Big Veda

In Hinduism, a Veda is a knowledge or truth writing. I don't pretend that this stuff is anything more than rumination. But through writing it I find a bit of knowledge or truth. Hope you find some truth too. PAX


Theology... What's the point?

In his book Black Theology and Black Power, James H. Cone levels the following criticism directly at the practice of theology:

"It is much easier to deal with the textual problems associated with some biblical book or to deal "objectively" with a religious phenomenon than it is to ask about the task of theology in the current disintegration of society... It is time for theology to leave its ivory tower and join the real issues, which deal with the dehumanization of blacks in America. It is time for theologians to relate their work to life-and-death issues, and in so doing to execute its function of bringing the Church to a recognition of its task in the world."

This challenges me as a theologian and as a member of the Church in America. He's right. It is easier to deal with textual criticism and respond to esoteric religious phenomenon than it is to settle on a hard and fast response to real problems. So far in my theological studies, the most anyone will offer in response to our greatest social issues is either, "It's all very complicated" or, "The solution for this was settled by Augustine". There is much territory in between these two positions but I find few theologians who want to draw a line in the sand anywhere in that minefield. We have the James Cones and Dietrich Bonhoeffers of the world who see evil and address it head-on. But those of us who reflect theologically on these issues understand that history will be the judge of our veracity and that is a risk we DARE not take.

But it remains that the Church has work to do. We have our tasks and woe to us who are remiss in carrying them out. God calls each of us to a level of service according to our gifts. We hold seminars and retreats for our congregations to discover what exactly it is that God has gifted us to do. But the Church has a job to do in the world. It is up to the theologians to determine how we respond to the task at hand.

I am embarrassed that I have not been more confident in what I know to be the need and the appropriate response to that need. I have been complicit in the Church's abrogation of its responsibility to reveal Christ to the world. Stay tuned...




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