Sunday, 25 May 2008

theology versus pragmatism

I've just come back from a sunday evening with our own Church and Mark, who was preaching from 1 Sam. 13, talked about principle v practicality. He was good, I thought, speaking about Saul who let go of principle in favour of practicality. It got me thinking about the wedge which some people seem to be driving between 'theology' and 'pragmatism' at present. Pragmatism devoid of principle is bound to be hollow and, like a cul de sac, going nowhere fast. However, a theology which is lacking in any genuine practical outworking is not worthy of the name. Unfortunately, it's those of us with theology degrees who are doing the talking and maybe we need to listen to what those who have to listen to us think and feel a little more. Some of our gatherings are so detached from my life monday through to saturday (and I spend most of it with the Church!) I dread to think how others might respond. Ask them? Scary! Maybe blogging will help - maybe I'll discover I'm on a different planet, or perhaps someone will tell me how we can connect more beyond the walls of the Church without interviewing the teacher every week.


Geoff Colmer said...

Hi Nigel and welcome to blogland. It looks really good - I love the title - and I look forward to reading your posts. Geoff

Laurie said...

Hi Nigel
I've never got into blogging before so this is a first!
I agree with your (and Mark's) comments about practical application of theology. One of the reasons I switched from teaching physics to technology is that technology is about making things actually work!
Psalm 90:17

Simon said...

Hi Nigel - welcome to the blogsphere. Hope you and the family are well. Simon (Woodman)

Bob said...

Nigel - yet another welcome. I find that blogging does help; not just because it allows others some space to comment, but also because it airs my thinking before I have to deliver it on a Sunday. But you need to keep at it - it's one of those things (like physical exercise!) that can so easily slip out of the daily routine.

But the best tool for keeping theology practical is a community. And I guess that one of the disadvantages of regional ministry is that you risk being a visitor everywhere and belonging nowhere. My congregation tells me if I'm not practical enough; and the local community throws up the situations into which the gospel must speak. To paraphrase the well-known quote: it takes a village to raise a preacher.