“On Theology and Human Concerns and Realities”
Christian theology, as a social construct that is shaped by human experience and perception about God, humanity, and the created order, does not have the final say in determining the nature of human dignity, justice, peace, violence, and evil in the world. For example,
theological consciousness is not good enough to sustain the project of Christian unity and interracial (re-) conciliation & ethnic diversity in Christian circles and churches. People are shaped by their cultural frameworks and habits, and ideologies and worldviews that orient their faith.
All forms of human knowledge are part of that social construct project, even the revealed divine knowledge unless God sovereignly secured its original intent and meaning, falls under that category–since theological knowledge, like other forms of constructed knowledge, is subservient to the art of human interpretation and the diversity in constructing “meaning” makes theological discourse an imaginative end and explorative endeavor.
Hence, theological orthodoxy in the Christian tradition is also representative of the perceptions and ideas of a community of interpreters that interpreted and constructed a body of beliefs and confessions to sustain faith and promote its understanding of biblical religion.
While certain theological confessions such as the first order of theology must be energetically safeguarded and defended, each generation of Christian community must interpret and reintepret creatively in light of cultural trends and currents as well as within the complex trajectories of (the) human experience and existential concerns (i.e. war, poverty, hunger, sex trafficking, sexuality, gender idenity, racism, immigration, white supremacy, abortion, education, capitalism, globalization, systems & structures, environmental issues) what Scripture means to the people of God and for their time. Consequently, it’s not enough to be theologically awake; it’s equally valid to be socially and politically conscious.
Thus, the idea that there’s a particular theological system that could be called a “model theology” (Western theology) to evaluate all other theological systems and discourses, and the underlying and hidden premise that that “standard theology” does not need any intellectual revision or improvement is insensitive to both cultural evolution and movements and human evolution and needs.
The goal of a or any theological system (i.e. Feminist theology, postcolonial theology, liberation theology, black liberation, minjung theology, Asian theology, Caribbean theology, African theology, indigeneous theology) or method is to provide a people, a group, or a communtiy with a blueprint, and this blueprint articulates a worldview and intellectual tradition, and embodies a system of moral values and certain ethical principles, correspondingly, to help both men and women navigate through life and to assist the community of faith to think critically, reflexively, and responsibly in light of the life-worlds and life-experiences that shape human attitude toward life and freedom, and individual actions and collective interactions toward commitment and decision.