Implicit and explicit thoughts are two major types of relative terms for religious formalization. Religion does not require explicitness of the person’s belief. Rather, it needs the implicitness that leads to a moral expansions towards nature. Martyn Percy’s book, Shaping the Church, explains the ideas of religious theology in an implicit manner and the practical approaches and problems in the modern era.
This book makes three major offerings regarding ecclesiology. The first area is Percy’s contribution to ideas shaping ecclesial theology. Second, he suggests changing the perspective in a consumerist culture regarding church growth. Last, he reassures Anglican unity with respect to the threat of dividing the unity at a global scale with regard to certain problems.
Percy explains the value of theology in implicit form. He further connects the argument with the indirect approach towards correction of a common perspective that professionals (clerics or theologians) perform meaningful theology. Percy’s perspective lies in religious practices rather than religious theories.
He identifies the theological growth of churches in England, which was called “fresh expression.” The dominancy of secularity and the declining effect of churches leads to low attendance. However, Percy thinks that it is not an alarming situation because the people remains connected to church indirectly and turn to it eventually. This principle was defined as “relating and mutating.”
Percy states that even liberal churches can redevelop the trust of the people. Liberal churches’ growth was compared with other churches using four paradigms that explain the openness, inclusiveness, and justice-centered approach of liberal churches. Churches using the organic approach can grow as long as they mold the culture within the system.
Percy claims that, through the media enterprise, the Anglican Church shows the intelligence to reframe conflicts. These needed qualities combine together for dealing with the complexity of a nexus competing within convictions and emotions, which are hard to resolve. Percy also observes that people from the Anglican Church may not approve the idea of maintaining unity without the qualities of Anglican and Biblical richness of life.
Leadership in current scenario may lead towards the mixture of both implicitness and explicitness of religious belief. One’s ability to deal with complex situations and make the believer divert towards the system is the most important part of leadership from the religious perspective. Examples from the book Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, by Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana, handle perfectly the significance of leadership in organizations. Percy’s first part rightfully explains religious theology synchronizing with cultural perspectives that lead believers to follow the path and listen to the leader with significant interest.
It seems that culture always exerts a vast influence over a person’s decisions. People also tend to follow leaders related to their religious or political cultural background. This took my mind back to reading Social Geographies by Valentine Gill. That book awakened my awareness regarding social life and our society. However, individuals tend to reason based on their worldview. The way we see things is likely to affect the way we interpret them. In most cases, we view things based on places: where we live, who we interact with, the people we see as role models in life—which is generally based on our attitudes towards certain ideas and topics. Culture is the people’s way of life, whereas theology guides our morality and spirituality and ensures that we live well.
The book also interpreted society’s secular movement and liberal churches’ growth, which allows people to evolve to the secular mindset. Being a leader, one must allow oneself to develop certain positive traits from the other mindset and develop trust from other communities in addition to leading towards unity at some extent, providing a platform to people to develop trust with in each other. What is the social and cultural impact of these modes of communication on various societies? How did the new media change the uses of the older ones? The book recaps A Social History of the Media: From Gutenberg to the Internet by Asa Briggs and Peter Burke and helps us learn the relationship between the old and new media platforms.
This will also facilitate Anglican unity on a global scale via media enterprises, which was the last part of the book. Percy’s perspective for leadership is not only advanced in the scenario, it is globally needed as well. Therefore, future leaders must start thinking and focusing on reimagining and envisioning the church by an “ecclesial return to its roots,” said Bishop Robert N. Lynch of the St. Petersburg, Florida diocese.
Our mentor Jason made an excellent choice in selecting Martyn Percy’s book Shaping the Church: The Promise of Implicit Theology as one of our reads. It is a great book to read and a privilege to have met the author. As I began to read, the words were more than learning: They gave a reflection of the images of Percy’s personality. It was personified throughout the pages, and it was like listening to his voice while I was reading. Should I mention the awesome experience of studying with Prof Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church of Oxford University? Thank you for making our 2016 Advance a memorable event! Thanks Jason for the experience!
Percy, Martyn. Shaping the Church: The Promise of Implicit Theology. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010.
. Martyn Percy, Shaping the Church: The Promise of Implicit Theology (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010), p. 6.
. Ibid., p. 52.
. Ibid., p. 108–9.
. Ibid., p. 139.
. Ibid., p. 172.
. Ibid., p. 6.
. Ibid., p. 109.
. Ibid., p. 94.
. Ibid., p. 170.