“I am sick, but I long to write about the things that matter to me”
I’m home. I’m sick. I have the flu. I am physically weak. Nonetheless, I’m thinking about a billion things to do and write about including the following:
1. Ephesians Chapter 2 (Research, Write, and Teach)
2. A new co-edited book with Dr. Bertin Louis on Protestant Christianity in Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora.
3. A new co-edited book with Dr. Jean Eddy Saint Paul on Joseph Antenor Firmin
4. A new essay on the most influential and important African Christian theologian in the second-half of the twentieth century: Kwame Bediako of Ghana.
5. The relationship between theology and history in Christianity.
*** Despite their ideological differences and the seemingly opposing methodologies experts and specialists in both academic disciplines employ for research and thinking, theology and history share many elements in common.
Some people say history deals with “hard facts,” whereas theology deals with “human imagination and speculation.” (Interestingly, both fields of study require a great deal of intellectual imagination.) History may take us back to a particular moment in history, which may occur in a specific geographical location; for example, the United States of America militarily occupied Haiti, from 1915 to 1934. Barack Hussein Obama II was elected twice as the 44th President of the United States,
January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017. He was succeeded by President Donald John Trump, January 20, 2017 to the Present.
Theology is a particular fact in the Christian imagination; for example, God is trinity is a conceptual fact in the Christian faith. Jesus is God is a non-negotiable fact in Orthodoxy Christianity. Jesus is Messiah-King and Savior of the world is a conceptual fact in Christianity. Interestingly and paradoxically, both the notion of fact and reality could be applied to the disciples of theology and history–depending on how one conceptualizes history and theology.
On the other hand, theology should not be understood deliberately as “historical fact” in the sense that historians define it. It is a different category of reality one can frame as “conceptual fact” or “theoretical reality.”
Here are some of the things I jotted down today while trying to keep myself intellectually energized in the midst of a terrible flu and constant sneezing:
Theology Vs. History in Christianity
• Christianity is a historical religion; to call Christianity a historical religion means that it has a beginning and that it began in a specific historical era at a specific geographical place in human history. For example, the Christian religion began in the first century in the Greco-Roman world.
• The founder of Christianity is an individual called Yeshua or Jesus; he is also called Jesus of Nazareth to indicate the historical place of his origin.
• The first four books (i.e. Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke, and Gospel of John) in the New Testament are called “Gospels,” which simply means good news. These four books were written by historical persons (i.e. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) who were either disciples of Jesus or disciples of Jesus’ disciples.
• God is Trinity and exists as God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
• Jesus is the Son of God, Israel King, and Savior of the World.
• Jesus is God-incarnate in the human flesh.
• Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world and grants salvation to anyone who accepts his sacrificial atonement as a gift.
**** This is an ongoing conversation and thought-process….