Jerry Johnston Interviews Holly Ordway on Discipleship in the Church29 August 2016
The statistics regarding the non-religious and “dones” (de-conversions) continues to rise dramatically in North America. At some point, our focus must turn inward and address the efficacy of the effectiveness of contemporary churches and para-churches. Are we adequately catechizing believers? Is that part of our problem? Sadly, we have become “harmless as doves” without the counter-balance of being “wise as serpents” (Matt 10.16). I addressed this question to HBU Professor of English and Director of the Master of Arts in Apologetics, Dr. Holly Ordway. Once a “committed atheist”, Dr. Ordway became a Christian during her doctoral studies on J.R.R. Tolkein. She told me,
“Yeah, I think catechesis is one of the biggest issues and this cuts across different Christian traditions. It’s as much an issue for Protestants as for Catholics. We need better catechesis, we need better discipleship and we can’t just leave it to Sunday school for the kids because we need to really inform Christians. Now 50 years ago people in the churches could count on that base line religious literacy knowing what the Bible said, knowing what the doctrines were even if they didn’t apply them in their lives, we can’t count on that anymore. People honestly don’t know what does resurrection mean? What does the trinity even mean?”
With over 35 years of ministry experience, I know the joys and challenges of teaching. However, Cristie Jo and I want to accomplish more than pointing out flaws. We desire to participate in the renewal of sound teaching in the church. With this in mind, my prayer is that through our documentary and many other ensuing resources we are creating, we would partner with pastors passionate in their quest to effectively ‘make disciples’, who can change the world.