Theology is Important

For all of my moaning about certain ways of doing theology or thinking of Christian identity in particular theologized ways, I have something even more important to say, and I hope it’s not lost amid the cries and protests.

Theology is important.

I do worry about certain ways of doing theology, and want to push for a reconeptualization of Christian theology away from systematic theology and confessional theology and creedal theology to something that more inherently embodies the narrative character of scripture, God, the church, and (I believe) the cosmos.

But to call for a new way of doing things is not the same as rejecting theological enterprise out of hand. I am a theologian. I am a theological reader of scripture.

And, in my better moments, I even realize that the theologizing done by the councils of the church was a faithful enactment of their own calling to say for their time and place what needed to be said then and there.

Moreover, I believe we should, as is so often advocated, learn from history so that we do not repeat its mistakes. It’s just that I happen to see in that history a series of mistakes by the “winners” that should be avoided rather than a series of heresies by the “losers” that are ever in danger of reproduction.

Both, of course, can be dangers, but given the thousands year history of judging salvation by statements of doctrine, I think that the pendulum swing to assessing salvation by faithful or unfaithful practice is a salutary one.

For this time. For this place.

But then, how will we know what we’re supposed to do? There’s a lot of theology that goes into that: faith in a theological narrative that says that the Suffering One is not a victim or a mistake, but the very means for God’s salvation of the world.

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