One of the great qualities of this blog is that it gathers the work of up-and-coming writers who provide a tremendous service to the church through their faithful witness. We get to benefit from them before they were stars, as it were; before their professional responsibilities overwhelm their voluntary service to the church through this space.
Calling our writers “stars,” of course, may rub the wrong the way–after all, according to our modern celebrity cult, a star is someone who receives worship, rather than one who directs worship to God. As Christians we try to live by the principle that the last shall be first and the first shall be last. Additionally, if our theology does not serve the least in the kingdom, then it is nothing more than vapor in virtual never never land. And so, being a star while being a servant in the kingdom seems a paradox.
But, in this case at least, our writers are “stars” not because they are worthy of worship and praise, but because they are fulfilling their call to use their God-given gifts in service to those inside and outside the church. It is a blessed and all-too-rare thing to observe someone fulfill their vocation through the use of their particular gifts. In this harshly imperfect world, the exercise of our gifts are too often stymied by obstacles–life issues, busyness, our own sin, or the various injustices that afflict communities throughout the world. But here, at the All Saints’ Center for Theology and The Writers’ Block, we have, for a time, a group of people who exercise their gifts through a forum dedicated to God’s honor. Their work–which is God’s work, reflected through the gifts he has given them–shines like stars in the darkness.
That we are called the All Saints‘ Center for Theology is significant. Saints are the heroes of the faith, those who have submitted to God’s call in their lives and used their gifts for the kingdom. In our church tradition, we view the saints as anyone who has used their gifts in honor of God. Here at the Center for Theology, our writers are the saintly teachers who work for the kingdom. It is a happy thing.
With that in mind, we invite you to read some of the recent work here on the blog, from our happy “star-saints” whom God has brought together:
Andene Christopherson, the chapel director at Gordon College and aspiring artist-scholar, provides an examination of John Donne’s poetry and its contribution to Christian spirituality.
Adam D. Rick, a graduate student at Boston College and future scholar/teacher/deacon, discusses the relationship between Scripture and our personal relationship with Jesus, using another star-saint, Augustine of Hippo, as a guide.
Christine Sherratt, a lay catechist of the Good Shepherd for children aged 3-6, has written a series of posts entitled “Theology from the Smallest,” which focuses on the spiritual lessons that come from the mouths of God’s little ones.
Jordan Hillebert, a graduate student in Scotland and future academic, reflects on our tendencies to love humanity with our grand plans to save the world even as we hate our neighbor.
Douglas Dobbins, the prolific teacher/writer, discusses “The Frailty of Theologians” and the ways God uses “our meager hearts” to advance His agenda.
Kaitlyn Dugan, a graduate student at Princeton Theological Seminary, future scholar, and lover of all things Karl Barth, explains the necessity of revelation for our thinking and loving of God.
Adam Mathis, a journalist currently working for the U.S. Army’s publications in Afghanistan and a key player in making the Center for Theology work, reflects on the problems that come from enforcing Christian justice.
James Arcadi, an Anglican priest, professor, and graduate student, explains the reason we celebrate the Annunciation of Jesus Christ to Mary during Lent.
We have many more fine pieces from other writers over at the Center for Theology. Hopefully, we will continue to introduce new writers (new saints!) who will offer their gifts in service to the church, so that we can truly reflect our namesake, the All Saints’ Center for Theology.