23.3.11

Still thinking about our theological education

Stanley Hauerwas says:

It is appropriate that you might believe you are here to make you think, because you have been told that is what universities are supposed to do, that is, to
make you think. Universities are places where you are educated to make up your own mind. That is not what I am trying to do. Indeed, I do not think most of you have minds worth making up. You need to be trained before you can
begin thinking. So I have not made the claims above to shock you, but rather to put you in a position to discover how odd being a Christian makes you.

I remember finding it strange when I began theological education that no one seemed to be able to give me any answers, only a range of other people's answers and how to find some kind of via media and even that was only ever offered tentatively. I remember at first trying to decode my lecturers to see if I could nail their theological colours to some of the masts that I had erected in my head. It's just that as soon as I began to do so, I found that masts had been blown down and some shifted so far from the landscape that they positively didn't exist anymore. I soon got used to never hearing a personal point of view but still continued to try to read between the lines. I know a little better now but still have much to learn. 

...but today, we did hear a personal point of view and certainly we also heard echoes of Frei and Barth and Hans Boersma but we also heard a personal point of view about how one person stands at the foot of the cross, where they stand, and how, and what they see when they look up and marvel. 

We heard a journey about theological transition and the expectation that there will be more, a 'stammered' attempt (his phrase) to articulate the greatest, most painful and precious occurrence that this world has ever witnessed and witnesses to, and we are all left somewhat changed by the unveiled vulnerability, the holy humility and the desperate adventure of it all. 

Thank you St John's!



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