Intro Video (Dr Joshua Cockayne)
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘theology’? What experience (if any) have you had engaging with theology in the past? How did you find it?
How did you relate to what Josh said about being forced to rethink the things you took for granted in moving away from home? What stories do you have of encountering people with different worldviews from your own?
‘What is Theology?’, with Dr. Andrew Torrance [16 minutes]
In a number of places Andrew talks about engaging with theology as a kind of wrestling (wrestling with questions as a student, wrestling in community, wrestling with people with different views). What do you think about ‘wrestling’ being an important part of engaging theology? Do you have any examples of this from your own experience? How do you feel about wrestling with theological views which are different from your own?
We are encouraged to look to prayer, Scripture, and the tradition of the Church to inform our theology. Up to this point, which of these has most impacted your own theology? Are there other places that you look to/have looked to to inform your theology?"
Looking back at your discussions after Josh’s intro video, what, if anything, has changed in your perception of theology?
Andrew says: ‘Theology belongs to the Church…’. What do you think about this? And what do you think the outworking of this might look like?
Andrew speaks about curiosity being a natural response to engaging with theology. He also describes theology as the task of acting as a witness of God as he has revealed himself to us. As we engage theology we discover more about God and have more to share with the world.
Let's indulge our curiosity together for a moment...
Group leaders, for this activity you will need: post-it-notes, pens, two walls/or large sheets of paper labelled ‘You’, ‘Your Community'.
Using the post-it-notes provided, take some time to think about the following questions:
What questions do you have about faith and theology?
What questions do you think your wider community (housemates, family, course mates) might have about faith and theology?
Stick the notes to the two points in the room, taking time to appreciate the questions in your group and in your wider community.
What do you notice about these questions? Are there any parallels? How might you explore your questions further and help your friends to explore theirs?
Worship & Word
As Andrew described, theology should be a response to the one who created us and the one to whom we belong.
Read the words of Psalm 139 together to end the session responding to God. You might want to use a suitable song to finish this reflection. (Suggested song: Kings Kaleidoscope- 139)
As we saw in this week’s video, theology is an ongoing task of engaging with God and one another. We are always looking to learn, and we’re always expecting to be provoked with new questions. What did you learn from this week’s video? What questions has it provoked?
Murray Rae, 2015. Christian Theology: The Basics, (Routledge).
Keith L. Johnson, 2016. Theology as Discipleship, (Inter Varsity Press).