Monday, June 20, 2011

Central Theological Position

How would you state your 'central theological position' in one sentence? That was the task for a recent assignment in one of my classes. It was much more difficult to narrow down than I thought it would be. I thought first about specific passages of Scripture. Being United Methodist and with the UMC's mission "to make disciples for the transformation of the world" I quickly thought of the Great Commission the risen Christ gives to His disciples gathered to worship Him (even though some were still doubting), "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20. In some preliminary discussions in class, some brought up what is known as Jesus' Great Commandment:  "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-40. Others that I've heard periodically as a central verse is James 1:27, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." Other passages worth checking out include: 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, 1 John 4:10-12, and 1 Peter 2:9-10). What passage would be yours?
Instead of a specific Scripture reading, come up with your best one sentence summary of what you believe to be true about God and the world. Thinking about what one or more Scripture passages would be used as a back drop. You might ask yourself this question: "If I were asked to give my theology using only one sentence to someone what would I say?" Would you mind sharing your statement either on the blog or on Facebook? I'd love to see it and we might all learn from it.
My central theological position as it sits today (I've only revised it like a hundred times in the last few days) reads this: To participate in the Triune God's mission to the world. How do you think mine could be improved? What do you see as missing that is imperative to the Gospel? Give it a whirl!

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