Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
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Wednesday, July 1

Today’s Readings: Psalm 100; 1 Samuel 21:1-15; John 21:15-19; 2 Corinthians 12:19-21; Psalm 23

During my seminary years, all students were required to meet general requirements across a couple of tracks. One track was biblical studies; one track was Christian history; one track involved an array of ministerial duties (i.e. pastoral care and Christian Education); and one track was theology. While my favorite was the biblical studies track, I also enjoyed the theology track quite a bit as well. We had a chance to study some of the greatest theologians of all time – ranging from Ireneas to Luther to Schleiermacher to McFague. It was all very fascinating. There was only one thing about the experience of studying theology in seminary that frustrated me. As we studied each school of theology, many of my classmates started declaring themselves adherents of one particular theological camp. Some would say, “I’m a systematic theologian”; other would say, “I’m a liberationist theologian”; others would say, “I’m a womanist theologian”; and still others would say, “I’m a process theologian”. I never felt comfortable making such a declaration for myself because I had one strong conviction at the center of my faith: God is so much bigger than any limited human category we could create to think about God. If I declared myself a liberationist theologian, for instance, I would be minimizing the truth contained in systematic approaches; and if I declared myself a womanist theologian I could miss out on the fullness of the truths contained in process theology. In other words, I fought to keep my contemplation of God open so that it could transcend the limitations of human experience. I was reminded of this struggle as I read the Psalm 100:3 today. In that verse, the psalmist said: “Know this: God is God, and God, God. God made us; we didn’t make God. We’re God’s people, God’s well-tended sheep” (The Message). Theology (if poorly done) can represent an attempt to create a God in line with our limited human values and perceptions. Of course the field of theology isn’t the only way we human beings try to create God in our image. We can do it in our peace and justice pursuits, in our mission commitments, and even our spiritual practices. Today, I would invite you to examine your own spiritual life. In what ways have you tried to “make” God for yourself. Once you’ve examined that notion, spend some time in your time of prayer and meditation contemplating the One who is bigger than all our human boxes. Til next time…

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