The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal


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Ministry with adolescents helps young people develop their identity by affirming and utilizing the values and traditions of their ethnic cultures. Specifically, it welcomes and empowers all young people; it develops leaders who reflect the ethnic characteristics of the programs' participants; it trains all staff to be competent culturally; it includes young people and their families on advisory councils; and it develops program content that is culturally appropriate and relevant to the needs of participants.

In stressing with our young Catholics the importance of multicultural awareness, and awareness of difference and diversity, we should take care to balance this awareness with the concept of their belonging to a universal Church, that is, with the concept of unity in diversity that characterizes the universal Church.

Second, all ministry with adolescents needs to incorporate ethnic traditions, values, and rituals into ministerial programming; teach about the variety of ethnic cultures in the Catholic Church; provide opportunities for crosscultural experiences; and foster acceptance and respect for cultural diversity.

This approach helps young people learn about, understand, and appreciate people with backgrounds different from their own. Ministry with adolescents needs to counteract prejudice, racism, and discrimination by example, with youth themselves becoming models of fairness and nondiscrimination. In addition, programs in racism and oppression awareness are needed to foster effective communication skills in a multicultural context and to help young people develop skills for dealing with and overcoming social barriers to achievement.

The Church's concern for the civic community includes advocacy on behalf of young people when public issues that affect their lives need to be addressed. Ministry with adolescents involves creating healthier civic communities for all young people. This involves networking with leaders in congregations of diverse faith traditions, public schools, youth-serving agencies, and community organizations to nurture a shared commitment to promoting healthy adolescent development and a healthy community; to develop mutual respect and understanding; to share resources; and to plan community-wide efforts and programs.

Building these relationships can open doors for sharing resources and co-sponsoring training, programs, and advocacy efforts. Community-wide efforts are needed to serve the marginalized young people who lack the support and nurture of congregations and community and who are often the most vulnerable in our community. Community collaboration means building partnerships among families, schools, churches, and organizations that mobilize the community in a common effort to build a healthier community life and to promote positive adolescent development.

Ministry with adolescents mobilizes all of the resources of the faith community in a comprehensive and integrated approach: "Part of the vision of youth ministry is to present to youth the richness of the person of Christ, which perhaps exceeds the ability of one person to capture, but which might be effected by the collective ministry of the many persons who make up the Church" A Vision of Youth Ministry , p.

This approach involves a wide diversity of adult and youth leaders in a variety of roles necessary for comprehensive ministry. Ministry coordinators have a central role in facilitating the people, programming, and resources of the faith community on behalf of a comprehensive ministry effort with adolescents. Coordination is stewardship—overseeing the resources of the community so that they are used wisely in ministry with adolescents.

Ministry coordinators alert the whole community to its responsibility for young people, draw forth the community's gifts and resources, and encourage and empower the community to minister with young people. Of special importance to effective ministry with adolescents is cooperation among the leaders, ministries, and programs in a faith community as they work together in a common effort to achieve the three goals of the Church's ministry with youth. Ministry with adolescents creates flexible and adaptable program structures that address the changing needs and life situations of today's young people and their families within a particular community.

The comprehensive approach incorporates the following elements in developing ministry programming for adolescents:. Ministry with adolescents utilizes each of the Church's ministries—advocacy, catechesis, community life, evangelization, justice and service, leadership development, pastoral care, prayer and worship—in an integrated approach to achieve the three goals for ministry, discussed in Part Two. Today, in light of our National Strategy on Vocations, we add vocational discernment to the "essence" of ministry with adolescents.

These components provide a framework for the Catholic community to respond to the needs of young people and to involve young people in sharing their unique gifts with the larger community. They provide a structure for the Church's ministry with adolescents, while encouraging local creativity in developing programs, activities, and strategies for each component. Each ministry component supports and enhances the others. A comprehensive ministry with adolescents provides balance among all eight components. This balance can be achieved throughout a year or a season of programming.

Even a single program or strategy can incorporate several of the ministry components, as in the case of a retreat program. Open your mouth in behalf of the [mute], and for the rights of the destitute; Open your mouth, decree what is just, defend the needy and the poor Prv —9. We seek to shape a society—and a world—with a clear priority for families and children [adolescents] in need and to contribute to the development of policies that help families protect their children's lives and overcome the moral, social, and economic forces that threaten their future.

As believers and citizens, we need—each of us—to use our values, voices, and votes to hold our public officials accountable and to shape a society that puts our children first Putting Children and Families First , pp. The ministry of advocacy engages the Church to examine its priorities and practices to determine how well young people are integrated into the life, mission, and work of the Catholic community.

