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Hill Road Journal

Issue 38 (Dec 2016)

Contents: Christian Education
There are 6 thematic articles, 1 discussion article and 5 book reviews
No. of Pages: 166
Price: HK$100
Thematic Articles
Fook-kong Wong The Concept of Knowing in Wisdom and Gadamerian Perspectives Abstract
Nathan Ng Reformation of Education during the Reformation Abstract
LIM Teck Peng Nurturing of Christian Agency: Christian Education in the Midst of the Rise of Asian Civil Society Abstract
Andres Tang Teaching in the Church-Community from the Perspective of Sanctification Abstract
IP-SHEA Chi Fung The Teaching Office that Crosses the Divide: Priesthood of All Believers Abstract
Brian Lam Education as Hospitality: The Perspectives of Parker J. Palmer Abstract
Discussion Article(s)
Paulos HUANG A Theological Reflection on Martin Luther's Opinion of Marriage Abstract
  • The Concept of Knowing in Wisdom and Gadamerian Perspectives

    WONG Fook Kong

    This paper is divided into three sections. The first section deals with Gadamer's fusion of understanding, interpretation and application. Key concepts like “prejudice,” “fusion of horizon,” the role of language, and the role of translation are discussed. Gadamer's understanding of the role of application in the process of understanding/interpretation is also explained. The second section deals with biblical wisdom's understanding of understanding. Firstly it is pointed out that the meaning of wisdom in Hebrew is sufficiently broad that it covers many of the meanings implied in the Greek words techneepisteme, and Phronesis. Furthermore, the book of Proverbs is replete with Phronesis (practical wisdom). A fusion of reflective and practical wisdom is found in Job and Ecclesiastes. Job also offers an example of Plato's concept of kairos (ie, the correct use of knowledge at the proper time), howbeit negatively; the problem with Job's friends were not that they lacked knowledge but that they lacked practical wisdom to apply the correct knowledge to Job's situation. The third section borrows Joel Weinsheimer's explanation of application in Gadamerian thought to show how it is relevant to biblical interpretation. The central point is that careful deliberation is needed in the process of application because no two situations are alike, and we are not living in the world of the Bible. Thus, hermeneutics, like moral and legal deliberations, requires practical wisdom.

  • Reformation of Education during the Reformation

    Nathan K. N.G.

    The Reformation of the sixteenth century had many dimensions. In addition to doctrinal, ecclesiastical and moral, it also had huge educational impacts, both on medieval latin schools and universities. This article tries to re-explore historically the educational reformation of the reformers, especially that of Martin Luther in Wittenberg. By analyzing their educational ideals and innovatory plans, insights for modern Christian education are recommended.

  • Nurturing of Christian Agency: Christian Education in the Midst of the Rise of Asian Civil Society

    LIM Teck Peng

    The rise of civil society has witnessed not only the government becoming the target of advocacy by the activists but also the proliferation of rival views among the people. How does such social development impact the church and her responsibility in equipping the saints? How should the church re-orientate her teaching ministry so that she as a witnessing community for Christ can engage the “new normal”? What are the opportunities, challenges and threats facing Christian teachers in an emerging culture of advocacy? This paper does not seek to answer all these questions, what it intends to do is providing an orientation by first of all clarifying the relationship between Christian education and agency.

    Treating acts of advocacy as instantiations of agency, the present author seeks to first of all move beyond the false dichotomy between privatisation and politicisation of faith by explicating the reflexive dimension of agency through the works of the British sociologist Antony Giddens. Focusing on the reflexive knowledge embedded in human action, this paper seeks to remind the readers the significance of retrieving and examining Christian self- and contextual-knowledge behind any social action. As the rise of civil society brings forth a greater opportunity for social participation and advocacy, it is all the more pivotal that Christian agency is nurtured through an educational process that allows critical reflection, clarification and continuing growth of Christian self-understanding and contextual discernment. In this respect, the restrictive view of Christian agency as political advocacy is vulnerable to a false dichotomy between privatised and politicised faith; such reductionism also runs the risk of denying the educational need and possibility to reflect and reform one's self- and contextual-knowledge as both witness for Christ and citizen.

    Against a prevailing pragmatic and reductionist view of social action, the present paper argues for the need to construe Christian education as a reflective process that nurtures Christian agency. Piecing together Donald A. Schön's notion of “reflection-in-action,” John H. Yoder's concepts of “body politics” and “revolutionary subordination,” and the idea of the church as “a diacritical community” proposed by Robert E. Webber and Rodney R. Clapp, the agential dimension of Christian education is further elaborated.

  • Teaching in the Church-Community from the Perspective of Sanctification

    Andres S. TANG

    This paper aims to give Christian education a proper position in the church-community. According to the Christian faith, the church community is created and established in Christ through the Holy Spirit towards the eschaton. Therefore, it is a community of justified believers on the way of sanctification towards perfection. By taking Christ as telos and getting power from the Holy Spirit, the church-community is being shaped so as to be different from the secular society. Against this background Christian education is conducted under the normative guidance of sanctification, ie, of being holy. In this way, Christian education is not set by the agenda of the world but by the telos of Christ. Its function is, on the one hand, to resist the temptation of conforming to the world and, on the other hand, to form the holy identity and life style of the church-community that is different from the world. The paper ends with the suggestion that church worship, as the first place for the whole believers-community, is worth noting for the Christian education.

  • The Teaching Office that Crosses the Divide: Priesthood of All Believers

    IP-SHEA Chi Fung

    The notions of the abled and the disabled constitute a two-tier hierarchical structure that sets people apart as “normal” or “abnormal” according to their bodily conditions. However, this line of demarcation easily becomes a way of segregation—”we-versus -they". Recent theological reflections on disabilities, particularly those works that challenge the adequacy of disability right movement in overcoming such a deep seated segregation, suggest a return to the rich Christian traditions in order to discover new insights into the meaning of inclusion. This article attempts to extend this emergent approach of disability studies to the field of Christian Education. By revisiting the teaching office proposed by Martin Luther that is grounded on the doctrine of universal priesthood, the author intends to recover a radical form of inclusion for the social order of the Church.

  • Education as Hospitality: The Perspectives of Parker J. Palmer

    Brian KB LAM

    This article introduces Parker J. Palmer's views on education, using the concept of hospitality to help us understand his perspectives. We start with concrete examples of two college teachers who were deeply influenced by Palmer. One of them asked herself a life-changing question: "What would be different about your teaching if you thought of yourself as a host and of your students as guests?" Then we examine the discussion on hospitality by Henri Nouwen, since Palmer was indebted to Nouwen for this concept. Finally we summarize Palmer's view on knowing and teaching via the concept of hospitality.

  • A Theological Reflection on Martin Luther's Opinion of Marriage


    This article aims to reflect theologically upon Martin Luther's opinion of marriage. There are six parts, which are as follows: The theological essence of marriage, the sacredness of marriage, the aims and functions of marriage, the obstacles of marriage, the establishment and development of marriage, and love and marriage. Luther's opinion on marriage is significant for the contemporary society all over the world.