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Informational / Formational Paradox

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Slides from the presentation made at Soulfeast 2008

Publicado en: Meditación, Tecnología
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Informational / Formational Paradox

  1. 1. making disciples in the informational age
  2. 2. Setting the context… <ul><li>This is first and foremost a conversation in progress… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is not a “how to” session or a demonstration of a completed work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is thinking together about one of the most important questions facing our churches. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The primary question… <ul><li>What does it mean to “make disciples of Jesus Christ,” and how do we do it in an informational / technological “networked” age. </li></ul><ul><li>How does discipleship development happen when the assumptions that guided Protestant movement in American are no longer functional / applicable? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Setting the context… <ul><li>Assumption #1 The development of faith traditions in America followed the tendencies of the reformers to hold to the values of The Enlightenment / Modernity. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust in the reliability of reason to reveal truth. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The rise of the discipline of taxonomy, in which objects and species were categorized. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The creation of repeatable systems of understanding. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Setting the context… <ul><li>Assumption #2 The influence of “modern” thinking guide the means by which the church went about the task of making disciples. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Knowledge is Power… Sir Francis Bacon
  7. 7. The Informational Paradigm <ul><li>Growing in faith was about accumulating knowledge about the nature of God through the scriptures, tradition, and reason. </li></ul><ul><li>This knowledge was now made available to all through direct access to the scriptures and “the priesthood of all believers.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Belief” became the ultimate outcome of faith, with a dependence on language to help convince one to believe correctly. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Expressions of the Informational Paradigm <ul><li>The rise of religious publishers as the primary developers of discipleship systems (with an emphasis on the printed word). </li></ul><ul><li>The creation of the Sunday School based in the desire to see knowledge of all kinds something that helps to create faith. </li></ul><ul><li>The systematization of revival (Finney / Moody) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Problems with the Informational Paradigm <ul><li>Church leaders began to recognize that there were many who knew quite a bit about the bible and tradition, but whose lives were not transformed by that knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Trust in the power of reason and science, taxonomy, and the acquisition of knowledge began to erode in the fact of societal complexities. </li></ul><ul><li>There was a recognition that faith in these terms seemed segmented from the whole of life. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Formational Paradigm <ul><li>Spiritual Formation An attempt to discern a more holistic means of making disciples. </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual formation is a rather general term referring to all attempts, means, instruction, and disciplines intended towards deepening of faith and furtherance of spiritual growth. -Gerald May </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Formational Paradigm <ul><li>Focused on the creation of a lifestyle rather than the acquisition of a knowledge base. </li></ul><ul><li>Much emphasis on the “practice of faith” rather than simply learning about faith. </li></ul><ul><li>An emphasis on experience as a means of making disciples (Wesley’s Christian Conferencing). </li></ul><ul><li>A countercultural expression in an age of information </li></ul>
  12. 12. Issues with the Formational Paradigm as practiced today <ul><li>Sometimes accused of being “touchy-feely.” </li></ul><ul><li>Can sometimes value experience and conversation over tradition and scripture. </li></ul><ul><li>If not careful, this approach can bypass understandings of tradition, scripture, and theology and lend itself to a individualistic and personally developed faith. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The formational paradigm should include the acquisition of information, but in actual practice sometimes avoids that in pursuit of experiential learning. Warning! Generalization Alert
  14. 14. Disciplemaking… Information = knowledge Formation = experience Knowledge Experience
  15. 15. Disciplemaking… Knowledge Experience
  16. 16. Disciplemaking… Knowledge Experience Epistemology How do we maintain our faith and trust in our knowledge and experience?
  17. 17. Disciplemaking… The intersection of knowledge, experience, & epistemology = Know How
  18. 18. Know How puts knowledge to work in the real world
  19. 19. “ Knowledge is power only if you know how to use it.” -Denise Caruso
  20. 20. Knowledge is power… <ul><li>… know how to use it. </li></ul><ul><li>… know why we use it. </li></ul><ul><li>… know when it should be used. </li></ul><ul><li>… know where it should be used. </li></ul><ul><li>Faith in Action / Discipleship </li></ul>
  21. 21. The world we live in… <ul><li>More information available than at any other time in human history </li></ul><ul><ul><li>According to a study by IBM, by 2010 the amount of digital information in the world will double every 11 hours. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. The world we live in… <ul><li>A need for authentic community </li></ul><ul><li>A valuing of human experience as a source of knowledge / truth </li></ul><ul><li>The rise of participatory media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. We need discipleship systems that… <ul><li>Distill the mass of information into usable knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Provides experiences that help one internalize that knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Provides a context for interpretation of that knowledge and the corresponding experiences </li></ul>
  24. 24. What elements, methods, media, etc. are needed to create a disciple making system which combines knowledge and experience while allowing for authentic community?
  25. 25. Disciplemaking What information does a disciple of Jesus Christ need to have in order to be an effective disciple? What experiences and practices do disciples need to engage in on the journey to effective discipleship?
  26. 27. <ul><li>Sources of Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Old Testament Survey </li></ul><ul><li>New Testament Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Basics of Christian Theology </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual Practices </li></ul><ul><li>Mission and Ministry </li></ul>
  27. 28. Jay Voorhees [email_address]