Coffeehouse Theology

The latest book that I received from The Ooze Viral Bloggers to review and blog about is the book "Coffeehouse Theology" by Ed Cyzewski.  It was a helpful read in that it dealt with theology, not as an abstract, propostional, systematic belief system, but as a living, breathing, life giving, 'organism" (if you will).

The author centers his discussion around what he calls A Web of Theology (no doubt in part to the idea of a web of belief idea by W.V.O. Quine in "Two Dogmas of Empiricism"- which he makes reference to.)  According to his web of theology there are 6 parts to theology (which he says are all interconnected)  The 6 sources and contexts of thelogy are mission (which surrounds everything), Tradition, God, The global church, Scripture, and Culture.

Mission is the outside of the web.  The author says that all theology serves the mission of God.  It is teh reason we do theology.

Tradition informs and adds insight into the Central pieces of God and Scripture.

God is at the center of theology as both a revelatory source and our guide to theology.

The global church informs and adds insight into the central pieces of God and Scripture.

Scripture is a the center of theology as a primary source of God's revelation.

Cultural/Context plays a part to.  Within the purpose of Mission, Theology takes place in a cultural context.

To me I think the most helpful piece was the reality that our culture and where we live, etc... plays a huge part in how we understand, read Scripture and practice theology.  The author puts it this way, "Our local settings and cultural values- in other words, our context- influence how we read God's word."

Some other quotes that I resonated with from the book include:

"God is already at work in our world.  We need to decide if we want to join his mission."

"congregations as outposts for God's mission in the world, sending-off points where we regroup and refuel before going out as God's ambassadors."

"Christianity doesn't exist apart from culture."

"Lesslie Newbigin said, 'Jesus ministry entailed the calling of individual men and women to personal and costly discipleship, but at the same time it challenged the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world."

"Postmodernism influences our cultural context, and we need to figure out a way to deal with it.  The postmodern era can be both friend and foe- just like the modern age, which put the Bible into the hands of the average person but also caused Christians to stop relying on God's supernatural intervention in our world."

There are probably alot more I could say about this book.  I would recommend it to anyone who is wrestling with questions of theology, the role of Scripture, and the modern/postmodern shift in our world.