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Theology Meme

My internet is MIA at my house/church right now, and I'm in the library trying to do everything I might need to do online before I crutch it back out to the car. (6 days to go...) I still have a review or two to write, but for now, for brevity, is this theology meme I saw over at Philosophy Over Coffee:

1. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 high), how would you rate your theological knowledge and breadth/depth of reading?
Oh boy. Probably a 4 or 5. I feel pretty comfortable with my understanding of theological concepts, but when it comes to knowing which historical theologian thought what exactly, I'm not very well read. I have some areas of strength, but not, probably, a good overarching grasp on the major thinkers. Alas - systematic theology class seems so long ago!

2. What thoughts and feelings come to your mind when you hear the word "theology"?
I was a 'pre-theology' major in undergrad, and my little brothers always used to tease that it was "before the study of God." That's the first thought, honestly!

3. Who is your favorite theologian, and why?
Process theologian John Cobb is my very favorite. I instantly fell in love with process theology when we first studied it in systematic theology at Drew. I felt like I was reading a theology that combined everything I thought about into one system, and asked (and tried to answer) exactly the questions that have always most troubled me. John Cobb in particular is my favorite because his United Methodist background and Wesleyan theology combined with process theology is a dream combination for this United Methodist nerd.

4. Who is your least favorite theologian, and why? Oh, a tie between Martin Luther and St. Augustine. Both of them seem to have had a fantastic way of looking at the scriptures and coming up with the exact opposite interpretation than I would. Not to say that they both haven't (obviously) made hugely important contributions to theology/Christianity/the church. Of course they have. But I don't think we'd be buddies.

5. Which theologians have you been meaning to read, but have not gotten to yet?
No one in particular - I've been meaning to read a lot of the 'classics'. I've been meaning to read a great many things!

6. If you are Catholic, can you name a favorite Protestant theologian, and if Protestant, Catholic? Like PoC, I'd have to say Thomas Merton. My older brother hooked me into Merton's writings.

7. What theologies do you love like a rescue dog that saved your life?
John Wesley's understanding of salvation, sanctification, social holiness, and perfection.
Process theology - complexity, answering the "why bad things happen" questions, eschatology
Paul Tillich's
The Courage to Be and Cobb and Griffin's Process Theology: An Introductory Exposition probably come closest to actually "saving my life" during my first year seminary mini-life crisis.

8. What theologies do you see commonly abused and wish people would stop it?
I think John Wesley's theology is often abused/misconstrued. His understanding and interpretation of scripture and his understanding of salvation particularly come to mind. Prosperity gospel/theology.

9. What theologies do you think are from the pit of hell, inspired by demonic powers?
The theology of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, for starters.

10. What theological concept is most needed but ignored in contemporary Christianity?
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

11. What other intellectuals or pseudo-intellectuals should blog this meme?
Anybody - everybody!


Anonymous said…
thats the problem with theology....
The more you learn, the bigger you realize the animal is.

I had some ideas of what i believed when I started seminary...
the longer i study the more I realize how poorly I was informed on those beliefs...

most of what i think hasn't changed, i just cant believe how poorly informed I was.

for me. 3 or 4 on the first question.. sad really
Mystical Seeker said…
I also think Cobb's process theology is fantastic.
Jeff Nelson said…
Also agreed on Cobb. I suppose that I could have included him in my "saved my life" answer.

Glad you played!
Unknown said…
I admit to on occasion leaning toward cobb, but as a presbyterian it's really really hard to get away with that one...

this sounded like fun so I decided to play along on my blog.

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