“Tom Beaudoin reveals four themes that shape the theology of many Postmoderns: (1) all institutions are suspect; (2) personal experience is everything; (3) suffering is spiritual; and (4) ambiguity is a central element of faith.” (source)
To respond to each of these, it would seem that the Church should: (1) embrace people more than programs; (2) focus on interactive, communal worship; (3) provide more opportunities for service; and (4) explore more gray areas in our teachings and discussions.
What do you think?
Theology is different from other “ologies” in the sense that if we only engage our subject intellectually, we miss the mark. We may understand hundreds of propositions about God, but if our imaginations are not involved in the process, I would say that we have failed. (By imagination I mean “envisioning what we do not rationally know.”)
Over at Signs of Emergence, Nick Hughes was quoted as saying, “I wish that someone, some group, something, somewhere would develop a theological project that captured the imagination. All the good ideas are elsewhere.” He is a graphic designer, not a theologian, but he expresses why many feel disenchanted and disconnected from theology.
Think about it: Shouldn’t studying theology make us more imaginative? If we truly and intently focus on God and His beauty, we will be inspired to overcome our ignorance. We will want to explore what we do not rationally know.
Songwriters can testify to this. When you write a song about a person, you intently focus on that person and you are inspired. The same goes for a glorious sunset. All you need to do is look intently, and the words and melodies naturally spring forth. In this way, something “other” or mysterious becomes personal.
Studying God, then, should inspire us — not only intellectually, but holistically. When we look at God and converse with Him, we should be enraptured with words, melodies, images, ideas, designs, and so on. After all, the source of creativity is God Himself.
My new worship EP is now available for purchase online. You can download tracks, or the entire EP of A Thousand Names, at DiscRevolt.com. Just click HERE to find the Joel Jupp page!