February 7, 2013 by Matthew Mason
Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology have just published an article of mine that originated as a paper for the SAET summer symposium in 2011. It’s an exploration of how Kevin Vanhoozer’s Drama of Doctrine helps us think about the importance of catechesis in the local church. SBET have graciously allowed me to post a pdf offprint of the article . It’s called Back to (Theo-drama) School: The Place of Catechesis in the Local Church, and is published in this issue of the journal.
The article doesn’t have an abstract, but if it did, this is roughly what it would say:
In contrast to earlier eras in Christian history, most notably the patristic period and the Reformation, the contemporary church suffers from a lack of serious catechesis. This article builds on Kevin Vanhoozer’s Drama of Doctrine to argue for the necessity of a recovery of catechesis if the church is to foster faithful discipleship. It argues that Vanhoozer’s theo-dramatic approach to doctrine could valuably shape the practice of catechesis, which should be regarded as training for the church’s fitting improvisatory participation in God’s drama of redemption. After considering the contemporary catechetical malaise, this article outlines a theo-dramatic catechesis that focuses on studying the script(ures) with wise performance as its goal. Throughout, it draws not only on The Drama of Doctrine, but also on the catechetical wisdom of previous generations of Christians, most notably Augustine and Zacharius Ursinus before concluding with a call for pastors to return to viewing themselves not only as preachers and leaders, but also as catechists.