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Posted by on Jun 16, 2016 | 3 comments

The Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God…”

The Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God…”

**This post is part of a series reflecting on the Nicene Creed** << Previous post View series Next post >>   We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. The catalyst for the Nicene Creed, as Alex detailed in his introductory post, was the question: WHO IS THE SON OF GOD? To enter into this historical discussion is to wade into a truly complicated and often descriptively oversimplified discussion of the Christological debate in the early Church.[1] The central question revolved around the issue of the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God—was the Son a divine soul embedded within a human body? a moral exemplar, the best of what it is to be human but not divine? a divine person who only appeared to be human, but was not? To begin the creed with the affirmation of one God, Father, and Creator, might appear at first glance to be concerned with something other...

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Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 | 0 comments

What is the Task of Theology in the Church?

What is the Task of Theology in the Church?

Something that seems rarely discussed in the classroom is how theology actually changes the faith of people who do not spend time and money pursuing theological education. I have had a lot of conversations with strangers regarding faith, but I have never nailed down just what theology can do for everyone not interested in being a theologian. Some answers are fairly obvious. Orthodox theology can respond to paradigms different than that of Christianity. Whether it is a certain branding of atheism or secularism, theologians are often conversation partners with the milieus of culture. Just as obvious is theology’s ability to interact with other religious beliefs, and of course, Christian heresy as well. But if theology is primarily for the church, what kind of work is it doing? How does it bolster the faith of those who do not read academic works, study scripture, or immerse themselves in these conversations? What is theology actually doing? My first thought was that orthodox theology somehow sheds light on the complexity and nuances...

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Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 | 5 comments

Christian Theology Needs Good Stories

Christian Theology Needs Good Stories

  I am at the very beginning stages of a long journey in dissertation writing. In my usual meandering and often frustrating mode, I am beginning this journey with an intuitive kernel and then working towards a substantial and convincing argument. My intuitive kernel is this: stories do something important for theology. No, more than that: Christian theology in some way needs good stories. The grounding for this is pretty easy to point to: Christians are storied people. Our Hebraic roots are in stories of God calling forth order from chaos, a guy from Ur to establish a nation in a land flowing with milk and honey, stories of identity formation and personal failings, stories of a people struggling to do right and stories of a frustrated and long-suffering God. The climax of this storied history comes via four story-tellers, the four Gospel accounts proclaiming God become incarnate and the tearing of the veil between heaven and earth. Of course, these stories contain and give rise to important dogmatic...

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