United Kingdom

Anglican elders? : shared pastoral leadership in Anglican churches

Author
Christopher David Edward Moll
Abstract
Because the Church of England is historically clerical, the incumbent pastor formally shares the pastoral burden or cure of souls with the Bishop. Evangelical Anglicans are impelled by both Scripture and mission to consider the New Testament pattern of plural local leaders or elders. This research explored the experience of Anglican ministers and church planters who established locally-shared shared pastoral leadership through a Ministry Leadership Team (MLT).
The purpose of the research was to explore the benefits of shared leadership for making and maturing disciples. In surveying the literature advocating the benefits and biblical precedents of shared leadership, it was noted that in contrast to other evangelicals, Anglicans apply the biblical data using the Normative Principle derived from the work of Richard Hooker. Four questions guided the research: (1) How does the local church’s shepherding ministry strengthen the work of making disciples? (2) What are the benefits of a ministry leadership team in the work of making disciples? (3) What practices have promoted collaborative working between members of the ministry leadership team, with particular regard to the work of making disciples Church? (4) How is the pastors’ Anglican self-identity manifest in the practice of shared local ministry leadership?
Nine UK pastors were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire with the data analyzed using the constant comparative method. Common and clear benefits are articulated by the respondents. The lay offices of churchwarden and PCC were also re- evaluated with respect to the responsibilities outlined in the New Testament for church
officers. The respondents exhibited a clear and confessional Anglican identity. Possible models for accommodating a MLT within the existing parochial structures are explored. Finally it was noted that in these theologically complementarian churches, the role and place of female pastoral leaders was not fully resolved.

Revealing the Unknown God: Acts 17:16-34 as Luke’s Paradigm for Evangelism in a Biblically Illiterate Culture

Author
Timothy Paul Wilson M.A.
Abstract
This dissertation suggests that Acts 17:16-34 is intended by Luke as a paradigm for evangelism among the biblically illiterate and seeks to identify the methodology that is set forward as a paradigm. In the first section, two arguments against seeing Acts 17:16-34 as a Lucan paradigm are examined. Chapter two examines the arguments of those who claim that this speech is in no way an example of Pauline preaching but is rather the work of Luke or some later redactor. It is argued that there are no ultimately persuasive reasons to accept this view of the reliability of the speech. Chapter three presents the ideas of those who believe that the speech was a failure on the basis of issues such as the small number of converts and insights from the early Chapters of 1 Corinthians. These commentators believe Paul later repented of the approach he took at Athens. Again the essay examines these arguments and ultimately concludes that there is no reason to see the speech as anything other than successful. Section two asks what example Acts 17:16-34 sets for readers. Commentators have differed over their understanding of what Paul is doing here. Some argue that the speech represents a work of assimilation with Greek philosophy, others a critique of Greek idolatry and other groups some combination of the two. This essay will argue for a contextualised critique methodology. It sees critique as Paul’s primary purpose in the speech but acknowledges the way that his message is contextualised to be understandable to his hearers.

THE ROLE OF PREACHING
IN THE CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD:
AN INVESTIGATION INTO USING BEST PRACTICES OF PREACHING
FOR THE FORMATION OF ADULTS
IN THE CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD CONTEXT

