Happy New Year

One year; that is how long this fine piece of subjective theological journalism has been out there. One year of writing, of complaining, of observing my life and letting a vastly anonymous world read about it.

In that time, I have move halfway across the country; I became a god-parent to our niece; I have been to Alaska, New York, D.C. Atlanta, Charleston, Morganton, Baltimore, Charlotte, Moab, Houston, and Denver; I have completed one quarter of doctoral work; My wife and I left everyone we know and live in a place where we still only know a few people. It has been a busy year and the next one looks to be about the same.

Over the last month alone several new journeys have arisen in my life. Apart from the travel plans we have (Seattle, New York, Charleston, among the other random places we will probably visit), my professional life is in a state of upheaval.

During my sabbatical and the six weeks I had between fall and winter quarter (a break that is too long in my opinion) I began re-evaluating the theology that I have held dear for many years. This new path of discovery began with two very different experiences. First, I have been working with a professor on an article about pastoral theology, formation and theological education. It will be published in a journal this coming fall and the writing and researching process has been time-consuming and wonderful. Second, I spent about two to three hours a day, Monday through Friday, reading and writing on theodicy and tragedy.

As a result, some of the theological formulations that I have grown comfortable with have been challenged. I was once, and still in some ways am, beholden to Reformed Theology. However, since my encounter with the problems of evil, writings on the Holocaust, and my work with aesthetics and pastoral theology, I have started reading about Process Theology. This, to say the least, has left me reeling for the most part.

Imagine, if you will, you, sitting in a coffee shop. You have no one to talk to, and have occupied my time with reading Elie Wiesel’s Night, an account of his years in Auschwitz. Moreover, You decided to get ahead for your Theodicy and Tragedy course by reading Louise Erdrich’s love medicine, and two other unassigned readings by Elie Wiesel (just so you know, Elie Wiesel is the one who is thought to have coined the term theodicy, which basically means any attempt to reconcile God’s omnipotence and goodness with the prevalence of evil in the world). Moreover, imagine that you just completed a quarter of work where you took all of your creative energy and twisted every theo-experiential notion that you had known to create something new. Finally, imagine that everything you ever thought about God, didn’t work when you finished reading and with your creative energy swirling, you decide find something that does work…

Welcome to my world!

So, I am embarking in this year, this second blog year, on a new theological journey for me as I attempt reconcile what I am learning with what I know. Process theology is a nasty pair of words for some people. Many claim that it is too humanistic and limiting of God’s power to affect the world. As I dive into this new theological pool, I hope to share some of what I am thinking and how it relates to what I have thought in the past. My first posts will reflect some of the thoughts from these past six or so weeks of silence and then we’ll see what happens next. Until then…

grace and peace



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