Crossroads

There's a reason I've been so quiet in the blogosphere recently. I've been processing the deluge of information (especially theological information) I've received over the course of this past semester. As my previous post makes clear, it has been overwhelming, to say the least... and disorienting. "Drinking from a fire hydrant" is the expression we use at Trinity to describe what we fast-track MDiv students experience there. It's comforting to know I'm not alone in this. When you're so saturated with such diversity of perspective, it's very difficult to explore any one in any depth, and so you wind up knowing several positions fairly well and being unable to choose any of them. That is the Achilles' heel of a school that prides itself on theological diversity. And TEDS confines itself to orthodox evangelicalism. Just imagine schools like Fuller (which I almost attended) or Yale which welcome a much broader range of perspectives!

Thanks to the counsel of two pastor friends (from two different churches), the reassurance of others that the disequilibrium I am experiencing is normal, and let's not forget the peace of the Spirit through prayer, I am slowly getting back to my spiritual feet. In this process of theological bewilderment (and the consequent spiritual numbness), I have emerged a very different person... a less idealistic and dogmatic one. I worry that it may make me less of a leader, but perhaps it may free me to be a better, truer leader—freed by the security of my insecurity, freed to not go about life as a coiled viper, maintaining my security by defending my positions against the "attacks" of others. Perhaps—indeed, I hope and pray—I will emerge, first and foremost, a minister, that is, a servant, of the Gospel and the Body of Christ.

One of the trials I am facing is the decision over what denomination (if any) to cooperate with in terms of ordained ministry. I have ruled out dogmatically Calvinist traditions, liberal "traditions" (though they haven't enough history to claim traditional status), Pentecostalism, and "Old Boys Networks", and am leaning away from (hold your breath) "Bible church" ecclesiology, and independent churches in general. At present, I am considering pursuing ordination in either the Evangelical Free Church or some association of conservative/orthodox Anglicanism in North America (see here, here, and a good list here). I welcome the input of any of you who have experience with either of these denominations as to their strengths and weaknesses, particularly those of you who know me well enough to know if either (and if so, which one) would be a good fit for me.

Thanks for your prayers and support.

In Christ,

Matt

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