Mark Lau Branson's Class Blog

Student participation in Fuller Seminary classes

Archive for April, 2011

Churches, Cultures and Leadership – Part I

Posted by Mark Lau Branson on April 30, 2011

Friend and colleague Juan Martínez and I coauthored Churches, Cultures and Leadership: A Practical Theology of Congregations and Ethnicity (IVP Academic 2011). In the Introduction and first 3 chapters we provide historical and autobiographical notes then use 3 frameworks for the book: practical theology, missional ecclesiology, and social theory. For classroom preparation I am most interested in comments and interaction about chapter 2 regarding the praxis of missional church (including the theological perspectives, congregational praxis, and the implications for leaders.

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Pazmiño: Latin American Journey

Posted by Mark Lau Branson on April 7, 2011

In Latin American Journey: Insights for Christian Education in North America, Robert Pazmiño connects his North American Latino identity, an extended trip to Central and South America, and his passion and profession as a Christian educator. Too few leaders ask, “What can I learn from people of another culture?” For Pazmiño, that’s a key question. By studying and observing these Latin American contexts (including their history, politics, economics, relationship with the US, and churches), he gains theoretical and practical resources for US churches. The ways we interpret scripture, frame our faith, engage our neighbors, and shape Christian congregations are all matters of specific places and times (and their cultures). Pazmiño listens to these churches, learns how they live their faith and engage their neighbors, and connects what he learns with US church education. He is always clear that Christian education is about information (content), formation (of individuals and churches), and transformation (of our lives and our communities). He encounters matters of suffering, oppression, use and abuse of power, and how the gospel shapes and calls us. He carefully parses differing frameworks concerning social structures and change, and shows what our Latino neighbors can teach us about pastoral and prophetic calling. Student discussion here will describe key claims and arguments and provide responses that are either personal examples of what Pazmiño wrote or personal statements about how this  book is reshaping the student’s priorities.

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