What I Want To Do
I want to attempt the impossible.
I want to try to combine the orderly, coherent accounting of systematic theology with the style, structure, and limitations of the blog post.
I’m calling it “blogmatics.”
It will be series of blog posts addressing, dissecting, and articulating the core doctrines of the Christian faith. Now, I am under no illusions that this may turn out to be a total failure, or at least end up causing more problems than it was worth. After all, the Church has spent 2,000 church thinking through, articulating, and rearticulating the Christian faith. I’m not going to resolve any theological mysteries in a few blog posts.
But that’s not the point.
Why I Want To Do This
The idea behind this series is two-fold.
On the one hand, I want lay out what I believe about the core tenets, or doctrines, of the Christian faith. As a lover of theology and the Christian tradition this is something I’ve personally wanted to do for a very long time.
I’ve written about a whole host of theological issues both here on the blog and in my papers for school, but I’ve never brought those disparate topics together in one place to lay out a coherent picture of exactly what I believe. They’ve always just been a collection disconnected parts. I hope this series will allow me to being putting those pieces together.
On the other hand, I want to provide a resource for others to quickly reference when they ask or wonder what I believe about a given topic.
Every post that I write is based on certain theological assumptions that I have. Sometimes I spell those out. Often times I don’t as it would take away from the flow and create unnecessarily, or at least unbearably, long posts. As I said, my hope is that this series will give me something to point others to when they have questions about things I write about.
And maybe, just maybe, this series will help someone understand the Christian faith a little bit better.
What This Will Look Like
Each day of this series I will go through a different Christian doctrine. While a full systematic theology would require countless pages, if not multiple volumes on each doctrine, since this is blogmatics, I’m going to try to keep my thoughts as brief and to the point as possible in order to be faithful to the blog format. So I don’t plan on spending more than two posts on any given subject. In other words, this will be a basic picture of what I believe, not an exhaustive, technical treatise.
Here’s what I plan on covering….
The Triune God
God the Father
The Christian Life
Heaven and Hell
What This Is Not
This series will necessarily be a bit more technical at times than what I might normally write, but once again, I want to merge the seemingly opposing worlds of systematic theology and blogging. So I will be trying to take a more creative and accessible approach than you might otherwise expect in such an endeavor, even incorporating narrative as often as possible. In other words, this series will not, or at least I hope it will not, be the sort of dry, boring, inaccessible material only a professional theologian can understand. Nor will it cover every minute theological nuance of every doctrinal issue As much as possible I want this to be interesting and engaging theology that is easily accessible (or at least as easily as possible) for anyone interested in going a little deeper in their faith than that might otherwise do on their own.
This also will not be a once for all, definitive statement of faith. I’m only 30. I hope that when I’m 50, 70, or 80 I’ll have a much better understanding of the faith than I do now. So this series is about what I think and believe now. I’m certainly confident in the assertions I will make, but I’m also willing to recognize the possibility, or probability, that I will change my mind about some of these things in the future.
Finally, this series is not an attempt to assert what all Christians everywhere should or have to believe. It is simply what I believe. Do I think my ideas are correct and that other Christians should share my beliefs? Of course. We all think that way otherwise we wouldn’t affirm the things we do and line up with the traditions we associate ourselves with.
That being said, you’re free to disagree with what I say, but disagree with the substance of my claims, not the fact that they don’t line up with your particular tradition.
What I Need From You
I expect disagreement. I also expect questions about things I didn’t cover and requests to elaborate on things I don’t delve too deeply into in a given post.
So as I go through this series I want to hear from you.
If you’ve got questions, ask them. If you want me to elaborate on something, tell me what it is and I’ll do my best to address it (though I won’t be able to go into great detail on every issue). And if you disagree, tell me why. All I ask is that you be respectful as you do so and remember to engage the actual claims that I make, not the mere fact that it doesn’t line up with your tradition’s version of “orthodoxy.”
Until then, if there’s some particular aspect of the doctrines listed above that you want me to cover, let me know in the comments. Or if there’s something you think I need to add to the list, let me know. I won’t be able to cover everything, but I will do my best.
I’ve got a special post planned for Monday, so the series will start next Tuesday and run for as long as it takes me to finish. Like I said, I may end up writing more on a given subject that I expect to, and I’ll probably intersperse other posts that are not a part of this series along the way. So, I don’t want to put a hard and fast schedule on this thing.
Though I promise it won’t go on forever.
My self-diagnosed ADD won’t let that happen.
However long it does take, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these core issues of the faith along the way.
It’ll be fun to see how this thing takes shape and where it finally ends up.
I just hope you enjoy reading the posts as much I as enjoy reading them. But if you don’t, just scroll through the archives. There’s plenty of Third Eagle of the Apocalypse videos to entertain you until the series is complete.
In fact, you should probably check those out either way.
Grace and peace,