maggi has a post entitled resentment and theologians which has a lot of comments. it is a follow on/response to the debate on moot (make sure you look at the comments)...
i have tried to post a comment on maggi's but got a message saying i am only allowed 100 characters (in which space i can't say anything!) - seems a bit weird... anyway i am posting my response here. it won't make a lot of sense unless you read the original discussion...
all this blog activity at the moment - what is going on?!
great post maggi... only just caught up with it. i was one who specifically mentioned ivory towers on the moot blog. i am still uncomfortable with theology as it is framed in lots of academic institutions. i feel like kester and i are two lone voices here against the rest of the blogosphere. so am happy (well i'm probably lying) to be proved wrong... but let me try and articulate my problem
it's not with theology or study or specialisation - i have had my imagination funded by many a theologian and am thankful to those who have given their lives to it.
but it is with detatchment from the real world. (maybe all i am doing is arguing the case for practical theology?) the best theology always engages with life and i appreciate that you have hung around academic circles and are saying this is going on but i simply don't believe it's as wonderful as you say.
let me try and give a specific example (and risk getting my head bitten off) relating to theological education - people go and train for being vicars for three years - most of what they do is theology - OT, NT, systematics etc - the theory is that they will learn the practical stuff on the job later on as i understand it. well to put it bluntly the sytem doesn't work. or it has massive problems. why? because there isn't the connection between theology and real life - it's too abstracted. it doesn't equip people to engage with theology in the market place or the city or pop culture. in terms of emerging church it is difficult to persuade people to get ordained - or at least via a route that requires being shut off from the world for three years. why? because they want to be trained where they are. and the training and theology needs to relate to the questions/struggles of real life. this is compunded by the fact that most people coming out of theological colleges are not equipped with the right skills to lead emerging churches - why? because they've spent most of their time doing theology and being trained to be teacher/pastors - very little missional stuff. dare i say sytematic theology is tired and dull? this is what i mean by detachment and i think that the establishment/institutions are perpetuating it. of course i am overstaing the case to make a point. i know loads of wonderful vicars and people who have learned loads through their training and relate it to real life. but those same people often still bemoan the lack of connection.
here's why i think everyone is loving your argument - you are an exception. you are theologising in the blogosphere listening to the struggles/questions many practitioners are asking - what a gift!... but show me the rest of the theologians who are doing that. i know there are some but i suspect that there are a whole lot more still commfortable in their ivory towers :-)
i'm with kester - i want to reframe the debate about god outside of the categories....
shoot me down