A very accurate and well written reflection on the headaches of CPE this summer by Alec Flynt: More than Clowning around?
It caused me to stop and wonder how Christocentric are our classes?
The litmus Alec uses is role of sin language, which is the role we both learned as young lifers; in order to understand the cross talk we must first understand our need (sin). Therefore, how much talk there is about “Sin” in our classrooms at seminary (the original kind not the symbtomatic and corporate kinds) will help illuminate why Christ was/is necessary.
While we are quick to point out the sin of the Imperialistic Expansion of the American Empire,
or the particular sins of Foley and those fools on Dateline NBC who keep showing up to those houses,
or whether or not hookah smoking is a sin,
or if the practice of homosexuality is fine by me or a sinful act.
or sometimes we talk about it as the absence of the postive: the lack of justice, the lack of hesid (See Jess, I was in chapel!)…
I do not really recall a discussion on Original Sin.
These dicussions on symbtomatic sins are easy to talk about because they involve the “other.”
The original kind, however, involves me, my family and even our fetus (is it still a fetus, in Lindsay?)*
and causes us to see our need for Christ. Total Depravity, though a real downer, is necessary in order to experience/understand God’s love on the cross.
Therefore, no wonder CPE experiences often lack a Christocentric approach, because we would rather not talk about why Christ must be the center of our lives and our healing, namely sin.
*digression: Something just hit me. For months, I have been praying that our child would come to know the love of God even now as God is intimately knitting him/her in Lindsay’s womb. But in order for our child to know the amazing love of God that requires that our child experience the painfulness of our fallen conidtion into original sin. See that is how big of downer it is, that my -5month old child is a sinner and he/she has not even breathed a bit of fresh air.