Since the seminary’s inception, Fuller Theological Seminary has been committed to integrating theological education with the mission of God expressed through the local church. On April 6–7, 2016, the conversation continued as Michael Gorman, biblical studies and theology professor at St. Mary’s Seminary & University, spoke for the School of Theology’s annual Payton Lectures.
Dr. Gorman spoke to faculty, students, and alumni on a missional reading of the Gospel of John and the “participatory missional spirituality” that the text encourages. “There is no spirituality without mission, and there is no mission without spirituality,” he said, as he synthesized theology, mission, and biblical studies. Keon-Sang An, assistant professor of Bible and mission for Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies, responded to the lectures with an international reading to the gospel of John, and Marianne Meye Thompson, the George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament, stressed the importance of grounding our discussions of spirituality in the language of Scripture.
With a topic that emphasized the communal nature of the mission of God, it was fitting that Dr. Gorman met with both faculty and students throughout his time here—including a dialogue held at Archives Bookshop. “Without a healthy community,” he said, “external mission endeavors are in a profound sense self-contradictory.” The Fuller community was honored to host Dr. Gorman and looks forward to the continued conversations his work has inspired.