Category Archives: Along the Journey

From our Center of Lifelong Learning.

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For the Bookshelf: Reviewing Leadership

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

It seems the number of books put out by publishers, in any number of fields, will not be abating anytime soon. Whether or not that is a good thing may be a matter of debate. Some subjects are worth discussing at length, because trawling for deeper meanings or drawing out the nuances of the matter yield more insight and expand our understanding with each new layer of data—whether by contrasting it against the hard edge of another discipline or by the overlay of the veneer of a new metaphor. But some subjects, once having been examined, leave one with the impression that “everything that needs to be said has been said.”

Robert Banks and Bernice M. Ledbetter think that the subject of leadership is one of those topics worth revisiting, and they do so in their book, Reviewing Leadership: A Christian Evaluation of Current Approaches, much to our benefit. In this short book, Banks and Ledbetter do two things. First, they briefly introduce the reader to “everything that needs to be said that has been said” about leadership by providing a brief overview of how leadership has been treated and understood in what they categorize as biblical, historical, and contemporary perspectives (chapter two). Second, in the chapters following, they attempt to bring an ethical lens to the subject of leadership through a Christian perspective, beginning with “spiritual and religious dimensions” (chapter three) to a more overt Christian understanding of the leadership function in the final chapter through the use of “exemplary case studies” of Christian leadership in action (refreshingly, and tellingly, none of the persons featured in the case studies would likely be the first, or second, guess of most contemporary leaders or informed laity as to “models of leadership”). Continue reading

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Guest Blogger Margaret Marcuson on Money and Your Ministry

As we try to manage both the flow of money into and out of our churches and our lives, and also our own relationship with that flow, there is a way forward. It isn’t always an easy way. But it is possible to have greater freedom in regard to money and in our relationships with each other about money, to have fewer sleepless nights and wrangling meetings.

We can begin by holding all that we have lightly, accepting the flow. We don’t clasp our hands tightly—whether around our “own” possessions and money, or the building and resources of the congregation or the wider church of which we are a part. Most of us need a lifetime to work on moving toward greater freedom in relation to money and things and the choices we make about them. But we can take a first step from where we are, and begin with what we have been given.

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Learning Is Not An Outcome of Teaching

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

The counter-intuitive notion that learning is not an outcome of teaching can be a challenging concept. This is natural, for several reasons. First, due to our experiences we tend naturally to associate teaching with learning. Second, despite the logical connection of teaching with learning we often fail to discern the actual dynamics of that relationship. Finally, the concept that learning is not an outcome of teaching begs the question, “Well then what am I teaching for if not to bring about learning?!” Continue reading

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Human in the Brain

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Adam Kieper wrote a review of Michael Gazzanig’s book, Human titled, The Synapse and the Soul. It appeared in The Wall Street Journal (July 8, 2008). He begins, interestingly, with philosophical questions:

What is it that makes us human – that sets us apart from other animals? What drives us to act altruistically? Why do we gossip and flirt and empathize? How do we judge beauty, and why are we impelled to create works of art?

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For the Bookshelf: Exploring Spirituality: An Ecumenical Reader

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Exploring Spirituality: An Ecumenical Reader, edited by Kenneth J. Collins, is a collection of twenty-four essays in which Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and Methodist writers describe the unique forms of spirituality that have emerged from their traditions. The book begins with a thoughtful historical treatment of the development of the idea of spirituality. The introductory chapters explore the etymology of the term spirituality, providing delimitations to a term that more often is misused than understood. Philip Sheldrake focuses on three periods in his exploration of historical uses of the term: the New Testament era’s seminal understanding of spirituality (primarily through Pauline writings); the twelfth century during which spirituality was dichotomized from liturgy and theology; epistemologically (the affective from the rational), the personal from the communal, and moved to an focus on the interior life; and contemporary views of spirituality that evidence a move toward integration. Walter Principe’s chapter surveys the changing definitions of spirituality in the history of the church. His valuable contribution to this volume, however, is in offering a contemporary definition of spirituality that arguably should serve as normative in modern explorations of spirituality.

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