In One Paragraph, State Your Hopes and Concerns Regarding the Church and Its Mission.

This is an excerpt from my admissions application to Princeton Seminary:

Many Christians despair over the church’s loss of the “favored status” it once occupied in Western culture. Many seem to be engaged in a desperate attempt to turn back the clock. I am concerned that both approaches leave us in a reactionary position that risks the paralysis of our mission in the world. My hope is that we will embrace the opportunity to come to the table of world faiths and philosophies for the first time as equal partners with non-Christians, evangelizing and — to borrow a phrase from Pete Rollins — “seeking to be evangelized.” It is my hope that in this way, we may explore our own faith more deeply while encouraging others to do the same, secure in the belief that God will always be found where God is sought. Simultaneously, our search as Christians must acknowledge that God will also be found in the same places frequented by Christ: among the poor, the sick, and the marginalized, fighting for justice and renewal that is not merely individual or personal, but communal and even global in scope. Though our mission has not changed in the past two millenia, the prosperity and comfort of dominant voices in the church constantly threaten to distract us from it. I hope that, for the sake of its mission, the church can lay these two temporal treasures on the sacrificial altar long enough to engage with the world and its troubles, not in condemnation or condescension , but with the fierce and world-changing love of Christ.

I haven’t submitted it yet, so if you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to chime in. Hmmmm…that brings up an interesting ethical scenario — an open-source wiki-esque admissions essay?


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