June 10, 2014 / David Fitch

Contextual Theology in One Diagram

I’m in the middle of teaching Thesis Design for the Doctoral program in Missional Leadership at Northern Seminary. I’m the director of this program. This is the capstone course of the program which moves the student into thesis-research writing stage – the final stage of the program. Here we do ethnography in the ministry field which forms the context for theological reflection. The context is opened by listening, observing, field notes, charting the stories. And yet we bring theology to the context. Just as the context is opened by listening, the tradition/Scripture/theology is also opened up in dialogue with the context. We begin to see, understand and indeed eventually reveal the context through what we have been “sent” with into the context: the gospel. This creates the social dynamic of witness, the church, the Kingdom taking on flesh. This is the opening of the future to God’s work, His Kingdom. This becomes chapter 5 of the thesis. This I take it is the task of all mission work. Here’s the opening diagram of the class. We start a new cohort in Summer 2015. If you’re interested, here’s more information here.    I’m busy teaching this class and then off to CBOQ General Assembly in Toronto. My tweeting, facebooking and blogging will be less in the week ahead.