Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On Return From Vacation

You know that day after vacation that you spend simply catching up on your real life? That's my day today. Funny how I've been on the computer all morning and yet our trunk is still full of luggage. The observant among you will note that, yes, I've prioritized a blog update above unpacking the car. Its also a morning for taking it easy. This home-brewed coffee is tasting very good right now.

I feel like there is a lot to write about. But there is also a lot to do. I have been thinking about commenting about some of the books I've been reading, including Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the incredibly Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and Slavoj Zizek's Welcome to the Desert of the Real (thanks Amy, I guess I should mail that back to you). I'd also love to comment on my denomination's total failure to do the right thing at its last General Assembly (but maybe that comment is as far as I should take it in this venue). So hopefully those posts will be coming soon. We'll see. I'm also embroiled in an atheist's dialogue on another blog so maybe that will slow down my posts. Thanks for reading, anyway.

On a personal note, a couple exciting bits of information in my inbox while away:

Turns out I've been accepted to present a 15 minute version of my thesis at the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association's Conference in Niagara Falls in October. Pray the twins are not born while I'm gone! I'm not kidding.

Also, I came third in a student writing contest for Ministry Magazine (the prize is US$300), so some time in the future you'll see me linking to my article, “A Theological Approach to Pastoral Leadership Today”, in their International Journal for Pastors. I had submitted three entries, and I'm (pleasantly) surprised they took this one because I come down pretty hard on most pastoral leadership gurus today (see my previous "Valedictory Address" post for the gist of it).

And finally, I will also be teaching a one-week module at Nipawin Bible College in January (pray the twins are born before then! Okay, now I'm kidding). The class is Theology II: Humanity, Sin, and Salvation. The previous prof used a fairly systematic book by Millard Erickson as the text. I'm wanting to be a little more wholistic and postmodern in my approach. Any suggestions? What is the best introduction to the theology of humanity and redemption that you have read?

So that's the latest. I better get unpacking that trunk now.

By the way, am I supposed to take this recent flurry of sholarly opportunities as affirmation in that career direction? Especially in light of my dismay with my denomination and the types of pastoral jobs that are out there? You don't have to answer that.

4 comments:

Tony Tanti said...

Congrats on everything Jon! That's all great news.

I will answer the last question, and it's yes.

Funny that from what I hear the CMA didn't move on the Women in Ministry issue to prioritize their desire to plant new churches and deal with an inability to fill current churches with staff and people. Ironically I am but one of many examples of someone who would likely still be attending a CMA church if not for it's inaction on the Women issue.

I can't see myself ever going back to the Alliance now.

jonathan said...

Jon,
I'm interested to hear some of you thoughts about General Assembly and the role of women in the CMA. It's been consuming a lot of my time and energies over the past year as I've been wrestling with the ordination process - and I was really looking forward to seeing some progress with what was set to take place in Ottawa. But ever since the board recommendation was "postponed indefinitely" - I've lost a lot of faith in the CMA in regards to its ability to progress on this front - and even to follow God's lead in the years ahead in general. (By the way, I've been really encouraged reading a lot of your posts on this over the past years).

As far as Theology 2 - while it's probably not a suitable primary text, I think that Brian McLaren's "The Story We Find Ourselves In" would make some great supplementary material. When I first read it a few years ago, it was a really accesible introduction to other ways of thinking about humanity and the sin problem/solution. It especially does an excellent job at placing it all within the larger narrative context.

And it regards to what Tony said - It's also "funny" that there's such an inability for some to see how Women in Ministry is nothing short of being one of the main church planting/staffing issues that we currently face.

Jon Kramer

Tara said...

Good for you!

I am officially inviting you for supper or something while you are in Nipawin...you can show us pictures of your babies!

And I too think your path may be leading towards educating the masses.

jon said...

Maybe I will post regarding the Women in Ministry issue. Thanks for your comments.

Thanks for the recommendation, Jon. I am thinking of two books: Miroslav Volf's recent Free of Charge and Francis Schaeffer's True Spirituality. They aren't really your standard systematic theology texts, but to me they get to the heart of the issue regarding humanity and the gospel. I'm trying to think of others though, in case I'm forgetting something. I may also supplement it with an article or chapter or two from other places, so I may give that McLaren book a chance.