In the few days before this emergent village theological conversation event thingy I was kind of nervous. I was thinking about the fact that it has literally been like two years since I read a theological book. I've read... a few books between now and then, but nothing with the kind of depth that we will be discussing here. And I miss it. Desperately. And I'm vowing to get back into those conversations as SOON as I get back.
But having not read for a while, I was concerned about whether or not the theological hat would still fit. Would my head have shrunk? Can I make it work?
We started off the conference with Moltmann 101 - which was AMAZING. We covered his 7 major works in two hours. And it was like it all came back to me. No strange funny words, I got the connections, and I was AMAZED at how quickly I wanted to just jump right back into the conversation. I literally took 5 pages of TYPED notes. I couldn't absorb it all fast enough - it was thrilling.
I think the big thing that I struggle with being the pastor of a small town church is that lack of theological engagement on a regular basis. I know that kind of community exists online in blogs and discussion posts, but I really haven't gone there and sought it out. And I certainly haven't been contributing to that part of the conversation. But I want to!
In particular I'm struck by the idea that our theology comes from the conversations we have and the experiences of God we find in our communities - I'm really wanting to do some diving in my own community and explore what kinds of theology are emerging from our small town. But as Shroyer said yesterday - in her reading of Moltmann - we have to hold any of these theological discoveries at the foot of the cross and see if they fit. And that kind of willingness to take our beliefs and set them before God and see if they are merely idols or truly where God is speaking is so hard!!!