Cool news! Phyllis Tickle and Diana Butler Bass will be the speakers at the 2010 Spring Convocation at Eden Theological Seminary. This is exciting for us because we spent three years in the student housing at Eden. Very small place. But that's another story. The speakers - or lecturers, if you want to be all formal about it - are really something to get excited about.
Tickle has one foot in the Mainline Church and one in the Emergent Movement, which places her in a unique position to talk about being the Church in our Postmodern world. Her book, The Great Emergence, describes the major shifts in Christianity - one of which we are entering right now: Postmodernity.
Bass is an outstanding author on topics such as spirituality and Church vitality. She too can help the Church be vital in the Postmodern matrix. Her book, Christianity for the Rest of Us, describes ways that the Mainline Church can remain relevant in our changing, Postmodern world.
Tickle and Bass are theologians of the Church. They are smart without being overly acedemic. Instead, they bring their practical wisdom, theological insights, and insightful minds to bear on big topics in concrete ways. You'll hear big and exciting ideas. But you will also hear about why these ideas matter. You'll be able to ask and explore the "So what?" question. It will be good stuff for theologians, pastors, and plain old ordinary church folks like us.
My question is why is Eden bringing in the exciting speakers after I graduated!? Ok, that is a loaded question. I admit that I am biased toward practical theology. I know practical theology isn't "sexy" (i.e. well respected) right now in academia. But if the goal of a seminary is to prepare people to be pastors in local congregations, then it's important to balance theoretical ideas with practical application, academic rigor with spiritual formation, deconstruction with reconstruction, etc. With Tickle and Bass speaking at the event, Spring Convocation in 2010 promises to walk that very balance. So, yeah, I'm excited. This event will be a good one. Surely, it will spark some generative conversation about the future of church life as well as the seminary education needed to help pastors foster healthy churches in a postmodern world. It'll be good stuff!
If you're free - or you can make yourself free - come to Eden on April 6th and 7th, 2010 for Spring Convocation. A good time will be had by all! Or you'll get your money back. Wait, I can't promise that. Forget the money thing. But seriously, this should be a great event. Come check out some theological rock stars. Click here for more info on the event.