Monday, May 15, 2006

Basic Theology

Preached at Emmanuel College Cambridge last night and had a very enjoyable evening! Fantastic choir, beautiful worship and the sermon was OK too. I preached on the part of the Apostle's creed which deals with the incarnation and decided to take a view, echoing a talk i did at Greenbelt a few years back, that some basic Incarnational theology was in order.

In discussion with the Dean of the College afterwards (v nice supper, not good for the figure but very enjoyable) he remarked how little basic Theological education there is in our Churches, and i think its true. Whilst i enjoy preaching Sunday by Sunday and try to include theological thought in there as well as Biblical application, there are lots of basics in our faith that many people have not really been informed of. I have been trying to get Greenbelt to do some 'basics of faith' talks for a few years now, but haven't caught the imagination of the talks planning committee. The Church at large, and GB in particular, is caught up in contextualisation and contemporary thougth - crucial, but perhaps a step away from what some people need. I think talking about who Jesus was and what the Church believes about him, about a Theology of Church, about explaining our traditions, is often sacrificed on the Altar of 'are we relevant' concerns. Not that for a moment i think we shouldn't address things in that way, but i do wish that the basics, the foundations, were there for the Church to build on....

Maybe this is controversial, maybe there is much more than i think, but it does seem, even in conversations i have with very thoughtful and committed Church members, there is a dearth of basic theological education.

'scuse me a moment whilst i climb down of this very high horse...

sermon to follow as next post and then you can all pick it to bits and explain why my thinking is inadequate ;-)

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