Monday, October 29, 2007

DEPTH OR BREADTH

As the researching and writing of my ThM thesis continues, I will be posting some "thought bubbles" for the purpose of critique and clarification. Questions, comments, and corrections are welcome.

I've hit a bit of a speed bump this week. Having completed the research for the rubric and having moved on to formulation of the rubric and research of EC ecclesiology, I am held up by the question of breadth and depth. Here are some issues:
  • I need sufficient breadth to insure the broadest possible articulation.
  • I need sufficient depth to go beyond surface issues.
  • I only have 150 pages and a few months to research and write.
  • I cannot do both equally.
  • Therefore, I am leaning toward deeper research on an international selection of ECs whose pastors seem to have broad influence.
Thoughts?

Recommendations?

NOTE: This is a rumination ("1. The act of pondering; meditation. 2. The act or process of chewing cud." American Heritage Dictionary) in search of synergy ("1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.")

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3 comments:

  1. Hi Laura,

    I am struggling a bit in my catalyst function! ;-)

    It seems to me you are trying to do something inside the bubble and using the academic tools appropriate inside the bubble, but your aim is to evaluate and describe something that exists outside the bubble. So the academic tools may be inadequate or inappropriate.

    See, for example, the analysis that makes the distinction between religious systems that become driven by their own goals and the Kingdom of God under the order of God. How do you deal with ECs that see this risk and consciously avoid it and seek only to instantiate the Kingdom? See for example Loving Holiness by Ron McGatlin where he describes this distinction quite clearly.

    A little comment on this post - your last bullet seems to make the assumption that ECs are lead by pastors. I thought one of the EC themes was to break the mould of the priest/pastor leading the laity and give expression to the priesthood of all believers.

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  2. Another thought,

    does the Rubric work as an absolute positioning of ecclesiologies, or only relatively?

    Is it possible to test it by using it to compare recognised mainline ecclesiologies?

    But, maybe I am applying too much of a software development approach here!

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  3. Andrew, I'm still working on the first comment (homework has taken over). As for the second, the rubric is based on the four marks of the church in the Nicene Creed as modified in 381. Most communions accept this creed, so I'm hoping the result will be broadly accepted.

    I'm also centering the ecclesiology a bit differently than most, in that I'm not so concerned about church structure, offices, etc. I'm more concerned with identity and function. In this too, I hope to have broad applicability.

    Of course, I come to this as an at least third generation free-church Protestant, so it's difficult to predict how successful I'll be.

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