This is a continuation of conversations started a couple weeks ago in the postings My Journey Into Racism and What Can I Do? As we continue this conversation, let me be clear as to the reasons why I decided to address racism in a blog-site focused on practical theology. My reasons are (1) to not remain complicit through silence, (2) to work through my own understanding of systemic racism and the role I play, and (3) to invite fellow Christ-followers to do the same.
The term Practical Theology implies an understanding of God, his worldview, and how that informs the way we live our lives – the way we relate to others.
What could be more practical than gaining an understanding of God’s heart for all people, not just the predominant group? We do not need to spend much time in scripture to become aware of God’s desire for justice and mercy is for all his people, not just the predominant group (thus Micah 6:8 – And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God). We do not need to spend much time with Jesus to see that he walked away from the predominant group in order to seek the outsider (see Jesus’ Mission Statement).
We cannot act justly, let alone love mercy, if we do not have a clear biblical understanding of justice. But what is the biblical/theological understanding of justice? Fortunately, the BibleProject has created a six minute video that paints a very clear picture of the biblical understanding of justice. Enjoy – it’s captivating. Then be watching for my next post, What ELSE Can I Do?
After a hiatus of several years, I’ve decided to re-enter the world of blogging. Fifteen years ago I created a blog with the original intent of staying connected with young people I knew through church youth ministry or Young Life. In time the audience grew to a diverse mix of people with whom I had a relationship – young and older. Looking back, blogging was a healthy way for me to process what I was discovering as a Christ-follower. However, that blog came to a grinding halt four years ago as coursework ramped up in the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Higher Ed.) program which I participated. I’m finding that I miss the opportunity to write and ponder. So, reentering the blogging sphere is for my benefit more than anyone. Feel free to join me in this journey.
Practical theology. What do I mean by that? Actually, I am figuring it out as I wander into this process. I have always described myself as a practical theologian, using the term theologian loosely. In my thinking, a theology that doesn’t play out in one’s everyday life is impractical, or of no real use. A ‘practical’ definition of theology is the attempt to understand God, what he is up to, and then joining him in his work. This blog will focus on how we join God in his work – both globally and in that part of the world where he has landed us. So, join me as we work together to figure this out. I do not intend to make this about theological stances. If that is what you are looking for, you will be disappointed. I do intend to help us see God and the life to which he has called us from new perspectives. And different perspectives are always healthy as this old saying reminds us…
If I keep on choosing what I've always chosen, then I'll keep on wanting what I've always wanted.
If I keep on wanting what I've always wanted, then I'll keep on thinking what I've always thought.
If I keep on thinking what I've always thought, then I'll keep on perceiving what I've always perceived.
If I keep on perceiving what I've always perceived, then I'll keep on seeing what I've always seen.
If I keep on seeing what I've always seen, then I'll keep on doing what I've always done.
If I keep on doing what I've always done, then I'll keep on getting what I've always gotten.