Tuesday, May 15, 2012

40 Years worth of Education

Having commenced a formal theological study this year, I sometimes wonder what I've signed up for. Four years can feel like a long time, especially right now when I'm learning Hebrew verb paradigms:



Anyway, I stumbled across a magazine in the college library today that was honouring the ministry of Oliver O'Donovan (he's retiring later in the year). There was a quote from a 2008 report on an Anglican catechism by the Global South Anglican Theological Formation and Education Task Force (which O'Donovan was apart of) that drove home one of the reasons why theological college is and should be a long and thoughtful process:
"The clergy must be ready to think theologically for themselves, and not only say just what their congregations (or bishops!) are expecting. All of them have to be able to go on thinking and preaching, faithfully to the Gospel, for perhaps forty years after they leave college. Some of them will have to take the lead in criticizing and interpreting movements of thought that have not yet even come on the horizon. And they have to be able to resource the theological needs of tomorrow’s church." - Anglican Catechism in Outline: A Common Home Between Us

Again, like Barth's advice for novice theologians, it is humbling to read this.