Earlier this evening Steve Hayes complained, “Theology has become too introspective, talking about itself and its future,” and sadly, I agree.
The prompt for Steve was a Christian synchroblog on health care, which he felt was too vegetarian, lacking theological meat. In particular he said, “When a group of Christians write about Christian approaches to health care, theology has nothing to say to them. The voices of politics and economics speak louder.” What does attract theologians? According to Steve, internal squabbles.
In many ways these comments mirror some of my own frustrations with the Christian blogosphere. When I casually mention squabbles around abortion or homosexuality, my stats jump. When I critically ask, how do you think about prayer and meditation theologically, or experience and emotion theologically, or other religions theologically, my stats drift in the duldrums. You’d think I would have learned by now and shifted focus significantly! But no, I feel that would be too much of a sell out.
You see for me, being committed to a more holistic kind of Christianity, for me heart and mind must be in sync. I think it’s essential to be able to pray thoughtfully and think prayerfully, to develop a practically-tested theology and theologically-sound practice, to blend high religion with folk religion. This gulf between introspective theology and unreflective practice in contemporary church culture simply galls.
And you know what’s even worse? Having noted how they like Jesus but not the church, what has been the practical effect of the emerging church conversation? An increased emphasis on ecclesiology! GRRRRRR!!!! And an expansion of the Christianese dialect! ????? Like we needed that!
How about for once we lay off deconstructing the church … and dive into deconstructing the state … and the cultural and religious milieu we live in?