Saturday, June 14, 2008

Learning Journal 7 - Galatians and 1 Corinthians

This is the first biblical module that I have taken at Trinity, and it is the first module taught by David Wenham at Trinity, and it has been excellent. Of course, I am biased because New Testament studies is my field, and David is my supervisor, but I think this might be one of the most important modules I do at Trinity. Although I have studied both of these books before, it has been a real privilege to revisit them and have them opened up by an expert. What I have found especially helpful is how contemporary the issues facing these early churches are when you examine them, especially in 1 Corinthians. There are issues of unity, problems to do with sexuality and gender, problems of how to do mission in a new context, how to deal with inequalities between rich and poor and how to be faithful to Christ in a multi-faith society. A careful reading of the text gave us a springboard for discussion on all these subjects and more.

I understand that there is a lot of ground to be covered in training for ministry, and there are constraints on the curriculum which mean that not everything can be covered in detail. There are important modules on pastoral theology, church history, liturgical theory and practice, missiology and much more, hopefully all informed and underpinned by good biblical theology.
What is tragic is that people can train for ordained ministry in the Church of England, at an evangelical college like Trinity, and do as little as one biblical module in their time here.

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