Susan M. Felch - "Teaching and Christian Imagination"
6:18AM Jun 29, 2020
Jonathan J. Armstrong
Susan M. Felch
Today we're delighted to be speaking with Dr. Susan Felch. Dr. Susan M. Felch is director of the Calvin center for Christian scholarship and professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the editor of the Cambridge companion to literature and religion. And with David Smith, co-author of the text that we'll be discussing today, Teaching and Christian Imagination, available from Bergman's 2016. Dr. Phillips, thank you for joining us today.
Thank you for inviting me.
I felt in the first section of your book, you compare the discipline of teaching to a journey or a pilgrimage. How did you uncover this analogy?
I would say that it found us rather easily. Probably one of the most common metaphors of the Christian life is a journey or a pilgrimage. And so as we're thinking about Christian education, particularly Christian higher education, what we wanted to do in this book was to go back to these deep, rich, common metaphors in Scripture. And that have also been used in the Christian tradition for centuries, and see what kind of wisdom they would give us for 21st century education. So a lot of Christian education, David and I have both been in Christian higher ed for a number of years, and many wonderful things have happened. But we often taught quite abstractly or philosophically about Christian higher education, and particularly in our tradition, our reformed tradition, and we really wanted to go back and sort of dig around the roots of biblical metaphors and metaphors that have been used in education for a long time. And I think part of the issue with Christian higher education is that we kind of think it The us that it started about 1960. And a really important way, so the Christian colleges and universities becoming more mainstream trying to really have scholarship that was being recognized. And we forget that there's 2000 years of Christian education, and beyond before that, another couple of thousand years of Jewish education. And so we wanted to go back and really dig around those roots. And so you can't do that without starting with journey and pilgrimage. Because everywhere you look in Scripture, we're told that God is directing our feed that he's a lion to our feed that we are to follow the straight, narrow path. I mean, on and on, it goes right. And Christians throughout the centuries, have thought about ways in which they are following God as pilgrimage. So why would that also be the case with education? So I would say that that metaphor found us
Dr. Phil The analogy of a pilgrimage or a journey is a very alluring one captures captures our souls in a way, was there a moment in which you discovered this analogy for your own teaching purposes at Calvin College?
Oh, that's an interesting question. I wouldn't say that there was a moment. But I would say that instead, I've become increasingly aware of how I need to structure my classes dynamically, that that sometimes when you ask professors, what do you teach? They'll say, English biology, history, but some wag will always say, Oh, I teach students. And I think that that's a false dichotomy. We teach students something. So I teach students English and so content development scholarships, very important, but so are the students in front of me. And what I discovered that I was doing when I first started teaching is that I would create a syllabus, and then three weeks into the course I would change it and have to issue a new one slightly revised. And then two weeks into the course I'd have to do another one. Why not? Because I didn't know the subject area. But because this particular set of students needed to travel this road in a different way, they needed more time in certain places. I felt like oh, we're really getting into something here. I want to take them a little deeper. So I will I'll substitute something. So what so I was so delighted when actually technology came on the scene and we could have Moodle or Blackboard, we could have a we could have an online forum for our class where I could post assignments. So what I do now is I post I give students a very schematic syllabus at the beginning of the semester. I never change due dates for papers and exams, but I post the assignments week by week, online and That allows me basically to craft a journey for this particular class. Now I have assigned the textbooks, I have a big basket full of material that I would like to use. But I select from that basket for this particular set of students. It's more work for me, but I think it's a better class for them. Because I'm really thinking about teaching students, this particular topic, whatever it is, and so I see that very much as a journey metaphor. And I don't know that I came to it all at once. But gradually, I came to see that this was a better, I think, a better way of teaching. And, frankly, it's not possible without the internet. So I'm not. I'm not a technophile. I'm not a technophobe. I am a techno practical person practical, I guess maybe. I do think that there are ways in which we can see the tools that are around us and always be asking the question, how can these students be better formed as young adults as Christians, if they are Christians, or as moving towards Christ, if they are not Christians yet
you speak in your book of the what is required to sustain a journey, what sustains your journey as a Christian educator?
