Theological Research

5 April, 2006 Ken Uncategorized

I’ve been doing some overdue research on a few things. And keep in mind I am trained to research topics objectively while putting aside presuppositions to reduce or remove my own personal bias. So instead of fueling some fire to prove or disprove something, it is giving me a lot of food for honest thought, and enabling me to see others’ bias independent of viewpoint.

First, I’ve been tracking the history of the Born Again Movement, Evangelicalism, and Fundamentalism, which are all overlapping, yet distinctly different things. As I suspected, the Born Again Movement is a relatively recent, modern American phenomenon, though tracable in part to the writings of John Wesley (Methodism). Evangelicalism is modern, as in late 19th Century forward, as is Fundamentalism, both being responses to the perceived challenges to faith of science and reason. This is just a glossing over of it all, but you get the idea.

Secondly, I’ve been researching various “heresies” since the early church. In the process I’ve been reading a lot of fundamentalist and evangelical essays to understand where I differ from (and agree with) those theological perspectives and why. I am finally starting to see where the lines are drawn between the various churches and their ideologies, and the detailed basis for those disagreements intead of just writing it off to cultism or tribalism (intolerance of different views).

It seems the biggest issues are matters of Christology (the divine and/or human nature of Jesus of Nazareth) and Soteriology (the means of salvation, such as the doctrine of Justification). And I am starting to realize where my understanding fits within those theological frameworks — a lot of things are making more sense than ever to me.

But I wont tell you where I stand here … I’d like to keep you guessing. :^P

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2 Responses to “Theological Research”

  • Anonymous says:

    That’s the tough part.
    On one hand …
    I share with evangelicals and many other Chritians in the deepest held beliefs about the identity of Christ and the doctrine of Justification through Grace / Faith alone. *
    On the other hand …
    The problem is that my understanding of these beliefs are radically different, right down to basic exegesis of scripture and the value of reason as a Gift of the Spirit AS WELL AS Adam’s bane. My views answer all the hard questions people ask about such things as exclusivity, the nature of faith, original sin, and the value of scripture. But these answers go against most traditional theology, and yet I have not added to or taken away one jot from scripture in doing so.
    That’s why I taking a closer look. I want to understand why my path to God was the same One True Path yet so different. I need to know the reasoning behind the various sides of all these arguments. I want to know where common ground lies, and what separates us from breaking bread together as diffrent parts of the same Body.
    But I gave too much away … so much for suspense!
    * Note: Regardless of what many people think (and have be falsely taught to believe), Roman Catholicism, which I chose to practice, is in full agreement with evangelical denominations on these points (though they used to be way off the mark many years ago). But many Catholics don’t understand or accept these things, and when they do, they do not usually express is in terms of being “born again” even if they are, and do not stress importance of a conversion “experience”.

  • krissy_jhnsn says:

    I’d LOVE to know where you stand about all this!

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