Presentation on theme: "RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 December 5, 2011. Teachings about the Cross according to Matthew Teachings about the Resurrection according to Matthew Andrew."— Presentation transcript:
RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 December 5, 2011
Teachings about the Cross according to Matthew Teachings about the Resurrection according to Matthew Andrew Shepherds Teachings about the Sending into Mission according to Matthew Whitney Mitchell
A Paper you are preparing since October Compare YOUR OWN interpretation with at least TWO scholarly interpretations ◦ A companion scholar and ◦ One (or Two) Diverging scholar(s) showing Why these interpretations are ◦ LEGITIMATE (grounded in what the text says) and ◦ PLAUSIBLE (with plausible view of the theological THEME) even though they have DIFFERENT TEACHINGS (implementing different roles of Scripture) for your chosen context Arguing (your THESIS) which one of these interpretations is BEST – providing the best teaching – for addressing the needs of the believers in your chosen context and thus transforming the situation.
A Paper Arguing (your THESIS) which one of these interpretations is BEST because it presupposes the BEST interpretation of your chosen context – BEST identification of its ROOTPROBLEM ◦ Your context – whatever it is – includes 5 possible ROOT-PROBLEMS – knowledge, will, ability, ideology, faith/vision. Believers need the 5!!! And the BEST WAY TO ADDRESS IT While AVOIDING NEGATIVE EFFECTS
The THESIS you are expected to defend ◦ Presented in an introduction showing the importance of the issue; ◦ Demonstrated in the body, and ◦ Tightly argued in the conclusion) must argue that “A particular interpretation (among two or more legitimate and plausible ones) of the chosen passages from Matthew on a chosen theme provides THE BEST TEACHING for specific Christian believers that you envision in a particular present-day context both ◦ because it best conforms to basic Christian convictions (“loving God”) and ◦ because it best addresses the needs of these believers and their neighbors (“loving neighbors”).”
all the information/features regarding your Contextual Bible Interpretation (CBI) that should be in PART A and PART B of the CBI form … some of you might still need to: a) Reformulate your TEACHING (B1) so that it would ACTUALLY CONVEY what the chosen texts of Matthew bring to the believers to help them overcome a problem they are confronted with: the “teaching” must FULLY EMBODY THE ROLE OF SCRIPTURE you identified; b) Clarify your choice of an understanding of the THEME: show how you choice is based upon your interpretation of your texts of Matthew and why it is the focus of your paper This involves explaining why not the other views of your theme… see CDC
You identified the different root-problems that concern them (and have evidence for your claim) Your COMPANION scholar should be concerned with the SAME root-problem (and role of Scripture) Your DIVERGING scholar should be concerned with A DIFFERENT root-problem (and role of Scripture) ◦ (A third, bonus scholar would be another DIVERGING scholar who would bring another DIFFERENT perspective.) You should have become aware that your chosen context can be VIEWED IN DIFFERENT WAYS ◦ Since agents in your context need knowledge, will, ability, ideology, and faith/vision to act in the right way, any one missing or wrong stops the right action (or promotes wrong action)
we began to discuss the identification of the different views of your chosen THEME Making sure that the view of the THEME you chose is grounded into/explained in terms of your texts from Matthew To compare YOUR VIEW of this theme with your COMPANION scholar’s view and your DIVERGING scholar’s (or scholars’) views of this same theme. ◦ You will need to do so in a very detailed way for your paper. Since your theme is related to the text of Matthew you study, all scholars will necessarily have a view of this theme, even if, for them, it is not the main theme. ◦ The several views/articles in the CDC on this “theme” and related topics will be helpful
An ethical choice! The 2 (or 3) interpretations are equally legitimate and plausible: what differences does it make to choose one and not the other(s)? A) Loving neighbor: 1rst criterion What needs does each interpretation address or fail to address in you have chosen? What problematic effects does each of the interpretations have--or could potentially have--in other life-contexts? Who benefits from each of the interpretations? Who is hurt by each? So which one is better for loving one’s neighbor?