Well, I think for for all of us who are Christians, right, what sustains us is being in Christ. I mean, that wonderful, resonant Pauline phrase, right? What does it mean to be in Christ to be baptized into Christ to be part of his body to be sustained in Christ. But we take very seriously that rich old notion of calling of vocation. And I do think that one of the important things about vocation is that there is a caller. So again, it's sort of coming back to God as the agent goddess, the caller. So I had I fortunate in having known from a very early age, so I love to teach. I'm one of these kids who at age three would line up my teddy bears and dolls and, and get out my mother's teaching materials and teach my bears and dolls. So I've been teaching for just about as long as I have conscious memory. So I love that aha moment that happens, maybe not with teddy bears, but does happen with students most of the time, and much of the time. I love the aha moments for myself what I learned from them, I'm always learning from students. And so that's sustaining as well. So the calling deep sense that these are gifts that God has given me that I, I love to teach that it sustains me It gives me energy. I've often said to my students, especially those who are thinking about teaching or say, you know, I can have a headache and be dead tired when I walk into the classroom and 10 minutes later, I feel better. That's how you know that teaching gives you energy, it gives me energy to go into the classroom, so does that give you a Energy, then maybe you should be a teacher. If it doesn't give you energy then do something else because students don't need someone who doesn't really want to teach in front of them. But it's also my colleagues. I mean, a wonderful thing about this book is that David and I wrote it, but we did it in conjunction with a group of scholars. So there were six of us here at Calvin, we're all teachers. We met for several years, a couple of times a semester just to talk ritually about education. And that's very sustaining to know that this is a cooperative, ongoing, collegial enterprise. So being sustained in Christ being sustained by my students being sustained by my colleagues.
And someone in that circle of six scholars at Calvin College must have suggested that teaching is like a garden was that you
know, that is actually David Smith has been developing this image for ever. It is really, I mean, many of us Have you have used this idea to give some very rich, very common, you know, often used image. And so, but it's particularly David's favorite. And so we let him sort of carry that because he loves it so much. And we've learned a lot from him as well. And one of the things that I would say about the garden metaphor of all these metaphors is that there are ways in which they are just used generally in education, not necessarily Christian education. And we wanted to also in each case, uncover some of the cliches and maybe try to dispense with them. So gardening presents. Well, children are little plants and they're tender and but there's so much more richness about the garden metaphor in Scripture that how is it that God tins us as a garden, what happens when God's people are in the wilderness? So what does it mean when you're teaching in a very what seems to be a very barren place? How do cities become Come gardens, how do you not make that contrast? How do you not become just romantic? How do you not become distressed? So it about a garden? What about weeding? You know, there are bad plants as well as good plants. So we tried to think about it the same sort of thing with journey and pilgrimage, we recognize that throughout the history of the church, pilgrimages could be very spiritually rewarding, but they could also be commercialized, they could be deadening. They could be exploitive, not unlike some aspects of higher education today. So one of the reasons why we have a number of metaphors as well, and we could have done more than the three that we have in the book we talked about lots more than that, is that we really don't believe there is a master metaphor for teaching. And so each image uncover certain things that are helpful as we think about education, but it also Then obscures other parts. So the journey sort of keeps you thinking about moving and traveling forming maybe what I was the example I gave of changing my Yeah, my syllabus to meet the needs of a particular set of students gardening, sort of your thinking about cultivating right going down the sort of roots, what does that involve more stability. They take you in somewhat different directions, complimentary, but also just different.
And when you were speaking of the metaphor of education as a journey, I was intrigued the way that you were speaking of how Moodle or Blackboard could help you facilitate the openness and the spontaneity of a journey in your classroom. And as you speak of the the garden image that you as an educator are attending this this garden that's been entrusted to you. What are the ways that technology or some other tools that are available to the modern person may have help you achieve those goals implicit in the image of gardening?
Well, I think for one thing that gardening, one of the joys of gardening is both to know sort of what are native plants that you want to cultivate? But also sort of exotic plants, right? This isn't something we actually do in the book. But I think it's sort of fun to think about, and the way that technology allows you to actually experience the world and allow students to experience it globally. Now, there's always issues here, right? There's this sort of mediation of the screen and are you then manipulating Are you not actually having a face to face encounter? So this next semester, I'll be taking a group of students and we'll be living in England for the whole semester. And that will be a very different experience than they're mediating on screen. They're already excited about going they've looked at YouTubes. They've done all kinds of mediated encounters with England, it will be entirely different. For them to actually be there. And so in one sense, they can kind of look at the garden of England. And they can learn some things from that and they can anticipate, but they're actually going to have to get their hands dirty, so to speak. In England, they're going to have to actually meet English students are going to have to figure out pounds and how to cook with different ingredients, and just all the things that go into living in another place. So again, I think that there are that we always need to think about what are advantages and benefits but not to substitute. I think one of the, one of our big tendencies as Americans is to think that things are identical, we can substitute one thing for another. And we really can't. You can't substitute listening to a sermon online for actually being in a living congregation of people. It's not the same You can't substitute texting, per actually sitting face to face. It's not that one is bad and one is good, but they don't substitute for one another. And I think that part of the sort of multiple metaphors is also to remind us to sort of think deeply about our particular metaphor or a particular technology takes us at to recognize it can do certain things, and not other things. But it can never substitute for what it isn't.
