Benjer McVeigh at the Jesus and Teenagers blog is hosting a series on youth ministry from different theological perspectives within the Church. Today's post features Anglican youth worker Paul Martin. who blogs at Being Ministry. Yesterday, I was featured and asked to share what youth ministry looks like from a mainline protestant/progressive theological approach. Here's a quick excerpt:
The Christian Church (DOC) has a long tradition of encouraging biblical scholarship and resisting a literal reading of scripture. As a result, we are open to multiple (and sometimes contradictory) interpretations of the same biblical texts. We do not codify one understanding of a text and often find that scriptures have multiple meanings. We believe the scriptures to be divine in the sense that those who wrote them were fallible human beings attempting to share in limited human language their personal experiences with God and the Holy Spirit. So, when I invite youth to share in Bible study, I do not present one particular understanding of scripture or one right interpretation.
I welcome a series like this as it reminds us of the diversity of the Church and the complexity of theologies that have grown up around the institution over the centuries. Anytime I hear someone say "Christians all believe such and such..." I always want to respond "Well, some Christians believe such and such!" The diversity of thought in the church is, I think, one of its greatest strengths. I applaud Benjer for helping us to celebrate and come to a better understanding that our differences can help us all to come to a deeper understanding of the faith.