communication and theology

one of the most remarkable pieces of my life right now is the fact that i’m free to spend all my time immersed in theology. i can choose to spend all my time communicating with God (and hopefully this will be a two-way street). i can take time.

in our course reading, i was captivated by the notion that theology is not just the study of God. it is not just using words to think or learn about God. theology is more than that. theology must always take into consideration the relationship between God and creation, God and humanity, humanity and God’s creation. and of course, every good relationship requires good communication. with relation to God, revelation plays a key role in communication. communicative theology (if i understand it correctly) highlights the fact that communication is essential in theology, but communication is more than words just as theology encompasses more than words. our theology and communication are so much more as they also involve the entire practice and experience of faith in God.

in the very beginning of the book, sharer and hilberath point out the fact that far too often theology has been limited to the expert lecturing. in german culture, the world of academia highlights this since a lecture is a vorlesung (literally meaning a reading before another) with the professor/teacher the vorleser (one who reads before others). but in actuality, theology is much more than passing on information. christian theology involves the experience and practice. we learn about God through the experience of encountering Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. we learn about God through the practice of prayers, meditation and dialogue alone and with other believers. theology is learned and developed through hands-on methods while using all possible forms of communication.

even as i write and reflect about communicative theology, i am confused by the fact that i am both excited and hesitant. i like the fact that there is the intention to focus upon communication in theology (thinking, talking, writing, discussing, dialoguing, chatting, listening, watching, being silent, etc). but i’m always hesitant when talking about God because i’m always well aware of the fact that my understanding is limited, that my communication is seldom as clear as i desire, that i far too often either ask the wrong questions or seek the wrong answers.

so much to learn…

1 Comment

  1. Ben Worley

    Kara, this seems to correspond, at least potentially, with Luther’s ideas about preaching. Hmm, I write that out and then I think to myself, “but a lot of preaching is like lecturing.” True enough. But I mean the kind of “preaching” that gives the good news in diverse settings and free from a pulpit format. Take communion, for example. Looking at the person as you give them the bread and say the words is a helpful way to communicate “for you.”

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