Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The task and theme of theology

I've recently become a reader of Faith and Theology by Ben Myers. Reading his favorite posts, I saw one on the task and theme of theology. Amazing how differently people can think of "theology". Here are my thoughts on the task and theme of theology, playing off Ben Myers' points somewhat:
  1. The task of theology is to know God, which is to say to know him by fellowship and not by mere analysis.
  2. The theme of theology is the communion of God with man.
  3. In content, this means knowing the Word of God joining with humanity in Christ.
  4. In content, this also means knowing the Holy Spirit transforming us into Sons of God and temples of God like Christ.
  5. This fellowship with God is "grace"; it is proclaimed in the work of God in Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
  6. Therefore the task of theology is to restore us to fellowship with God by the knowledge of Christ, leading us to become a sanctuary for God's Spirit in this world.
Which just goes to show that different premises lead to different ends.

4 comments:

Doug E. said...

well said!

Doug

eze said...

Unfortunately Weekend Fisher the end which you reach is slightly askew--I think you would be hard pressed to find many people, aside from doug e., who would agree that it is theology or even knowledge of God in Christ which restores fellowship between God and humanity (over against the person of Christ himself who does this). It might be helpful to consider why one should distinguish theology as a function of faith instead of an equivelant. When the 2 become confused one ends up--although it seems you probably wouldn't like this--stripping the worth of theology as a human task (although graciously established and upheld) by attempting to make it do more than it can i.e. restore fellowship with God. If the task of theology is described in a way maybe similar to Ben's--as human interpretation of the gospel--then we allow it's full dignity to be felt as a humanly impossible yet divinely possible task.

Weekend Fisher said...

Hi eze, didn't see your comment til now.

If "theology" is to know God by fellowship and not only by analysis, then I think the rest follows. I've critiqued the analysis-only approach to theology as in practice denying the personhood of God.

What restores fellowship with God is God's grace as known through Christ. If theology is not oriented to that aim, how much is it worth?

Which is my point. I know other people define theology differently! But I question how productive it is to stray away from God's goal of our redemption, as if our own goals in studying were on a par with God's goal in revealing and redeeming.

Take care & God bless

Flint Cowboy said...

Didn't know it was such a popular theme. I posted a comment recently on the same topic.