Lately, I have felt the urge to write down my theology as it exists currently. That is, to write out concisely my findings from biblical and theological study, and list my conclusions, and the presuppositions I bring to theology. I think it is necessary to define the terms. First, theology according to Merriam-Webster is : the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially : the study of God and of God's relation to the world; and secondly, the definition of the word holistic which again, from Merriam-Webster, is : a theory that the universe and especially living nature is correctly seen in terms of interacting wholes (as of living organisms) that are more than the mere sum of elementary particles . To restate it in my own words I define theology as the study of God and his interaction in the world and holism as the idea that the universe is a part of a bigger whole than just the sum of its components. With these definitions in mind I will move forward with my holistic theology.
As I think about it, this task demands that I put forth a systematic theology that explains how I view various topics that are found within the bounds of Christian Theology, and how my views differ from the current mainstream systematic theologies. I use the plural term theologies because that is the actual state that exists. There are several systematic theologies that exist within Christianity. By this I mean that there are differences based upon the various views of several denominations each having varying systematic theologies.
Why another systematic theology?
With all the different systematic theologies that exist within orthodoxy one could ask why another one? My answer is that the divisions that currently exist could perhaps be reconciled, and that perhaps this is the ripe time to begin to look at a new systematic theology that would honor the biblical data faithfully in the midst of post-modern culture, and allow for a more tolerant stance that would be more inclusive and much less divisive. As I have pointed out throughout the posts of this blog, there are many things about current evangelical orthodoxy that is simply incorrect. This systematic theology exercise could possibly show ways to correct some of these errors.
Here is a list of the main heads or areas that are commonly found in systematic theologies. As these particular posts proceed I will examine many of these areas in view of moving toward a holistic theology. The list is as follows:
- Scripture, revelation, and mysticism
- Humanity, the soul and spirit
- The fall
- Christ Jesus of Nazareth
- Salvation, redemption and reconciliation
- Eschatology or the theology of the last days
- The Church, The Kingdom of God
- The New Covenant
- Science and evolution
- Social Justice
I may add to the list of categories within the theological system as is necessary but this is a real good start. As this blog progresses I will use the scripture as I understand it to develop the various system categories. I will continue to do this in small chunks 500 – 750 words each to keep it easy to digest. I hope that you will follow along on this journey and comment as you feel led.