Friday, 28 February 2014

Exploring New Approaches to Scripture

Most of my previous posts on this blog have been what some have called 'theological throat-clearing'. That is, they have been about explaining where I am coming from, why I am writing these posts and making some introductory points. It is now time I got on with saying something about specific and substantive issues and subjects. I am starting with the Bible.

In my last post, I said that one of the main safeguards for avoiding pitfalls, as we freely explore new theological perspectives, is 'staying rooted in the Story of Scripture but being willing to review how we have understood it'. The issue of what we understand about the Bible, how it is authoritative and how we are meant to read and engage with it is, for me, one of the most pressing, exciting and challenging issues on the theological landscape today. It is also the one that has been central and instrumental in my own journey as I

Friday, 14 February 2014

Theological and Spiritual Freedom

It will be obvious from previous posts that I believe part of being a pilgrim on the journey of discovery involves a large degree of theological freedom. That is, it means being willing to explore different perspectives and not to be locked into the accepted orthodoxy of your group or tradition. Being free to question, challenge, explore. Such freedom is not without its dangers or challenges. Freedom is dangerous in many ways - witness the aftermath of the Arab spring, for example. It can be tempting to want to retreat to the 'safety' of theological dictatorship or conformity - believing what we are told or what everyone else believes, without question. But I believe the value of freedom is such that it is worth learning and attempting to negotiate its challenges and pitfalls (and there are many) in order to enjoy it - that's true of social, political, spiritual or intellectual freedom.

Monday, 3 February 2014

What Do I Mean By Pilgrim Theology? Part 2

I gave a slightly rambling explanation of what I mean by pilgrim theology in my last post by explaining how some recent reading and thinking (and perhaps some older but latent attitudes) have moved me in this direction. In this briefer post (hopefully) I want to try and capture it in a more vivid way.

In doing so I will use a contrast that I used at the end of an earlier post, critical of fundamentalist trends, and that is implicit in the review of Bauman's book referred to in my last post. It is the contrast between the Fortress and the Pilgrim's Path.
[I acknowledge that this involves some caricature - I exaggerate to make the point - and please realise that I am using it to identify certain trends, currents and attitudes; and not to attack or criticise any particular group. I am also aware that there are other models that can be used to speak about our relationship to truth, e.g. witnessing, proclaiming, being transformed by etc. In this blog, I am focusing on how we think about truth, i.e. do our theology].