DMINLGP

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

Thinking, Reimagining and Envisioning the Church

Written by: on May 17, 2017

 

 

Introduction

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.

Summary

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.[1]

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.”[2]

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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

Personal Discussion

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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.

      Reflection

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!

 

Bibliography

Percy, Martyn. Shaping the Church: The Promise of Implicit Theology. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010.

[1]. Martyn Percy, Shaping the Church: The Promise of Implicit Theology (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010), p. 6.

[2]. Ibid., p. 52.

[3]. Ibid., p. 108–9.

[4]. Ibid., p. 139.

[5]. Ibid., p. 172.

[6]. Ibid., p. 6.

[7]. Ibid., p. 109.

[8]. Ibid., p. 94.

[9]. Ibid., p. 170.

About the Author

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Rose Anding

Rose Maria “Simmons McCarthy” Anding, a Visionary, Teacher,Evangelist, Biblical Counselor/ Chaplain and Author, of High Heels, Honey Lips, and White Powder. She is a widower, mother, stepmother, grandmother, great grandmother of Denver James, the greater joy of her life. She has lived in Chicago, Washington, DC, and North Carolina, and is now back on the forgiving soil of Mississippi.

9 responses to “Thinking, Reimagining and Envisioning the Church”

  1. Rose, I love how you brought in some of our earlier readings. Nice one!
    You seem to me the type of person, like Percy, who is more practical and less theoretical. Would you agree?

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Aaron P for sharing with me!
      In reference to your statement. You are correct, I do like practical and less theoretical, but we have to learn much theoretical knowledge every day in our doctoral program. However, in my opinion, the practical experience and skills are more important than the theoretical ones.

      Furthermore, the theoretical knowledge is always reverse of the practical application. Theoretical knowledge is not always unfulfilled in practical application, though sometimes it might seem that way. Historically, the two have worked quite well to raise man by his bootstraps from his primitive condition.

      Thanks for the observation, because “Theoretical knowledge” can often lead to a deeper understand of a concept through seeing it in context of a greater whole and understanding the why behind it. On the other hand, the, “Practical knowledge” — helps you acquire the specific techniques that become the tools of your trade. It sits much closer to your actual day-to-day work. There are some things you can only learn through doing and experiencing. Where theory is often taught in the ideal of a vacuum, the practical is learned through the reality of life.

      At the stage of my life, it seems I am more focus on the practical side, therefore my doctoral dissertation, track02, says it all, being based upon a practical project.
      Thanks for sharing Rose Maria

  2. Pablo Morales says:

    Rose, meeting Prof. Martyn Percy in Hong Kong and then in Oxford made this reading more meaningful. Like you, I also could picture him or imagine his voice as I read the book. Thank you for including the pictures.

    There is one concept that you talked about in the introduction of your blog that I do not understand. You said that religion “Rather, it needs the implicitness that leads to a moral extensiveness towards nature.” Can you explain what you mean by that?
    Pablo

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Pablo for sharing,
      Thanks for bring to my attention the statement in my opening introduction. Unfortunately, I used the word “extensiveness”, but I meant to use the word, “Expansions”. The statement should read as following;
      “Religion does not require explicitness of the person’s belief. Rather, it needs the implicitness that leads to some moral expansions towards nature”.

      Because within the mixture there is always religious and morality, that would indicate, for example, whether—and how—cultural systems from diverse regions of the world are capable of connecting moral and religious foundations in a variety of ways. It would not, however, address the deeper question of why they do so. To examine the “how” question, there need to provide a case study based on long-term immersion in a particular cultural system.
      Religions often base their notion of morality on the character of their God claiming that (1) What is ‘good’ is good because God commands it and (2) people cannot live moral lives unless they follow God’s moral teachings. In Christianity (2) is often believed to be impossible until a person has had their sin dealt with by God. Only then will they be in a position to want to do what God wills and be able to do it (‘The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so’ (Romans 8:7)). However, this raises questions concerning the relationship between morality and God.

      “It is simply impossible for people to be moral without religion or God.”—Laura Schlesinger

      • Pablo Morales says:

        Rose, Thank you for the clarification. As you described, we see the power of the gospel in the transformation of the deepest motivations of the heart, moving from having a mind that is hostile to God to having a heart that loves God. It is always a joy to see that transformation in the lives of people as we walk with them in our shepherding ministry.
        Thanks again for replying to my comment.
        Pablo

  3. mm Marc Andresen says:

    Rose,

    Two quotations of yours that cause reflection:

    “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.”

    “Culture is the people’s way of life, whereas theology guides our morality and spirituality and ensures that we live well.”

    In our most recent presidential election, do you think Christians’ votes were driven more by the religious or political loyalties? What gives you this impression?

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Marc.
      In our last election, I believe Christians’ votes were driven more by the religious than political loyalties, because our rights to worship was in the balance.
      Thanks for sharing, Rose Maria

  4. mm Phil Goldsberry says:

    Rose:
    Prior to reading this book, would you have considered yourself embracing implicit or explicit theology? Why?

    Percy stretched our thinking again.

    Phil

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Phil for sharing!

      I would have said, prior to reading the book embracing “implicit theology”, because it refers to those beliefs that are held, but may not be fully expressed, which would have been based on my relationship with God.

      After reading Percy’s book, I can see that Bible teaches explicitly and implicitly is God’s Word. Period.
      It’s worth pursuing both the explicit and the implicit teaching of Scripture. What are we to do? Give ourselves to studying the Word of God and over time slowly learning these connections. Somehow the reading of this book made a lasting impression on me with a new focus to study this matter after my doctoral, for further enlightens of the scriptures.
      Thanks, May God grant us wisdom in using the knowledge we have acquired. Rose Maria

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