We are gratified by Professor Gary Parrett’s kind riposte to our article “Faithful Gestures: Rebooting the Educational Mission of the Church” (CEJ, Spring 2006, 58–78). When the avowal “grateful” appears in the subtitle, one has certain expectations of pleasantness to ensue. That notwithstanding, what follows here—in the intended dialogical spirit of CEJ’s “Notes” and as a staple of civil yet pointed academic exchange between scholars—is our measured, sometimes feisty, rejoinder. In short, while we credit Parrett with due merit for his treatment of our work, and further, while we are appreciative of his thoughtful interaction with our premises and constructs, several of Parrett’s assertions and deductions need unequivocal redress.
The authors contend that two haunting conditions foster frailty within the North American church's efforts at educating its adherents--first, the curious gap in theological education segregating clergy and laity; and second, an American-style penchant slouching toward unchecked pragmatism. An analysis of the obstacles that spring from these conditions is offered. Finally, the authors articulate a distinctive educational philosophy of Christian education and propose four distinctive, although not new, theological "tent posts" to guide professors and church leaders in conceptualizing how God's people might be better educated in faith for the 21st century.