Rethinking Contemporary Church Graph dynamics, Trinity interpretation, and hidden role of women as missional networkers Section Special Report


Victor Christianto


The times they are a-changin’,” as Bob Dylan wrote his famous

song. We all agree with that remark, and it is so timely to speak how

the church today needs to be in a-changin’. The question, though, is

what kind of change the church is seeking to embrace? Is it in

Christology, or liturgy, or Ecclesiology. Perhaps many theologians

try to rethink their Christology positions, but few dare to admit there

are a number of pressing questions in Ecclesiology old thoughts, as

Jim Petersen wrote. The present article explores beyond mere daily

questions such as Strauch explored (1986), but we ask questions

related to persistent hierarchy which may be quite too rigid for

embracing many new technologies, such as graph network. We

extend further ideas that we discuss previously (Simon &

Christianto, 2020). More than that since several years ago, there

have been various discussions regarding how the post-Covid-19

situation will affect churches throughout the world. Although

several books have been published on how church leaders should

adapt to respond to these new circumstances, such reports seem

rather reactive rather than looking in depth at the current

ecclesiological challenges posed by Covid-19. Some churches have

explored potential implications of the liquid church model as

suggested by Prof. Pete Ward, inspired by sociologist Zygmunt

Bauman. In this short article, the author invites readers to learn from

small and simple churches, especially from a graph

dynamics/network theory perspective. Therefore, in this initial

report, let us discuss a graph interpretation of the God Trinity and its

implications for the church graph model. We continue our previous

article in the Amreta Journal, where we discussed a simple church

model inspired by the interpretation of the John Gospel chapter 1;

i.e. when Jesus called His first disciples to follow Him, cf. for

example the free church model considered by Miroslav Volf from

the Gospel of Matthew 17. Taking into account the earliest Christian

communities that have grown in the past, especially in the era of the

first centuries AD, as explained by Wim Dryer etc., let us put

forward a proposition: that many of the serious obstacles faced by

churches today can only be responded to properly by rethinking

shared testimony and experience among networks or relationships of

friends. In other words, rapid spreading of the Great Good News

from God could only be achieved by introducing a new type of

social analysis, called graph theory and network dynamics. We will

discuss some implications in particular for the often hidden role of

women in developing and propagating these ecclesiastical missional

networks. To conclude, it is this writer’s hope that such an in-depth

viewpoint will bring several insights into how to connect between

ecclesiological praxis of the early Christian churches and the 21st

century churches, especially in many regions of the world where the

body of Christ is under severe persecution.



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