she will be thankful for the poetry, but will long – deep down – for a better answer.
First of all, every person you will ever meet, including yourself, has a theology. In other words, they have ideas about who God is (or who God is not), and they will live out those beliefs whether they want to or not. Theology shows itself over time, in the way we live, the way we relate, the way we communicate and in the way we worship. Some theology we might see as “good.” Other theology we might see as “bad.” Our theology shows up, often when we least expect it, in the way that we do things, and sometimes, in the way things end up because of our theology. Let’s look at some examples for moment.
We might say that good theology would be theology that enlarges our view of God and his interaction with humanity, rather than shrinks our view of God.
People live from the stories that shape their identities. Those of us who call ourselves Christians are shaped by the Christian story.
Digital theology is surgically precise theology. It is manifest in ways of seeing, thinking and talking about God that leave little room for error, aberration or dissonance. Something in our makeup tells us that holy
Theology that is rich, strong, true, and ultimately biblical, is theology that holds in it the analog hiss – the mystery, the wonder, the pain of being a human being in a tumultuous cosmic story.
To say it one more way, if for a moment we believe that essence of worship can be fully captured in a few slogans, scriptures or quick statements, then we had better dismiss the complexity inherent to the cosmos, or even the incomparable mystery of the Sovereign Father, Resurrected Son and Indwelling Spirit active in this very moment of your life and mine.
where our prayers can take flight on the wings of words and melodies.
Art by design, often has the capability of giving voice in some manner to such ‘unreachable’ things, without needing to have a definitive, clear statement of fact always at the ready. Art, beauty and music can lift the veil on sacred mysteries for a moment or for a time, and, in a state of shock, joy, or revery (and subsequent loss for words), voice a glimpse of what has been touched, tasted, felt, or heard.
If gathered worship expression is indeed about a God that is inestimable in so many ways, then any articulated theology of worship lifestyle or practice must be enrobed in some artful language of mystery.
Secondly, Ellis suggests that these creatures will understand what he calls the “Kenotic Ethic.” The word “kenotic” comes from the Greek word “kenosis,” which means “to empty.” Ellis suggests that our new celestial friends will understand that giving oneself, emptying oneself, epitomized in Jesus’ self-offering in the garden of Gethsemane, is the only true way to peace, healing and restoration in any given universe.