What differences does it make to choose one interpretation rather than the other? Two criteria: B) Loving God: How does each of the interpretations relate to basic convictions and values (about God and God’s will, etc.) that you hold? What is the role of convictions in your choice of an interpretation rather than others? So which one is better for loving God?
1) By overcoming a basic problem (or a series of problems) 2) Grounded in one or another root-problem: lack of/wrong knowledge, will, ability, ideology, faith- vision Which one is the most likely root-problem? ◦ If you address the wrong one: no transformation!!! 3) With a teaching based upon chosen texts of Matthew focused on a particular theme: Which one of the several plausible teachings of these texts will be most helpful in addressing the contextual problem? Which one of the several views of the Theme is most helpful?
Death is a Death, is a Death…. Au contraire… see CDC! Highly cultural views of death. Death is pointless, just something which happens – part of life. Not for Jesus Three possibilities: Death as a sacrifice O. k. but in which sense? 1. Vicarious Sacrifice: Christ died instead of us = punished instead of me (saving me from punishment by an angry God) 2. Covenantal Sacrifice: establishing a new covenant for a new people of God = election, vocation, law/what to do = making possible for us to participate in this covenant with God 3. Kingdom Sacrifice while struggling for the kingdom marked by God’s justice for all
Matthew 26: While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.“ Matthew 1: She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us.“ Save from what? What is sin?
Three views of Death as Sacrifice are legitimate & plausible Matthew 26:28 this is my blood of the covenant, [= 2] which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins eivj a;fesin a`martiw/n the act of freeing and liberating from something that confines, release from captivity [to the evil world for the kingdom & God’s justice (26:29) = 3] the act of freeing from an obligation, guilt, or punishment, pardon, [= 1] 29 until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.“
Matthew 1: She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." Which sin?  A sin I willfully committed = for which I should be punished (because as disciple I should do the will of God)  A corporate sin which keeps us in bondage and that we condone and from which we need to be freed so as to become a covenantal community imitating Christ  A corporate sin that we condone and from which we need to free ourselves by imitating Christ to be re-socialized into a new, just community
Matthew 16:21 21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests Matthew 17:22-23 "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, 23 and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised." Matthew 20:19, then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised." … 26 It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." price of release, ransom (esp. also the ransom money for the manumission of slaves)
Matthew 20: It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you [overcoming a wrong will = sin # 1; J’s death = vicarious sacrifice ] must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man came [imitating Christ = sharing Christ vision of the kingdom and acting on it; not doing so = sin # 3; J’s death = kingdom sacrifice ] not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." [imitating Christ = seeing as Christ did what God is doing ; power from which we need to be freed= sin # 2; J’s death = covenantal sacrifice ]
I know: for you/us in this culture, for many [most?] of your believers in your context (Need to change their view? ???) sin # 1; wrong will >>> J’s death = vicarious sacrifice Yet, front page title of the Tennessean Sunday Dec 4: “Southern Baptists open up on slavery: Denomination works to overcome its original sin” = sin # 3, slavery = not sharing Christ vision of the kingdom and not acting on it J’s death = kingdom sacrifice = a model that we should imitate/emulate Yet, for a majority of Christians (including all Orthodox and Charismatics of all stripes in the 2/3 worlds) = sin # 2; power from which we need to be freed by powerful intervention of God or Holy Spirit = J’s death = covenantal sacrifice From now on, God/HS/Resurrected Christ is at work as believers can see by seeing as Christ did =imitating Christ
sin # 1; wrong will >>> J’s death = vicarious sacrifice = (in different ways) Garland; Hagner; Keener sin # 3 = corporate = not sharing Christ vision of the kingdom and not acting on it J’s death = kingdom sacrifice = a model that we should imitate/emulate = (in different ways) Carter; Harrington; Luz; Davies and Allison sin # 2, Corporate; power from which we need to be freed by powerful intervention of God or Holy Spirit = J’s death = covenantal sacrifice from now on, God/HS/Resurrected Christ is at work as believers can see by seeing as Christ did =imitating Christ = Patte; Wainwright;
