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Ming Hua’s view on Theological Education

Publish Date: 03-Jul-2019

For the last three weeks, Echo published the interviews conducted by postulants with three bishops of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui. This week, which is the Theological Education Sunday, the article series wrapped up with an interview with Ming Hua’s principal Professor Gareth Jones, course director Revd Odette Poon, and senior lecturer Dr Matthew Jones.

One of the questions was “What is the most important thing in developing theological education in Hong Kong”.

Matthew Jones answered, “In Hong Kong, many people thought that theological education could only be organized by universities with academic professors. They also thought that theology is complex and abstract, but these are all misunderstandings. Theology is about how human beings understand God talking and thinking. Everyone could develop his or her own theology in any space, be it at the beach, the park, or at the library at Ming Hua. When people start talking about the important things in life, or where God is, they are already starting to develop their own theology. Theological education is to inspire people to think and talk about God in their daily lives.”

Ming Hua combines basic knowledge, theory, and practical training to help students connect what they have learned with their daily lives so that they may understand that theology is not an accessory but the core of faith. We are developing our own theology when we think about biblical topics, read the bible, and in worship. We can do this also in daily life. Developing a critical perspective is also important because we have to discern what we should be aware of. Theology helps people see the cause and effects of actions, their faith in God, and put their faith into practice in their daily lives.

Some people believe that theology is dangerous because it makes believers think or talk too much. In this case, we need to review our own theology, for example, where did our reading materials come from, and what study materials do we use? The bible, tradition, rationality, culture, and contextualization are all essential elements, they make theology highly engaging. God is the centre of theology and humans could never completely understand God. Therefore studying theology is an endlessly enriching experience where people could always discover something new, especially when students and teachers exchange their different views. All these help us further discover the breadth and depth of God. In Hong Kong a city with a diverse culture, we can better understand this and discover the creativity and imagination that theology gives people. The best way to study theology is at Ming Hua, once students started their courses, they would understand how interesting it is.


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