Posts

Showing posts from June, 2015

Theology: at the heart of mission

Image
This post continues a series looking at The Shape of Practical Theology by Trinitarian theologian Ray S. Anderson. For other posts in the series, click on a number: 1, 2, 4567891011,12131415.

Last time we noted how Dr. Anderson emphasizes that mission is at the heart of theology. This time, we'll see how he places theology at the heart of mission.

According to Anderson, there are many ways people care for one another, and in so doing alleviate human suffering. While such efforts are laudable, they only constitute Christian ministry to the extent they reveal the reality of "God's revelation and reconciliation through Jesus Christ" (p. 54). Anderson comments:
A social worker or psychiatrist may be able "make" people better or to "make" the conditions of human existence better. But the end result tends to be just that---a result, a product from which the "maker" can detach himself or herself with no consequent loss of ide…

Mission: at the heart of theology

Image
This post continues a series looking at The Shape of Practical Theology by Trinitarian theologian Ray S. Anderson. For other posts in the series, click on a number: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10. 11,12131415.

We ended last time noting that Incarnational Trinitarian theology unites theory and practice with its focus on the person (being) and work (mission) of Jesus Christ. Rather than incidental, mission is at the very heart of this theology.

Fundamental to this understanding is the realization that in Jesus Christ (the God-man) the various dualisms that infect less than adequate theologies are swept aside. With Jesus there is no separation between being and doing; between the holy (spiritual) and sacred (physical); or between the heavenly and earthly. This realization has profound implications for the life (being and doing) of the church, as Ray Anderson notes, referencing the Christ-centered, Trinitarian theology of Thomas F. (T.F.) Torrance:
[T.F.] calls the church back to its ro…

Theology that unites theory & practice

Image
This post is the first in a series looking at The Shape of Practical Theology by Trinitarian theologian Ray S. Anderson. For additional posts in this ongoing series, click a number: 23456789, 1011,12131415.

It's not uncommon for people to complain that theology is too theoretical to be of practical value (or, as some say, "so heavenly minded as to be of no earthly value"). I understand the frustration.

When a person first wrestles with the stunning reality of who Jesus is (the proper focus of truly Christian theology), they are lifted up by the Spirit into the "heavenly realms" where the "view" can seem, at least at first, disconnected from earthly realities. However, some struggle is predictable (even necessary). Wrapping one's mind around the glorious mysteries of the triune God who is revealed in Jesus Christ is no small task. But it's a vital and rewarding one.

If you find your study of theology a bit overwhelming, I u…