Monday, September 03, 2007
Theology meme: the commitments of theology
I found this little game on Holy Vignettes (with the lovely motto: "I have faced my demons and now they clean my room"). You may see HV's answers here.
Finish these sentences. (And explain why you say what you do, if you like giving explanations!)
Theology exists to ________________.
If someone reads my theological writing and only remembers one thing afterwards, I want it to be ___________________.
No matter what topic we're dealing with, theologians must take into account ___________, because we ignore it at our peril.
Everybody finished? OK, pencils down.
Here's what I wrote (off the top of my head).
Theology exists to articulate our experience of the Divine.
If someone reads my theological writing and only remembers one thing afterwards, I want it to be that you and all creation are cherished by God.
No matter what topic we're dealing with, theologians must take into account the Holy Spirit, Whom we ignore at our peril.
I am not going into extended explanation here. For me our experience of God has priority and is primary theology. Our response, including worship and service, is secondary theology. Trying to understand these and articulate this understanding is tertiary and what we commonly call theology.
In Hindu terminology (ooh, he's getting heterodox now) I would be a bhakti yogi, following the path of devotion. My theology is a mystical theology of the heart, so it is no surprise that I emphasize the love of God.
Finally, when I first read about the centrality of the Holy Spirit in Eastern Orthodox thought and piety--way back in Baptist seminary days--I was instantly moved to say, Of course! I have been ruthlessly and delightedly pneumatological in my theology ever since. I quite agree with the Orthodox critique of Western Christianity for its minimizing of the Holy Spirit, though I do not fall within the charismatic camp. --the BB