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Why Theology Is Not a 4-Letter Word – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Jun 112008

What do you mean: “Theology Is Not a 4-Letter Word”? Of course it isn’t. But a lot of people in the Christian tradition treat theology that way. You hear a lot about it, but it’s not something one should talk about in polite company. Theology is seen as a scholary discipline that has very little (if anything) to do with our everyday life. But theology has everything to do with our daily life.

Theology is our relationship with God, and how we talk about our relationship with God. Theology talks about who God is, how God acts in our world, and God’s relationship with God’s creation. Theology is our relationship with God–both our personal relationships and our corporate relationship as a community of faith and the universal church. Theology is where we see God at work in our homes, neighborhoods, and our world.

All of life is theology because all of life is from God.

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  3 Responses to “Why Theology Is Not a 4-Letter Word”

  1. Thinking about how we treat the world theology is interesting, because it is provocative! I remember in seminary a professor that commented that he thought theology was not taken as a serious discipline by other disciplines….and that now theology has to rely too much on other disciplines in order to justify itself. I don’t totally agree with him, but the more I am in the field of “professional” theology, I see some of his points.

    But your post pushes me to think about it even more–if theology IS life, what needs justification? Life? All these things (“disciplines”, or just life) are not IN conversation with each other, but perhaps they just exist together, as part of one picture.

    These are my rambling thoughts! Thanks for your cool blog.

  2. Today, I was reading “The Crucified God” and Moltmann talks about how theology isn’t just God as object, but also God as subject–revealing Godself and being a participant in theology.

    So, if we view it not just as an individual human venture, but rather one that takes place in relationship–both within a human community and in relation to God–it definitely is not a four-letter word.

  3. I definitely think theology revolves around relationship. I also think the other disciplines help us with theology because it helps us understand the people in the Bible, how they lived, and how they saw their relationship with God, which helps us understand that relationship. And that will help us understand our own relationship and know who God is better.

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