Tag Archives: discernment

Catching the Wind: A Theological Theory of Strategic Action

A Term Paper Presented to Dr. Craig Van Gelder

Luther Seminary

As a Requirement in Course LD8910 The Hermeneutics of Leading in Mission

St. Paul, Minnesota



Theory of Strategic ActionThis essay presents my theory of strategic action. It explores how to lead a missional congregation through the process of decision-making and taking action in the world. I will communicate my theory by using the metaphor of a sailing vessel.1 The church is a sailing vessel that has been called to take a journey of exploration with God into this wonderful and turbulent world of postmodernity. read more

  1. I first encountered this metaphor when reading Leonard Sweet’s book Aqua Church in 2000.[Leonard I. Sweet, Aquachurch (Loveland, CO: Group Pub., 1999).] I use his basic metaphor, but I have modified it for my own purposes. []

Why Am I Doing a PhD? (am I crazy?)

Writing a PhD dissertation is hard. First you have to work through the classes and seminars that stretch your perspective through reading thousands of pages, writing hundreds of pages of peer-reviewed papers, engaging in cross-cultural discussion, and submitting to the scrutiny of your professors. Then you must pass language proficiency exams (I failed Theological German twice before I finally passed it the third time). Then, once the course work is done you must pass the Comprehensive exams, or, what I like to call, the pain-stick ritual. I studied a bibliography of over 100 books and then sat in a room all by myself for thirty-two hours over four sequential Thursdays, eight hours each day. read more

The Holy Spirit, Twitter, and Practical Wisdom

practicalwisdom_schwartzI believe the Holy Spirit moves through Twitter. I know that sounds weird, but the story I am about to tell is one that has happened often to me.

Yesterday I started writing an essay about dualisms and how we can navigate between seemingly polarized opposites. I’ll post it when it is finished. This morning I opened up Twitter and the first tweet I saw was from Brain Pickings and was a link to Maria’s review of Practical Wisdom by Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe. Maria is a great writer and her review of this book, and the quotes that she highlighted, were a great help to my essay and to my research in general. read more