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Book | In Over Our Heads by Robert Kegan

keganIn over our headsKegan, Robert. In over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994.

The Author – Robert Kegan

Kegan is a professor of Adult Learning at Harvard, specializing in cognitive developmental psychology. He has dedicated his career to studying what he has come to call “the evolving self.” Prior to his quest, which began in the 1980s, the conventional wisdom regarding human cognitive development was that all significant cognitive development ceased in late adolescence. In other words, a person’s ability to change the way they think stops at the onset of adulthood. The only type of change that an adult can expect is technical change. Adults can learn more, but they can’t change the way they learn or perceive the world. Kegan’s research has demonstrated that this is not true. He studied hundreds of people over a number of years and discovered that adults can and do develop—evolve—cognitively beyond adolescence. read more

Where Did the Term “Missional” Come From?

The term missional comes from the term mission: to go somewhere with a purpose. It is specifically used today as the latest iteration of how the church understands itself in regard to God’s relationship to the world and how God is working to redeem the world. The term is emerging as a result of the Western church coming to terms with its complicity in the colonization and oppression of the Global South throughout modern history. The Western church used to think of itself as the location in which people came to meet God. Missions was the task of the church to send particular people–called missionaries–out into the world to convert people and bring them into the church. Today, the missional church understands that the Triune God has a mission–missio Dei–to continually create and re-create and make all things new through the course of history. The church is gathered and sent by the Holy Spirit to be a sign to the world of what God’s way of loving co-existence and co-creativity–embodied in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus–looks like in the flesh. We don’t often do a good job of this, but it is the calling of the church to engage the neighbor in the love of Jesus, see what God is doing in the world, and join God there. read more