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Christmas and Theology

Christmas is a time of celebration, of families, of feasting, of carols and the well known Christmas story.  However, at it's best Christmas should also be a time of theology - not in a high brow intellectual way only possible if you have a PhD and can pronounce complicated words; but in its plainest sense - the study of God.

But how can we approach the study of God or thinking about God this Christmas?

When I was studying theology, there was a series of phrases that described approaches to theology.  In some ways they are oversimplifications however I think they serve as good descriptions of important facets of theology.  In addition, I think you can end up unbalanced if any of them is negelected.  They can be applied to any aspect of theology eg. Christmas.

  • Faith Seeking Understanding: This starts with trust in God but then seeks to deepen one's understanding of God
  • Love adoring Mystery:  This is a thinking about God that leads to worship
  • Critical reflection on Action:  This is a working out of the implications of theology and reflecting on theology in the light of actions.
In even simpler terms they could be summarized as the HEAD, HEART AND HANDS of theology.

When we study God as revealed at Christmas, we should:
  • wrestle in our heads at what it means for God to become human
  • worship with our hearts the God who became human recognizing the limits of our ability to understand; and
  • act with our hands in our everyday lives in response to the God who became human.

David Wanstall, 22/12/2010