Thinking Theology

My blog handle, as you may have noticed, is Caught Thinking.  What’s the reason for the name?  Well, I grew up in the church — the charismatic church, for the most part.  As a teenage minister, I started asking questions.  Particularly one question:  Why?

Why do we do this or that?  Why can’t we do this or that?  Who said that particular thing is a sin?  Soon, I was pulled aside and informed that I needed to be careful.  “Of what?!” I protested.  The elder’s reply was ominous to say the least.  He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “A clipped-winged bird can’t fly.”

Turns out, I had been caught.  Caught thinking, caught questioning, and caught using logic and reason.  I was still given many opportunities in ministry, but always with the knowing that someone was watching me and judging my commitment and loyalty.  I knew that if I wanted to keep the waters around me calm, I would have to stop thinking and just accept things as they were presented to me.

You guessed it.  That didn’t work out.  One of my deal-breakers in any relationship or position hinges on my ability to reason and question.  If you want a friend who will always agree with you or never challenge you on anything, I’m not the one.  If you want a minister who will mindlessly shake his head in agreement and pretend to concede in public but vehemently disagree behind your back, well I’m not that person either.

I sincerely believe we are called to be a more intelligent church.  Because of my exposure, this seems especially true for me as it pertains to the minority congregations of the Church.

In my last post, I talked about missing the days when agreement was required for membership and not assumed by membership.  This week I learned the point of catechism in the early church and that it sometimes lasted as long as two years.  The purpose of catechism was to stimulate the seeker to think and make a conclusion about central issues of doctrine.  If you were in agreement, if your astute conclusion and the church’s doctrinal position were equivalent, then you would become a member of that church.  Now the assumption –might I say the expectation — is for seekers to empty their brains at the door and allow us to brainwash, superimpose… what I mean is, teach them what to think about theology, not how to think about theology.  Am I wrong?  Let me know it.  Respond here.

So let me ask you, what is the theology of your church on the essentials?

What do you believe about the Bible? What does your church believe about the Bible?

What do you believe about God? What does your church believe about God?

What do you believe about man and sin? What does your church believe?

What do you believe about trinity? What does your church believe?

What do you believe about the last days or last events?  What does your church think?

If Christianity is based on what you believe about God, shouldn’t you be thinking theology?  Shouldn’t you know what you believe and why you believe it?

What are your objections to participating in an intense course of theological study?  Or what motivates you to participate in an intense course of theological study?


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