The Way We Live Is the Way We Educate

Is school different from life? Is school real life? The way we live is the way we educate. Do we live our lives conscious of our past? If so we will educate with a view of history. Do we live our lives focused only on present gain. If so we will educate our young to ignore the past and claw their way toward money. Do we view our own learning merely as the pursuit of credentials to let us get on with the job? Our children will view school as a credential to check off as fast as they can.

School is a special time in that it is set aside for study. But school should not reflect different values that our life as a whole, and in the long run it will not. Study is not the whole tapestry of life, thankā€‚God, but it amplifies threads that run through our lives and communities. Our schools reflect our epistemology.



Alan Hirsh and other argue that the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers (APEST) given by Jesus to equip the church constitute a defining paradigm for the life and ministry of the church.

I love Hirsh’s descriptions in the book 5Q. But can it serve as a master list of gifts? Why use these 5 rather than the longer lists in Romans or 1 Corinthians as the primary lens?

I sympathize with the objections mentioned here.

And resonate with some of the defenses referenced here.

Leaders Take Responsibility

I speak to you as a leader responsible for your generation. Take responsibility for your generation. Take responsibility for your current reality, for the part you played in creating that reality, as well as the part that involves you changing it as necessary. And quite frankly, if you are not willing to take responsibility, you should not be in leadership in the church–or any organization that requires moral leadership for that matter.

Alan Hirsh, 5Q xxiv

Is an Order a Church?

I have a friend who is trying to make sense of the Anabaptist world (and, more importantly, to discern how Christians should live and work together). Recently, he shared an insight someone shared with him.

Think of the Anabaptists as a religious order, with the different groups as sub-orders.

Many of us would prefer not to have our congregations compared to a group of monks or nuns and most of us aren’t interested in living in a monastery or a convent. But the comparison is definitely helpful for understanding the conservative Anabaptist mindset. We think about a lot of issues in ways that make more sense for a religious order than for a full fledged church. From our concept of obedience to church leaders, to our concerns for regulated dress, to our willingness to include things in our discipline statements simply because we think they are one helpful way of doing things, we can infer the mindset of an order.

Now I have sympathy for orders, monastic ones included, though I would question the wisdom of a lifetime vow. But orders are supposed to be part of a full fledged church. A full fledged church must be broad enough to encompass believers in all legitimately Christian vocations. An order, by definition, is for those with a more specific vocation.

Many unresolved issues in Anabaptist ecclesiology can be thought of as confusing orders with churches.