“Evangelicals have benefited enormously from the faithful and creative labors of many theologians. I certainly acknowledge that for myself. But there are other less acknowledged sides to the story of theology:
– its inability to connect with everyday concerns;
– its use to patronize and disdain others;
– its role in propping up an elitist system of leadership;
– its deadening effects on young theological students;
– its promotion of pedantry and destructive debate;
– its second-hand character that minimizes genuine creative and new perspective;
– the ways it imposes law in the name of protecting grace;
– the ways it preempts and gags conversations that might otherwise break new ground in integrating faith and life.
“There is great value in laying a foundation of beliefs. But the methods and disposition of theology have failed to deliver its promise of a richer personal knowledge of God. Theology and church have by and large abducted the conversations that rightfully stand at the heart of the gathering.”
Reframing Paul: Conversations in Grace & Community by Mark Strom (IVP, 2000), p. 125
(Hat tip: Rob Wilkerson)
While that quote may be 15 years old, I believe the issue still exists, and in the form that Strom critiques.
We need theology. How should we teach and practice it in our churches and schools?
Your comments appreciated.