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8 ≈ Credo News ≈ Saturday, October 14

Let me know if you want me to keep doing this.

Interesting theological news from around the web:

1. Grant for Women’s Preaching Program:

A new initiative aimed at preparing women to preach within the Catholic Church has been backed by a substantial grant of $1.25 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. This is notable as current church practice doesn’t permit women to deliver the homily during Mass. However, the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican is presently discussing the potential for increased participation of women in the church, including the prospect of women preaching in parish settings with adequate training. The grant will support a continuing education program where participants can earn a certificate in Catholic preaching and ministry of the Word. This initiative represents a significant investment in Catholic women’s vocations and a step towards addressing the desire within the Catholic community to hear women preach (National Catholic Reporter).

2. Seminary Journal Goes Online:

The Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis has taken its journal, Encounter: A Journal of Theological Scholarship, online. This journal has been continuously published since 1941 and is among the longest continuously published journals by a freestanding seminary in the US. The move to an online platform may indicate a shift towards modernizing theological scholarship and making it more accessible to a broader audience (Christian Theological Seminary).

3. Comments on Theological Education:

In a submission to a Senate Committee, Pastor Odero emphasized the importance of theological education for church leaders, despite not having attended a theological class himself. This news highlights ongoing discussions around the relevance and necessity of formal theological education for religious leaders (The Star)

4. Reliance on God in Ministry:

Tony Mathews, a senior strategist of missional ministries, encouraged relying solely on God for encouragement during challenging times in ministry. This message was conveyed in a recent blog post by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, reflecting on the theological perspective of seeking divine guidance and support in ministerial roles.(Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)

5. Christology Discussions:

Recent articles published in The Journal of Theological Studies explore topics like “The Devil’s Ransom and Christology in Origen and the Cappadocians” showcasing ongoing scholarly engagement with historical theological figures and doctrines (Oxford Academic)

6. Civil Rights and Theology:

A publication in Theological Studies has drawn parallels between Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for civil, economic, and racial equality in the USA and Julius K. Nyerere’s struggle for the emancipation of Southern Africa from colonial shackles, reflecting on how theological perspectives can inform and intersect with socio-political movements (SAGE Journals).

7. Mysticism and Psychological Perspectives:

Theological discussions are engaging with psychological perspectives to offer fresh lenses for interpreting theological notions. A piece titled “The Return to the Mystical: Jacques Lacan, John of the Cross, and the …” explores how spiritual guidance can be tailored more closely to an individual’s unique needs by incorporating psychological insights (Church Life Journal).

8. Theological Arguments on Revolutionary Theories:

There’s an analysis of theological arguments concerning the fifth generation of revolutionary theories, especially in the context of the Arab Spring. This reflects an intersection of theology with contemporary socio-political events and theories (ResearchGate)

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Why I’m Not Leaving Facebook

A lot of my friends and family are leaving Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like due to their banishment of Donald Trump. For many, it’s because they love Trump and won’t tolerate anyone who does not tolerate their friends. For others, who do not love Trump, they see this as a fundamental attack on free speech. And, of course, for all my dispensationalist friends and colleagues, this is the beginning of the end.

Maybe it is.

The problem with switching to alternative social networking sites like Parlor and MeWe right now is that they are being overrun by conservatives with a chip on their shoulder. Yes, I am a conservative. Yes, I have the same chip on my shoulder. The difference is that I have a lot of other chips that are bigger than my conservative chip could ever get.

So, a part of me does want to leave Facebook and Twitter and every other outlet that may be limiting free speech beyond my comfort zone (including the computer I am typing this on!), but the bigger part of me does not want to go somewhere else that will be out of balance with propaganda for my own cronies (not saying that is what the others are designed to do; that is just what they are now). It actually makes me more discouraged to see my side spewing just as much mindlessness as the other side.

More importantly, I don’t like to congregate with those who only think and believe the same as me. What a waste! I love gracious diversity. There are plenty of things I am wrong about. I don’t know what they are or I would change and be right! For now, I will have to find places to continually challenge my presuppositions, testing them, shaping them, and forging them in the fires of those who think differently.

There is a time and a place to congregate with those who are more of a like mind. But if that is the only place you find your fellowship, 1) you will never win anyone to Christ, and 2) you will surely become judgmental and mean-spirited. I remember some guy sending others out as wolves among sheep. Or, wait . . . maybe it was the other way around?

However, it is increasingly difficult to find this kind of fellowship out there. The loudest and most vocal are flooding the internet “streets,” looking for someone to “cancel.” Ironically, the loudest and most vocal are usually the most insecure. They exchange arguments for volume and critical thinking for anger. Out there today, the moment I say, “I voted for Trump” (or, worse, say “Hell yes, I voted for Trump!”—I almost have to say it with a bit of shame if I have any chance), some of my closest friends leave me in hatred and disgust, while others want to give me a gun and a MAGA hat!

Why? Because it is human nature to become addicted to propaganda and we lose focus on the relative importance of all else.

For now, I will stay on Facebook. I have my accounts at the other places. I don’t like the censorship that is happening, both publicly and institutionally, but I can’t dare sacrifice the opportunities (for myself and others) when I mix-mingle.

For now, please know this: I probably will not accept much of what you have to say about any social or political issues. Those of you who know me know why? It’s not so much that I don’t trust you; I just don’t trust your sources. Until I am convinced someone is not in this new dark ages of thinking, until I believe they have a critical reverence for the truth above their reverence for their agenda, I can’t do otherwise. I have had to do the same in my own profession of theology for 20 years. I am somewhat used to it. However, if you are already established as a sober thinker (not because of your views, but because of your attitude and methodology), I will listen to you. Sadly, there are fewer and fewer of you left.

To the rest of you: you will have to kick me out of the madness. Otherwise, I’m not leaving!

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