While honoring those who have gone before us, we must be attentive to the people and issues of today.
Jesus called us to be his followers in the 21st century — not in ancient Palestine or Medieval Europe.
"God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars."
~ Martin Luther
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
~ Will Rogers
Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love....
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us,
and his love is perfected in us.
~ The First Letter of John, 4:8, 12
The word theology comes from the Latin theologia: theo + logia = God + study. Theology, therefore, is the study of God and of God's relation to the world. Yet, as the Epistle writer reminds us, no one has ever seen God — all we can do is speculate.
And yet ...
Throughout the ages humans have come to believe that they did know something about God — something clear and concrete. And what they "knew" felt terrifically important; it was information that needed to be shared, good news that needed to be proclaimed, hope that needed to be revealed — "so that our joy will be complete" (1 John 1:4). These descriptions of their experiences is theology.
If we have not had an experience of "knowing" — we go forth, seeking: an explanation, a description, an understanding: Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Who designed all that is? It is in the nature of our humanness to want to know; we are "curious beings" — in every sense of the word. The way we answer these questions is theology.
The "Wesleyan Quadrilateral" upon which Methodist theology is based is comprised of Scripture, tradition (traditional practices and teachings), reason, and experience. We believe that, to be faithful Christians, we must prayerfully consider all of these aspects of our life and our world.
While honoring those who have gone before us, we must be attentive to the people and issues that are with us today. Jesus called us to be his followers in the 21st century — not in ancient Palestine or Medieval Europe. As Karl Barth said, theology ought to be done "with the Bible in one hand, and the newspaper in the other."
If we have sincere faith in what our Lord taught, then we will not hesitate to apply His teachings to current events. If we truly believe in the God that Jesus proclaimed, we will trust that there is Good News within the Scriptures. There is nothing to fear.
This trust in God's loving compassion and infinite goodness is a cornerstone of my theology, as you will discover throughout the inklings site. Here you will find an active engagement with the Scriptures — and frequent challenges to "traditional" interpretations.
It is my heartfelt wish that my interpretations and teachings will inspire and challenge you. I hope that, after reading what I have written, you will pick up the Bible and find out what's in there. I hope that you will read the morning paper and see God's continuing involvement in the world — and the ways in which you are called to be at work there. I hope that your life becomes a prayer of loving praise.
May the Holy Spirit fill your heart with love and hope, that you shall courageously proclaim the Good News wherever you go.