Tuesday, January 23, 2007

[THO] Theology in Praxis

This is proving to be a difficult semester, not that the material is any more difficult but this is the first year where I think I'm actually getting it. Theology is making a demand on me and it is scaring the crap out of me.

Last year I studied ecology and it did change me, I did become more ecologically conscious, I did become more vocal about our responsibility for the environment and I did reduce my ecogical footprint. But this semester that seems like childsplay.

Usually I am good at making the connections between my courses, ecology and grace flowing together, ecclesiology bringing about a point of praxis for implementing the theology I'm engaging with. But while I made those connections last year, this year the connections are making themselves! It is as if everything I read is challenging my ideological framework and asking me - what have I done as my response to the death and resurrection of Jesus? Have I simply built up a nice fortress (status quo) and lived there with a slightly edgy message but still safe in my own ivory tower? Or have I stepped into the world of the oppressed and said truly that I will live the message that I have come to preach? It is never easy and it is never safe.

But isn't that Jesus? What makes us think that following the most revolutionary characters ever to step onto the stage of history will be safe? What blindness we must read the bible with. What arrogance we must bring to the liturgy week in and week out.

So far this semester I think for the first time I've understood that being a Christian means being political. I've fought that my whole life. And this isn't what most Christians think being political means, it isn't trying to make sure that those who will support the status quo get in power. No it is intensely revolutionary. It is stepping into the face of those who continue oppression in this world. It is getting in the faces of those who support systems that profit from the plight of the oppressed poor of our world. It is refusing to arogantly think that we deserve luxury, entertainment and ease while so many groan in agony for their redemption. I mean, of course, that this is my sin that I must get right.

Repentance is not just saying we are sorry, it is an intensly political orientation towards God and God's project in this world. It is about becoming a people of the Kingdom. It is about becoming a people of liberation. It is about saying yes to Jesus call that we take up our crosses and follow him. It is a lot harder than our self-serving personal piety would have us believe.

Someone once said the greatest lie the devil ever told was that he didn't exist. I think the greatest lie he told is that we can live our lives as Christians as if Christ doesn't matter. The supports for that lie in my life are cracking all around me. This is a hard year. I doubt I will be the same person at the end of it.


Hank Harwell said...

Two Comments:

1) You really should check out Dance Lessons for Zombies by Peter Hiett. He has some nice things about challenging the status quo (of course, I've only read the first chapter so far...)

2) I heard that the greatest lie the devil ever told was that there was no hurry....

One of Freedom said...

I'll have to check that out Hank. I think the devil is just a good liar all around.

sushil yadav said...

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.

A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.





To read the complete article please follow either of these links :




One of Freedom said...


Not thinking is what has gotten us into this mess in the first place, especially letting others think for us. If you are trying to say that a technological solution does not exist to a problem that is actually embedded in the human condition then you will find great agreement amongst most world religions, especially Christianity. But the solution isn't a form of mental isolationism - but a well thought out engagement with the main problem here - humanity.