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June 01, 2008

Comments

JR Rozko

Brilliant piece Ryan. It's these sorts of distinctives and connections that made me feel at home while I was at Fuller and compel me to brag about having studied there every chance I get - including this morning during my first opportunity to address the Living Hope community.

ryan

JR -- thanks -- you are our star!
Congrats on your new opportunities at Living Hope...
Ryan

Patrick

Ryan, this was a brilliant post for me to read this morning. I'm starting a PhD at Fuller this Fall, and have up and down feelings about what it will mean and where I'll go with it. What you wrote so much describes the reasons why I decided to let go some other plans for the time being and get myself back at Fuller. I'm excited again about beginning this new step. Thanks for the great overview and the needed encouragement.

Patrick

Ryan, this was a brilliant post for me to read this morning. I'm starting a PhD at Fuller this Fall, and have up and down feelings about what it will mean and where I'll go with it. What you wrote so much describes the reasons why I decided to let go some other plans for the time being and get myself back at Fuller. I'm excited again about beginning this new step. Thanks for the great overview and the needed encouragement.

Cathryn Thomas

Ryan nice job on that one... both from a linear that transect the horizontal and the vertical spirit space. For what ever reason i'm hearing this in my spirit-
That when Jesus prayed.... (how we know it as "The Lord's Prayer") the "thy kingdom come, thy will be done" is more of His declaration/proclamation -rather than a request. Why that is nudging at me ... i think is because in all of the discussions - open dialogue - and occasional rants... is really to honor that declaration.... and be in divine participation to see that happen.
Be blessed... thanks for putting it out there!
shalom,
cathryn

Tim Miekley

Hey Ryan -

I found your site off the Jesus Creed site and really enjoyed reading your thoughts. I am a student at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. We too are embarking in the Emerging Church, as I am sure you know. In an on-going conversation I have been having with another student at Biblical, I too have come to some of the same conclusions you have regarding the Lord's Prayer and the Lord's table. I am glad that I am tracking on the same page with someone. God bless.

Steven M Kuitems

Hi Ryan,came across your blog after reading Dave Dunbars missional journal. I'm from a different generation than you but some of your thougthts remindid me of things in the early 70's. Used to have many old phrases for different approaches like friendship evangelization and hospitality outreach, coffee houses for interacting with quite radically different viewpoints on life,faith,and cutting-edge new music. This was at odds with many who prefered a confrontational approach, which was never my forte, or those who felt that people would just have to come inside the four walls of a traditional church to get the real message of truth. This ostracism of the consevative status-quo culture toward the emerging counter-culture is certainly not new to the church world. So maybe what I am seeing and reading is not so much re-inventing the wheel but redefining the terms for this generation.

len

Ryan, I'm with you on much of this, but I wonder about the connection to neo-monastic models. Does Fuller invite students into a covenant relationship or to embrace a rule of life? Is there some thought or experiment in this direction? As we move in this direction ourselves and examine the implications, and as we use words like "Abbot," and "authority" and even (shudder) "obedience" I realize just how much I am immersed in a fragementing and individualist culture. One of the great values of the process itself in embracing a shared rule is making explicit some of our assumptions about "the good" and "the goals" of the disciplined life. peace bro

Patrick Oden

Len, to answer your question as a Fuller M.Div grad... yes and no. Both pretty are pretty big, in fact. First the no. Fuller isn't very good about promoting spirituality. From what I can tell no seminary is very good at that. We've intellectualized the faith a lot and made te spirituality aspects sort of an assumption. Which really isn't part of Christian history of discipleship. Spirituality has always been a part of the transmission of the faith.

The Spiritual disciplines, and associated courses, are offered but they are not requirements.

However, I have to also say yes because of my own experiences. Because I was intentional about studying that side of our shared faith I made a point of taking the available courses and pursuing conversations. Fuller very much is a place that is what you make it. It doesn't force anything on anyone and there are enough people to facilitate working out what you want to work out. The faculty really do have an amazing balance of ministry and academics, meaning they are often quite willing to come alongside.

Early on I took the class on spiritual disciplines and it really opened my eyes. So much of the neo-monastic movement as I've seen it is pretty shallow, to be honest, taking a lot of the forms and the words, but not really studying those who went before to discover the depths. Being able to study more thoroughly opened my eyes to the breadth of teaching and the depth.

I notice how the neo-monastics don't always tap into that, with a distinct historical limitation, it seems. There's not a lot of engagement with Cassian, for instance, or the Eastern monastics, or so many others that tap into the depths of the struggles and goals of such a task. Fuller offers so much help in bringing depth to a neo-monastic side of things. No, it's not going to say how to live it out, but what it can do is offer real training in how to approach those who offer so much teaching on the subject from centuries past and help to broaden one's understanding.

For my spiriutal disciplinse class one of the assignments was to write a rule and then keep it up for at least the duration of the class. There's no accountability after the class, unless we pursue it on our own, but there was definitely emphasis and introduction of key themes to help those who are new become better versed.

One of the desert fathers noted that no one should go out to the desert unless they are already a teacher. Committing to those disciplines has an advanced quality of learning that can so easily be lost in just copying the forms. Having the ability to teach--to self-teach and apply within community--means having the maturity and understanding to best embrace this advanced spiritual life. Fuller offers such a great way in becoming that kind of teacher. For me, I know, going to Fuller helped to absolutely prepare me for more 'advanced' courses of God's training through a monastic lifestyle after I graduated. If I didn't have that background I would not have had the tools to understand how to deal with various issues, topics and challenges.

So no Fuller doesn't emphasize this or offer formal, required training. But yes, Fuller offers what could not only help but also radically ground a neo-monastic lifestyle and community.

Corky

These changes changed the course of my studies and probably created my particular cohort. Welcome back.

John Oakes

Wow how great to read this. I Have been considering Fuller but didnt know jack about seminaries - who is who and all that. But after reading this I feel that I could be comfortable there and intellectually stimulated. Making the shift from Social Theorist/Geography PhD to seminary student (imagining myself surrounded by pharisees in the making) seems at times like asking for trouble. They might bring back stoning just for me haha. But I know that probably will not be the case...especially after reading about your take on Fuller. Thanks so much. John Oakes joakes@ku.edu

גני אירועים

So much of the neo-monastic movement I have seen is rather low, to be honest, taking a lot of forms and words, but did not really study that has gone before to find the depth.

mark

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  • Hi, welcome to my former blog! My name is Ryan Bolger, and this is where I posted my thoughts on Jesus, culture, new forms of community, among other things. Come visit me at my new blog: http://www.ryanbolger.com. I still teach at Fuller Seminary in Southern California where I'm doing some writing as well. Feel free to bounce around the new or old website -- I hope it might stir your imagination -- feel free to stir mine as well by leaving some comments, preferably at the new site... Peace...

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