Friday, January 05, 2007

GOE's: day 3

Today went pretty well. If my brain were a nuclear reactor, it would be close to hitting critical mass, bit otherwise I am happy with the questions this far. I will reflect more at some later date, but here are today's questions:

Morning Session on Theory and Practice of Ministry:
A terminally ill, 32-year old mother of two small children has been told by her physician that there is nothing more to be done to cure her cancer. After admitting her to the hospital for palliative care, the physician asks you, as the hospital chaplain on duty, to visit this woman. Upon entering her hospital room, you find a group of her friends insisting that she will be healed if only she has more faith and prays harder. It is clear that the woman is greatly distressed, and has questions about God's presence with her in this trauma. The friends, looking up and seeing you, tell the woman they will leave so that the pastor can affirm what they have been sharing with her. When you reach the bedside, the woman asks, "Do I have enough faith?"
In a three-page essay,
1. What is your response to this dying woman? Be sure to include both theological and pastoral considerations in your answer.

2. Detail the complexities and risks of your theological and pastoral responses, indicating awareness of your own assumptions.

Afternoon session on Moral and Ethical Theology:
There are many different kinds and degrees of lying. Some would argue that under certain circumstances some form of lying is morally acceptable. Others would argue that lying is always wrong.
Is lying ever appropriate?

Address this question in a three-page essay, articulating clearly the principles and reasoning process you are using to reach a Christian moral position on lying. Indicate in your reasoning process how scripture, Anglican tradition and experience inform the moral position that you propose.

Whew...wasn't that fun, boys and girls?
-The Archer+

1 comment:

Stephen Newell said...

Without being disrespectful, the more I think about the questions you're being asked concerning ordination, the happier I am to be Baptist.

I was actually pretty cheered to see they were finally asking pastoral-focused questions, but many of the "theological" questions don't seem to have much bearing on how in-step you are with your confessional underpinnings, unless there's more you aren't telling us in these posts. There also seems to be, so far, little focus on your pastoral theology until today.

I'd be the first to agree Baptists ought to have a more formalized and structured ordination process - it would weed out pretenders pretty quickly, in my estimation - but I just don't see the value of making the ordination process as if it were a seminary exit exam.

It seems to me an ordination candidate ought to be evaluated on the workings of his denominational apparatus, his pastoral theology, and on whether or not his systematic/biblical theology is in line with his denominational confessions. Anything beyond that is probably designated to the realm of throwaway questions.

I mean, if Baptists alone started evaluating these things in their ordination councils, we wouldn't have half as many ordained ministers! Lots of us are clueless about how the SBC works and what the SBC confession of faith actually entails, and most uneducated, ordained preachers out there probably don't know what the term "pastoral theology" encompasses.

I certainly didn't until I got to seminary. And I wasn't evaluated on any of these things in my ordination council. But it would have been a much different experience and more serious and solemn if I had been.

Just my 2 Baptist cents.