Monday, July 14, 2008

theology: starting big

I have been reflecting recently on how we go about making our theologies.
It seems to me that a lot of our theologising starts from the micro and works towards the macro. We start with ourselves at the centre, and with various notions about personal sin and personal righteousness and then we try to work outwards towards an understanding of God from there. Of course this is quite subtle - we would never deny that God is creator as well as redeemer and that theology done properly always starts with God at the centre. But though we say those kinds of things I think we're still very egocentric when it comes to our theologising. We have an over inflated sense of our own importance in the grand scheme of things.

What if we did our theology from the macro rather than the micro? God is creator, this is God's creation, God has a plan for its renewal and all things are being caught up in this huge movement of the Spirit. It's not primarily about human sinfulness! We can so easily spend so much time picking over the bones of personal moral/ethical choices (and the Anglican communion is doing a lot of this at the moment) or the minutiae of church life that we forget to lift up our eyes to the hills and see the big picture of who God is and what God is doing.

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