sin # 1; wrong will >>> J’s death = vicarious sacrifice Usual Southern Baptist view sin # 3 = corporate = not sharing Christ vision of the kingdom and not acting on it J’s death = kingdom sacrifice = a model that we should imitate/emulate New Southern Baptist view = Slavery and racism are not a matter of “wrong will” but of wrong ideology or even wrong faith vision sin # 2, Corporate; power from which we need to be freed by powerful intervention of God or Holy Spirit = J’s death = covenantal sacrifice from now on, God/HS/Resurrected Christ is at work as believers can see by seeing as Christ did =imitating Christ May be an even better view: Slavery and racism are not something that we can overcome by ourselves; it demands divine interventions that we need to see as Christ did
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.' This is my message for you." 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
16 "See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. 19 When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. … 24 "A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; …. 26 "So have no fear of them… 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
The context of this paper will be a congregation in decline during the recent recession. While it is able to pay its bills, it is looking at the “graying,” and eventual will not able to support itself. As it tries to become more “relevant,” it has done things like experiment with new worship styles, reach out to young adults, and a whole lot of other things in order to reach new people. The recent recession means a lot of families have been facing the reality that they can no longer afford their houses, and many are in danger of losing their jobs to reductions. There is a committed group of elders, a group who grew up in the church. They worry about how they will both continue ministry in the future, and how they deal with the economic trouble of the community.
The problem they face is lack of faith/vision particularly related to the future of their ministry. While they know the gospel, and what their mission is supposed to be, they do not believe that they can carry it out without the resources they have always had. In these passages, Disciples face a huge problem: they don't know what to do in the face of major changes. Jesus has died, and his followers now gather at his tomb. They know not what to do in the wake of the realization that their leader is now gone. Their identity as a group has been tied to the person of Jesus; the way in which they understand their ministry has lost what has tied it together in their minds. But the angel who appears says to them “do not fear.” At the moment when all seems lost, and out of the despair they now face, they are told that everything will be alright.
For the women gathered, this must have felt like a poor choice of words. How are they to not fear, at the moment when everything seems to be ending, when hope itself is dead? The church today is facing a similar situation. The organization which has seen its mission as grounded in a particular identity, Middle class America, is beginning to lose that. It has placed so much of its faith in the church as the representative of God that now as it declines it struggles to see its mission because the vehicle for that mission is disappearing. But it is out of this kind of a scenario that God works. It is only after Christ is crucified that the resurrection can happen. Even as the church begins losing the resources that it used to define itself, it still has a role to play in carrying out the mission of God. (So teaching = Family Album = “we” are the people going to the tomb after the crucifixion … as implemented in a ritual/sacrament incorporating this teaching.)
In my diverging scholar (Keener) the root problem he is trying to address in his interpretation in 28:1-10 is that of a Wrong Ideology. Or knowledge? This is evident in his focus on who God choses to receive revelation, the power of God present in the scene, and the focus on the selection of God. This teaching is designed to be a kind of corrective glasses, revealing the ways in which God interacts in this world as opposed to other ideologies. Faith, as understand by Keener’s interpretation of Matthew, is based on understanding [= knowledge about faith, as we discussed; and as you say below]. Through the events at the tomb, the individuals in the text, and those reading are enlightened as to who God is, how God operates, etc. This sees faith as a coming to understand how God works.
My context through the Root Problem of Keener leads to a congregation that believes [has the religious knowledge, as you say below] that ministry is only done in thriving churches. Without resources ministry cannot be done, perhaps even because ministry, in their ideological thinking [knowledge], is gaining members, and is being a big church. The reason the church is questioning its mission in this context, then, is not because they have a problem with faith (whether or not they believe they can do ministry when their identity changes) but instead because their understanding of what ministry is (the church getting bigger) is being threatened.
