The latest issue of the online journal produced here at the Centre for Theology and Ministry is now available. This latest edition of Conversations, Vol 4, No. 1, includes a series of studies by Chris Mostert on the atonement. The other articles may go under the broad heading of the interface between Christian faith and society touching on method in theological research, the relation of Christian ethics to societal practices and customs, matters of faith and work, and the use of biblical lament with adolescents. Abstracts, and the links to the .pdfs are below.
A series of five studies by Chris Mostert on the atonement – how do we understand it and what does it mean for us today? The studies were first presented as a series of Lenten Studies for Anglican and Uniting Church congregations in North Melbourne in 2010.
1. Is Christianity a Redemptive Religion?
2. Is the Cross a Sacrifice?
3. Is the Cross a Victory?
4. Is the Cross our Justification?
5. The Cross as an Act of the Love of God
The Question of Method in Theological Research*
Sandy Yule pursues the question of what is an appropriate method within theological research. While theological research has much to learn form other academic disciplines in the way it goes about its work, ‘the importance and the difficulty of the question of how we humans might have knowledge of God’ must be recognised in this research. In this context Yule asks ‘how can we approach the university ideal of knowledge?’ In light of comments on the nature of human knowledge and research in particular he goes on argue that ‘what we receive as valid knowledge of God in faith should affect both the content of our research and the methods that we develop to pursue it.’
God, Football and Christian Ethics*
McIntosh begins his paper with a question raised at a UCA Presbytery meeting whether the Presbytery should write a letter to the local Member of Parliament to protest against plans to play AFL football on Good Friday. This and similar concerns often ‘raise interesting theological and political questions that are often not explored in discussions of these issues. For instance, what is Christian ethics and how does this apply to those who are not Christian? Is Christian ethics for allpeople? What is the role of Christian ethics within a secular society?’ McIntosh does not attempt to give firm answers to these questions in this paper but, rather, to consider the theological issues that need clarification before we can develop relevant answers. ‘Often these prior questions are assumed without recognising their considerable implications.’ He seeks ‘to clarify what is at stake in questions like the church protesting against playing football on Good Friday.’
Psalm 69: The Lament of Adolescence
Cricenti begins with a close study of Psalm 69 a lament psalm. She compares this with a study of the complex developmental stage of adolescence. She concludes that the experiential reality of the adolescent is not dissimilar to that of the psalmist. ‘This article examines these similarities and proposes that the study of the Psalms of Lament within the context of the Religious Education classroom has the potential to be a positive and fruitful experience. Under the guidance of the facilitator, a close and sensitive examination of these psalms can assist in the social, emotional and spiritual growth of the student. This article also provides a variety of pedagogical strategies for the implementation of The Psalms as a valuable teaching tool within the Year Nine Religious Education Curriculum in the context of the Catholic School.’ While speaking from a Catholic context Cricenti provides valuable guidance for those who work with adolescents in other contexts.