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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Discipleship Pedagogy

Dr. Martin Marty is a brilliant theologian and commentator on faith & culture. I subscribe to a journal he sends out monthly (paper only) called "Context" where he assembles the writings of thinkers he respects. It's a content-dense journal.
He introduced us to the writing of Fr. William O'Malley who teaches at Fordham and authored a new book entitled "Help My Unbeliefs" (Orbis) on the nature of catechism and discipleship training today. He writes "our audience does not have a personally validated Christian faith. A majority are baptized but never converted and prefer not to be." How then do we engage young people with the truths of the Christian faith? O'Malley proposes a new pedagogical grid that looks intriguing:
1. Heighten the awareness of the miraculous order of the universe.
2. Develop a familiarity with prayer.
3. Demand a rough understanding of epistemology (why we know some things are true)to challenge universal relativism.
4. Make clear that faith is not absolute certitude but moral certitude, which is a calculated risk.
5. Explore other religions and cultures and the power of stories that bear truth.
6. Foster and awareness of the insidious influence of media-brainwashing.
7. Help them to grasp the radical difference between the standards of the self-seeking world and the self-giving kingdom.
8. Explore the difference between morality that makes one a decent human being and the faith that brings a person to be forgiving before a perpetrator ever earns it.

What kind of outline would that look like for you to teach?

2 Comments:

At 8:54 AM , Anonymous Rick in Texas said...

These 2 points strike me as the most significant - most "out of the box and off the radar" of most disciple-making today:
6. Foster an awareness of the insidious influence of media-brainwashing.
8. Explore the difference between morality that makes one a decent human being and the faith that brings a person to be forgiving before a perpetrator ever earns it.

 
At 1:00 PM , Blogger drgtjustwondering said...

What a great list - thanks for posting this, Don - and what about applications to older age cohorts? I think several of these would apply across the board.

 

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