The teaching for the congregation through Keener’s root problem is a corrective glasses rule of the community or good-news teaching that stresses the need for the congregation to recognize God’s mission as something different to church growth. They are not there not simply draw in more people, but instead are supposed to break down boundaries, much like the verse in Matthew does with the presence of the women. There is a serious questioning (a lack of knowledge) in chapter 28 about through whom (and how) God acts. Instead of being about size and strength, God operates through those who are not powerful in society.
While each of these interpretations is similar, mine is the better in this case. While the congregation may watch other large churches and be envious, their main concern is not they are not growing when they should be, but rather that they do not know have the faith vision regarding how to carry out their usual ministry with changes in their context. If they look to large churches that have the growth ideology (that numbers are the point) they may be envious, and this may even fuel their own fear, but only because they see the resources for carrying out their mission. They are not afraid that they are failing at their mission (in not growing) but are afraid they won’t have the resources to grow.
Loving neighbor- Either of these interpretations would deal with loving neighbor about the same. A smaller church which sees its mission as reaching out into the community, rather than growing its numbers, is, in my opinion doing a better job loving its neighbors. Bu both interpretations do this. Loving God- Each of these interpretations deal with the will of God, being a church and doing what God calls the church too, rather than growing numbers and getting more people in the door. Really, the reason mine is a better interpretation is simply because of how I stated the context. [[?]] There may be a place in the future where Keener’s root problem is present, and therefore it would be a better interpretation. But in my own context, it would simply fall on deaf ears.
GABRIEL KING SAM MALLICK; JOHN SUK; SETH TERRELL; MICHAEL GREER; KRISTIN KELLY; EUGENE SE’BREE; LYDIA FULLER; JOEL FITZGERALD; JESSIE LIGHT; SKYLER HUTTO;
ALIVEALIVE AGAIN (vindicated) V ^ DEAD
IN HEAVEN WITH ALL AUTHORITY ^ ALIVEALIVE AGAIN V ^ DEAD
IN HEAVEN WITH ALL AUTHORITY ^ V ALIVEALIVE AGAIN ON EARTH V ^ DEAD
Matthew 28: Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 10:7-8 7 As you go, proclaim the good news, 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.' 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Matthew 10: "Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.
1) CONTEXT: At a committee meeting discussing the lack of volunteers for our congregation’s thrift store, several members (who already volunteer) expressed weariness in doing the work. Seeking to encourage endurance in them to continue participation in this ministry I thought this was an appropriate moment to highlight our call as disciples to do God’s will. 2) ROOT-PROBLEM: Lack of Will ROLE OF SCRIPTURE Rule of the Community
TEACHING: To motivate a change in will, I begin by stating that our tradition asserts that part of our responsibility of being Christian is doing God’s will whether we feel like it or not. If we allow our tiredness to prevent us from doing this, are we really disciples of Jesus sharing the good news? Textual evidence: The disciples not only receive instructions but also imperative commands to “proclaim the good news” (10:7) and continue doing for others what Jesus has done for them [living out God’s will] (28:19-20). Furthermore, Jesus gives a guideline for being counted as his disciple, “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven” (10:32-33).
Not following his instructions and commands (i.e. proclaiming the good news, curing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the leaper, casting out demons [10:7-8] and making disciples and teaching obedience to Jesus’ teachings [28:19-20]) would be denying Jesus before others and not being a disciple in mission of God’s will. Additionally, Jesus states, “whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (10:38). Understandings from the CDC: as the CDC states, “discipleship is being called by Christ to play a role in society and being willing to play it” (327). This is the role Christ calls us as his disciples – “to acknowledge [Christ] before others,” “to take up the cross,” and “to proclaim the good news.”
