The Summer issue of the All Saints’ Center for Theology is now published. We have some exciting new essays and articles from the Think Tank and Spiritual Formation sections of the Center that further our vision and mission: to serve the church and provide a public witness of the Christian faith to the world.
From the Thinktank, we have two special focuses this quarter: 1) the responsibilities and duties of the pastoral office; and 2) the relevancy of St. Augustine’s theology to the church today.
In the last 50-75 years, the church has suffered from one crisis to the next, such that the institution of the church is nearly broken. Reform movements, such as the Anglican renewal movement in North America, are re-focusing their attentions on the foundational elements that make for a healthy church. And so, in this issue, the Rev. Brian Morelli discusses the primary responsibilities of pastors in the essay “The Pastor as Gatekeeper,” exploring the nature of their spiritual and temporal authority over the flock they are called to shepherd. Meanwhile, Ian Drummond calls on Augustine to narrow the focus of pastoral duties by discussing the role of public intercession for criminals in his essay “The Pastor as Intercessor: Augustine, the State, and Interceding for the Guilty.” Focusing closely on Augustine’s theology of art, Leah Easley explores in her essay, “St. Augustine: Theologian of the Arts,” the Christian and pagan aspects of Augustine’s theological aesthetics.
From Spiritual Formation , we have some tremendous articles useful for the personal devotions and our educational contexts.
First, Douglas Dobbins has offered an eleven-part series on the Lord’s Prayer. First appearing on these pages on The Writers’ Block, the series is now being offered to the church as an authoritative interpretation (i.e. a legitimate expression of the faith recognized by the church through an editorial review) of Jesus’ teachings to his disciples about the nature of prayer.
Second, Adam L. Mathis has provided a remarkable reflection on the nature of faith and trust in God, in his article “Selfless Trust,” using the story of Job and his afflictions as inspiration. Adam is currently serving in Afghanistan, and even though this fact goes unmentioned in the article, the profundity of Adam’s reflection comes through even greater once we realize the author has likely needed to apply the truths he expresses to his own situation.
Third, Dr. Paul Aganski continues his series on how to incorporate the entire story of redemption into our spiritual lives with God, this time focusing on God’s purposes in creation with his article “In the Beginning: God’s Great Design.” Paul has a talent for illustrations, and in this article he has a great one that uses fast cars and big engines. Read the article to find out more.
Return to these pages in the upcoming days to read the Director’s introduction to each individual article. These introductions will serve as the space to discuss the articles through the comments section. Until then, please enjoy and benefit from the Summer issue!