Thinking Thoroughly/Theologically   Are you ever surprised because a friend or acquaintance promotes a course of action which goes contrary to their values?  Have you ever caught yourself being inconsistent in pursuing a course of action which diverges from your beliefs?  It is easy to not “think through” situations or issues, but it is important that we do just that. Why? To make sure that we don’t act in ways contrary with our beliefs, priorities, and values.  To make that we don’t wander down the wrong path. To make sure that we don’t miss an opportunity to be a light in a dark area.  

Our nation and church needs to think thoroughly and theologically.  Theological thinking is something we need to teach our congregations to do as well as to encourage them to do and model for them. Laurie Green in her book “Let’s do Theology” gives a process for think kind of thinking.  She says it starts with:                 

         *Looking at Experience (ours or another’s/present day or historical)-What happened?  What are the dynamics?  What created the circumstances for what took place?                

         *Do more Exploration of the situation.-How do you feel about it or think about it?  What were the feelings or thoughts of those in the situations (be sure to look at various people from different perspectives).                

          *Take time for Reflection.-What is the meaning of what took place to me, to society, to the people directly involved?  Why do/did I respond as I do/did?  What other possible pathways of action or perspective are open to me/society?  What are the short and long term consequences of the pathway chosen?                

         *Based on the previous steps, what is my Response.- What understandings or beliefs of life and faith do I want to assimilate based on steps 1-3?  What response do I want to take now?  What is the new experience I want to create out of this?

  Sometimes it may take weeks, months or even years to work though specific experiences before a direction is found.  During this time multiple and even contradictory ideas may be held onto. (The video offered this month has a section about how to think theologically.)  After all, it is not a matter of whether we are going to think theologically but whether we are going to do it well or poorly; whether we are going to do it to help us be consistent in our faith or haphazard.  Today there is too much haphazard, kneejerk, and what is convenient thinking and acting.  How can we help our congregations and world think through the consequences, implications, and beliefs of what our actions, words and values bring?


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