"..every theologian is committed and alienated; he is always in faith and doubt; he is inside and outside the theological circle" Paul Tillich
Over the summer months while I was immersed in the throes of Youth and Outdoor Ministry, my former Ministry in Context pastor suggested some light theological reading before diving into the churning, dark and foreboding waters of Systematic Theology. Apparently Systematics becomes the turning point of our academic lives where the practical we have studied, learned pulls our thoughts and spirits deeper into the journey. In other words, we run screaming at the mere mention of Paul Tillich.
As the Semester triumphantly began and my first class was S.T. I cringed slightly. The beauty of the summer had come, and gone; I'd barely had time to sink and submerge myself into the joys of relaxation and respite; primarily because I was running around 640 acres of insanity. I may have mentioned this before. I digress.
Bringing this back to the forefront, although I had initially ordered and carried with me this wonderful read called "Faith Seeking Understanding" by Migliore, I never got a chance to crack it open and run rampant through its pages. This semester, I mused sadly, was going to be rocky.
Dr. Lea opened up class with an amusing question "What kind of theologian do you see yourself?" My wonderful friend and neighbor next to me stated "How can I? I really have never thought of myself as one." My other fellow classmate (the fellow blogger insanely taking a class on 1 Corinthians) quipped "Uh, okay?" There was laughter and collaboration as we all attempted to figure this out for ourselves.
For this Gypsy Seminarian, the lingo of who I am as a theologian has been trapped in the English language. Who I am as a child of the Creator and what knowledge and wisdom has been passed down through the drums of the ages; of how my ancestors embraced Creation and allowed themselves to be vulnerable to the message of God; what truly being Christ-like means for my vocation and the message of the Scriptures, especially the Psalms means to my ministry and my mission in this life.
"Can a system of life which has been practiced for centuries be entirely worthless? Or does it contain elements of divine knowledge that might shed a new understand of the Christian faith? Theology of the ancestors is about an interpretation of the past in a way that shows the present experience and knowledge of God in Jesus Christ as reflected in the lives of the African people."
Ancestral Theology. Hmm.
Lape Bondye, God's Peace.