Dr. Philips, thank you for that reflection. In the third section of your text, teaching interest and imagination you like in the classroom to a cathedral? In what ways should our classrooms reflect a cathedral?
Okay, I'm going to give you now what my students know as a felt answer. That is you ask a very simple question, and I'm going to back up and give some context before I actually I hope get to answering that question. So also, in the book, we had got a video Very interesting encounter one afternoon, when we were talking about images, we started looking at the actual pictures that are in our Calvin website on our Calvin website or in our Calvin catalog about how we describe our core curriculum. And we have a picture of it in the book. And it looks sort of like a nuclear core, it's just a very deadening. It's shows you what you need to know, it shows you that there are certain core classes in the middle and majors around the edge. But there is nothing creative or exciting about this picture. And we had been looking previously at medieval pictures like the picture that you showed on the on the cover of the book, medieval pictures about Christian education which are full of gardens and liveliness and buildings and people and Cathedral like Windows. And, and we had been just sort of energized By thinking about, oh, you know, education is people and, and a kind of a sacred aura and a cathedral window or a garden. And then we looked at our picture and said, Who would want to come to a nuclear war? And we said, I think we really do a better job than our picture is. But one of the things that that really struck us was the way that we don't perhaps imagine a sacred space or a sense of tell us a sense of sacredness, a sense of people's activity, a sense of majesty, a sense of glory, about education. It has a very often a very utilitarian feel to it. And we started actually to track pictures, those utilitarian pictures of education began maybe late 18th century but certainly into the 19th century, you get more and more utilitarian pictures of education rather than the sort of more imaginative people like and so one of the pictures that had really captured our imagination is one that has the seven liberal arts and they, they really look they're they're in a circle and so they it really looks like a cathedral window and that God is thinking then, about how we would help students imagine their educational experience as part of a sort of sacred space of the, of the, of the aura of God being there of the majesty of God. So, sure, we might have a prayer at the beginning of class, we want to need Christian ideas into our classes. But do students really have? Do they ever sort of sit back and go ha, you know, I'm on this again on a journey or I'm in a cathedral. I'm in the presence of God, I am. I'm offering myself to God in this class and what are even practices that we can do in our classes. So we thought about that ways of just at the beginning. A classic, a couple of my colleagues will just say, Are you ready for class and stocking pops? No. Are you really ready? If you just sort of see students, sort of shedding whatever they are, and, and sitting there, some of us use, I always use written prayers, because and I have them for my students, and we read them. Sometimes together. Sometimes I read them, because I want a more sort of formal sense. And I also because I've noticed, I say, you know, we come to God, and he's King, he's majestic. It requires our best words. Not our Hey, always are hasty, spontaneous, not the spontaneous prayers are bad, and they don't substitute for one another. But it's something different. And I've had students say, Oh, that's the prayer that I now have up on my above my desk. All students do, but a little bringing a little bit of liturgy, a little bit of
a sense of this bigger task. This isn't just something ordinary that we're doing. It's not just for a job. This is again part of their vocation as a student in this bigger context. So I think one of the things we were trying to think about what the cathedral image was just the majesty of being in God's presence, and that wherever we are, we are in God's presence. So there's a kind of majesty to that, which we often don't see. And how could we, in our classrooms help students to have some sense of that, and I just see, and then probably the second part would be a sense of talents, a sense of moving because in a cathedral, you move from the west door towards the east window closer and closer to the altar. So also trying to give students this kind of sense of, there's a pilgrimage a bit again, right even in a building. So these these images can be began to merge a bit. But this sense of loss of direction that it's not just one more assignment one more assignment one more assignment, do they have a sense of the overall structure of a class, how it's really meant to form them as people where they're meant to go not just to be able to pass an exam, not just to have content, but also to have enrich their souls in some way. And there'll be other things too, I mean, Sabbath comes into this. So some of the liturgical movements of of how to lament, how to repent, how to have Sabbath. And again, I these are things that I've really tried to work into a lot of my classes in very specific ways in terms of actual practices that I have students do that are related to our classwork.
Dr. Phelps, if you'd be willing to peer into the future with me for a moment and imagine a time when virtually Reality does allow educators to teach in whatever space they wish, what would be the ideal classroom? If money were no object? And you could create anything for a classroom? What would the learning the ideal learning space look like?
Oh, you know, I it's kind of sound like I'm I'm ignoring this question, but I'm really not the ideal learning space would be the ideal learning space for this particular class for this particular set of students. I just, I don't think that there's one size fits all. So, you know, for a literature class. I think that that one of the things that that's wonderful is not only to read, but then to be able to see something into the context of the person who was writing. So to be able to use virtual reality to not only say read a Dickens novel, but to walk through it. The Victorian Street and and, and to smell it even right to have that sort of sensory experience, which is something that that actually happens with movies. I mean, I think movies are, I think movies are a form of literature. And so there are there are things that you can sort of capture and experience in that way. But then you also want that image that you don't want to always be populating students imagination with other people's images. So I think I think something else that would be great is to and is happening more and more for students. Again, I think he has a literature teacher now right? students to read and to imagine and but then to be able to perhaps image those imaginations for other students. So I could imagine not putting them in some commercially created space, but uh, but how we might use how we do already use technology to let them share with each other, the images that they have, and then think about how different That is so 5678 different people write the same same book. And let's look at the maybe abstract or the the the 92nd montage that they came up with. As a result of reading this book and how different that is, I often find especially with mine, not literature majors, my core students, I love teaching general ed students literature, I really do. And I often give them the option of doing something visual in response to something that we've read. And that you know, that's wonderful they they come up with all kinds of things and then they talk about why this image to what they've read and they've done a lot of interpretation there and to be able to share that in an even richer way. So I don't know if that's quite what you're thinking, but I I really resistant to ideal or one size fits all I I am quite resistant to utopian thinking generally And certainly with regards to education because I think it often it becomes so coercive so quickly, my good idea, then you have to have this good idea to because now I figured it out. Again, one of the reasons why with this book, we're hoping we know we don't have three images. We wanted to talk about sort of their richness. We didn't want to have a recipe. We didn't want to have recipes. Some people find that a little frustrating, like, just tell me what to do. No, no, no, no, no, we want you. We want you we just want to create some things for you to imagine with this group of students for yourself what you might do.
I very much appreciate that reflection. Thank you. Dr. Phil. Some say that Christian higher education is is in a period of rapid transition, perhaps even crisis and I speak as one who also teaches at a Christian higher education, an institution of Christian higher education. What can we anticipate the changes might be in Christian higher education in the future
Oh, don't we wish we knew.
One thing to say is that education is always in crisis. You can go I do a lot of my academic work in the 16th century. And teachers in the 16th century complain that students are not as prepared as they used to be. This is a perpetual complaint of teachers.
