Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Nouwen -- Part 11

As I close out my series of posts from Nouwen’s book, In the Name of Jesus, we will be looking at the final chapter “The Discipline: Theological Reflection” and the short conclusion to the text. Nouwen talks about that aspect of the Christian leader’s life that so often keeps them from true discernment and this being led by the Spirit; reflection. He are some of his thoughts:

· What then is the discipline of a leader who can live with outstretched hands? I propose here the discipline of strenuous theological reflection.
· Strenuous theological reflection will allows us to discern critically where we are being led
· Real theological thinking, which is with the mind of Christ, is hard to finding the practice of the ministry
· The task of future Christian leaders is not to make a little contribution to the solution of the pains and tribulations of their time, but to identify and announce the ways in t=which Jesus is leading God’s people out of slavery, through the desert to a new land of freedom
· They have to say no to the secular world and proclaim in unambiguous terms that the incarnation of God’ Word, through whom all things come into being, has made even the smallest event in human history into karios, that is, an opportunity to be led deeper into the heart of Christ
· Theological reflection is reflecting on the painful and joyful realities of every day with the mind of Jesus and thereby raising human consciousness to the knowledge of God’s gentle guidance.
· Seminaries and divinity schools need to become centers where persons are trained in true discernment of the signs of the time
· It requires a deep spiritual formation involving the whole person – body, mind, and heart. I think that we are only half aware of how secular even theological schools have become
· Jesus sends us out to be shepherds, and Jesus promises a life in which we increasingly have to stretch out our hands and be led to places where we would rather not go
· I do believe that those from whom I least expected to learn are showing me the way
· The oldest, most traditional vision of Christian leadership is still a vision that awaits realization in the future

While the main purpose of these posts has been for me to personally review and reflect on what has been said in this book, I hope that any who may have been reading these posts have found something valuable. I would encourage everyone to read this short book and learn from it what the Father would like to teach you. I have become increasingly aware that in order to truly lead, we must be willing to follow. Who and what we follow is the challenge and our responsibility, for that is the path that we lead others down. If I humble myself and follow the lead of the Lord Jesus, I will never go wrong.

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