Theology For Our Times.

If I ask church leaders what they feel the most important theology of our time is to people today, I’m consistently surprised when they talk about salvation, end times, church leadership and doctrine issues.

Here’s my pick:

There is Hope. You are part of this Story. Hold On.

9 Comments

  • stumcgregor says:

    succinct and to the point. and to the right point too. salvation isn't good news for those who aren't looking for salvation (in the conventional sense!), end times is pointless as it's unverifiable at the material level, church leadership is basic humanism/western social political constructs foisted clumsily shoehorned ecclesiology, and doctrine is no longer an absolute reference point. no wonder we're in decline.hope's a biggie. the story is a real biggie. hold on is a tough challenge.i would want to add that into the mix somewhere that we are valuable to God, that we are sacred and lovable. not sure how i would construct that (if i do, i'll post it on my blog).

  • Jill says:

    Excellent. You were brief. I will be too.

  • Love it – my wife preached on hope last week (5 lay women preached – they should do more). My three word summary of the issues isHelp! Thanks! and Sorry!

  • Hey there :)I might just push back (gently!) and suggest that it is perhaps the Church's truncated/shrunken/shriveled (mis)undertandings of salvation, church leadership and end times that has made them seem irrelevant?For example:'Salvation' is essentially the story of God's redemption of ALL things in/through Christ – nothing could be more 'relevant' than that! Shame on the parts of God's church who have reduced it to 'ticket-to-heaven' schemes.'Church' is God's means of witnessing to this Great Salvation – shame of some who have made it about CEO-style charisma/leadership-ism, etc. True, cruciform, servant leadership (a calling for the WHOLE church, not just the 'leaders') is urgently relevant today.And, 'end times' is another sad story where the Christ-centred, goal for ALL creation (Eph 1, Col 1, Heb 1, etc.) has been reduced to some kind of secret escape mission, a la 'Left Behind', where it's all about getting off of this (literally) damned planet… woe to some of us for forgetting that Heaven will not snatch us off earth, but remake and renew it – AND woe to some of us who have seen 'the end times' as something only to WAIT for, and not to WORK for expectantly, doing works of restoration, reconciliation, and repair 'signposting' what will happen fully when Christ comes again!So in a sense, nothing is more relevant than 'end times', 'salvation' and 'church leadership'!!!-d-

  • Stephen G says:

    I think you're onto something here. I once asked a class of theology students what the Christian hope is. Lots of blank looks. When pressed a number of them said, no one preached on hope – they got End Times and other stuff, but not what the Christian hope that sustains life actually is. (Some of the Anglican students did a little better, because hope was articulated each week in the liturgy).All a little sad really.

  • Tash McGill says:

    I hear your point, Dale.. but I would push back that if they become important in the contextualization of Hope, it only serves to affirm my stance.

  • Thanks Tash,"the contextualisation of Hope" – I'm not sure what you mean here, and/or how it relates to what I've said?

  • Judy Redman says:

    Tash, I think you're right. I think that very few people who are not terminally ill are particularly interested in whether or not they are going to heaven, which is the central concern of salvation and end times. What gives them hope is knowing that they are loved and accepted by God here, now, and as they are, with all their imperfections. Faith that people have to be scared into isn't faith at all. At least IMHO. πŸ™‚

What do you think?