*Posted by Winston Hottman
Frederick Schmidt discusses the dangers of doing theology without listening to the witness of the church throughout history. While admitting that something is not right merely because it is old, he points out one of the basic problems with much of evangelical theology: an inordinate love for the new and novel.
We favor the creative enterprise of fashioning a theology all our own.
And, inevitably, we find ourselves making the journey alone.
It’s a common American enterprise—arguably as old as the teddy bear. And, today, on the far side of the high-tide denominationalism of the 1950s and 1960s, we live there again—in part because we prize our religious freedom; in part because churches fail in their obligation to teach “the faith.”
The struggle we have with Build-A-Bear theology is exactly what you would expect. We either cut ourselves off from collective wisdom about the work of God in the world, or we borrow so selectively on it that we isolate ourselves from one another.
We create something that is deeply meaningful to the one who crafts it, but predictably it lacks any deep relevance to others. Build-A-Bear theology is not something that has the breadth or depth to attract others. It lives in a disconnect from the past and the future. You can leave it in your will to another generation, but it will never amount to anything more than a curious keepsake from a relative.
Check out the rest of the piece here.