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DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Passionate Coolness

Written by: on June 6, 2019

In the book Reasonable Radical? Reading the writings of Martyn Percy, editors Ian Markham and Joshua Daniel present a collection of writings that introduce the reader to Martyn Percy as well as essays from Percy himself. The first half of the book is ‘substantial, critical introduction’ to Martyn Percy’s thought; the second half consists of extracts from some of Percy’s wide-ranging writings. One reviewer noted, “Although there is little that is explicitly about spirituality in this book (the word does not appear in the index), to my mind the book is about spirituality from start to finish[1]

 

As you read the book, the depth of insight as well as the humility of Percy became apparent in his response to the writers and his interaction with other academic disciplines as one book synopsis amply says, “Percy, the Dean of Christ Church Oxford and a leading voice in the Anglican Communion, is both theologically orthodox, yet deeply unconventional.”[2] Dr. John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, adds in his review, “Percy does so supremely well, making use of a first-rate mind, engaging imaginatively with the Church “as it is,” as well as other disciplines. I believe that his writings will, in due course, be seen to be of lasting significance.”[3] Many things stood out to me and will get to a specific application below, but as I read the book the general or meta-theme I walk away with is the understanding that “intellect” and “spiritual” are not enemies. For a long time in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles, the two were seen as opposed to each other but reading Percy has reaffirmed that they are not we need to hold them in tension were our theological understanding parts ways. This leads me directly into my area of focus and where I turn to next.

 

One of Percy’s goals to locate within the context of contemporary culture and spirituality, the place of the Church and shows how he believes the Church is shaped by doctrinal statements and creeds but also by the forces of contemporary culture and spirituality.[4] Simply put, as much as we think the Church is only shaped by theological understanding it is also shaped by secular institutions, both for good and bad which ultimately create “the theological construction of reality[5] My driving research question at the moment is; In what ways does a Paracletic Spirit-embodied leadership model based on a Christological and biblical understanding from a Western pentecostal framework serve as a more effective model of leadership for church leaders in a postmodern context? This stems from the position that business or secular leadership models are opposed to a Biblical model. Reading Percy has challenged me to not “throw the baby out with the bathwater”, meaning while I believe there is and the research is showing differences it might also do well to integrate in a more holistic way the secular principles to benefit. The approach seems to fit into Percy’s understanding of contextual theology. He writes, “Contextual theology listens, receives and revises itself in the very acts of speaking and writing: it understands that the circumstances it writes on and in are subject to change[6] I wonder now how to blend will work out in this secular and sacred mix?

(Greek worldview, not mine but I think most of our culture at the moment)

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[1].” Bash, Anthony. “Reasonable Radical? Reading the Writings of Martyn Percy.” Journal for the Study of Spirituality 9, no. 1 (2019): 74.

[2] “Reasonable Radical? Ebook By.” Rakuten Kobo, www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reasonable-radical.

[3] “Reasonable Radical? Reading the Writings of Martyn Percy, Edited by Ian S. Markham and Joshua Daniel.” The Church Times-News, Comment, Features, Book Reviews and More, www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2018/21-september/books-arts/book-reviews/reasonable-radical-reading-the-writings-of-martyn-percy-ian-s-markham-and-joshua-daniel-editors.

[4] Bash, Reasonable Radical? Reading the Writings of Martyn Percy.” 75.

[5].” Markham, Ian S., and Daniel, Joshua, eds. 2018. Reasonable Radical?: Reading the Writings of Martyn Percy. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers. Accessed June 6, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central. 130.

[6].” Markham, Ian S., and Daniel, Joshua, eds. 2018. Reasonable Radical? : Reading the Writings of Martyn Percy. 349.

 

About the Author

Mario Hood

Most importantly, I am married to the love of my life, Misty Hood, and I'm kept on my toes all day every day, by my son Dalen and daughter Cola Hood. I also serve as the Next Generation Pastor at Church On The Living Edge in Orlando, Florida, under the leadership of Senior Pastor, Dr. Mark Chironna as well as being a Youth and Family Life coach.

7 responses to “Passionate Coolness”

  1. mm Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    Mario,
    I am glad you found Percy so affirming to your research desire to combine scholarship within a Western Pentecostal framework. How does Percy’s understanding of contextual theology help you move forward within the path of your research? Many blessings!

    • Mario Hood says:

      Just as I wrote above, it’s helping me to understand you don’t have to throw out everything, but understanding where to start from and where to end at (Christ) is the key.

  2. Hi Mario. Thanks for your post. I love the graphic depicting the divide between the sacred and secular. I realize the common understanding is to make a sharp distinction between the two. But if we look closer at the etymology of the word secular, it simply means “of an age.” Somehow, over time it became known more as “worldly” and then somehow contra sacred.

    We’re called to be in the world but not of it. If we continue to make such a sharp distinction we may lose the essence of what it means to fulfill Jesus prayer (John 15) for each of us.

    This is what I appreciate most about Percy–his unyielding desire to combine the sacred and the secular. At least that’s my understanding of him.

  3. mm Tammy Dunahoo says:

    Mario,

    You are asking extremely important questions for the American church at this juncture in time. I attended the UnConference by the Table Group in February and was completely awestruck by the gospel principles embedded in their approach. The speakers (CEO’s from Ford, Chick fil A and Southwest to name a few) modeled a more powerful presence of transformation and discipleship than I have encountered in many leadership conferences. There are business models out there that have been patterned after Jesus’ principles and they are making a significant impact in people and with their bottom line.

    From my seat, I think you are on the right track and to just look at the business models that have based their companies on Christian principles rather than the other way around may be really helpful to you. I can’t wait to read your work!

    • Mario Hood says:

      Thanks, Tammy, this reading really opened my eyes to see this and how we can have a solid foundation on theology while integrating the best of outside sources.

  4. mm Sean Dean says:

    I appreciate the direction you’re taking Mario. I’m not really a fan of the graphic you provided as I think the divide between secular and sacred is far more porous than the graphic displays. I wonder if that’s what Percy is getting at with his understanding. That both extremes pull from each other and the truth exists in the muddled middle.

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