Saturday, October 08, 2011

Theology for the Unimpressed

Theology is a discipline of listening attentively before ever speaking.

One of the detriments of the Reformed tradition is that we often speak before we listen. I've been part of and privy to many conversations that, had we known all the facts, had we consulted the sources, had we a hint of sense to shut up now and again, could have saved much strife, much fear, and much hurt to various brothers and sisters in the Lord (and even folks not in the Lord, whom we are never commanded to hurt). I'm trying to parse out whether this is just an unfortunately pitfall that is totally unnecessary for those in the Reformed tradition, or if it is part-and-parcel of the experience (yet still totally indefensible and sinful -- but since when does following God lead to sin?).

In other words, as I draw towards the end of another part of my theological education, I find I have much more to learn. Much of it cannot be learned from books (theology is, in that way, like farming -- those who learn it from books quickly find that they are destroying themselves and the land and those people who depend on the land), but books and writings are always nearby. Much of it needs to be learned through listening and participating in the Word of God, Jesus Christ, in worship: the communal reading of the Scriptures and the breaking of bread.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

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