There's worries about
student behavior, there's worries about whether universities are going to survive. So in many ways, education is always in crisis, because education is about people and people are reflecting the instability of society around them. And really, when you look back at history, there are only kind of tiny pockets of history where society isn't unstable. So I think that that one of the things we need to do in higher education is just to realize that we're part we part of a larger culture, we're reflecting the kinds of instability And uncertainties that are part of our culture. But given that, I mean, there, there does seem to be a certain rapid pace of change. And I think that not just higher Christian higher education, but the whole residential at the expense of residential colleges, which is what Christian higher education is largely based on either that or online, but to do good online education is also very expensive. So the expensiveness of higher education is, I think, a real and growing concern. And I, a number of us have thought about some interesting I don't know if any of this will ever happen. But as somebody who's in the reformed tradition, I'm a big fan of the of the church. I think that that the church is the way that God has ordained his people to live together. And I think it would be really interesting if a group of regional churches I'm Presbyterian, so we have regional churches, but if a group of regional churches not necessarily in the same denomination decided they really want to take seriously educating their own young people. If they wanted them to have a experience of living away from their parents, why not swap kids? You know, I'll take your two college age kids, you take my two college age kids and they can kind of learn to live outside the family unit. But that would be less expensive. And then the college professors traveled to the region, and maybe did module type like two week classes or three classes. So I teach regularly in an off campus program in New Zealand a creation care program. And that whole program is structured with the students living in community and the the professor's parachuting in so I go down for a week or two weeks and teach an intensive like five hours a day class for five days and so the students are getting their class from a professor, but they're also living in tents. And in community and particularly thinking about creation care issues about living simply they learn how to garden, they learn how to cook. And it's I think it's a terrific program. And it's, um, it's, you know, it's a special model of going to New Zealand, that's expensive, but why not do models like that more locally? So I think that that's an interesting way. Some of us here. Again, I don't know if it would ever happen institutionally, but I've been thinking about Christian higher education needing to really get back into the junior college business into the community college, either by offering sort of courses alongside or actually by having less expensive non residential first two years, providing that as as Christian education, but I do think that partnering with the churches is one of the things that I've always sort of had on my mind for a long time. I He really loved to have an experiment to partner with some regional churches to try to do because also then having a lot of what makes our residential colleges expensive is all the student life and the gymnasiums and the medical. So you know, all of the kinds of things that we do to basically provide a city for our students, if we let the city provide without the parents supply that if we let if we had the if we had instead of having chaplains within our chaplains do a great job. We have wonderful Student Life professionals, but it is expensive. So why not have the church staff be the mentors? Why not have students I myself was homeschooled. And so I think that having older students teach younger students is just a great way that's probably partly why I'm a teacher, right? is a great way to learn. And so I do think that there are some of these kind of flexible models that are still very professional. I'm not getting rid of sort of the professors. I'm not getting rid of
it I just say, well, you can just learn everything off the internet, which I don't think is true. I'm not opposed to online. But again, I don't think it's substitutes for the kind of formation of people that we might like to see, I think it can. I think you can use them cooperatively on some online work cooperatively. And like I say already, most of our classes are hybrid in some ways, the way that I use Moodle, Blackboard internet, for changing my assignments. Also, I have students post pretty much everything that they write, they post for our class online so that everybody can read it. So people respond to it. And I actually find that that causes the level of writing to go up in the class, because as students read each other's writing, really the better writers, everybody wants to kind of be like that. And I can just see the level of writing rising when I have them. Post everything online for each other to read, even if they don't read everyone's, um, there is something about that writing for actual people that makes them more responsible for their own writing. So those are just some of the things that I'm thinking about I do you think we have to get a handle on costs, and we have to think about ways and now, what students are doing right now. They're just piecing this together themselves. They're taking the cheapest online courses they can find, which is not necessarily a great idea, so that they can transform and so they can graduate a semester early so that they don't have to pay that semester tuition. So there are real issues, I think many of them around cost. And I do think that Christian higher education needs to be sensible about this. And, and try to be flexible to try some other experiments. With what how we want the goal isn't to have students 18 to 20 Two years old in a particular place in college, the point is to help them grow up to be sturdy, Christian adults, that's the point. And to be in the professions and to be well educated so they can take their place in the world. That's what we want, how we get there doesn't necessarily require the models we've used in the past.
Dr. Phil's thank you for speaking to that. If I can close with a question that I've been asking all of the people that we've interviewed on this program, and that is this, what would it mean today for the church to be united? How would we recognize this unity and what is it that Christians can do to pursue Christian unity?
