“I study theology.” This statement produces a variety of reactions.
“Good for you!” [Insincere.]
[Tilts head.] “Geology?”
“How is that going to prepare you for your career at Taco Bell?” [This man was punched.]
“Oh.” [Cute guy at bar suddenly not interested.]
It is a strange career choice, and not one that I seriously considered until my late 20s. When I finally took the plunge and returned to school full-time in 2013, I realized that I was entering a beautiful world, one I would never leave. Three years later, I have more questions than answers, and more wonder than understanding.
One casualty of studying theology, as the reactions above suggest, is the barrier it can put up between people with more traditional jobs (or, let’s be honest…a salary) and me. This is a problem. This is exactly the opposite of what theological studies should be about. A friend of mine who studies at Boston College put it best: Doing theology is a service undertaken for the community. Theologians study God, and then pass along the fruits of their study for others who may appreciate it, but not have the time or desire to undertake it themselves. Just like medical research is interesting in its own right, but is ultimately geared toward the advancement of medical practice, and so, healing, theology research passes along the truth, goodness and beauty of God so that people can enjoy the true, the good, the beautiful.
As a theologian, it’s important to me that I can communicate the significance of the 4th century term consubstantial, or explain the value of a 13th century teaching on the Holy Spirit. It might be meaningful to you, too. It might change the way you think about God, how you worship, or how you live.
Hence this blog. Here, I will share what I’m up to in 300-500 word posts. I hope these posts are easily digestible, interesting, and meaningful. Since my area is historical theology, there won’t be much politics or morality, but there will be scripture and church history. I’m open to your questions, too.