What's Tony Thinking

Session 2 of “What’s Theology Got To Do With It?”


Here’s the video of last week’s second session, held on May 1, of our current webinar. For those of you tuning it live, session three occurs in several hours, later today, May 8.

Last week’s theme and conversation were largely about what we mean by “revelation,” and what the significance for Christianity and church’s is of being a “revealed,” as opposed to “natural” religion. For those of you who have spent some time reading theologians, natural religion is pretty much the doctrine of liberal Christianity influenced by Frederick Schliermacher, while “revealed religion” finds its most influential champion in Karl Barth who was often referred to as “neo-orthodox.” While I was raised within the world of liberal Christianity, and still am that in many respects, I’ve also long had a foot in new-orthodoxy. My term for myself is “post-liberal.”

We also had, on the menu for last week, the chapter on “Scripture,” what it is and what role in plays, or is intended to play, in our faith. In a time when we place a lot of emphasis on our own personal stories, the Bible reminds us that “God Has a Story Too.” As Christians, we learn to understand our personal story as part of the larger story of God and God’s redeeming work.

This week we turn to the chapter on the Trinity, which I’ve called “Keeping Your Balance.” If you haven’t read it, what’s your guess as to why I came up with that title for a chapter on the doctrine of the Trinity? And we will see if we get to the next chapter which follows it on “God the Creator,” and how we are to think about the world and engagement in and with the world God created and loves. That chapter also takes on the false duality of flesh and spirit, more appropriate to Platonic thought than to Christianity, which is a pretty earthy faith.

Meanwhile, we are off to Honolulu tomorrow to take part in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Church of the Crossroads, which we served from 1981 to 1988. Founded in 1923, Crossroads was at the time an bold experiment in a multi-racial, multi-cultural church. As such it was a departure from the norm of Christian congregations also being ethnic and racial communities. The early Crossroaders were mostly students either at Mid-Pacific Institute (a high school) or the nearby University of Hawaii main campus in Manoa.

Even today congregations that are truly multi-racial and multi-cultural are more the exception than the norm. So the early Crossroaders were daring people charting a new course. It will be a joy and privilege to be part of this anniversary celebration. More, on that, will follow in blogs to come, no doubt.

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