The Shape of Practical Theology notes

Shape of Practical Theology Notes

Pages 1-95

Practical Theology demands a very specific understanding of the nature of theology. It demands that the theologian holds the practitioner to the truth of God’s revelation in history and that the practitioner hold the theologian accountable to the truth of God’s reconciliation in humanity. (23)

Practical theology begins with 2 questions: What shall we do? How then show we live? (35)

Theological reflection is the activity of the Christian and the church by which acts of ministry are critically and continually assessed in the light of both revelation and reconciliation as God’s true Word. (55)

Theological reflection does not ask, “What would Jesus do in this situation?” because this question would imply his absence. Rather, it asks the question, “Where is Jesus in this situation and what am I to do as a minister?” (56)

When scripture is interpreted in such a way in that direction is sought for lives who need to be conformed to the true ‘author’ of scripture through the power of the Spirit, but he himself is a ‘reader’ and interpreter of scripture in every contemporary moment. (56)

Discernment is the recognition of the congruence between the Christ of Scripture and the Christ of ministry. This discernment is both exegetical and practical and arises where the Holy Spirit has control over both the mind and the heart. Discernment can only be tested ‘in ministry’ for it is a judgment rendered on behalf of persons in need of Christ’s presence as much as it is true information about Christ. (56)

It is always the task of the Church, admonished Karl Barth, to give an account of its theology in the light of the contemporary situation and the dogma of Christ’s ministry of reconciliation. (74)

 

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