Kieran Scott‘s article “Alternating Currents: Sacramental and Prophetic Imagining and Church Education” in Religious Education, offers a hopeful framework for the local church to educate people in the emerging post-modern context. He argues that we must embrace two seemingly contradictory imaginations and hold them in constant tension, like alternating currents.
On the one side is the sacramental imagination that seeks the divine in all things. On the other is the prophetic imagination which sees the corruption in everything and seeks justice in the world. The sacramental left on its own reduces to sentimentality, and the prophetic left on its own spirals into negativity. Together, they provide a balanced hope for the future.
This article resonates with my experience as a teacher, preacher, pastor of spiritual formation and artist in the local church. The artistic side of me wants to find beauty in everything and ignore the pain. The preacher side of me wants to shout and wake people up to the injustice and apathy in the world.
I would be curious to take the argument of this article and bring it into conversation with personality styles. Some personalities lean toward the sacramental, others toward the prophetic. We need them both. We need them all.
This image also resonates with my thketch on paradox.
View my annotated copy of this article.