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As education everywhere continues to evolve, and more and more is done through various forms of online learning, it is important that we pause to ask whether, and to what extent, seminaries, theological colleges and Bible colleges should utilise leading-edge technology to provide distance education. While I am prepared to declare up front that I have some serious reservations, it would be far too clumsy and reactionary to simply polarise the conversation, or to suggest that nothing good for the Kingdom can be achieved through distance study. My hope then, is that this piece can serve as a proper conversation starter; not a final declaration, but the opening up of a discussion that I believe we need to have as we witness a significant growth in the number of options for distance theological education.
With the rise of the so-called 'New Atheism' over the last decade, there has been a parallel rise in the energy that Christians have spent on apologetics and interactions with those vocal unbelievers who would want to discredit our faith.
Do you ever walk through the House of Mirrors when you go to the Royal Show? It's the place that is meant to make you laugh as you see the fat, thin, short, tall, distorted version of you. But facing up to a 'distorted version of you' is something that most of are not really fond of at all.
A question that is nowadays commonly asked of people who are thinking about working in the church, or in another Christian ministry, is whether they are cut more like a prophet, a priest or a king. The point of exploring this question is to identify what kind of ministry the person is most suited to. In this thinking - which doesn't strictly follow the biblical models for these roles - the three types are described and suggestively deployed as follows.