The Last 6 Years: A Theological Journey

I pointed yesterday to a series of posts by various bloggers reflecting on their theological journeys. I’ve been thinking about my own theological journey and thought I would share some of my reflections here. I have chosen the last 6 years because it was 6 years ago that I graduated from Bible college and since that time I have been involved in various ministries, health worked in the secular field, capsule attended several theological conferences and taken seminary classes. It is interesting to see how my theology has shifted since Bible college. And sometimes my theology hasn’t shifted so much as been sharpened, search refined and more deeply understood.

I should make mention of one small fact: Bible college was my introduction to theology and biblical studies. I had only just become a Christian at the age of 16, so when I chose to go to Bible college at 19, I wasn’t really discipled yet in one particular theological tradition. Where some students in intro theology had their worldviews rocked, I tended to see all the different theological opinions as evidence of a great tapestry of the Christian faith. I was, for all intents and purposes, a blank slate theologically when I started college. I am grateful that I had the chance to learn at an inter-denominational school, and it gave me freedom to question, wrestle and even change my mind. That being said, that which I thought I knew by the time I graduated from college was not necessarily what I learned in the 6 years following.

Anyway, here is what I have observed in reflecting on my theological growth over the last 6 years:

Eschatology:
Amillenial –> Amillenial. I remember seeing people in the church enamored with the Left Behind series and John Hagee’s wall of time and I just didn’t get all the fuss. So, I started by being an a-mill to be different from them, and now I am an a-mill because I have thought it through and (for the moment) find it to be the best theological understanding.

Election:
Cal-minian –> Arminian (sympathetic to Open Theism) –> Arminian (Wesleyan-Methodist) –> Arminian with a fascination for Barth’s understanding of election and soteriology.

Inerrancy:
What the heck do we mean by inerrancy? Still not sure what all the hoopla is all about. But yes, I do sign the ETS statement every year because it says that “the Bible is inerrant in its autographs” and doesn’t demand we uphold the Chicago Statement of Inerrancy. I figure the short statement is general enough and doesn’t specifically define “inerrant”, or “autographs” so I have no problems affirming it.

Women in Ministry:
Comp-Egal –> Egalitarian –> I have no idea. You would think being a woman who has served in pastoral leadership I would know where I stand on this. But I don’t. I struggle with the innuendos and out-right declarations that by “usurping a man’s authority” I am not only being unbiblical but could possibly have my salvation called into question. I don’t want to crusade to make all churches egalitarian. But, if I’m asked to preach, teach or lead, I won’t turn that down either. Does that make me unbiblical? Does that make my husband unbiblical and not a good head of our house because he supports and affirms my giftings, desires and likes to sit under my sermons? It’s possible. Still working it through.

Communion:
*Remembrance only –> Christ is present in the act of communion (but not necessarily in the elements).
*An act of looking back –> an act of looking backwards, to the work of Christ on the cross, as well as an act of looking forward to the great banquet feast (as well as in the present somehow joining with all the saints in feasting and celebrating with Christ).
*Monthly or quarterly communion –> Weekly communion

Tongues & Gifts of the Spirit:
Tongues are evidence of Baptism of H.S. (because I became a Christian through a Pentecostal church) –> not evidence of Baptism of H.S. but definitely still a gift available today (i.e. not a cessationist).

Ecclesiology:
Congregational model –> hybrid congregational/presbyter model.

Liturgy:
Always been a fan of liturgy. Struggled in low-church settings. But I am also wary of liturgy that is done just for the sake of being liturgy. This hasn’t really changed over the last 6 years.