Many have mentioned their disdain at achedemic theological studies. I’ve had my share of people telling me that whenever someone enters into seminary, it somehow eats out the passion in the person, sucking it dry and leaving the student dry. Maybe they have some truth in their reflections on this. But to simply lump up accusations like this on theological academic studies is simply a misconception.
It is true sometimes that the sheer technical words that some encounter might mimic the expression of dry and boring readings. Arguments are by their hundreds on issues raging from positions taken. Take for example how we should think about the Lord’s supper, or is God all sovereign or is there a degree of freedom on our side to our understanding of God. I think we mostly scratch our heads with all this arguments and positions one way or another. But does this actually tell us that these things are unimportant?
So, some might want to do away with theology and anything about positions, taking the route of simplistic understandings. Just go back to the simple teachings of the bible.
But I think we miss the whole point here when preconceived in this is the thought of theology only being the thing that we do just in the confines of the academy. Regulated to the confines of our seminaries, or for that matter, just some thing we do when writing our paper to pass up to our lecturers and nothing more than that. At best this is a misconception.
One thing we have to know is that, all what we call mindless debates of positions undertaken in what we read off in our textbooks are thoughts being constructed with the community, or the church as a whole in mind. Take the reformation as an example. We can say that Luther’s beef with the teaching of the church back then was not just personal, but it had in it the church in mind, well we can say the people in mind. His reflections affected the whole church, and the whole understanding of the people back then. In this manner it is safe to say that, theology or reflections on theology are not just personal but they effect the mind of the masses. Theology, first and foremost is done with the community.
Anyway, this is just some thoughts I reflected on reading this article which paved way for this reflection. A good link from someone in the blogsphere I should say. I hope it benefits you as well. Click here to read the article.