We are already doing this and need to continue our work. It does not matter what we feel or think, to fulfill our responsibility of discipleship is live out these commands and instructions from Jesus. Concerning mission, I assume mission is for the purpose of “Serving God’s Kingdom of Truth, Love, and Justice” (CDC, 815). As Christ was the servant of God to bring about the good news of God’s kingdom so are the disciples of Jesus servants of the Kingdom of God to share with others the goodness of God’s kingdom.
4) DIFFERENT ROOT-PROBLEM from DIVERGING SCHOLAR: Donald Alfred Hagner is my diverging scholar. He sets up the Gospel of Matthew as a response to a community “struggling to define and defend a Jewish Christianity to the Jews, on the one hand, and to realize their identity with gentile Christians, on the other” (Hagner V.33A, lxxi). Furthermore, he states that Matthew offers the Jewish believers “confidence in the correctness of their faith” (Hagner V.33A, lxx). It seems to me that this deals with providing a VISION of faith lacking in readers of Matthew. (ROOT-PROBLEM: Lack of Vision) (ROLE OF SCRIPTURE: Family Album)
5. DIFFERENT VIEW OF YOUR THEME: As I read Hagner, I gain a sense that he views discipleship more as “imitating Christ.” More specifically, it seems he suggests, “…by imitating Christ, disciples are resocialized, acquiring a new identity as they share Christ’s ‘symbolic world’…and thus learn to be children of the Kingdom and children of God…” (CDC, 327). 6) YOUR CONTEXT VIEWED THROUGH THE EYES OF YOUR DIVERGING SCHOLAR: At a committee meeting discussing the lack of volunteers for our congregation’s thrift store, several members (who already volunteer and are getting tired) wondered why they were doing the work of the thrift store and whether or not they were helping our community. Seeking to offer a vision of why we do what we do, Matthew 10 and 28 inspire us to see our work as imitating Christ.
7) TEACHING WITH ADJUSTED CONTEXT: As we continue the work at Matthew’s Thrift Store, we are continuing the ministry and work of the disciples as we (the disciples + us) imitate Christ. We (with our “new” identity) encounter the resurrected Christ and become hope for others, even in our tiredness. Discipleship (and making disciples) is about living in this process. Textual Evidence: In Matthew 10:25a (“it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master”) Jesus challenges his disciples to imitate him as they “proclaim the good news” (Matthew 10:7). Yet, he indicates that this task is not an easy task (“I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves” [10:16], “Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues” [10:17],
“Brother will betray brother… and children will rise up against parents… you will be hated by all because of my name” [10:21-22a], “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household” [10:25b]). Even so, Jesus promises, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22b). Additionally, the last words from Jesus that the disciples hear (Matthew 28:18b-20) are similar to the instructions from chapter 10. The disciples hear the good news that Jesus will be “with [them] always, to the end of the age” (28:20b) – working with the disciples to endure. This promise of the presence of Jesus encourages the disciples to continue the work
Additionally, the disciples’ encounter with Jesus begins with a comforting word (28:16-17). Furthermore, as the women “left the tomb… and ran to tell [the] disciples,” Jesus meets them and offers an encouraging word. It is in their going and doing - the very things Jesus does (i.e. their imitation of Jesus) - that they realize the good news that God is with them empowering them for the good work. Our discipleship is the same – we imitate Christ (“go…proclaim…make disciples…”) and serve God’s kingdom (by “proclaiming the good news”).
Understandings from the CDC: In this teaching I assume an understanding of discipleship as “imitating Christ,” whereby like the disciples we are “resocialized, acquiring a new identity as [we] share Christ’s ‘symbolic world’…and thus learn to be children of the Kingdom and children of God…” (CDC, 327). Mission for “us” is like that of the disciples “Serving God’s Kingdom of Truth, Love, and Justice” (CDC, 815). As Christ was the servant of God to bring about the good news of God’s kingdom so are the disciples of Jesus servants of the Kingdom of God to share with others the goodness of God’s kingdom (us, too).
