Sunday, May 5, 2013

Instead of a systematic theology, I have a-systematic theology

So I sat down to write my credo for my systematic theology class and I've ended up with a 15 page christology. My roommate informs me that this is because I have too much Christ in my theology. I informed him that he's a rotten dirty heretic and that he deserves a big slap in the face from St. Nicholas. He also informs me that I superimpose my Christian beliefs on Jewish texts. I threw a shoe at him and insulted his heritage and his physical appearance. It was a good talk.

Ok, only half of that really happened. And my roommate totally gets a point in his column when, toward the end of my christology, I shrug and say something like, "Well, we can't really understand this without understanding the Holy Spirit, and I don't have time for that 'cuz it's finals week and I've frittered away all my writing time playing guitar in a fountain with said roommate."

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is that I wanted to share with you how I'm ending my credo, because I think it's fun and I think it helps blow overly-systematized theologies up from the inside out, which is a worthy cause in my opinion. Like Donald Miller says, this isn't math. It's relationship.

Check it out:

"The band mewithoutYou has a song entitled “Four Word Letter, Pt. 2” which ends emphatically with the following lines: “We hunger; though all that we eat brings us no relief, we don’t know quite what else to do. We have all of our beliefs, but we don’t want our beliefs. O God of peace, we want you.” Ultimately, it is not Christology that we crave. It is Christ. It is not theology that we yearn for. It is an encounter with the living God. It is not eschatology that we hope for. It is eschaton.

I once composed a song in critique of rapture theology that contains the line “I don’t know what’s waiting for us when we close our eyes, but I’d bet my life that it’s something that sings.” We do not know what the inbreaking kingdom of Christ will ultimately look like, but we see glimpses, hints of the glory to come.
Whatever it looks like, I will take the risk to claim that there will be singing.
And there will be dancing.
And we will feast together at the heavenly banquet."

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