It places adolescents and families first by analyzing every policy and program—domestic, parish-based, diocesan, and international—for its impact on adolescents and families. Poor, vulnerable, and at-risk adolescents have first claim on our common efforts. The ministry of advocacy struggles against economic and social forces that threaten adolescents and family life, such as poverty, unemployment, lack of access to affordable health care, lack of decent housing, and discrimination.

The ministry of advocacy supports policies and programs that support and empower adolescents and their families and works to overcome poverty, provide decent jobs, and promote equal opportunity. In all advocacy efforts we must remember to focus on adolescents and families with the greatest need. This is the "option for the poor" in action Putting Children and Families First.

As a Church, we need to provide strong moral leadership; to stand up for adolescents, especially those who are voiceless and powerless in society. We call upon all ministry leaders and faith communities to use the resources of our faith community, the resources and talents of all our people, and the opportunities of this democracy to shape a society more respectful of the life, dignity, and rights of adolescents and their families. The ministry of advocacy encourages the Church to examine its practice of fully integrating adolescents into the life of the Church.

How are the voices of young people honored and heard in the Church? How are the gifts, talents, and energy of young people respected and utilized within our faith communities? It is imperative that the Church models what it advocates for society. Quite early on, the name catechesis was given to the totality of the Church's efforts to make disciples, to help people believe that Jesus is the Son of God so that believing they might have life in his name, and to educate and instruct them in this life, thus building up the Body of Christ Catechism of the Catholic Church no.

The ministry of catechesis helps adolescents develop a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and the Christian community, and increase their knowledge of the core content of the Catholic faith. The ministry of Catechesis also helps young people enrich and expand their understanding of the Scriptures and the sacred tradition and their application to life today, and live more faithfully as disciples of Jesus Christ in their daily lives, especially through a life of prayer, justice, and loving service.

Genuine faith is a total response of the whole person—mind, heart, and will. The ministry of catechesis fosters growth in Catholic faith in all three dimensions—trusting heart , knowing and believing mind , and doing will. The goal should be to have all Catholic youth involved in some program of catechesis.

Sessions in this Study

The ministry of catechesis with adolescents has several distinct features that give direction to catechetical programming. Specifically, catechesis with adolescents. The ministry of catechesis most effectively promotes the faith development of young and older adolescents when the curriculum is focused on important faith themes drawn from the teachings of the Church and on the developmental needs and life experiences of adolescents.

The following faith themes have demonstrated their significance within the context of lifelong faith development and learning. Their selection is designed to "shed the light of the Christian message on the realities which have great impact on the adolescent" GCD This framework, organized around the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church , is offered as the basis of developing a catechetical curriculum for younger and older adolescents. Additional faith themes may need to be included to address local needs.

The Church is the Body of Christ. Through the Spirit and his action in the sacraments, above all the Eucharist, Christ, who once was dead and is now risen, establishes the community of believers as his own Body. In the unity of this Body there is a diversity of members and functions.

All members are linked to one another, especially to those who are suffering, to the poor and persecuted Catechism of the Catholic Church nos. The ministry of community life builds an environment of love, support, appreciation for diversity, and judicious acceptance that models Catholic principles; develops meaningful relationships; and nurtures Catholic faith. The content of our message will be heard only when it is lived in our relationships and community life. To teach compassion, generosity, tolerance, peace, forgiveness, acceptance, and love as gospel values and to identify ourselves as Christians require us to live these values in our interactions with young people and in our community life.

God's reign was proclaimed through the relationships Jesus initiated, and it continues to be heralded every time we witness our belief in him through the relationships in our community.

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Manipur—Sin and our need for a renewed mind

The community life of the first Christians was a sign to everyone that Christ was in their midst see Acts — The ministry of community life is not only what we do activity , but who we are identity and how we interact relationships. Community life is nurtured when the atmosphere is welcoming, comfortable, safe, and predictable—one in which all adolescents know that their presence is welcomed, their energy is appreciated, and their contributions are valued. Community life is enhanced when leaders promote and model an attitude that is authentic, positive, accepting, and understanding—assuring all young people that they are valued and cared for as gifted individuals.

Community life is encouraged when our actions are inviting, supportive, and gospel-based. Community life is created when activities build trust and encourage relationships, and are age-appropriate. The ministry of community life with adolescents has several distinct features that give direction to community life programming. Specifically, community building with adolescents.

Its essence is the proclamation of salvation in Jesus Christ and the response of a person in faith, both being the work of the Spirit of God Go and Make Disciples , p. The ministry of evangelization shares the good news of the reign of God and invites young people to hear about the Word Made Flesh. Drawing from Jesus' example, evangelization involves the community's pronouncement and living witness that the reign of God has become realized in and through Jesus. The starting point for the ministry of evangelization "is our recognition of the presence of God already in young people, their experiences, their families, and their culture.

