Working Our Theology

I have always had a desire to learn theology (since I was 10 years old!– yeah, I’m weird). I love to read about it, discuss it, and figure out how to use it in daily life. However, I have found over the years that many in ministry and in the church have no interest in theology outside of esoteric debates. They debate the intricacies of atonement or the relationship of the Trinity but have no real grasp on what this might mean in daily life. Sometimes they can create a little thought, but rarely is it a robust, meaningful theological foundation or framework.

This is probably why so many are turned off from theology. However, people theologize all day long about daily life and do not often realize they are. Recently, a friend was talking about praying before one of our kids programs. This friend noted how that day was really tough working with the kids. My friend then said, “think about how much harder it would have been if we had not prayed– think of what the kids might have done!” This friend had just made a theological statement (I probably would have made a different statement). However, if my friend would really consider the statement and begin pushing it up against the abstract theology learned over the years, then my friend might think that such a statement and outlook on life was off the mark (or perhaps I’m wrong and my friend would come to the same conclusion). Either way, my friend would be connecting the book knowledge of theology to the everyday statements people make about God and life.

I just picked up The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics by Hauerwas and Wells– FANTASTIC! A great example of a group of scholars understanding how theology is a matrix or framework for understanding life. I am excited to read the chapter on Baptism and Abortion, and also the chapter on Eucharist and Sexuality– this is putting theology to work!

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