Christian Theology 32
November 30, 2007
Next week: group meeting next Friday: Isolate a time on Friday for us all to get together (diane
decker – room confirmation) to have something of a review for the exam.
Tie things together:
Not much interest in Theology as an abstract craft. Such approaches to theology are betrayals of
theology. Because theology is a concrete practice. A concrete craft. It is a thinking that is
internal to a specific mode of life. It is not a mode that looks out upon a specific form of life. It is
a mode that is specific to a concrete way of life.
What mode of life is that?
Theology is the thinking internal to the Christian faith, the Christian life, the Christian church. The
mode of thinking internal to the Israel of God, who is the Son of God who as such discloses the
God of Israel. In short, theology is the mode of thinking internal to the life of Jesus Christ.
Theology has an interior Christology.
This ocurse has been a 14-week journey into the internal thinking of the life of Jesus. We have
done our very best to eschew abstraction, eschewed reflection on theology as a body of
disembodied ideas. We refuse an approach in which Christian doctrines: The triune God, the
ecclessialogy, sacraments, the doctrine of the Christian life itself – most challenging of course,
because in this doctrine we’re confronted with the demands of Jesus, that our life has to be
different, discernibly different. With Bonhoeffer we refuse to approach the disembodied doctrines,
even of this. Instead, we approach the matter in this way: The Christian theology is the
communal reality. It enfolds a new order of things. At the heart of this communal vision is
PARTICIPATION in the very thing being reflected upon, participation in Christ. So we can now
see this. He’s tried to lead us into this – a form of spiritual practice. It is an activity in the Spirit. It
is spirituality. Theology, Christology, ecclesiology, the sacraments, et.c, etc., these are not mere
ideas, these are things that we must reckon with, that we must inhabit.
The Bonhoeffer lecture, when we dealt with issues of the Christian life: what does Bonhoeffer
mean by participation in Christ? Ephesians 1: In Christ, in Him….
What does he mean by this? Vulnerability, honesty, confession, and by confession he meant,
con (from the Latin) and then fessio speaking and then hearing one another. He was pointing to
the Pentecost. For Pentecost is a miracle of speech that comes to us from afar. The Jews come