Through the Incarnation of God in Jesus, Christians are convinced that God is present within and through all of creation, and, in a special way, within humanity. Evangelization, therefore, enables young people to uncover and name the experience of a God already active and present in their lives. Evangelization is the energizing core of all ministry with adolescents. All of the relationships, ministry components, and programs of comprehensive ministry with adolescents must proclaim the Good News.

They must invite young people into a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus and empower them to live as his disciples. The ministry of evangelization incorporates several essential elements: witness, outreach, proclamation, invitation, conversion , and discipleship. Our faith calls us to work for justice; to serve those in need; to pursue peace; and to defend the life, dignity, and rights of all our sisters and brothers. This is the call of Jesus, the urging of his spirit, the challenge of the prophets, and the living tradition of our Church.

Our efforts to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, comfort the sorrowing, console the bereaved, welcome the stranger, and serve the poor and vulnerable must be accompanied by concrete efforts to address the causes of human suffering and injustice. We believe advocacy and action to carry out our principles and constructive dialogue about how best to do this both strengthen our Church and enrich our society.

How Can Christians Cultivate a Renewed Mind?

We are called to transform our hearts and our social structures, to renew the face of the earth see A Century of Social Teaching. The ministry of justice and service nurtures in young people a social consciousness and a commitment to a life of justice and service rooted in their faith in Jesus Christ, in the Scriptures, and in Catholic social teaching; empowers young people to work for justice by concrete efforts to address the causes of human suffering; and infuses the concepts of justice, peace, and human dignity into all ministry efforts. The Church increasingly views itself as a people set aside for the sake of others—a community that stands in solidarity with the poor, that reaches out in service to those in need, and that struggles to create a world where each person is treated with dignity and respect.

We are called as a Church to respond to people's present needs or crises, such as homelessness or hunger. We are also called to help change the policies, structures, and systems that perpetuate injustice through legislative advocacy, community organizing, and work with social change organizations. Direct service needs to be coupled with action for justice so that adolescents experience the benefits of working directly with those in need and learn to change the system that keeps people in need. Justice and service are central to who we are as God's people and to how we live our faith at home, in our communities, and in the world.

The ministry of justice and service with adolescents has several distinct features that give direction to programming and action.

Key Features

Specifically, justice and service with adolescents. The Ministry of Leadership Development There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings by the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit 1 Cor —7. The ministry of Leadership Development calls forth , affirms , and empowers the diverse gifts, talents, and abilities of adults and young people in our faith communities for comprehensive ministry with adolescents.

Leadership roles in adolescent ministry are key. Leaders must be trained and encouraged. This approach involves a wide diversity of adult and youth leaders in a variety of roles. Many will be involved in direct ministry with adolescents; others will provide support services and yet others will link the ministry effort to the resources of the broader community. The ministry of leadership development has several important elements that provide direction. Specifically, leadership development.

We strongly encourage all ministry leaders and communities to call forth the gifts of all young people and empower them for ministry to their peers and leadership in our faith communities. We need their gifts, energy, and vitality. The Ministry of Pastoral Care The ministry of pastoral care is a compassionate presence in imitation of Jesus' care of people, especially those who were hurting and in need.

The ministry of Pastoral Care involves promoting positive adolescent and family development through a variety of positive preventive strategies; caring for adolescents and families in crisis through support, counseling, and referral to appropriate community agencies; providing guidance as young people face life decisions and make moral choices; and challenging systems that are obstacles to positive development advocacy.

Pastoral care is most fundamentally a relationship—a ministry of compassionate presence. This was Jesus' caring stance toward all people, especially those who were hurting or in need. Pastoral care enables healing and growth to take place within individuals and their relationships. It nurtures growth toward wholeness, and it provides guidance in decision making and challenges obstacles to positive development. The ministry of pastoral care with adolescents has several distinct features that provide direction to comprehensive ministry efforts. Specifically, pastoral care. Special attention should be given to young people who engage in high-risk behaviors that endanger their own health and well-being.

These young people often have multiple problems that can severely limit their futures—fragmented family life, poor school performance, antisocial behavior, eating disorders, sexual activity, sexual confusion as they struggle with identity, and alcohol or drug use, to name several.

The Church is called to work with the wider community to address the needs of these young people. Ministry to these young people may be the most important way they will ever come to know and feel the love of God—through people who love them and care for them just at the point when they themselves feel least worthy and lovable.

This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer Catechism of the Catholic Church no. The ministry of prayer and worship celebrates and deepens young people's relationship with Jesus Christ through the bestowal of grace, communal prayer and liturgical experiences; it awakens their awareness of the spirit at work in their lives; it incorporates young people more fully into the sacramental life of the Church, especially eucharist; it nurtures the personal prayer life of young people; and it fosters family rituals and prayer.

