Friday, May 03, 2013
What If We Removed The Word "Theologian?"
At the heart of this new theology was the notion that God reveals himself under his opposite; or, to express this another way, God achieves his intended purposes by doing the exact opposite of that which humans might expect. The supreme example of this is the cross itself: God triumphs over sin and evil by allowing sin and evil to triumph (apparently) over him. His real strength is demonstrated through apparent weakness. This was the way a theologian of the cross thought about God.
The opposite to this was the theologian of glory. In simple terms, the theologian of glory assumed that there was basic continuity between the way the world is and the way God is: if strength is demonstrated through raw power on earth, then God’s strength must be the same, only extended to infinity. To such a theologian, the cross is simply foolishness, a piece of nonsense.OK, there is a good point here, it emphasizes humility and grace over power and glory - that is indeed the way of Christ. But why the talk of "theologians?"
There are craftsmen and then there are engineers. Let me use an example from woodworking. Let's say you have to do a compound cut of a piece of moulding. An engineering is going to sit down and calculate, using complex geometrical theorems, the angles with a protractor and compass and set up the saw accordingly. And the piece is not likely to fit with precision because of small variations and imperfections. A craftsman is going to use a tool simple in design that acts as a mirror of what is truly there and lets him set up the saw accordingly. The fit will be precise. The craftsman will not know a geometrical theorem from balancing his checkbook.
Ideas matter in the shaping of institutions and in guiding leaders, but we do not need theologians in the pews - we need craftsmen. We do not need people that understand God's humility and grace so much as we need people that mirror it.
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