I’m realizing lately that theology majors can be real jerks. I’ve noticed this about myself.
But today, I think I had a good breakthrough. I was talking to my friend–we’ll call her Lindsey–about life and passion and things, and somehow we got around to some of the differences between our personality types and such. She’s really the kindest and most genuine girl you’ll ever meet. Anyway, the substantive content of the conversation as I remember it was:
“Yeah, Lindsey, but I mean theology is something that we all do whether we like it or not. Everybody, whether explicitly or not, has a set of beliefs which inform the way they think and act . . . ”
“Well yeah, Mike, but honestly, I just don’t care [about theology]. I care about people.”
“So what you’re telling me is that you believe that the Holy Spirit can move through people to teach us something about God?”
I know it doesn’t sound that clever, but you should have seen the look on her face. My favorite moments in life are watching someone learn something knew that gives them a complete paradigm shift. She had just never thought of it that way before. Turns out that that’s exactly what she believed, but what she didn’t realize was that emanating from her love of people, or perhaps lurking behind it, was a theological assertion (though she would never call it that) that human beings are instruments of God’s grace and truth.
“Well yeah! Theology is not what you think, Lindsey, it’s what you do. People do theology every day in the decisions they make, in their words and in their actions, in where they decide to live, in who they decide to love–everything.”
May this be a reminder to myself especially: true theology is not known, it is performed. What I believe is not what I say I believe: what I believe is what I do.
Hmm. Maybe I’m learning something useful after all.