The ministry of prayer and worship with adolescents has several distinct dimensions that provide direction to comprehensive ministry efforts. Part Four: A Guiding Image for Ministry with Adolescents He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal [the sick].

He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.

Lecture 6 Christ Transforming Culture

Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere Lk —3, 6. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore. Only someone who is wholly familiar with the richness of Jewish scripture and tradition; with the ancient philosophies of Stoics, Platonists, Epicureans, and others; and with the reality of human experience can fully appreciate why Paul argues as he does and the effectiveness of his argument. Craig Keener is one such scholar, and his rich exposition of key passages in Romans, in ongoing debate with the history of interpretation, brings out the point and force of Paul's argument for his own time again and again, and in a way that reinvigorates Paul's argument for a very different time.

And not to be missed is the concluding postscript, posing some appropriately challenging pastoral implications. Keener describes the Pauline vision of the believing mind as one immersed in the Jesus story, freed by the Spirit's power, bathed in divine wisdom, and oriented toward heaven. This book will, quite literally, open your mind to Paul's theology of the mind.

Drawing on his vast knowledge of Greco-Roman literature, Keener shows us how Paul is both similar to and different from his contemporaries. In doing so, he suggests how Christians today must be similar to and different from their contemporaries. But embodied holiness, or conformity to the image of the Son, means having those desires reordered to Christ through minds renewed by the Spirit. With a comprehensive biblical and contextual lens and a holistic view of renewed humanity, Keener reminds us of this nonnegotiable reality. He invigorates our understanding of the mind of the Spirit and thus of Christ and offers a New Testament view of Spirit-enabled, holy reason that orders the passions of God's children individually and communally.

A valuable contribution indeed. While careful to locate Paul's writings within the range of relevant contexts and to read them with both historical-critical rigor and remarkable erudition, Keener never loses sight of the continuing theological vitality of the question. In his analysis, the transformation of the mind that is here explored is never separable from the reality of the Spirit or from the community united by that Spirit to Christ himself.

The result is a work of both scholarly and pastoral significance. As a Pentecostal, I appreciate the academic finesse of his work, but beyond intellectual appreciation, I am deeply grateful. My gratitude stems from feeling understood; Keener has also lived in a world where the tension between the Spirit and the mind is very real. He insists upon envisioning a new world where the Spirit calls to human spirits and minds, and human minds and spirits respond. Those working on a distinctly Christian version of contemporary psychology really need this kind of work if the project is to advance, so I'm filled with appreciation and gratitude.

Eric L. It will be of great benefit not only to theologians, integrators of psychology and theology, pastors, and seminary students but also to counselors, therapists, and lay church leaders and teachers. I highly recommend it! Craig S. Keener Ph. He is author of 25 books, 5 of which have won awards in Christianity Today.

More than a million copies of his books are in Continue reading about Craig S. Such juxtaposition illuminates and clarifies Paul's own conception of transformed thinking in the life of the believer. Although books abound on many aspects of Paul's theology soteriology, Christology, ecclesiology, anthropology, etc. Keener's work redresses this omission compellingly and authoritatively and is now the definitive treatment on this topic.


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As we have come to expect from him, Keener's treatment of the original sources is impressive. We are once again indebted to Keener for his compellingly argued study--a study that both challenges the mind and aims to transform it.


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  • Manipur—Sin and our need for a renewed mind.

It also provides a great starting point for interdisciplinary research between biblical scholars and psychologists who want to further explore these cognitive themes. The book is scholarly, with footnotes occupying a third of each page. However, the main text is accessible to a wide readership, and there is even a postscript on 'pastoral implications.

Craig Keener. This is a superb and clear study that not only highlights an important dimension of Paul's theology but offers significant pastoral consequences for the interrelationship of psychology and spirituality today. Drawing upon a wealth of scholarly learning and a vast range of sources, Keener sets Paul's theology of the mind in its first-century context and draws out numerous exegetical and theological insights.

Although disciplined historical work forms the core of this study, the reader is also invited and exhorted to consider the relevance and pastoral implications of Paul's vision for the church of today. This work has relevance not merely for students of Paul's writings, theology, and context, but also for preachers, pastors, and other church leaders. It will be welcomed by scholars--especially since there has been little attention paid to this sort of topic in Pauline studies.

Others, too, can benefit from this analysis of these Pauline texts in context, for many of the topics Keener addresses will be of interest to non-specialists. Furthermore, Keener himself wants this material to be relevant for the church--and it is.

The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal
The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal
The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal
The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal
The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal
The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal
The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewal

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