Apologia: Contextualization, Globalization, and Mission in Theological Education

Stackhouse, Max L., with Nantawan Boonprasat-Lewis, J.G.F. Collison, Lamin Sanneh, Lee Harding, Ilse von Loewenclau and Robert W. Pazmino. Apologia: Contextualization, Globalization, and Mission in Theological Education. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988.

Stackhouse and his colleagues present an interpretative report of a structured dialogue among faculty and international leaders at Andover Newton Theological School focused on reconceiving theological education as Christian apologetics within a world divided culturally and religiously. Theological education is experiencing a loss of metaphysical-moral vision as well as difficulties in relating text and context and perceiving the nature and function of mission. The co-authors and others analyze many views of these problems and also record a disenchantment with the usual ideas of the relationships of theory and practice. They resolve to be less imperialistic while also registering an insecurity about developing criteria for guiding inclusivity. In constructing an approach to apologetics, the authors examine the relationships among orthodoxy, praxiology, and doxology in an effort to erect a framework for belief and action in what they call a third age of Christian engagement with the world. They assert that theological education reflects the importance of religious truth in human affairs, and that such education must be a scholarly enterprise (not indoctrination) which prepares people to preach and teach and affirms what is objectively true and just in religious matters regardless of context or cultural heritage. (KA)