Illustration by Ellen Marello
“Apocalypse” is on the minds of many in these strange times. On so many fronts, the tipping point seems imminent – climate change, the pandemic, racial reckoning, #metoo, economic uncertainty, rapid cultural shifts. The Church and the institutions entrusted with training its leaders also are in the throes of multiple crises.
“It is ... normal for Christians to live in a situation of crisis,” missiologist David Bosch writes in his book, Transforming Mission. In fact, he noted, a crisis can awaken us to embrace the reality of who we truly are. In that sense, “apocalypse” is not the end of things, but a “revelation” – an insight into the true state of things that had previously been hidden, opening new horizons of possibilities.
The truth about the Church is that we have never been a staid institution of tradition-keeping afraid of losing its power, privilege and comfort in this world, but rather disciples and witnesses of an upside-down kingdom of grace, following a crucified King. And the truth about seminaries is that we have been charged with forming leaders who will embody such faith in this anxious world. I pray we will be wide awake to what the Lord has to teach us in this moment.