Christian Theology 1: Day 2

Sunday, January 14, 2007

There was a lot of emphasis on relational theology in our lecture today. There is a calling to read the Scripture vertically in a relational way through the language of prayer and worship and through narrative theology. Our experience then need to be discussed horizontally within our community through the language of discourse and then brought back into the relational through prayer, worship and narrative.

We shared with each other our own distinct implication when we look at theology, Scripture, our ministry and life in a relational way. In living our life and in carrying out the mission God set us out for, we need to relate it as an offering of worship to our God and we need to carry it out in love and touch the people around us. That’s relational. It is more than thinking and talking and studying Scriptures. It is living the Scriptures.

I have been trying to guard myself against studying and reading Scripture academically. In fact, it is an academic activity for me and I love doing it – I delight in reading, doing research and to logic things out but I have been trying my best not to just let it remain head knowledge but to live it as well. Therefore, the lecture today has been encouraging. It motivates me to be more active in working out my thoughts and transforming it into practical. It helps me make things more practical and believe it or not, to think less and do more.

But I am not sure if this is a good thing! – to think less … I need to think about it.

Picture by Julia Freeman-Woolpert

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5 comment(s)

  1. Well, in 1984 I found that I was reading the scripture purely academically. I could not read a single passage without seeing cross references to it, and all the theological conflicts that surrounded it - both sides - and all the reasons one side was wrong, Wrong, WRONG!

    Finding that out about myself disturbed me so badly that I literally put the bible down until I could pick it up without the compulsion to do that. I don't believe I've lost the skill, but now I need to think to cross-index things. I like that.

    Poetry, pictures and persons rather than doctrines helped me.

    I picked the bible up again in 1988, and really started spending time with it again in about '91. I know a lot of people will say I sinned, but I think it saved my spiritual life. I didn't leave off with the Lord at all. I just did other things than cross-indexing the bible in my mind night and day.

    FWIW, I don't believe what you are doing has anything at all to do with what happened to me. You just reminded me of the story, so I thought I'd tell it.

    May the Lord bless your studies!

  2. I only started what you did in 1984 in 2003 - I have a long way to go!

    My story is different, at one time I have grown tired what everybody had to say about everything and so I dropped everything else and only read the bible. That wasn't too wise because I did not hv any tools in order to understand it.

    Poetry, pictures and persons rather than doctrines helped me.
    Yes, that helped me more too. Maybe that is why I am more inclined to the OT - stories, poetry, people, history, visions ... though NT has its share of stories, parables, visions, history.

    I don't believe what you are doing has anything at all to do with what happened to me. You just reminded me of the story, so I thought I'd tell it.
    It does not matter, and thanks for telling. It is the sharing of our stories that adds onto the story of Christianity. WE are part of the story and it is only through the sharing of stories, that we do at least in our blogs, that we enrich our life and our belief.

    May the Lord bless your studies!
    Thanks! But I don't really look at it as studies :) What I am saying here I think would be very Asian, since Asians venerate studies as the crown of life. I am extracting myself from that and put on a life discovery mode when I go for classes. In this Master of Christian Studies I am taking, a lot of people are pushing me to quickly complete it - this will be my 5th year and I think I have 2 more years. I am not worried, if I don't finish, I don't have a paper, that's all. Even if I have to take 10-20 years to complete it (if they let me after the 7th year), so be it, though it be nice to be called to Dr. So and So! -- maybe in the next 30 years! lol ... or maybe not.

  3. Hi Maeghan,

    I've heard from different pastors that seminary can be the driest time in your spiritual life. It sounds like the way you are going about it is good though. Keep up the good work! Julia

  4. seminary can be the driest time in your spiritual life
    Really? I must ask my friends attending seminary full time :) I don't think I am surprised to hear that because it is a reality that seminary is very academic and it is a struggle to make it a life-relational one.

    I am taking it part time and enjoying it :)

  5. Wonderful answers, Maeghan. Thank you.