Saturday, August 13, 2005

Really big questions

I've been trying to work on ordination essay for the last few days, but without much luck. I'm just having a really hard time getting started. The questions are so big that I guess I really want to give them proper treatment. I have a feeling I could end up with a 100 page paper on these without trying too hard. But no one wants to read that... at least I don't. So anyway, here are the questions from ΒΆ324.9 of the Discipline:

a) Describe your personal experience of God and the understanding of God you derive from biblical, theological, and historical sources.

b) What is your understanding of evil as it exists in the world?

c) What is your understanding of humanity, and the human need for divine grace?

d) How do you interpret the statement Jesus Christ is Lord?

e) What is your conception of the activity of the Holy Spirit in personal faith, in the community of believers, and in responsible living in the world?

f) What is your understanding of the kingdom of God; the Resurrection; eternal life?

g) How do you intend to affirm, teach and apply Part II of the Discipline (Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task) in your work in the ministry to which you have been called?

h) The United Methodist Church holds that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illuminated by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason. What is your understanding of this theological position of the Church?

i) Describe the nature and mission of the Church. What are its primary tasks today?

j) Discuss your understanding of the primary characteristics of United Methodist polity.

k) How do you perceive yourself, your gifts, your motives, your role, and your commitment as a probationary member and commissioned minister in The United Methodist Church?

l) Describe your understanding of diaconia, the servant ministry of the church, and the servant ministry of the probationary member and commissioned minister.

m) What is the meaning of ordination in the context of the general ministry of the Church?

n) Describe your understanding of an inclusive church and ministry.

o) You have agreed as a candidate for the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness of the gospel, and in consideration of their influence as ministers, to make a complete dedication of yourself to the highest ideals of the Christian life, and to this end agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional maturity, integrity in all personal relationships, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility, and growth in grace and the knowledge and love of God. What is your understanding of this agreement?

p) Explain the role and significance of the sacraments in the ministry to which you have been called.

Simple, right?


Blogger Chris said...

On the one hand, it's almost laughable to think these questions can be answered succinctly. On the other hand, as I wrote for Deacon's and Elder's orders I found it immensely helpful to take my 15-pages of thoughts for a question and distill the material down to its 3-page essence. I wish you well.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you're already working on these. And they look as if they've changed a bit from what I wrote for Doctrine class two years ago.... (That was my first class at Iliff, the summer before I started full-time.)

I admire you now from not-so-afar. :D

Mary Ann

3:06 PM  
Blogger Carl said...

I have been searching for a place to discuss these questions. Have you finished?


8:26 AM  

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