Theological and Biblical Frames

Chapter two explored the theoretical frames for the Deep in the Burbs (DITB) project and why it was necessary to use participatory action research to explore the question. This chapter will explore the theological and Biblical frames that formed the heart of the project. The research team (RT) team asked: How might an increased awareness and understanding of the social Trinity impact the ideation and praxis of spiritual formation in suburban ELCA congregations? It is my conviction, as I have stated earlier, that a reasonably adequate Christian theology is done in, with, under, against, and for the local congregation.[1] Therefore, the DITB project was deeply theological because it was communicative Trinitarian action done within the context of the suburban congregation.

This chapter has four movements. First, I will discuss the hermeneutical shift of the twentieth century and place the DITB project within a postfoundational theological framework. Second, I will explain that the DITB project flows from and for a missional imagination of the church. Third, I will define the term social Trinity; place it in the context of the larger Trinitarian conversation; discuss why it is important for the missional church; and how it is the essence of participatory action research. Finally, I will describe my theology of the Word of God and establish the basis for why the practice of Dwelling in the Word was an essential element of the research process.[2]


[1] See chapter 1n3.

[2] See chapter four for a description of the Dwelling in the Word exercise.

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