Thursday, June 25, 2009

Traditional Pedagogy in peril?

Traditional Pedagogy in peril?

this is from Scot McKnight's blog today, regarding the future of universities as learning styles and the knowledge base are changing.

"Meanwhile on campus, there is fundamental challenge to the foundational modus operandi of the University -- the model of pedagogy. Specifically, there is a widening gap between the model of learning offered by many big universities and the natural way that young people who have grown up digital best learn.

The old-style lecture, with the professor standing at the podium in front of a large group of students, is still a fixture of university life on many campuses. It's a model that is teacher-focused, one-way, one-size-fits-all and the student is isolated in the learning process. Yet the students, who have grown up in an interactive digital world, learn differently. Schooled on Google and Wikipedia, they want to inquire, not rely on the professor for a detailed roadmap. They want an animated conversation, not a lecture. They want an interactive education, not a broadcast one that might have been perfectly fine for the Industrial Age, or even for boomers. These students are making new demands of universities, and if the universities try to ignore them, they will do so at their peril."


to me, the "The old-style lecture" and traditional pedagogy sound a little like a Protestant church service. In our weekly God-parties, I found it true that non-churched secular young people want "animated conversation, not a lecture."

so ... as we look at books like the "Great Emergence" and such themes as the collapse of the Evangelical church and possibly even the "great falling away" as young people abandon church services, what implications does the above information have for the task of reproducing the faith in a new generation?

PS: if you want to contribute some books to the summer reading list (annotated bibliography) please send them to me with a paragraph or two describing the book at

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Reading List

summer is almost here... tell us what you are planning to read this summer and why. If possible, rank your book selection by priority.

I~ll have to contribute my list after I arrive back in Miami on Wednesday.

ok Laurel: go! You too Biiilly....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

500-Year Rummage Sale

Ok, lets try to rewind this conversation again and refocus using Phyllis Tickle’s book, The Great Emergence. I heard about this book from Robert Grant, and then saw a series of reviews on Scot Mcknight’s blog, I tried to be satisfied with following Mcknight’s reviews but finally had to break down and buy it. I thought it was an excellent book, although I was a little dissatisfied with the last chapter. She tried to indicate Calvary Chaple and Vineyard as “emerging” or postmodern churches, which I really don’t buy into.

Which of you have the book already? Has anyone already finished it?

Her basic thesis is that about once every 500 years, the church holds a rummage sale and reorients itself to whatever current cultural condition it finds itself in. She believes were are approaching one of those 500-year junctures and that the rummage sale has begun. This is similar to what others such as Bob Mumford have said.

What do you think? Shall we read the book together?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spiritual Heritage Part 2: "The Church Holds a Rummage Sale"

Lets start fresh with our discussion of Spiritual Heritage. Here are a couple of highlights from John Meadows that kicked off our discussion in the first place:

“But what we're trying to do is to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit in this moment, in this era of social, cultural and political history, with events that come at us as like a fire hose. In the late '60's and early '70's God was moving sovereignly. I am so grateful to have been caught up in that move. But many of those leaders are dead (including three of our five teachers), and the others are in their 70's and 80's.

Of the two who are living, neither Charles nor Bob are doing what they were doing in the '70's and '80's. Both have continued to move with the Spirit. And when you hear them speak these days, they are still fresh and relevant. I was amazed at the prophetic insight that Bob still carries (not of a by-gone era; reminiscing about the good old days, but of our present context). When he spoke at ACM a couple years ago, he was totally up to date on current trends, theological and social movements -- probably more so than most of the rest of us in the room.

Most of us are attempting to maintain and value our historic relationships without trying to continue, restore or duplicate the past. No one can "go back", we can only move ahead. "What is God saying and doing now?" is our question.
On a more popular level, we're all theologians if we're interested at all in God, and knowing him. Here's how defines theology: "The field of study and analysis that treats of God and of God's attributes and relations to the universe; study of divine things or religious truth." So with that definition, you and I are also "theologians", although without letters.

I love the ancient Orthodox definition of a theologian, "He who prays is a true theologian."

And speaking of "Fathers of the Faith", Christendom as we know it would not exist without the theologians who hashed out the creeds and endured much hardship and suffering. We can deconstruct them and see their failings and clay feet, just like our own brothers, but we can't forget that we are here because of them and their struggles and scarifies to follow our God the best they knew how in the age and context in which they lived -- to serve God's purpose for their generation.”

And this from Brian: The church of Jesus Christ, as happens from time to time, gets confused. When confused, she tends to hold a big rummage sale, putting both her treasures and her accumulated junk on the block for bargain prices. (Well, they're bargains if they are truly treasures!) So here we are, sorting through the piles and piles of ... stuff. What will we gladly pay top dollar for? What are we willing to let go to the recycle facility?