Every period of time has a theological core, beliefs that form the nucleus of the faith. I believe that what each generation of Christians puts in this nucleus is culturally-conditioned, depending upon the conversations that are taking place in the time in which they live. Martin Luther said that justification by faith alone was the doctrine on which the church stood or fell, but it did not make it into the list of the five fundamentals defined by faithful Christians during the modernist controversy of the early twentieth century. Today's world is not the Reformation era, nor is it turn of the century America. Things have changed. And our theological core needs to adapt. So, humbly, I offer these areas of faith as a nucleus for the emerging theological mosaic.
Community - God: the Mysterious Trinity
Narrative - The Hero Story of Jesus
Truth - What God Has Revealed to Us
Transformation - What It All Means to Me
Hope - What It All Means to the World
Some points of discussion I plan to delve into throughout June:
Community - the interconnectedness of us all as an image of God, the magnetic function of trinitarian belief for theological method, the copout known as "the trinity is too hard to understand," trinitarian metaphors
Narrative - the hero motif of the gospel, finding ourselves in the story of Jesus
Truth - the posture of truth (or, what is the difference between absolute truth and knowing truth absolutely), community-based knowledge and the necessity of the church
Transformation - why faith must make a difference, being good and being right, how seriously do I take Jesus?, and would he be against the Global War on Terror?
Hope - can we have an optimistic eschatology that is not postmillenial?, the blurry lines of effective ministry (or, what if American Idol is more effective at helping Africa than the church is)
So, that is the map for the coming weeks. Let me know if there is some trail you want to wander down. I will probably be inclined to go with you. I hope it will be an exciting journey for all of us.