My wife and I had the privilege of attending the School of Theology recently in Oregon. SOT is an intimate gathering of about 20 people from around the country who assemble to discuss theology and its implications/applications. The specific theological focus on the table was exploring the beauty of the Trinity.
I’m offering a variety of thoughts, observations and statements presented during the week. I am purposely omitting names of the speakers. I’ve learned the hard way that Christians tend to become polemic around personalities.
We draw circles around theology, organizing theological “truth” by who is “inside” and who is “outside” our particular camp. We often refuse to listen to those outside our particular group, dismissing their views merely on the basis of who is speaking rather than being willing to evaluate actual content. We much prefer to listen only to those we already know agree with us.
We resist the discomfort of learning and growing. We opt for the psychological security blanket of affirmation and conformation.
As an ancient Greek philosopher noted, “It’s impossible to teach a man what he already knows.”
I can be as guilty as anyone.
With that, here are some nuggets of thought from SOT:
- Much of what is presented as the “Gospel” is basically, “You suck. Try to suck less.”
- In the fundamental, evangelical paradigm, what’s important is being “right.” Unfortunately, everything else gets crushed, one way or the other.
- You cannot compare your damage with anyone else. Everyone has their own capacity to bend, adapt and adjust. There is no simple solution to the healing of the human heart. This the beauty of the work of the Holy Spirit being poured out on every human heart, on a personal level.
- “Unbeliever” is not a category. It’s an activity.
- The lies that exist in our heart do not exclude us from the fact that God includes us in His love and His life.
- Shame destroys our capacity to discern between an observation and a moral statement.
- The value of ambiguity is that it reveals the heart.
- The greater our maturity, the more we are like little children.
I’ll share more at another time. To close, here are a few pictures I took during our free time at SOT. Lake Sparks is part of the Cascade Lakes near Mt. Bachelor in central Oregon. It’s beautiful at sunrise.