Should Theology be Part of the Online Community Cube?

by Paul on July 15, 2009

Chris asked a good question about this post:

I wonder if you would like to add “Theology” to your list of academic disciplines that study what community is about? Theologians have to think through the nature of church and God’s view of community.

Chris, that is a great question.  I’m glad you asked.  There are two reasons I don’t have Theology as its own side of the Online Community Cube.

Making Theology its own side makes  it equal to all the other disciplines.

I don’t think God’s Word is equal to other disciplines and the way they view community.  I think God’s Word is greater.  I didn’t want to communicate anything that might lead people to the conclusion that Theology was just another way to look at community.

Theology should overlay, or permiate, every discipline in the Online Community Cube.

I don’t believe science – including the social sciences – exists separate from the Bible.  I believe science gives us a process to explore God’s creation.  I believe true scientific study should motivate people to worship.

So rather than create a perspective that hints to a false dualistic reality – the separation of sacred and secular – I want to communicate that everything is sacred.  The Online Community Cube exists within the context of creation and creation exists within the context of the Creator.

In fact, I believe the Bible presents the target of how community needs to be and the social sciences help us see and understand the holes of where the Bible is not evident.  From a strategic perspective, this allows us to introduce the Bible into those holes and help people see the transforming power of God working within their community. (As we have seen in offline communities in Africa that have been completely transformed by the Gospel without adopting a Western church culture.)

The fact that we need six disciplines to explain what God created humans to do naturally is a point of worship for me, in fact.

Your question, while simply put, is very deep.  I tried my hand at a simple answer but I may have created more questions.  Feel free to ask more.  We will work toward clarity together.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris July 22, 2009 at 9:36 am

Sorry I seem to have missed some posts – work has taken up too much time again.

Anyway I think you are right. I am concerned that Theology is often seen as somehow inferior to other ‘more serious’ disciplines but you have turned that on it head – good.

Of course there is always the question of “is theology something you do or something you study” but I don’t think we need to go there now.

Thanks for your thoughtful answer.

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