Thursday, November 18, 2010

Scot McKnight: A gospel-shaped theology

Here Scot McKnight aptly says what I have been trying to say in my teaching.

"Pick up your standard textbook-ish systematic theology and you are most likely to get an exhaustive study of a one topic after another. The order of those topics matters immensely, and it just so happens that many theologians write theologies that are shaped by salvation (soteriology). Thus, the God, Man/Sin, Christ, Salvation, Spirit and Eschatology, often prefaced with Scripture, is essentially an ordering of topics through the doctrine of salvation.

Dig a bit further and you will learn in many of these books that “salvation” means the same thing as “gospel” so that a theology of salvation is a theology of the gospel. Which it isn’t, and the order of the above topics proves my point. They are salvation-shaped and not gospel-shaped, else they’d have other topics more prominent.

What we are most in need of is a thoroughgoing sketch of theology through the lens of gospel. Those topics above would come up but they would be framed within the orbit of other ideas.

Questions: How gospel-shaped is your theology? What questions would you ask to see if a theology is gospel-shaped? What are the major indicators of a gospel-shaped theology?

I see two questions that can be asked and those questions will indicate gospel-shaped: How central of a role does Israel’s Story/history play in the theology? How central is the resurrection? Everyone will have the Cross, but does the theology have resurrection as a central theme? Everyone will have christology, but does being Messiah and Lord make its way to the front?

Click here for Scot McKnight's post (from which the above citation can be found).

No comments: