"doing" theology

My modular class on Feminist Theology starts Monday morning. The number of pages I have left to read before my class starts is… well, laughable. I decided to take the pressure off and just read what I need for the first two days. Tomorrow is always exhausting. Church for 5 hours. Rush home. Pack. Give last minute instructions. Drive for 4.5 hours. Collapse in a strange bed and don’t sleep well. And start the week – looking forward to seeing old friends – maybe – and making new ones – hopefully.

But since several of the authors I have been reading talk about “doing” theology I struggled to be sympathetic to what they mean. Because, you see, to me “doing” theology is what I do all day, every day. Listening. Praying. Laughing. Walking through life. Wondering. Knowing I don’t know. Experiencing Jesus and trying to “be Jesus with skin on”… That to me is “doing” theology.

I completely understand that one’s theological framework determines the way one lives. I even “get it” when people wax poetic about picking apart and putting back together the Scriptures with intense analysis. I don’t live for it, but I understand. And this process of learning and pontificating $100 words when yakkin with nickel ones will do… That, I will NEVER get.

Here’s what gets me.

For years, I listened to people “do” theology. They would rail against this deadly sin or that… and then go do another one. My favorite was the preacher who went radically, foam-at-the-mouth crazy over people who read porn… and was himself a large blimp-sized personage. (Uh. gluttony, anyone? Eh. Don’t look at my butt. PLEASE.)

I believe in “doing” theology. I also believe in living it. REALLY living it. Wrestling out what it means to show love. To demonstrate kindness. To possibly parse a little Greek doing it… but to be careful what one preaches in light of how one lives.

And now, stepping off my soapbox before I trip and fall… yet again…

Deb

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