My original teaching is more akin to Reading B “Discipleship as Doing God’s Will Requires Wanting to Do God’s Will” (Challenge of Discipleship, 74). My altered teaching (with Hagner’s contextual root-problem) shifts to Reading C “Discipleship as Imitating Christ Requires Being Resocialized” (Challenge of Discipleship, 98). In the first teaching I see the outcome being more like guilting the committee to continue the mission. In the second teaching I see the outcome being more like recognizing that we are tired, but “[we] look beyond the mixed and flawed present situation toward the perfect, eschatological kingdom… yet, [we] also believe that there are preliminary manifestations of this kingdom in the present” (Challenge in Discipleship, 92). For me this illustrates that kingdom work is not easy; so, with a renewed vision of why we do what we do we see the significance of our work.
Leader’s Root Problem: Lack of Will My Suggestion: Lack of Faith/Vision Scholar’s Root Problem: Lack of Vision Scholar becomes Companion View Leader’s Role of Scripture: Rule of Community. Family Album I can see how Whitney arrived at Lack of Will, however in his adjusted context, the overworked volunteers question the effectiveness of their service; this to me represents Lack of Faith/Vision, because the volunteers know God’s will, but require more faith/vision to see how they enact that will as God’s beloved servants on earth. An underlying current in the adjusted context of Lack of Will could also reflect the volunteers’ true motivation in questioning their mission.
I think Whitney is correct to name Hagner’s root problem as Lack of Vision based on Hagner’s position (Matthew’s gospel is a defense of Jewish Christian identity). He is also correct to identify Hagner as using Family Album, to point out the relational bond that Christians should experience. I would challenge Whitney, however, to use Hagner as his Companion Scholar, because in his adjusted context the volunteers’ Lack of Faith/Vision aligns with Hagner’s interpretation of Matthew: “Matthew offers the Jewish believers ‘confidence’ in the correctness of their faith” (Hagner V.33A,1xx). This would then require Whitney to adjust his Role of Scripture to Family Album, to better reflect not only the volunteers’ questioning of their identity as members of Christ’s 2,000-year old community of servanthood, but also to address the potential underlying Lack of Will which threatens that identity.
2) My Context: A pastor tells a woman parishioner that despite what she perceives as a call to ordained ministry by the Holy Spirit, she is wrong to divorce her husband in order to pursue that call, because no adultery has been committed. The pastor tells the woman that her husband is the head of the household and Jesus is the head of the Church. If she divorces, even to attend seminary, she denies Jesus as lord of her life. Yet the pastor chooses to ignore that the church’s associate pastor is a divorced, ordained man. My Root Problem: Wrong IdeologyMy Role of Scripture: Corrective Glasses
Whitney’s Root Problem of Lack of Faith/Vision Applied to My Context: In my context, the pastor has Knowledge of divorced people in ordained ministry; he has the Ability to discuss this situation with the woman, but does not have the Will to do so. Inherent in his Wrong Ideology and Lack of Will could be a Lack of Faith/Vision: he denies the Holy Spirit as “servant of Christ” to call the woman into vocational ministry (Whitney’s theme of discipleship from CDC = Christ as Servant). To refuse to acknowledge the woman’s call strictly because he does not agree with her wish to divorce displays a Lack of Faith/Vision within God’s Family & Community.
3) Theme: Discipleship as Imitating Christ: Whitney’s original theme of Discipleship as Doing God’s Will Revealed by Jesus differs from Hagner’s (Imitating Christ) and worked well with his original Root Problem (Lack of Will); however with Lack of Faith/Vision, Whitney’s volunteers already obey God’s will in their service, but are “neither equipped nor trained to do God’s will, even if they already know it” (Discipleship as Imitating Christ, CDC 327). Whitney’s revision to Discipleship as Imitating Christ allows the volunteers to see themselves in God’s Family Album as Imitators of Christ who require ‘apprenticeship’ in the manner that Matthew presents: the Twelve were not sent out until after they had lived in close community with Jesus for several years, ‘training’ and being shown his ‘vision.’
