October 17, I had not heard of the Religious Sovereign Movement that apparently is spreading across the country. It is an attempt to overturn our legal system or at least turn it on its head.
Back to issue Some of the most valuable and lasting contributions made to the Christian faith have come through Christian scholarship. They wrote to clarify doctrine, commend the gospel to unbelievers, and deepen the hearts and minds of the faithful.
Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, and Bonhoeffer are my favorite writing pastors, each for different reasons. Perhaps no one embodies the spirit of the writing pastor better than Augustine. Reflecting on the importance of writing throughout his life and ministry, Augustine writes, "I am the sort of man who writes because he has made progress, and who makes progress-by writing.
Writing is a form of communication and, as such, it can extend and multiply the teaching ministry of a pastor. But that is not all that writing accomplishes.
I am suggesting that the great writing pastors of old realized that something more foundational and personal was at stake in their ministries. Perhaps they practiced writing as a discipline-a spiritually formative discipline, even. I think we may safely assume that they did.
None of us will likely have the influence of Augustine or Luther or Bonhoeffer. But our writing still matters.
It matters because it can help us to make progress in our own hearts and minds. So as an exercise in pastoral ministry, we will explore some benefits that come to the soul of a pastor through the discipline of writing.
These apply particularly to pastors but are not limited to the vocation of pastor. Each benefit is personal and formative: Sertillanges, a French theologian and philosopher, presents a way to think about thinking that is profoundly sacred.
Sertillanges reflects on the virtues of the life of the mind. And in doing so, he introduces us to the vocation of deep thinking.
This pursuit is "a sacred call"-a lifelong vocation. He calls it the "the deepening of the mind" because it "requires penetration and continuity and methodical effort, so as to attain a fullness of development which will correspond to the call of the Spirit, and to the resources that it has pleased Him to bestow on us.
The pastor is first a Christian who is, like any other follower of Jesus Christ, committed to the deepening of the mind. This depth of mind and heart is part of what Jesus was after when he replied to the Pharisee, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
This is the great and first commandment" Matt Paul told Timothy to think and reflect on his teaching-but not without an important assumption: Writing helps to deepen the mind. Pursuing a deep mind, according to Sertillanges, requires "penetration and continuity and methodical effort.
Writing, then, is a way to dig-a way to dig deep the well of the mind. Digging a well or excavating a reservoir requires penetration and continuity and methodical effort. Writing is uniquely suited to accomplish this work. When we write, we are excavating one sentence at a time.
It may not look like much at first, but after a few days of digging, we begin to notice the depth of progress.
What the church needs today is deeply spiritual leaders. And a writing pastor is most often a deeper man than he would be otherwise. So whether in notes, letters, journal entries, articles, blogs, or sermon manuscripts, a pastor can practice deepening his own mind and soul through writing.
This will, in time, deepen the souls of those to whom he ministers. A friend of mine explains it this way: When I have a hunch about something, it then helps to work it out in writing.
The process helps to clarify and refine my thinking. When we write, we give definite form to what we have been turning over in our minds, enabling us to carefully investigate our own intuitions. Francis Bacon captured well the idea of clarity through writing in his essay Of Studies: Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years.
We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. About John C. Ford, S.J. This biography includes links in red both to some of the official documents of Pope Paul VI’s Commission on Population, Family, and Birth-rate, and to a response to that body’s final report, prepared by Ford and Grisez at the request of Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and delivered by him to Pope Paul VI.
Liberation Theology - Arising out recent class discussion topics touching on the ideas of James Cone’s ideas on Liberation Theology and the relationship between the Cross and the Lynching Tree, our group decided to focus the topic of our presentation around Liberation Theology. F.F. Bruce on The Criteria of Canonicity of the Bible Tests in The Apostolic Age The earliest Christians did not trouble themselves about criteria of canonicity; .
“The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible is unrivaled as a classic work of biblical theology suffused with a pastoral heart.” (Brennan Manning, author of Ruthless Trust).
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