Perhaps the most important role of a theologian, or even the defining characteristic of a theologian, is that she or he work to reveal the Father to the world. This may seem contrary to general understanding, but it must be the case, for it is the mission of Jesus Christ to reveal the Father to the world. In fact, the very being of Christ as both God and Human man is the imaging forth of the Father. He is the First Theology, the first Study of God who puts Himself forward to speak about the nature of the Father. Thus any Christian theologian must work with the primary goal in mind to reveal the Father to the world. This of course does not mean ignoring Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit; but in fact means the exact opposite. For it is in the Son and the Spirit that the Father is most faithfully revealed to us, and by being in both, we come to know the Father most completely. In knowing the Father, we know goodness, truth, life, peace, love, mercy, and justice. Thus, in this move to reveal the Father, we gather all things together.
This revelation of the Father must of course take different forms depending on those to whom we are speaking. To Christians who accept the ancient received faith of the Apostles and Fathers, our revelation of the Father must often take the form of academic or spiritual explanation. We are entrusted to search out the mysteries of God and hand them over to each other for testing and enjoyment. To those of other faiths, we are to reveal the Father in a way that is recognizable to them in their own faiths, so that they might come to glory in the Father, and that we might hope that they might come to glory in the Son as well. To those who are our enemies, the modern humanist or atheist, we are to reveal the father by academic rigor, logical consistency, and clarification of our points. Finally, to the person who identifies with none of these categories, our task is to reveal the Father by clarifying the Christian teaching and position. For it is only by a clear explanation of the Wonderful Announcement and the Christian position that our position may be either accepted or rejected with information and insight on their part.
This short essay is an introduction to a series of articles I will be publishing on this website that will attempt to address this last problem. They will be articles aimed, not at converting, nor convincing, but in explaining the Christian position to those who are curious to understand that position beyond the popular understanding, especially that which has taken on the moniker of the “religious right” or “Fundamentalism” or “Born again Christianity” or “Evangelical Christianity.” These will not be repudiations of this position, but an explanation of the positions held by the majority of the Christians in the world who do not hold to the positions most often associated with the popular understandings of these Christians (understandings which are both earned and often not earned).
So starting next week I will be delivering short explanatory essays on topics like “Biblical Inerrancy,” “God and Creation,” “God and Science,” and “Jesus and other religions.” If there are topics that readers of this blog would be interested in asking for an explanation of, please feel free to leave a comment below.
The goal here is not to argue against atheism or fundamentalism, but to begin to bring some of the popular understanding of Christianity into line with the wider community of Christian believers. Thus I will not be making arguments as to why God must have created the world, but will be showing what many of us mean by the belief that God creates the world.
I invite other Christians, people of other faiths, atheists, agnostics, and those who have no idea where they stand, to ask questions and comment though e-mail as I will be turning off comments on the posts, since the idea here is to explain, not to argue. You may contact me directly at JoshuaWWise78@gmail.com.