Tag Archives: theories of self

Theory Matters: Bringing Tanner, Taylor, Kegan, and Grenz into Conversation with the Deep in the Burbs Data

I have already stated several times that one key assumption behind the DITB project was that theology is not the process of constructing an abstract, systematic model of God. At least, it shouldn’t be. Unfortunately, much theology is just that. Modern academic theology has tended toward the pursuit of constructing grand systems of theory that attempt to explain God and the universe. The end result of this endeavor is inevitably the construction of an idol made, not of gold, wood, and stone, but of human ideas. A reasonably adequate Christian theology, on the other hand, is the observation and reflection (theological praxis) of what God is doing in, with, under, against, and for the local congregation.[1] The DITB project was an attempt to embody this statement and observe what would happen if a group of ELCA suburbanites—who have had no traditional, academic theological training—engage in what many consider to be one of the most difficult and abstract theological concepts: the Trinity.[2] Further, I wanted to see what would happen if we tried to connect the Trinity—traditionally a conversation reserved for the conversation of the intellectual elite—with the practice of spiritual formation—something traditionally considered a matter of “practical” theology. read more