Author
Deborah Ruth Zeni MD D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis research work on best practices of preaching arose out of the researcher’s passion for providing catechists with the means of nurturing a ‘falling-in-love’ with God experience for young children through proclaiming gospel as encounter.
Based on evidence that catechists lack formation in best practices of preaching, the researcher designed and implemented an educational initiative in a multi-site, multi-participant intensive formation program. The researcher used a homiletic grounded in the Paschal Mystery, which located God’s gratuitous and gracious actions on humanity’s behalf as the focus of preaching—giving gospel-power—to any form of preaching carried out during the study.
Within a unique form of pastoral ministry called the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS), employing a qualitative methodology, a constructivist epistemology, and a field-based action research design, the researcher effectively utilized various educational approaches to develop and assess participant competence in preaching using a comprehensive assessment program, and iteratively improving their learning and teaching preaching praxis using program evaluation tools.
The research shows that the curriculum successfully demonstrated that the comprehensive preaching model, which integrated five best practices of preaching for proclaiming the Word with children into the study’s conceptual framework, worked to develop the competence of catechists as preachers of the Good News. Additionally, the research showed that the intervention enabled and empowered the participants to find their preaching voice to speak of God acting mercifully, giving everything, loving unconditionally in the here and now as they experienced God doing in the scriptures.
As such, five best practices of preaching can be used as an effective framework for formation of catechists and educators for teaching preaching as encounter with children and sharing in a happening of grace through the proclamation of the Word.

A Biblical Examination of an Ontological reading of Theology, in Trinity, in the [Christian] Believer and in Church

Author
Erwin Samuel Henderson Dr Ph.D.
Abstract
Ontological theology considered in some theological works, was given little significance as a primary theme. The thesis attempts to restore prominence and cohesion of an ontological construct, whereby function and structure, are the subordinate product defined by the ontological theological perspective. The effects are far reaching for theological definitions of the essential nature of the Trinity, the believer and the church; representing a paradigmatic shift in theological understanding, affecting profoundly the nature existential Christocentric Christianity.
The ontological theology of Trinity contrasts with the relational subordination, authority-submission proponents and opponents, in substance, in relationship and in function. The recovery of apostolicity as an ontological attribute of Godhead provides significant insight and cohesion to the ontological Trinitarian proposal.
The effects upon the believer ontologically are contrasted with the religious disposition and the positional judicial approach to salvation. The prototypical shift occurs in the Person of Jesus-Christ to an existential reality originated in Trinity and replicated ontologically in the believer. The nature of humankind is thereby reinterpreted giving definition to the “spiritual man” as the sole form of legitimate existence that is biblically normalized and warranted.
The ontological primacy provides an alternate construct to the historical structural understanding of church that has not changed since the early patristic period. The proposal emerging from this exegesis is a model of church: ontological and apostolic, originated, [re]sourced, and incarnate from the nature of Trinity, demonstrating undeniably that it is impossible for the Church of divine intent to exist outside of the three persons of the Godhead. Christo-centricity restores Church to the origin, source and 'telos'. Present day observations may exemplify distanciation of contemporary expressions of church from ontological definitions. A return to source represents a theological and ecclesiastic field of renewal to perpetuate in the coming years.

Narratives Church: A Missional Church Planting Path for Cultivating a Unified Theological Vision

Author
Mark Miller D.Min.
Abstract
This research project focused on the development of a unified theological vision for the missional movement. The researcher conducted a thorough investigation of Scripture and current biblical material in order to discern the barriers existing within the missional movement. The researcher looked at key areas that shape the missional church planting movement: leadership development, theological interpretation of the early church, church planting methods and practice, ecclesiology, and the application and interpretation of Ephesians 4:11. Four church planting organizations participated: North American Mission Board, Acts 29 Network, Association of Related Churches, and Converge Worldwide. A questionnaire given to each movement revealed that there is indeed a disconnect from one movement to the next in terms of areas mentioned above.

A STUDY OF THE USE OF SCIENTIFIC LANGUAGE BY GEORGE MACLEOD, FOUNDER OF THE IONA COMMUNITY

“What’s the matter? … matter is the matter!”

Author
Mitchell Bunting D.Min.
Abstract
A study of George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community, and his use of language taken from modern physics. He responds to the dropping of atom bombs in 1945 and develops theological insight into the Incarnation of Christ. His words are recalled as pithy sayings and poetic prayers often associated with in his anti-nuclear campaigning in the Church and the House of Lords. The study draws on his published works including the Iona Community magazine Coracle and the documentary film Sermon in Stone as well as interviews with Iona Community members to assess the significance of his use of such language.
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