The word theology has always scared me, because I didn’t know what it meant in practice – surely it couldn’t be something I would do!
Then I started studying it: the Foundation Degree that sat alongside my training as a Reader/Lay Minister was in “Theology and Ministry”. That was scary enough, but now I’m training for Ordination, I have to do an MA in it!!!!
I have a couple of questions that help me “do” theology – they’re not exactly new, but they are what I have to ask myself to be able to make ‘theology’ something practical and relevant:
- Where is God in … ?
- What is God saying to us about … through a Bible passage, world event, or our personal prayer and reflection?
What other questions should I be asking myself as I am ‘formed’ into this thing called a ‘priest’, who probably ought to at least try and be a professional theologian? Your ideas would be appreciated!
In the meantime, I ask myself those questions of this blog:
What is the theology of this web/blog thingy?
God uses stuff that is dynamic (changing) and interactive with his creation (us) and with him. In this 21st century one of the most dynamic and interactive forces in the world, is the web. I believe Christians should interact with and through it, not just between themselves in emails, but in a way that allows anyone to read, comment and question.
Writing that I know is a brave statement: one that I struggle to live up to. If you are reading this, then you will know that I’ve taken the step of trying to make my belief authentic, and be open to the consequences. Whether this web/blog has any success in making God visible, understandable and relevant to today’s world is something only you can decide.
In Tom Wright’s ‘Mark for Everyone’, particularly the ‘seed’ parables in Mark 4:26-34, I once noted he talked about “striking fresh chords so that people will be teased into picking out the notes, and perhaps even into joining the song.” Could a ‘blog’ like this be a seed of that nature?
My Reader Training was aimed at making me a teacher and preacher. However, I came to recognise the limitations of not being able to remember quotations, references or even past thoughts, either spoken or read, very well. I constantly have to refer back to the sources of faint memories, as a way of clarifying them so they can become useful, via me, to others. Writing about things helps, I’m clearer in my thoughts that way, which is why my sermons are always written out in full.
Which is why I chose (as a semi-joke) originally to name this blog ‘A Reader in Writing’ – it came from joke I made of the problem some months ago. (It actually started out as ‘A Reader (to be) in Writing’, as I went through Reader Training.)
Now as I enter Ordination Training, having recognised that the priesthood is (as many had been telling me for some while) a ‘better fit’ for me as a minister, I still think that connecting people with God through the written word may still be a significant part of my future ministry, but in the meantime contemplate a blog-name change: A Reverend (to be) in Writing? (Or, is that too presumptuous?)