You know how every now and then people come up with really lofty hopes and dreams, and despite how crazy they sound, they’re actually somewhat feasible? This is one of mine: putting together a systematized theological treatise from an Anglican perspective. Most of you who regularly follow this blog have already looked at the Theologia Communitatis page (linked above), but for those who haven’t, that’s where I give the general outline of how I plan to go about this, and provide links to pieces of it that have already been written (or at least begun) somewhere in this blog. I intend to focus in on this project more intentionally starting in late October, when I’m finished with my degree. In the meantime, I’m only contributing to it slowly, as the Spirit leads, so to speak. The following is part of the preface.
Like most systematic theologies, this has a definable foundation and starting point: the community in which the theology is done. I am definitely the author of this work; nobody else would write this exactly the same way; some within my own church community may disagree with this in parts; it is, nevertheless, a product of the community. The scriptures, prayers, and writings of the Church speak into the life and works of all Her members, and I trust my fellow Anglicans will find this particular work useful and edifying.
Unlike most systematic theologies, however, only the overall structure of this work is, strictly speaking, systematized. While this leaves a significant minority of this work as inter-connected systematic theology, the larger part of this work – the details – are primarily biblical in approach. This is to say, biblical exegesis and interpretation play a more direct role in the formation of this overall work. As a result, much of this work, I hope, takes on something of a homiletical tone, sharing “speculative meditations” as the medievals might say, or “devotional Bible study” as we moderns might say. In fact, I distinctly hope that much of this work can be easily adapted into sermons, for the study of theology should never be divorced from the study of scriptures, nor from the working out and practice of spiritual disciplines. For if our heads don’t enrich our hearts, what use are we? Only when our whole selves are on the same page – spirit, mind, heart, and body – is our theology and our worship truly united.