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Focus on… St Andrews Theology Network

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St Andrews is a unique place to study Theology as aChristian. A great number of our professors, lecturers and tutors wouldclassify themselves as Christian, and they provide a great example of what apraying academic looks like. In some courses we’re reminded that true theologyis only done through prayer and encouraged to make prayer a daily habit. Yet,at the same time, we do have to deal with the divisions that arise out oftheological disputes, and we face the difficulties of learning how to integratea living faith with our academic studies.

In the beginning was the Word

The focus for our group this year is two-fold. From aninternal perspective, we want to really equip Christian theology students withthe tools and support needed in engaging with these issues. There are so manyperspectives and factors that play into these, and they can be quiteoverwhelming, especially for those who are just now beginning to study (but forus 4th years, too!). With this in mind, our format for the year isto have weekly topics about some of the more common trouble areas – forexample, authority of Scripture, hermeneutics, models of the atonement. We havea mixture of academics and pastors coming in to share insight in these areas,and already this year we have gained a great deal from their wisdom. While thebulk of our meetings are given to these discussions, we are also seeking to beintentional in praying together. We know that it is so easy to get caught up indebates, so we have built in some prayer meetings in order to take a step backand refocus on Christ as a theological community.

In addition to our weekly meetings, we have some otherevents and socials on the schedule. As the New Perspective on Paul has beenquite a hot topic in our college – especially with Tom Wright here – we decidedit would be useful to host some “New Perspective Evenings” in which we couldinformally discuss the different facets of the debate and their implications.Our first one last year was well attended and was helpful in framing the debatefor further discussion. We are hoping to continue with more evenings this yearand look forward to fruitful conversations.

From a missional perspective, we are focusing on taking stepsto build good relationships within our college. There has been some tension inthe past between our group and other theology societies, and in general betweenthose who would call themselves evangelical Christians and those who wouldn’t.As a first step, we recently hosted a “Wine and Pudding” social in conjunctionwith the college society that was incredibly encouraging; there were a lot ofgreat conversations, and we’re hoping that it has set a good precedent fordialogue and friendship between the groups.

Visit the groups section for more info on Theology Network groups!

HT: Sydney Drain, Theology Network group leader at the University of St Andrews.

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