My friend Blake recently asked me about reading and studying theology, and I started reflecting on different things I wished I would have learned years ago. Some of this is incredibly obvious, but until I actually put them into practice, I had major holes in my understanding of Christianity and theology. This is not a “how-to” list for studying theology, just personal reflections that have strengthened my journey.
"Theology is the theologian’s wager that the church’s testimony can stand the test of critical trial. It represents the theologian’s conviction, not that he or she has the truth in a definitive, uncontestable way, but that one’s theology is worthy of being contested. Thus, along with the attempt to make one’s theology systematic and comprehensive is the recognition of the partiality of its vision and the need to be placed alongside other visions and voices. Finally, the truest test of theological methodology here envisaged is that it spring from the church’s praxis, face the hermeneutic of suspicion from within and without, and in turn inspire anew a tested, developed, and even transformed praxis."
Dan R. Stiver, “Theological Method,” in The Cambridge Companion to Postmodern Theology, ed. by Kevin J. Vanhoozer, p. 184-185. (via scottxstephens)
"The Church is at home everywhere, and everyone should be able to feel himself at home in the Church. Thus the risen Christ, when he shows himself to his friends, takes on the countenance of all races and each hears him in his own tongue."
"When, with St. Augustine, they heard Christ say to them: “I am your food, but instead of my being changed into you, it is you who shall be transformed into me,” they unhesitatingly understood that by their reception of the Eucharist they would be incorporated the more in the Church. They could see a profound identity between the mysteries of the ‘real presence’ and of the ‘mystical body.’"