In a recent seminar, I was asked to write a (my) central theological statement in 50 words or less. A central theological statement is an expression of the foundational concepts (beliefs) upon which a person bases their service to Jesus. I believe taking the time to write one’s own central theological statement can be very productive spiritually. Writing out this statement and then using it as a tool to reflect on how we are living our lives in accord with what we have written can give us insights into our consistency in faith and practice.
The central theological statement I wrote for myself is: Practicing Christian Theology is done in guiding the church to be faithful in growing in intimacy with God, the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and living in anticipation and preparation of Jesus return. In this statement I hoped to capture the things I consider to be of most importance as I seek to serve my Lord. I feel this statement gives me workable parameters upon which to reflect but is also broad enough to allow for growth.
As can be seen in the statement, the focus is about guiding the church in a certain direction. What is not stated is that in order to do this I must make sure it is a reality in my own life. In order to do, I must be. I believe this is the way a central theological statement must work. This is how it is practical.
Disciples in the early church developed tools for spiritual reflection to aid them in maintaining their focus and purpose. Today, I believe we face greater distractions than the church faced then. In light of this, I believe disciples of Jesus today must be attentive to those spiritual practices developed in the past but also to look for new tools to help us in our spiritual growth today. I believe developing a central theological statement and reflecting upon it regularly can be such a tool.
In all we do let us seek to love the Lord.