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Aged Chris

Sloppy use of language by the Church. According to a simple definition at www.gotquestions.org/practical-theology.html it's simply applying theology to everyday situations. Better described as "theology in practice". Your unease is valid; since theology is about God, and we can't know God any way other than through our own experience/perception/thinking, so it's by definition practical. Stop blogging and get on with that thesis. Triple crown, then! And Cardiff in the semis! About time too!

Ryan Dunne

Do you have an opinion on the validity of experience as a theological *source*?

Aged Chris

What else have we got to go on?

Ryan Dunne

Reason, Tradition and Scripture (generally speaking). Liberals (like me!) often have to admit that we can't justify certain positions on the basis of Scripture; this is more honest than the "Paul was only talking about male cult prostitutes" exegetical contortions. Incidently, I should certainly clarify a past joke I made by stating that I DO NOT believe that all rugby fans/players are homophobic. There was a famous out australian player (his name escapes me, but there was a feature on him in gay mag Blue) whereas there are obviously no currently out top flight footballers.

Lorraine Darlow

You are spot on Nick. Theology must result in practical outworking or we fail to get it! We might not fully understand God but as we try to engage with God's Word the Holy Spirit is at work and we respond to our convictions in practical outworking. The Word affects us (regardless of reason or tradition). In short, "Theology is ethics, if it's not then it's not theology". A memorable quote from a well know Dr DT Cosden!!!

Ryan Dunne

Certainly there has been much theology formed "regardless of reason" but the historical record hardly validates this method; the virulent and biblically justified antisemitism (Judenhass is a better word) of much of the Church until fairly recently comes to mind. Although I will give evangelicals the benefit of the doubt that they discard the obvious misogynistic readings of passages of Paul's writings on the basis of a greater understanding of what the text is actually saying, I would question what is the source of this move towards historical contexualisation. I would speculate that Reason (eventually) led Christians to come to their senses as regards women and Jews, which *then* lead them to scurry towards non-literal readings. I think "Does this sound like something God would do or say?" is an entirely necessary question and far better than (for example) starting from the idea that OT genocide must be defensible because the Bible is entirely (and literally) true.

I will cop to an interest in theological areas that don't seem to be to do with ethical issues (e.g. squabbling over whether or not there is such a thing as the Real Presence) ; I suppose perceiving reality accurately falls within the remit of ethics.

Aged Chris

Hey, back again at the start of a new (and Holy) week. Ryan - reason is human reasoning, tradition is created by us human beings, scripture was written by inspired human beings. All our evidence of God comes via experience. We've been created gloriously and uniquely human, and that's how God tells us about himself. I'm sorry that I don't know anything about football of either kind, but I do know that WALES WON THE GRAND SLAM. Cymru am byth!

Lorraine Darlow

Nick, I can't remember if you've already done the Pastoral Care module. If not this book may be of use next term, otherwise when you've finished your writing for this term you might want to check it out. It's called 'Participating in God' by Paul Fiddes. It claims that a doctrine of the Trinity cannot be developed in isolation from pastoral experience. The book engages in conversation with recent thought about the Trinity in Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox theology. But it does so always through theological reflection on pastoral concerns. You know my views on using the doctrine of the Trinity as our primary hermeneutical lense.

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