I'd like to start the answer to that question with where I began. It's all about being in Christ. Our unity is not in our worship being necessarily worshiping in the same way or worshiping even together Our unity comes from the fact that as Christians, we are in Christ. And so I think that recognizing that deep fact allows us then to, to recognize when we meet someone else who is in Christ, however, that person may be different from us. So I think it's important to keep that focus so that we don't get too hung up on sort of external forms of unity. Sort of the old acumen this city often wanted lots of people together and all agreeing to the same things and signing papers and praying together and, and that tend tended to sort of go to a lowest common denominator and make nobody really very happy. And I think the newer sense of ecumenism, it is a is a deep recognition that When Revelation talks about every tribe, people tongue and nation coming together and having there's still every tribe, people tongue, a nation, that there's a diversity that God loves and Gods create, I mean, just look around this beautiful world. You know, one of the things that that motivates me is as a scholar and as a teacher is just such an amazing world. such an amazing how many beetles are there in the world. I'm not even an entomologist. I mean, how many, how many wonderful stories that I'm not going to have time to read. God loves stuff. He loves things, he loves diversity. And so any kind of a flattening of that is not I think, unity the way God would see it. So that the unity is not in how we look externally or how we agree even with one another. The the unity is that we live in God's world, whether we recognize it or not, and that is Christians that we are in Christ and being drawn to Christ. So how does that sort of work out practically? Well, I I'm a big fan of looking for ways to be allies, with other Christians. So so what are specific practical tasks in the world particular ways of being in our community, particular ways? for educators, teaching students, we're where we can come together and learn from one another or agree Oh, yeah, this is, this is a goal. This is something that we can agree on together, not just as educators but as Christian educators, and work together towards that. I think, though, that worship communities are diverse, they they are very much influenced by by culture, they're very much influenced. I mean, you can't just sing a generic style, you sing a particular kind of music, you have a particular kind of preaching. We go to a church that is deliberately intercultural multicultural, but that's really hard. What does that mean because we, there's no such thing as intercultural music, you're singing black music, or you're singing Spanish music or you're singing white music or you're singing urban pop music. It's something that some people feel comfortable with. And some people don't. And we kind of have a mix in our church because we have a mix of people, right? But you can't be non cultural. And that I think often kind of gets in our way we somehow another thing that unity means that we're going to be flattened out or homogeneous, or we're all going to be happy with what's happening. I think that that's wrong. I think that's the way God's made the world. And so I think instead, we look for these strategic ways to join forces for specific projects. And that also we refrain from criticizing where we don't have to.
Sometimes we think that you know, sort of everything has to be a battle. No, it doesn't. I'm particularly with other Christians. Wherever We can to support what other Christians are doing. Even if we say, well, that's not the way I would do it. But I see that this person is doing this as trying to be a faithful disciple and sort of calling out naming the way that other people are being faithful disciples, even if it's not the way that I would be a faithful disciple. And I might even feel like, oh, there's some problems here. So talk to people individually, but name those things that are being faithful that are showing the nature of Christ in the world. I, I have the great privilege of being a mentor for the Lilly graduate Fellows Program. And this is a program that brings together graduate students who've graduated from Christian colleges, universities, but there are there are young people in this group. So we have 10. Right now they're in PhD programs all across the US and Canada. But they come From Roman Catholic backgrounds, from various Protestant backgrounds, from orthodox backgrounds, and together for three years we do actually this is a great idea about higher education too, because we meet together during the summer face to face so that we do online seminars during the school year. But, you know, we we come from a lot of different backgrounds. And what we're encouraging these these young people to do in their PhD programs is to deepen their own Christian faith in their own traditions, not to change traditions. But we come together every two weeks to read together often. We read classics that we've read a guest in his confessions together, we've read all of the Divine Comedy together, we've had Brothers Karamazov together. And so some of these great classics of the Christian faith from different tradition, and just talk about what kind of wisdom these bring to us as these are new. These are the new professor of the next age. Right and the next generation So I've had some real experience in this in this kind of ecumenism City, where we're actually trying to help these students not change their ecclesiastical tradition, but to deepen their own understanding and to grow more deeply into their own ecclesiastical tradition, but also be able to speak well with work well with the friends with those who are faithful disciples from other traditions and I, so how would we how would we see unity? Well, I I see it every two weeks on the screen when I'm talking with my lovely graduate fellows, and I see them growing in love for one another and understanding they'll say, Well, you know, in my tradition, or why do you do it that way? And when when we're together, then in the summer, we always in this particular group, we have Catholics and Protestants so we always go together to mass that the Protestants we, we go up we don't take mass because it's I mean, some priests will do it, but it's really not allowed. But you can go out for a blessing, you just cross your hands over your, your chest, and it's a way of participating, but saying, No, we really do have a very different view understanding of the Lord's Supper. And we all go to a Protestant service together. And that's just one of the things that we do as well as praying together. But that we actually, but we don't shy away from the fact that we have different ecclesiastical traditions or that God has ordained us to be in his church. And yes, that church is maybe divided, but there's also a way of thinking of it as being diverse and multiplying in ways that are fallen, yes, but also in ways that really show our unity in Christ. So that's my best. My best answer to that one.
It has been such a delight today to be speaking with Dr. Susan belch, director of the Calvin center, but scholarship and also author protects that we've been discussing teaching and Christian imagination to authors David Smith. Dr. falchi, thank you so much for being with us.
Thank you very much for inviting me.