Theology is literally a ‘word’ (logos) about ‘God’ (Theos).
Some scattered bits of experience, mine and others, over the last few weeks have reminded me that various positions, discussions, debates and statements that would be labelled ‘theological’ can be unhelpful. Yes, truth will divide at times, and so it should, but too often theological battles can separate what God has joined together. They can wrongfully offend, make too much of small things, speak too little of grand things, and so on.
Of course the opposite is also true. Theology done well does just what it was meant to do, enable and equip the people of God to be who they were intended to be in God’s world, through acts of selfless solidarity, breathtaking generosity, persistent service, courageous prophetic witness and so on.
How do we distinguish between good and bad theologies? This is where the uniqueness of the Christian faith comes in.
What makes Christian faith Christian is the person of Christ. All of Christian theology stems directly from the person and work of Christ. Christ is the revelation of God. All ‘God-words’ meet their pass or fail by testing them against the ‘God-Word’ that is Jesus Christ. Christ, after all, is God’s Theology, the Word who was with God and who was God.
I will hold my own theologies lightly, and hold to, and be held by, God’s own Theology. It is not my knowledge of God that matters, but God’s knowledge of me.
Another way of talking about corporate worship is to say that it is worship that is enacted by the whole body – the catholic (universal) corpus (body).
In an ultimate, truly catholic corporate worship is not possible until the Age to Come, when every tongue, tribe and nation expresses it. But Jesus’ prayer in John 17 expresses a desire for a kind of catholicity that we should continually strive for.
I’m interested (and just might explore in my Masters Thesis?) in ways that we can express worship that re-unites the Corpus Christi. I guess that makes me an Ecumenical Baptist. But isn’t that what Jesus prays for in John 17? How can the Church worship across all the divides we have? Across Liturgical and ‘Free’ Church worship frameworks; Across ‘Catholic’, Orthodox and Protestant traditions; Across Episcopal and Congregational (and other) leadership approaches; Across the nasty, embittered Liberal and Conservative ditch; Across painful Charismatic/Pentecostal and Cessationist arguments; Across the separations that split ‘Dying Old Folks Churches’, ‘Family Churches’, ‘Arty-Farty Churches’ and ‘Young Hip Cool Churches’; Across the divisions within a single church that has separate services for Elderly, Families, Singles/Young-Adults, Youth, and Children; and more.
Obamas turn has come to rule the American empire.
Will it continue to be a mass-consuming empire of greed?
Only time will tell.
Here is a thoughtful, timely and read-worthy critique by Brian Walsh entitled:
Barack Obama: A Post-Imperial Presidency?
And yes, the same question could’ve/should’ve been asked had McCain won the election…
I think my church just may be perfect…
Well, of course, not ‘perfect’ in the sense that many mean!
Two things, quickly…
First, the pastors and deacons (who make up the church ‘council’) recently went on a prayer retreat together. We had times of discussion, corporate prayer, private prayer, walking, talking and singing during the day. Toward the end of the retreat, we all realised what a remarkable thing we had.
Not uniformity, but unity. We are all quite different people with quite different personalities and views on various things. But we experienced genuine unity in spite of these things. It was (and is) wonderful.
Second, a lady that has been attending for a while has recently become a member. In her interview with one of the leaders, she made the comment, ‘I love this church. It’s perfect.’
The leader tried to correct her, but had difficulty. :)
Now, I’m not saying we don’t have flaws, and things we need to change at my church, but we have complete – perfect – unity… in Christ…
What a blessing!