Theology Must Be Everybody’s Responsibility. Theology Must Be Missional.
All believers are called to be “ministers,” whether we do so in a full-time capacity, or not. We know we have been set apart, and we are clear that the directive that we have been given is a directive to be different. This gets to the idea of holiness as defined by Dr. Jim Bruckner, Professor of Old Testament Studies at Northpark Theological Seminary. Holiness is not for holiness’ sake; holiness is missional. We have been called to be the agents of change in the world, a holy (set-apart) people who have been blessed by God solely to be a blessing to the world. Neither is theology done for the sake of theology. Holiness and theological understanding are both constructs which are designed to be utilized to make clearer a much larger picture which involves a mission to bless the world. If we are made holy/set apart by God to bless, then it only stands to reason that, when it comes to theology, we approach it in the same manner: we set ourselves, our ideas, our minds, apart- we take captive every thought, so that it may be in obedience to God and to his mission in and for the world, the missio Dei, which is to be a holy blessing to the world.
We must expect that we will be asked tough questions by those with whom we have the privilege of coming into contact. We know that we will be challenged by these questions. We also know that in answering these questions, we have the opportunity to be a blessing. We cannot bless the world in a vacuum. We cannot impart an understanding of God to others if we do not know others; and we cannot impart an understanding of God to others if we do not know God. Our role in the world is distinct- we are always on task, always in the ‘hot seat’, always on mission. Dan Kimball has said that, “theology comes alive when we are on mission and challenged with different ways of thinking.”
To Be Continued... (More on What Theology Must Be to be Effective for the missio Dei...)