Thursday, December 13, 2007


At the beginning of the semester, I was terrified of Systematic Theology. It is in the curriculum area that is the hardest for me, and I was dreading another semester of classes from that area. But, as it's a required class, I signed up and started attending classes.

In Systematic theology, everything is connected. One cannot talk about creation without addressing the issue of theodicy, which leads to questions about evil and sin, which lead to discussions of Christology and Soteriology and, eventually, eschatology. Likewise, talking about the end of the world leads us back to questions about what the world is and whether it is good, or bad, or both, and about salvation, which is essential for discussions about the end of the world, anyway. Every question leads to another set of questions and, no matter how hard we work to define things, there's always the caveat of, "But it's all a mystery and, as much as we know, there are things that are incomprehensible for us."

In spite of the exhaustion and the circularity, though, I have really liked my Systematic Theology class this semester. Instead of just being required to memorize specific phrases from councils a thousand years ago, Systematics let me consider my own beliefs and consider the ideas of different theologians in conversation with each other. It finally gave me the opportunity to articulate my beliefs and questions in ways that make sense. I don't have all the answers, in fact, I'm not sure I have ANY of the answers, but at least now I know how to ask the questions. And I can begin to refine my beliefs, as incomplete as they may be.

No comments: