Thursday, July 12, 2007

Theology Thursday

I want to start a theological series. The problem is, I haven't decided what I want to discuss. It will be a sort of on-going virtual Bible study/discussion involving anyone who is willing to comment and engage the discussion. I want feedback on subjects/issues/passages that would benefit you. Here are a few possibilities. They are topics that have been on my mind lately that I would like to study (in no particular order):

  1. Gender roles -- I have this feeling in my gut that Christianity has for many years crippled itself by limiting the ministry opportunities of at least half of its members. In a very real way, we have been trying win the battle for the world with one hand tied behind our backs. But are there legitimate gender roles mandated by God? Is there a limit to how much more involved God would want women to be in the life of the church?
  2. Eternal punishment -- Is Hell really a place of eternal torture with no hope of relief? How is this consistent with a loving, gracious God?
  3. Worship -- I have heard much discussion over the years about the pros and cons of traditional and contemporary worship styles. I believe legitimate points can be made on either side. However, I want to look deeper in to the battle between those churches who follow a well-thought-out and strictly-adhered-to liturgy and those who opt for a more extemporaneous approach. What value can be found in each method? What can Christians learn about worship from those on the other side? What dangers are there in each method?
  4. Outreach -- This word means a lot of different things to different people. Since Christianity seems to be doing a poor job of "turn[ing] the world upside down," something must be wrong with our approach to outreach. I would like to look at some of the factors involved in modern views of outreach and propose some alternatives ways of looking at outreach.

These are just a few that come to mind. Any suggestions? What topic(s) have been on your mind lately?

1 comment:

Richard said...

Gender roles and worship are on my list too (well, I don't have a list like you, but if I did they would be there). I recently have been reading a history text on Christianity in America (Yes, I have a boring life. Yes, I used to read the dictionary for fun. And, yes, I love ecclesiastical history. Sue me.). Anyways, as I read this text these issues cropped up, among other things.

As my faith has matured, I have left a lot of old baggage behind. My tool chest of works has been replaced by a victory wreath of grace. My dark, dank basement of monochromatic worship has been upgraded to a modern art museum full of multidimensional worship motifs etc. BUT, one room in my renovated theological house that has been the most difficult to remodel is the one marked "gender roles."

I could easily embrace the culture argument so widespread today. But, the one point that I keep coming up short with is the fact that Paul connects the roles of men and women with the act of creation. He, however, also was the one that said that Christianity tears down walls of nationality, gender, etc. I must admit that this is a very difficult subject. Most churches have articulated some stance on the issue in theory, but have practiced things that seem to go against their stated stance.

I personally am in limbo presently. I want women to be fully engaged, to embrace resoundingly any and all leadership that God wants them to have. I simply have not been able to conclude what that is. Perhaps others can chime in and get the discussion rolling.