Over at my new blog, joshuapaulsmith.wordpress.com, I have written the first post of my upcoming series on constructive theology. Head on over and check it out, leave a comment, and while you’re there, sign up to follow the blog via email by clicking “follow” on the right-hand side of the page. Here’s a preview:
Both of my parents have questioned where my own inclination toward theological reflection originated, acknowledging that they did nothing to particularly encourage this proclivity. Yet this sets me apart from many of my contemporaries, most of whom were brought up in the church or were converted as teenagers, and who either remained committed Christians or grew disillusioned with the Church and left, either out of frustration with its shortcomings or by their own assessment that modernity and postmodernity have made sustaining a religious faith untenable. The arc of my own faith journey has been more of a slow-burning relationship rather than decisive moments of belief or disbelief. I do not feel constrained by any sort of traditionalism of my childhood, nor do I feel inclined to completely write off religious faith altogether, as many in the millennial generation have. My religious curiosity leads me onward. If God exists, and if, to modify Augustine,all truth is God’s truth, then true faith has nothing to fear from the challenges of science and philosophy, but instead provides an opportunity to polish and refine our worldview. Theology thus becomes a place for experimentation. In his book, Truth and Method, Hans Georg Gadamer introduced the concept of hermeneutics-as-play. This idea also translates well into the discipline of theology, which for me is a kind of God-grounded philosophical sandbox in which to share and test new ideas with others.