Passion for Theology
At the age of 18,
while my school friends were doing their A levels and
reading science fiction, I was working on the shop floor
at Westland Aircraft and in my spare moments reading
Bonheoffer, Brunner, Tillich, Calvin and Barth.
As a child I had been obsessed with the ‘why and
what’ questions of God and kept upsetting my Sunday school
realise now that theology has always been in my blood.
It still is!
Theology gives me
energy. It fires my imagination. It makes me who I am.
Without theology my spirit dies! However, theology also
makes me critical of many things within our church.
Witnessing the steady erosion of engaged
theology in Methodism over the last 25 years makes me sad.
While I delight in the fact that many more people in
Methodism are taking degrees I do not believe this
necessarily means that we are growing theologians, nor
does it mean that theology is shaping our Church.
Martin Luther said
‘not reading books or speculating, but living, dying and
being damned makes a theologian.’
Can Methodism be
regenerated without such a dynamic theology?
meet supernumeraries like myself who find their
theological gifts, as far as Methodism is concerned,
‘surplus to requirements.’
Is our theological contribution no longer wanted?
Meeting with a
little group of supernumeraries to consider papers and
review books helps as does my link with the Anglicans at
Sarum College. Running this web site may open up further
once talked about ‘cold theology’ and ‘hot theology’. They
used the former to describe the Western academic theology
of the head. Well that is OK for starters, but I think
theology should not only be hot but incandescent!
in the Methodist Recorder 14th JanuaryFebruary 2016