Theology: A Very Short Introduction
by David F. Ford
Oxford University Press, 1999
The interactions herein will contain short quotes, followed by questions that have been raised by the quotes and their context.
Chapter One. Introduction: Theology and the Religions in Transformation, pp. 3-15.
p. 3 "Theology at its broadest is thinking about questions raised by and about religions... Why is religion so controversial and so important to so many people that they will fight, suffer, and make enormous sacrifices when they see it at stake? The answer is that it is about the whole shape of living."
Given the variety of religious subcultures in America, what can the local church do to adequately equip its members for gracious, theological engagement?
What would seminary training look like if we equipped pastors for gracious, theological engagement?
p. 6 "Religions are at least as complex as languages and their associated cultures, and are also as diverse and long-lasting..."
Can we become theologically multi-lingual without compromising what we believe to be true?
Given this linguistic metaphor, what is the difference between doing theology and learning theology?
p. 10 "Theology considers it's questions while being immersed in the changes of modernity and at the same time drawing on the wisdom of one or more religious traditions."
If theology always takes place within a culture, should we fit the way we do theology to the culture?
Is there a biblical way to do Christian theology or is "doing theology" always culturally bound?
p. 14 "A theological way of putting this is that postmodernity has been effective in exposing 'idolatries' of recent centuries which have had horrendous consequences. Postmodern critiques have tended to be extreme and their suspicion has tended towards nihilism; but the benefit has been that a modern superiority complex is much harder to sustain, and so the religions, which have such deep roots in the premodern, can more plausibly be imagined as shapers of current life and thought."
How can we honor postmodernity's critiques of modernity and prevent a headlong rush into new idolatries?
How does one communicate such critiques such that those viewing life from within the critiqued paradigm might hear and engage in conversation?