Doing Theology

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"The phrase 'doing theology' is not identical with studying or learning theology. It includes it and is yet more. Doing theology takes its cue from the Johannine phrase 'to do the truth' and signals a commitment to praxis. In other words, doing theology is more than just intellectual activity; it is a commitment and a passion for the good news of Jesus Christ in a very real world to engage it for God through Christ. Thus theology is seen to be not only knowledge or information but also wisdom by which to live. "

-John S. Pobee, “Ministerial Formation” 

In studying the Bible we can attempt to look at scripture through the eyes of marginalized persons. Prayer and reflection are essential components on our journey together of seeking the “heart of God”. But it is through service we truly become a community of theologians searching and struggling together to discover how to do theology in the context of highland communities, discovering new symbols and expressions of living out the kingdom of God in our times.

According to Jordan and Doulos in Cotton Patch Parables of Liberation, “The gulf between ourselves and the poor is the gulf between ourselves and God.” Building bridges between the rich and the poor, between the North, South, East and West, must become our priority as followers of Christ. This act of "doing theology" alongside our highland partners is an attempt to cross over into the world of the masses who are hungry, oppressed, homeless, landless, lack clothing, and lie in poverty.

This realization of the Kingdom is not a one way street of charity for those less materially fortunate but constant flow of mutual aid both materially and spiritually between children of the Kingdom; working alongside and sharing with our sisters and brothers in Christ.

 

The Relationship between the “Giver” and “Receiver”

“Partnership is only effective between people with equal power; unfortunately people are often powerless because they lack self-confidence, awareness, and sometimes competence to take action for change. The process of empowerment does not mean ‘us’ empowering ‘them’ but is a process of self-discovery for all involved.” 

-Dr. Kadeje-CMC, “Health Action”

 

In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul lays out a solid basis for serving and building the Kingdom:

12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 

13 For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality - 

14 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; 

15 as it is written, "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack." 

While Paul’s message to the Church obviously refers to the giving of material abundance, there is also the implication of the reciprocity of spiritual abundance. As he says just a few verses earlier in the chapter:

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

So not only is the Kingdom one of mutual aid of material abundance but also of spiritual riches. In this model of the Kingdom, the giver and receiver become far more interchangeable, as those in most need of material aid are often times blessed with spiritual abundance. Our mission is to facilitate this reciprocity through an egalitarian view of the givers and receivers of Christ’s abundance.