Unpublished: Theology Is Personal

I always like to remind people that I'm not a theologian. To be sure, all Christians are called to be theologians. And I'm more than happy to own the tag "theologian" when it's framed as a lay calling. But I've never been to seminary and I don't teach theology or biblical studies. I can't read Greek or Hebrew. There are classics texts in the field that I've never read. I have huge areas of ignorance.

For me, theology has been a very personal pursuit, a quest for answers to the questions at the heart of my faith journey. I am a theologian looking for answers to my questions. If I'm reading a theology book and it doesn't have anything relevant to the questions I'm pursuing I quickly get bored and move on.

Theologically, I'm a hunter, not a scholar.

--an unpublished post reflecting on the choices I make in my theological reading

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4 thoughts on “Unpublished: Theology Is Personal”

  1. I so much appreciate this. Though I was a minister for ten years, I never was a theologian. I was a hunter like yourself. I stopped preaching thirty years ago, but I never stopped reading. In fact, leaving the ministry and communing with real people in real situations, as well as allowing myself to explore the writings of anyone who caught my curiosity has allowed me to be the hunter and thinker I never could have been in the profession of ministry in which I had tread carefully. In being this hunter, I found God in the one place I never expected as a young preacher....in everyone. And a demand is laid on me to continue hunting even when the time and place I am in at the moment seems to be ugly and foul.

    Let me say "Thank you". You have a wonderful way of bringing up from me thoughts that have lain dormant or newly sprouting.

  2. I did go to seminary and I've read a lot of theologians and you are in my opinion one of the best. You think deeply about the really important. I talk about your ideas in Unclean and The Slavery of Death a lot. I'm not evangelical. Thanks for your work

  3. Then sometimes you just get tired of sitting around waiting for the scholars to come up with something. To answer some of your questions. And then you find out O G whiz maybe they don't know. when I was about 23 I asked a simple little question, like how did Jesus a righteous man without sin get INTO to Hades, Separate from God. I mean before Jesus was raised there was no redemption from the dead, you sin you die, Romans 5. the law just made sin more sinful. simple question.
    you wouldn't believe all the Flack I got for that simple little question. Atonement doesn't answer the dynamic that's involved. it just Skirts the issue it was like having a conversation in a room full of people. Then saying something like that. you wind up standing around watching all the people shuffle to the other side of the room it's absolutely funny. it was like a cartoon show. or everybody saying what did you eat last night let's get away from him that's just rude. Sad but true.

    I know the feeling Richard.
    to get to the point.
    it's kind of like the two Vultures sitting on the cliff, and you see one of them saying to the other one, screw it I'm hungry I'm going to kill something.
    and hunt for real food for real food begins.
    50 years later now we're talking about it over On
    Jay Guin's

  4. As a pS I learnEd my Bible pretty well although the only Greek I know runs a restaurant on the corner
    always wanted to go to school but I was not qualified. God thanks a lot for that.
    I mean pretty much they won't even let you try to think until you got 10 years education behind you upper division, if you don't have any you're not worth listening to.
    Too funny.
    You know Richard I'm 4th generation Church of Christ I was always told I did no need to go to school all I had to do was know my Bible. oh well so much for the practicality of that advice.

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