Putting theology first

by Richard on April 20, 2012

John Meunier hosts a good guest post lamenting the lack of theological discussion at the UMC’s General Conference. Accepting that there are financial issues to be faced, he goes on:

I am more troubled by what United Methodists will not be talking about at General Conference. For example, what are the odds that United Methodists at General Conference will have a lively conversation about the Holy Trinity or about the need to recover a more prominent role for Mary in United Methodist beliefs and practices? And what are the chances that we will have an animated conversation about the nature of holiness or about whether two sacraments are really sufficient?

Setting aside whether those are the most urgent theological conversations to be had, I’m sure that he is right, and not just about the UMC. Whatever issues the church might face (and there are plenty of them), we need to face them as a church. Coming up with ‘management’ solutions, marketing plans, financial scenarios and all the rest is well and good — but they should arise from our theological thinking.

Far too often, it’s the other way around.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


Pam 04.21.12 at 2:40 am

Sometimes I think churches ‘dawdle’ and ‘eke’. So my friend Leunig has a solution:

Dawdle - to waste time, to be slow, to move slowly and idly
Eke - manage to support oneself but not easily, to make an amount of something last longer by consuming it frugally, obtain or create but just barely.

Dawdling and Ekeing

I will dawdle, I will eke
I’m too tired and dumb to speak
I’m too sad for vanity
I will eke my sanity
I have now become primordial
I am ekeial, I am dawdial.


Richard 04.21.12 at 7:31 am

I like that.


Pam 04.21.12 at 10:09 am

Me too.
Leunig: creative wordsmith!


Kim 04.21.12 at 10:49 am

It’s great to hear a voice crying in the wilderness, John (but remember what happened to your baptising namesake!) . And even when theology does sneak past the church’s survival police it’s usually hopelessly pragmatised — aims and objectives, lists and numbers, graphs and bullet points on prayer, discipleship, getting into heaven, whatever. The church is dying alright — death by banality.

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