Methodologically Speaking, How Should One Set About Engaging in the Task of Theological Reflection?

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Methodologically speaking, how should one set about engaging in the task of theological reflection?

INDEX

Abstract ................................................................................3

Essay ....................................................................................4

Reflection............................................................................. 4

The Need for Theology.........................................................4

Methodology and its necessity..............................................5

Factors to Consider.............................................................. 6

Theological reflection and the role of community ...............7

Methodology and its development ........................................ 7

Conclusion ........................................................................... 8

Bibliography......................................................................... 9

ABSTRACT
“ Whatever is truth must be consistent with all other truth” 1 . There cannot be a variety of truths. All aspects of truth must be one, consistent with the one God. There is an aspect of faith that needs to judge claims of truth even though this seems opposite to the notion of faith itself. Reflection for a Christian begins with the notion that God is truth. The journey of faith requires reflection before ideas can be transferred from thoughts to belief systems. This paper looks at the need for methodology in theological reflection and how methodology is always the production of man and therefore needs to be constantly revised and developed.

Pannenberg, Wolfhart An Introduction to Systematic Theology. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1991), 6

ESSAY
REFLECTION
Theological reflection needs to removed as far as possible initially from experience otherwise our reflection places us in the position of God, where we reflect on our experience and anthropomorphize God, rather that coming form the premise that we are finite beings seeking an eternal God whose thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts and ways. Everyone reflects but this initial approach to reflection will determine the outcome of that reflection. Without reflection on truth, Christians will become insecure about the message they are sharing and move away from the gospel to other peripheral issues or causes.Reflection can be a haphazard exercise, but when we move from reflection to systematic reflection we then move into the discipline we call ‘theology’. THE NEED FOR THEOLOGY

Theology is a science. A science seeks to understand an object on its own terms and then consider how it relates to existence. According to Barth, theology is a science “whose task is to apprehend, understand and speak of ‘God’.”2 There is no worldview, philosophy or religion that is not in some way also a theology. Christians have seen many changes in approach to theology over the course of history. The word ‘theology’ is derived from two Greek words, theos (God) and logos (word, teaching, study). Theology therefore is the teaching concerning God or the study of God. Early Christian study of theology was highly influenced by the Greeks but by the medieval period it had become ‘the rational explication of divine revelation’. 3 By the 18th century in germany theology had become a more inclusive word referring to a variety of theological disciplines. Today Christians view theology either as an inclusive term or slightly narrower but regardless of this and the development of the forms of theology it is “the intellectual reflection on faith”.4 Theological reflection combines the intellectual reflection of theology with the reflection of how that faith and understanding of God works in the community of believers and the world. The Christian theologian combines the areas of theology,...
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