Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Double Header: Lennox and Abraham

Wanting to give honor to whom honor is due. Russ Gunsalus and his team have lined up a great team of thinkers in Indianapolis to talk about the nature of Wesleyan higher education, with not only Wesleyan speakers but also representatives of conservative Methodism, Free Methodism, and even the Nazarenes. :-)

1. First off tonight, our own Steve Lennox gave a presentation on which he has reflected for years, namely, his sense that the distinctive nature of Wesleyan higher education comes from the fact that it treats education as a "sanctifying context." It is a context of reconciliation and restoration, effected through community, placed within the broader narrative of God's redemptive work on humanity and the creation. Shockingly, Wesleyan schools should aim at "forming saints" in the broadest sense possible!

2. Responding was no less than the delightful William Abraham. Two things stuck out to me in his response. The first is his sense that the Wesleyan tradition, along with other traditions like the Pentecostals, really fits within a third house, in addition to the more catholic on the one side and high Protestant on the other. He finds the glue for the third house in the words of Irenaeus, "where the Spirit is, there is the Church."

He also suggested that we have no business calling ourselves, "Wesleyan" if we haven't read Wesley's standard sermons. Fair enough. Although I don't think Wesley is a trump card for what Wesleyans must believe, I completely agree that we should know Wesley. Aaron Perry put it this way in response to my earlier post: "I like what Eddie Fox said of the Methodist movement. He said that we don't follow Wesley, but we follow Jesus in the company of the Wesleys."


Anonymous said...

Ken, I would like to know if recordings of these sessions are available. Thanks! Rus Hooper

Ken Schenck said...

Not sure. I believe they were recorded but I don't know how those recordings will be used.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

"I think, therefore, I AM", is individually specified, but could be conditioned by a particular religious social context...in educational goals of a "Christian university".
Abraham's view covers all the other bases (ministerial prep and church growth opportunities, Christian business interests, non-profits,etc.), so anyone can partake of Wesleyanism, if they choose a religious context.

Scholar and Saint should suffice for the Weslyan "vision" in accordance with their "founder", John Wesley..
Some though, would find problems with following a particular individual, period, as to "moral modelling". (The individual is an "end in himself"...egoism, not egotism is the healthy and mature view in human development).

Choice grants "life" (liberty), which is one of the moral basics in our society.

Mark Schnell said...

Man, what does a guy have to do to get notice of these things? I keep hearing about them after the fact but never see anything about them before hand. Would have loved to be there.