Love God, Love Neighbor

20150108_110532This evening marked the first presentation of Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.05.37 PMthe Oikonomia Network gathering sponsored by the Faith, Work and Economics initiative at the Kern Family Foundation. The 20150108_171515Oikonomia Network represents a group of scholars and educators engaged in seminary education around the United States, all working on projects to prepare seminarians to take seriously the place of work and economics 20150108_190147as part of their ministry. Greg Forster, the Program Director of the Faith, Work and Economics initiative at the Kern Family 20150108_190107Foundation, shepherds this network. Forster opened the gathering this evening reminding scholars that in our world where there’s never any shortage of greed, 20150108_190442materialism, sloth, pride, envy.

Yet seminaries remain called to educate pastors:

  • just to teach God’s people that God is with them in their work
  • to make disciples who do fruitful work that blesses our communities;
  • 20150108_190305to make disciples who can point our communities to hope and economic wisdom in the midst of so much despair and unwisdom;
  • 20150108_190241 above all, to love our communities.

As redeemed people in Christ, we live for the love of God and neighbor, not for ourselves.

Forster reminded this sixty plus gathering of educators and scholars of Dallas Willard’s presentation two years ago, where Willard admonished love for neighbor and the 20150108_190645fruit of the Spirit require us not only to do good work, but to develop wisdom about economic systems and practices. Forster reminded us this fundamental commitment to love God and neighbor… no matter what it costs us. And the 20150108_190105understanding, which Dallas articulated, that human flourishing means being in right relationship with God and neighbor rather than satisfying our natural desires. These values remain at the very heart of everything we do in the Oikonomia Network.

Good words as we begin this retreat.

About Dean G. Blevins

Dr. Dean G. Blevins currently serves as Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Discipleship at Nazarene Theological Seminary. An ordained elder, Dean has ministered in diverse settings and currently also serves at the USA Regional Education Coordinator for the Church of the Nazarene. A prolific author, Dr. Blevins recently co-wrote the textbook Discovering Discipleship and edits Didache: Faithful Teaching, a journal for Wesleyan Education.
This entry was posted in Clergy, Economics, Leadership, Pedagogy, Practical Theology, Theology, Vocation. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Love God, Love Neighbor

  1. Pingback: Imagery to Address Change and Rekindle Passion | Discipleship Commons

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