The Shape of Practical Theology


I read this less than an hour ago and found that I needed to hear this l …

“It is bad theology to have to love the world more than God, and to confuse our service to God with our being sent into the world. It is bad theology to interpret the calling of God in terms of the needs of the world, rather than in our being sent to the world to do God’s work and reveal his glory.

A theology that cripples and destroys the self-esteem and sense of worth of a minister is not made better by “success” in ministry. A theology allowing no “sabbath rest” for the one who does the work of the ministry is a theology of th curse, not a theology of the cross. A healthy theology contains healing for the healer and freedom for the fighter of God’s battles. A healthy theology, of course, is a theology of a loving God who knows that to be God is to be responsible, even for our faltering and fallible efforts. “ (pp. 287-288)

A useful review starts by saying, “This book offers surprises for a variety of readers. For the scholar who suspects that “practical theology” is an academic Trojan horse full of mere pragmatists, it relies heavily on the work of some of this centuries most supple theological minds, e.g. Karl Barth and Thomas Torrance. For the practitioner who has lost hope that erudite theological reflection has any bearing on the daily work of ministry, it opens previously inaccessible recesses of a nourishing well.”

I needed the nourishing tonight … I’m glad I borrowed the book from the seminary library .. it’s overdue .. but renewed for another month!

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