Friday, April 12, 2013

Do people think you like to think?

My son likes to get up early in the morning. Really early.
Every now and then we head off to a local cafe which has two distinct advantages. It opens at 7 am, and has what I like to call 'a baby cage', and others call a play area.
So this one monday morning I take in what I've been reading, Barth's Church dogmatics, 3/3. as I stumbled in bleary eyed, the owner of the cafe looks at the book in my hand "what on earth are you reading?"
I hand her the book
"Oh, theology. Are you studying?"
"No, I'm a minister with the Anglican Church"
"So it's for work, a sermon or something"
"No, I just like to think"
"Really? I get loads of ministers in here. They look stuffed on a Monday. They're pretty good looking too
((I don't know if I should be offended by this comment))
Lots of students too. always with their theology assignments. But you are the first I've ever met who reads it because you want to. Most ministers don't like theology because it raises questions. Ministers don't like questions".

Now we had a good conversation about this and all sorts of other Jesus stuff. But it did get me thinking.
Did we really study all that theology just to pass exams?
Are we committed f to thinking and learning and listening. Or is that only for four years and then it becomes just another job.
Do thou read theology for the pleasure of thinking about god?


Mike Bull said...


Mike Southon said...

You've hit on a fairly critical issue that I'm working on for college at the moment - are we teaching people skills for now, or are we teaching them to learn for the rest of their lives?

The classical/liberal/western model of teaching (lectures, essays, exams) are supposed to do the second, but most educators and developmental type people suggest that it really only achieves the first.

The theory is that we are training people to believe that they can only learn when they are in a lecture room with an expert, and are not equipped for un-directed learning.

Mike W said...

Cool stuff mike.
Have to say though, youthworks people are pretty good at this stuff.

I've been questioning the place of the motivation toward theology in our churches.
The motivation seems to be 'understand a text, have something to say' get paid
I'm starting to think this I'd deeply unbiblical.

Theology should be pursued because we feel a deep longing to better praise god. To confess him better. Our shite bland church services are both a symptom and a cause of the lack of this motivation. As soon as we get the idea that it doesn't matter how we name and praise God,theology is lost.

Equally, we need to approach theology out of a deep desire to understand our world and times.
We are called to offer sacrifices of doing good.
But figuring out the good means getting a grasp on what things truly are.
As soon as we write off this calling as 'a bit catholic', theology is lost

Mike Bull said...

Good on you for being the different one. The faithful minister is one who LOVES questions (1 Peter 3:15).