Thursday, March 29, 2007

Doing Theology

This weekend I could be going to a one-day workshop on Lutheran theology at our synodical office -- it's actually a class for aspiring Synodically Approved Ministers, or SAMs; we lowly bush leaguers at the bottom of the lay ministry hierarchy may tag along for credit. Instead, I'm going to a party. What the heck.

My question, though, is why Lutheran theology isn't front-loaded into the program in the first place, so that students have some conceptual scaffolding to support all the biblical studies. I mean, we have Dan Erlander's Baptized We Live as an assigned reading, but no one ever seems to follow up on whether we students actually read it or got it. And I've heard enough un-Lutheran theology being promulgated by Lutheran laypeople whose adult catechesis seems grounded in pop-Christian books and radio to think that maybe Lutheran adult education needs to seriously revisit "What does this mean?"

Another rather disappointing indication that all the sweat and tears and angst I poured into my application was for nought. Ability to fog a mirror seems to be the major qualification for enrollment; after which there is no evaluation process in which I am a partner, no feedback, no mentoring except for peer support groups, no indication that anyone cares about my actual spiritual/vocational formation.

I'm hoping it'll be a good party.


Rockjack said...

As a old fart involved in ELCA Lay Ministry (3ed year), I think you picked the right study, going to a party, where you can absorb character. I discussed in Bible Study tonight the very fact of Lutheran Ministers worshiping Luther over God. I really can't think of any reason to study Lutheran Theology except to understand the Reformation. There is only one thing to preach, Christ,

Rick Weiss

P.S. an after-thought said...

I think your thoughts and feelings are right on and nothing new in the Lutheran church. We don't know how to discuss that stuff. And we are letting the other strains of Christendom dominate the American airways and the culture's view of Christianity.

LutheranChik said...

Rockjack: I think if you reread my post you will see that I believe there's EVERY reason to study Lutheran theology, and the fact that Lutherans aspiring to lay leadership don't seem to have a good grasp of it is troubling to me.

LutheranChik said...

P.S. And, sadly, I don't know what to do about that.

Although thinking about it this morning -- in terms of where my presence as one who claims Christ is perhaps the most welcome, interesting and potentially fruitful -- I'm votin' for the party. Jesus liked parties too, I'm told. I can read theology anytime, on my own.