preparation for active ministry. These Desert Fathers and Mothers constructed a diagnostic matrix in their quest to describe an ontology of sin and in doing so provided the early Christian Communities with a list of eight prime sins (or demons/passions as they sometimes called them). This wisdom showed that these prime sins are progressive and connected; for instance gluttony leads to sexual sin, sexual sin to sloth, sloth to anger, etc. They also provided a remedy for this well-described fallen condition of humanity and actively preached that union with God through Jesus Christ brought freedom from sin and liberty in the Spirit. The word monk from this time came from the Greek word "monos" which at the same time means "one/alone" and "united". Thus, only when I am alone (one) with God can I be united with Him and then with others. In essence, solitude leads to union with God through Jesus and thus provides the freedom to be in union with others and the ability to build healthy community with others. Incorporating these early Christian monastic values to organizational leadership would mean at minimum accepting the following truths:
- There can be no community until personal transformation takes place.
- It makes no sense to speak about organizational values and ethics unless we understand and accept the reality of sin and how this affects organizational leadership and organizations.
- Personal transformation comes through an encounter with God through faith in the vicarious sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
It has been a deeply enriching and learning experience on how to authentically present the transforming truth of the Gospel of Jesus in such a diverse cultural and religious context. I have limited access to the internet and will be back to blogging more regularly next week.
Here is a link to the conference site:
Friday, February 02, 2007
Birds cannot sink in the air,
Gold cannot perish
in the refiners fire.
This has God given to all creatures
to foster and seek their own nature,
How then can I withstand mine?
I must to God -
My father through nature,
my brother through humanity,
My bridegroom through love,
His I am forever!
Think ye that fire must utterly slay my soul?
Nay! Love can both fiercely scorch
And tenderly love and console.
- Mechthild of Magdeburg (1210-1297)