Regrettably it has been just over a week since my last post. However, that last post has generated some mild discussion via facebook message. Here is the post if you have not read it. Below is that back and forth, please weigh in…
rmschroeder: I appreciate the attention to the word practice. I think that your so-to-speak call-out on those who reach back to God’s consistency is fair – but can we agree to this:
As God is consistent, the theological task then is to be faithful signposts – pointing to where he reveals himself. Being ‘faithful’ then ought to be rooted in careful speech and definition (articulation) to the accounts and realities Christians hold true, according to the eye-witnesses in Scripture.
With that being said, I see your intent to sound an alarm that actually matches the danger of our current context. I know you and I agree that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So then, do we necessarily have to redefine theology, or simply reframe it? (I do not believe reframing necessitates redefining.) I would posit that reframing is the bridge between our theological task and the context. To do so, we ought to emphasize that we are practicing discipleship, not necessarily theology.
I hope this contributes to the conversation, and I would love to hear your thoughts!
Ryan aka rmschroeder
Me:Your question of agreement: “As God is consistent, the theological task then is to be faithful signposts – pointing to where he reveals himself. Being ‘faithful’ then ought to be rooted in careful speech and definition (articulation) to the accounts and realities Christians hold true, according to the eye-witnesses in Scripture.”
I agree, but to a point. I would yes the theological task is to be faithful to how God has revealed himself, but I do not know how faithful we can actually be to the scriptural witness.
First, if we believe in concupiscence then we admit that we are now and will always be flawed. Granted, this does not preclude us from reading and interpreting scripture but we have to be able to admit that our inability to be perfect beings inhibits our ability to be faithful to the eye-witness of scripture.
Second, the scriptural witness cannot be divorced from the context in which it was written. Perspective and context need to be paramount when we are trying to ascertain the faithful reading of a text. Furthermore, our own context is not the same as the context of scripture. Therefore we should be diligent in attempting to ascertain the present day reality which the scriptural witness declares concerning God.
Third, we need to admit that we dont know as much as we think we do. Humility I guess is the word but I dont want to use it. There are certain things for which Christians need to make a stand, however, I think that list is different than most conservative Christians. What I mean is, I dont think abortion and gay marriage should be sticking points. When something concerns Christ and His atoning work, then yes, we need to voice our concerns. But for some reason many Christians feel like they know what God cares about better than God. To those people I would ask if God really cared about abortion and gay marriage as much as you think why did he talk about helping the poor in 2000 more instances than those two combined.
I guess in the end what I am trying to say is that I dont think reframing and discipling should be the focus, but our perception of truth. Jurgen Moltmann once said, “Truth must be practicable. Unless it contains initiative for the transformation of the world, it becomes a myth of the existing world.” So much of what Christians claim to be truth is nothing more than their own myth.
I hope my words aren’t too harsh. Id love to hear your thoughts.