Saturday, January 10, 2009

Theology's Task Today (continued)

In my last post, I said that there needed to be a globalized faith. This means that several things must change in the Christian world, where it concerns faith.

Science deals in the real world and describes many aspects of life in this world. Anthropological study of man within context, psychological study, which studies everything from neuroscience, cognitive science, learning theories, to how people respond and understand religion and God...Church history has focused on questions that confronted the Church and how they should be answered using philosophy. This is how theology should be done today, as it connects the real world with the transcendent. There is no superspiritual message of salvation in the sweet by and by, as we really do not know about the transcendent. We only know about how man has functioned within the world. This is a theological humanism, as all men are created in God's image.

Some would like to protect the Bible as a special revelation to man, but I find this is misguided. The material in Scriptures has always been interpreted differently throughout the ages, but some would like to protect Jesus as a unique figure, instead of understanding him within a moral framework as natural theology would. A natural theology could be palatable to many atheists, I believe for it would not deny or detract from reason or reasonble scientific understandings of "truth" and theology. Of course, many would say that the wall between science and religion should remain intact, but why is this necessary? To protect the Church's interests? The Church's interests should be first and foremost about man and the world.

Augustine understood man within a certain framework that I think is downright wrong. Why? because of many atrocities that happen when one religion thinks it owns truth! And more so when there is correction in the name of God that must be made because man is fallen and will go to hell if he is not saved (spiritually). This attitude and focus breeds a radicalization of faith that breeds what Wesley would call enthusiasm. We do not need such thinking and feeling about faith today. We need a re-structuring that breeds understanding, listening, and a wideness in understanding God's grace, mercy and love. This theological framework would be diplomatic in its undertaking of peace in the world and would help to alleviate much miscommunication.

Jesus has been interpreted in so many ways that there is not "right way" of understanding him. He was a moral model, but was one among many in the world of religion. Religious understanding should include moral, ethical, social and political models within all cultures. Understanding others and their cultural heroes help to breed understanding and trust, which helps communication.

What do Christians really want? Do they want to have the "ultimate and only" truth? Or are they open to struggling to breech the wide gap amongst the religions of the world and bring a larger vision of hope?

According to the science and religion debate, this view is NOT complementary, but integrative. This is necessary and mandantory, as education has left faith altogether, which has bred the atheist we see today.

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