I don’t know if you’ve figured it out, but I like to talk about and discuss theology. I may not be the most well educated person in the area, but I have enough understanding to talk about it intelligently. As I’ve explored theology poked and prodded it, questioned it, and learned about it, I’ve discovered something. The current theological language is starting to become out dated. Bill Giovannetti on his blog says this, “Every generation needs to LOVINGLY, but FIRMLY re-articulate what is theologically good and what is theologically bad for the church. Where do we draw the lines on our theological playing field? What is in bounds? What is out of bounds?” This is really the point I am getting at. If you notice he doesn’t say we re-write theology, or make up a new theology. He says we should re-articulate it. This means that we have to make Theology clear, understandable and relevant to today’s language and people. This should not mean that you water it down, it means we may have to change certain word choices to provide a better understanding.
For instance: The CMA’s statement of faith says this: “There is one God who is infinity perfect, existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The word ‘persons’ is what bugs me. It’s not that it’s improper, its just that the image ‘person’ brings to mind is an individual. That makes this statement a contradiction, at a glance. I did look up the word person, and there is a specific theological definition that defines the word person, and a ‘mode’ of the Trinity. I don’t think that the word ‘persons’ is theologically incorrect, I just think we need to find a word to better articulate what we are trying to say. In my personal statement of faith I didn’t use the word persons, this was (at the time) un-intentional. However, as I re-examined what I was trying to articulate, I realized that what I said is more relevant to today, and thus I kept it. I instead use the words ‘forms’ and ‘facet’. The truth of the matter is this: our language is too small to describe an infinite God. Yes there is 1 God, and yes he exists in three different forms (facets, modes, persons whatever word you like) this concept is hard for us to understand in our finite minds and language. Our job as Christians and Pastor’s specifically is to re-articulate an old theological paradigm into modern language so that the correct paradigm continues on into the next generation.
Don’t you think that is what part of our job is as ‘shepherds’? Don’t you think thats what we should be doing as Christians, puruers of Christ-likeness? Don’t you think we ought to keep God, Christ, and the language we use to talk about him relevant?