Sunday, March 21, 2010

Is this a practical book or is it more theoretical?

ISRAEL: It is both, and I would not be able to say which is more than the other in the book. We tried to put theory to practice by laying out a theological understanding of the Church, a philosophical approach to education, and then offering a model for how to apply both.

Really, in the long run it does little good to be shown what to do without understanding why it is necessary to do it.

Something interesting happens when you get an academic and a practitioner together on a project. There’s an honest corrective that arises between the ideal and the real, or, the theoretical and the practical. I think the book presents a good balance as a result of our give and take in writing the book. We had some great discussions in the process, but we’re still friends.

MARTY: Hah! The quick answer is “both!” Theory (and theology) shapes practice. The first two chapters of the book lay out the theological and philosophical framework of a Christian faith community. This model cannot be used effectively without a clear understanding of this part of the book. Chapters three through six suggest how a Christian Education Leadership Team should be organized, what the work of the team is, what educational approaches congregations use and how they impact formation, and how to use the Christian Church Year in planning. The last two chapters present a practical approach for assessing educational effectiveness and lays out a process for implementing the model.

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