Risky business

It is highly unlikely that the late Paul Holmer ever would have read a book about youth ministry. Holmer, who taught philosophical theology at the University of Minnesota and Yale Divinity School, was not particularly interested in practical ministry studies on their own terms. He taught courses on Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein. In a particularly popular course offered during the early 1980s at Yale, titled “Emotions, Passions and Feelings,” Holmer argued for the importance of passion in understanding Christian theology. Feelings and moods are fleeting, Holmer maintained, the product of circumstances and personalities. But a passion is forever. Religious life, Holmer taught, cannot simply concern feelings and moods, but instead takes shape out of a deep and enduring passion, even as theology itself brings shape to human passions.

 

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