I guess the feeling that theological reflection has the ability to change what was an outwardly negative event to a positive inner event is that as we bring God into the situation we can start a redemptive process. One example could be the writings of Rita Nakashima Brock in Journeys by Heart – A Christology of Erotic power where some of the oppression suffered by women that stems from a male patriarchal view of the trinity is examined and challenged. She goes onto use feminist theology to “liberate” Christ from “the unholy trinity” calling for the heart of Christianity to be reinterpreted in non oppressive ways. Taking Jesus as the model of self giving, obedience, love and liberation, she describes two parts to the questions that this raises as we encounter situations. (I would call these theological reflection questions) Firstly there is the question what would Jesus do or have me do in this situation and secondly How do I and others feel right now – What can I do to lessen the suffering? The first is an external question and the second is a question of the heart that moves us towards self possession, a greater connection and an inner redemptive process.
Whilst Brock is addressing some pretty deep theological issues the identification of the two focuses of the questions demonstrates what can happen when we risk entering into theological reflection about any issue (positive or negative) and move beyond the questions of what could I have done differently to the internal questions that challenge our christlikeness and responsibilities for inner growth and change.
Make any sense Ben and Phil?