politics is the art of the possible (someone said
so), theology (Christianity in thokught) is the science
of the good. This distinction is critical if we are
to understand why it is that Christianity seems to
be so impractical.
get elected on the strength of promises they make
(ask Mrs. May or Mr. Netanyahu about this). If their
promises are not attractive to voters, they remain
private citizens. They return to that state when they
can no longer deliver or find excuses.
are volunteers. Their only promise is that God is
faithful to and all-powerful in in the accomplishment
of his promises; they are freed of the burden of having
think of theology as 'pie in the sky'. Economists
call it socialism (at their most polite). Psychologists
call it enforced infancy (why else is God called "Father"?).
Historians call it a thing of the past. Scientists
call it unsubstantiated. 'Spiritual' people call it
hypocrisy. None of these actually believe in God;
they believe in their own disciplines and resources
and descriptions of human thriving.
those of us who study it, theology is the word of
God (one etymological meaning of the word) and the
study of that word's Speaker (another etymological
is a God - better: since there is a God, he and his
word are the only absolutely unchanging and unchanged
realities in the entire realm of being. The real truth
about any other and every other person or thing cannot
be known unless one knows as well its relationship
to God. That means that whatever else we may know
about a person, place, thing or issue, our knowledge
is fundamentally flawed without reference to God and
any decisions we make based on that flawed knowledge
seem a large claim, but it seems large only because
every other science claims to offer exhaustive and
infallible information about its topic; thus theology
is bunkum. Theology is much more modest, it claims
to offer only a part of truth. These other 'sciences'
want to be the only one; theology recognizes it place
amongst all the others. Why is theology so modest?
not the only actor in the universe. Every human being,
from Adam to the latest-born infant on the face of
the earth has had some sort of impact on the universe.
Not to want to know about those impacts would suggest
that those actors are unworthy of consideration or
that their effects do not touch us or that we alone
are worth studying. Think about the power that some
eleven-year-old hacker hiding in the hills of Tibet
can do to mess up your life, your finances and your
peace of mind and even the computer on which this
essay was created in the network on which it was printed
and you will know that every human is significant.
You may not feel important yourself
we feel is such a bad guide to the truth of things
as they are!
be doing some theological reflections on some issues
over the next few weeks. Hang on and enjoy!
and truly and theologically yours,