Created for Church Members, Columbia Faculty Journal Is Free Online
Decatur, GA.— “Theology After Disaster” is the topic of the inaugural issue of @ this point, an online journal launched this May by the faculty of Columbia Theological Seminary. Designed with church members in mind and published twice a year, the journal is free and available only online at www.atthispoint.net. All the content can be downloaded and reproduced without charge. Founding editors are Columbia faculty members Mark Douglas, associate professor of Christian ethics, and Kathy Dawson, assistant professor of Christian education. The fall issue, on fear, will be published in late November.
Each issue of @ this point will focus on a particular topic from the perspective of a variety of theological disciplines and includes a lead article, response articles, and teaching resources to guide further discussion. The current issue, “Theology After Disaster,” features a lead article by Douglas. Fellow Columbia faculty members Kathleen O’Connor and William Harkins contributed response articles. Resources provided in this issue include three lesson plans written by Dawson and an annotated bibliography by Andrew Richardson, a pastor and a student in the seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program.
Coming in November, the fall edition is tentatively titled “Do Not Be Afraid???” Douglas says that the content will focus on a few essential questions: How can we pursue acts of Christian discipleship in a culture of fear? How is it that “perfect love casts out fear” but “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom?” And what is it we’re afraid of, anyway? The new issue will explore these and similar questions through articles by Scott Bader-Saye, author of the forthcoming “Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear,” Bill Brown, Barbara Brown Taylor, and others.
“The Presbyterian Church (USA) provides outstanding training for ministers and excellent programs for children and youth,” Douglas says. “However, its educational materials for adult laity are sparse—especially in the area of cultural analysis. As a result, the very people the church sees as the heart of its mission have the least opportunity to continue their intellectual and spiritual growth. Time and time again, we hear from adult laity that they’re hungry for thoughtful and provocative resources to stimulate their growth in Christ.”
With the new journal, Columbia’s faculty is attempting to fill this desire by publishing broadly accessible articles directed toward church members involved in adult Sunday school classes, small groups, and regular conversations with their pastors. Dawson says, “Initially most of our readers have been ministers, who tell us they are passing along the journal to church members. We would like to see the whole church community studying these issues—all whose faith continually seeks understanding and social relevance. We are concerned with the quality of conversation in the church, so our journal intentionally models the project of seeking after wisdom through thoughtful and charitable disagreement.”
Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, Georgia, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
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