‘Why Theology’ is a theological engagement that I’m beginning. It’s not necessarily a new way of doing theology, but it does have a unique focus, background, and specific audience. Let’s look at each one of these features to try to get a better feel for what ‘why theology’ will hopefully mean over the next few posts. Today, I’m going to look at the audience, which for this blog will hopefully be the primary focus.
Even though ‘why theology’ will be informed from an academic study of theology, it does not have other academic theologians as its audience. This is not theology for the sake of theology. Instead, as all theology should strive to be, it is a theological and philosophical project aimed primarily at those in the church. In other words, it hopes to be a “layman’s theology.” Successful predecessors in the past have been those like C. S. Lewis who sought not merely to give an apologetic of the Christian faith, but to help understand the unique what the Christian faith actually means.
In my own personal experience, I have been somewhat frustrated by the level of theological literature and education readily available to those not academically trained. With the exception of Lewis and a few others, much of it is either extremely basic, meant only as an apologetic (defense of the faith), or incredibly dense and technical. Certainly there are a lot of pastor’s who try to bring theological discourse into the pulpit on Sunday morning, but that is often too little, or too difficult to follow. While there are various “laymen’s academies” out there, these are often inaccessible for the majority of Christians who would like to deepen their faith. I’m hoping that with this blog, and some other projects that will take a little longer to get off the ground, I’ll be able to bridge that gap, maybe even offer something between the C. S. Lewis-esque type of thinking and the more technical systematic theology of someone like Karl Barth (yes I know he disliked the term “systematic theology” but that’s what it is). With that in mind I have two questions for you, the reader.
What to expect from the blog: The first question has to do with expectations. If this project proves to be successful it will probably take a few weeks to get really going with a more or less set schedule. I would like to blog at least once a week, if not multiple times a week, but what do you expect? If you have no real expectation, what would like to see? Any particular topics or formats? What type of frequency? Etc.
Quick Question: Are there any resources you have found particularly useful in deepening your faith or knowledge as a Christian that aren’t particularly technical? For me, one resource has been How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. What about you?
4 thoughts on “What is ‘Why Theology’”
I look forward to reading more of this, I would like to read more about how to express the Bible in our current society and without too much Biblical jargon…
Hey, I’ve created a post in response to this. It’s a bit long, but I’ve tried not to be technical. When you get a minute feel free to read it here: https://whytheology.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/how-do-we-translate-the-bible-to-todays-society/
All the best,
Just found you (through your visit to my blog) and am really liking the idea. I guess I am trying to do something similar, but in a less systematic way.
I actually knew Gordon Fee a little back in the late ’70s, a wonderful man. I think I’ll have to get the book you mention. For myself, I find I really enjoy reading from a wide selection of writers (mostly old: I like C S Lewis’s dictum that you should read at least one old book for every new one), and have gained a lot from people like Kierkegaard, Lewis, Bonhoeffer, Brother Lawrence, Thomas Merton, Teresa of Avila, Henri Nouwen, and De Caussade. Their particular denominational affiliations seem almost irrelevant (again, as Lewis points out, those nearest the hearts of their denominations are nearer each other, it is those on the fringes who seem most polar).
God bless in your endeavour, I hope you find the right audience–I’ll certainly be reading.