On Discovery Bible Study: A Conversation with John King

This video records a long-form conversation in which John King tells his story as the lead developer of the Discovery Bible Study method (see additional resources below), and I air some of my doubts and concerns about DBS, especially in view of hermeneutical issues that face our shared tradition as members of Churches of Christ.Continue reading “On Discovery Bible Study: A Conversation with John King”

On Narrative Inquiry: A Reading Review

[I wrote this reading review for a doctoral seminar on Methods for Observing and Interpreting Culture.] What understandings of human narrativity underlie narrative inquiry in the social sciences? This is, broadly, the question with which I began this directed reading. In the following reading review, I will expand on the research context of this questionContinue reading “On Narrative Inquiry: A Reading Review”

The Two Captivities of Missiology

The field (I do not say “discipline”) of missiology is liable to two kinds of captivity, and this liability entails overcompensation on both sides, especially in the US cultural milieu of polarizing discourse. At the same time, the call for a middle ground or for balance makes my entire brain roll its eyes, because suchContinue reading “The Two Captivities of Missiology”

Four Recent Proposals for Missional Theological Method

A Missional Method for Constructive Theology (Part 5) So far, I have sketched my question, thesis, and working definitions of missional, and missiology. In this post, I briefly survey recent proposals for missional theological method from Stephen Bevans, Paul Chung, Stan Nussbaum, and Jason Sexton.[1. When I wrote this survey, Sexton’s book, The End of Theology: ShapingContinue reading “Four Recent Proposals for Missional Theological Method”

Working Definition of “Missiology”

A Missional Method for Constructive Theology (Part 4) Missiology in Theological Perspective Because missiology’s relationship to the rest of the theological curriculum has been uncertain since its inception, the discipline’s definition itself highlights the a methodological question for my approach to missional theology. How does the study of mission relate to constructive theology? The historical transitionsContinue reading “Working Definition of “Missiology””

Evaluating Mission Work

Talking with a missionary (read: full-time, cross-cultural kingdom worker) recently, something struck me about the way we evaluate mission work. We use “vision statements” to set an evaluative standard. In other words, we take a best-case scenario—essentially an aspiration—and make it a measure of effectiveness. If a mission team’s vision statement is, “A movement of disciples whoContinue reading “Evaluating Mission Work”

On Cultural Intelligence

I’m a fan of David Livermore’s work on cultural intelligence. His book Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence would be at the top of my recommended reading for those who insist on engaging in STM. It is highly readable and equally insightful for those thinking for the first time about STM’s difficultiesContinue reading “On Cultural Intelligence”

Earliest Stone-Campbell Missiology: Toward the Death and Germination of Restoration Movement Ecclesiology

Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone sparred frequently. Their differences have been the topic of extended discussion in Stone-Campbell historiography. A popular recent agenda has been to leverage the contrast between them in order to reclaim dimensions of Stone’s theology, especially among Churches of Christ historians. I have written elsewhere[1. I am in the process of transferringContinue reading “Earliest Stone-Campbell Missiology: Toward the Death and Germination of Restoration Movement Ecclesiology”

MBTI, Doctoral Studies, and Interdisciplinarity

As I apply to PhD programs, I’m naturally reflecting a lot on my strengths and weaknesses, wondering whether I’ll be accepted somewhere and how I will do in a demanding course of study at the terminal level. The application process is designed to raise these sorts of questions, so I don’t think they’re too neurotic, thoughContinue reading “MBTI, Doctoral Studies, and Interdisciplinarity”