Seven Theses on Public Theological Praxis

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Reading Public Theology as Christian Witness: Exploring the Genre by John W. de Gruchy, has been so timely as I continue refining my own thinking in the context of Malaysia today. His seven theses is a helpful place to reboot myself.

1. Good public theological praxis does not seek to preference Christianity but to witness to values that Christians believe are important for the common good.

2. Good public theological praxis requires the development of a language that is accessible to people outside the Christian tradition, and is convincing in its own right; but it also needs to address Christian congregations in a language whereby public debates are related to the traditions of faith.

3. Good public theological praxis requires an informed knowledge of public policy and issues, grasping the implications of what is at stake, and subjecting this to sharp analytical evaluation and theological critique.

4. Good public theological praxis requires doing theology in a way that is interdisciplinary in character and uses a methodology in which content and process are intertwined.

5. Good public theological praxis gives priority to the perspectives of victims and survivors, and to the restoration of justice; it sides with the powerless against the powerful, and seeks to speak truth to power drawing its inspiration from the prophetic trajectory in the Bible.

6.  Good public theological praxis requires congregations that are consciously nurtured and informed by biblical and theological reflection and a rich life of worship in relation to the context within which they are situated, both locally and more widely.

7. Good public theological praxis requires a spirituality which enables a lived experience of God, with people and with creation, fed by a longing for justice and wholeness and a resistance to all that thwarts wellbeing.

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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