3) Theme: Discipleship as Imitating Christ: The volunteers’ apprenticeship can take place in their work at the thrift store, in the community of fellow imitators of Christ, so they can share in the Faith/Vision that binds them together in service. In the CDC Patte says that even though, ‘forces of evil and oppression seem overwhelming, as they imitate Christ disciples discover that God empowers them to overcome these obstacles, even if they have to undergo…hardships” (CDC 327).
4) Whitney’s Adjusted Teaching Applied to My Context: Jesus’ challenge to imitate his example and proclaim the Gospel is exactly what the woman in my context wishes to take on, but she finds herself “like sheep in the midst of wolves” (Mt 10:16) when the pastor confronts her with his verbal attack, “Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues” (Mt 10:17). But Jesus’ promise in Mt 28:20b that he will be with us until the end of the age gives the woman faith to persevere.
4) The pastor in my context could recognize that a new reading of Matthew 28:5-10 empowers women to imitate Jesus to ‘spread the Good News’ and includes Jesus’ endorsement of this call to discipleship: “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his fee and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
5) I think that Hagner’s teaching Viewed through Reading C (Discipleship = Imitating Christ Requires Resocialization is the better one, but I believe that Whitney has included key aspects of this teaching in his revisions. I agree with Whitney’s assessment that instead of ‘guilting’ people into service, a more powerful method is to point out their value within Christ’s community of disciples on earth, so they may understand that their contribution can transform lives for Christ. Hagner more directly addresses Loving Neighbor, and does not introduce potential harm through the imposition of guilt, regret, or hostility that could accompany service motivated by guilt
Patte offers, “In Reading C, imitating Christ is understood in terms of the implied symbolic pattern of conforming— conforming one’s behavior to the model provided by Christ, but also conforming to the vision of life of the community, and thus being totally reshaped (resocialized) by life in this community” (Challenge of Discipleship, 97). If we understand ourselves as beloved, valued members of Christ’s family, we can remain motivated through hardship and turmoil to persevere; if we serve out of a sense of guilt, we can become weary if there is little tangible evidence of the value of our service.
In terms of Loving God, Hagner’s interpretation also succeeds better: Christians believe that God’s love and grace are a free gift to all, with our only obligation to love God and love neighbor. Jesus did not state that works were required to receive salvation; to ‘guilt’ the volunteers into service is to tie grace to works. Instead, Hagner’s interpretation embraces community members as fellow imitators of Christ who join together to modify their behavior and attitudes through selfless service. The reward is not in the work itself, but in the transformation of the believer who performs the tasks out of love for others.
Missionary # 1 = I (autonomous “I”) who has been authorized (given the authority) because of our faith (worship) and because we have received the message (the gospel) to give to others Missionary # 2 = we (relational) who have been trained to be disciples – through a lot of ups-and-downs – like good apprentices, can now continue Jesus’ ministry (the ministry of the master) Missionary # 3 = I (heteronomous “I”) together with others who have gone through the same experience are ready to be missionary, BECAUSE we worship (abandon ourselves to the service of the resurrected Christ) but also BECAUSE we doubt (absolutely no confidence; because we went through the passion with Christ, abandoning him he who also doubted; ◦ Matthew 27:46 And about three o'clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Mission # 1 = I (autonomous “I”) who has a message (the gospel) generously give it to those who do not have it… ◦ Mission = generously giving to those who have nothing; converting them; teaching them to act as we do (obeying the sermon on the mount as a lamp to my feet or rule of the community) Mission # 2 = relational give and take; I give with the expectation to receive in exchange ◦ Mission = as dialogue, as give and take; making disciples = building a community (baptism); “obeying” the SM as FAMILY ALBUM Mission # 3 “= I (heteronomous “I”) “falling in love,” trusting that one will receive from the other ◦ Mission = falling in love with others, seeing them as children of God, guided by the Son, and with the Holy Spirit; “obeying” the SM as CORRECTIVE GLASSES =recognizing Lord with us = in others