What do suburbia and spirituality have in common? This sounds like the set-up for a bad joke. The term suburbia often conjures up caricatured images of plastic, white, middle-class Americans driving gas-guzzling Suburban Utility Vehicles past white picket fences into cavernous garages that swallow them up into isolated fortresses behind automatic garage doors. The term spirituality often conjures up equally caricatured images of bald-headed, robed monks sitting in the lotus position, precariously perched on the precipice of a majestic mountain peak. These two images could not be further apart in how they relate. This study will explore the intersection of these two worlds. Further, it will explore how the specific doctrine of the Trinity might weave a connective thread between these things. The questions and conversations pursued in this study will be framed within the larger conversation that many call the missional church.
Biblical and Theological Perspectives
Key theological themes and/or lenses that frame the social science research from a theological perspective
In the previous chapter we highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of this research and highlighted two key theoretical frames. The first is the field of Adult Learning Theory. The second is the field of sociology and urban studies with a special focus on suburban studies. In this chapter we highlight four key theological lenses that frame the research in this dissertation. The first is the doctrine of the social Trinity. The second is the study of spiritual formation, or Christian spirituality. The third is missional ecclesiology. The fourth is Religious Education, specifically focused on the education of adults in the church. Finally, we will highlight two key Biblical passages from which the core theology is informed.