Following on from my previous post on theology and control I have been thinking about the type of resources we need to ensure that our thinking is not restricted or controlled and yet linked with the wisdom of the past. A basic model many use is the triangle of Culture, Scripture, and Tradition. However my practice encounters recently have challenged this and I wonder if the pull of theological norms that come from the traditions are too powerful. As I further reflected I was drawn into thinking about personal change and if this change is to be real and lasting how this stems from self awareness.
Now I have a conundrum in that I am more aware of the issue and the pull of the theological norm, but also aware of my own desire for change and self tendencies to push for this. There is an issue for me in the static nature of theological norms verses the dynamic nature of scripture. Whilst I recognise that tradition does change and evolve it is more gradual, whist culture is far more dynamic. Can scripture be a way to hold the tension and what role does self awareness play? It is bit like all three (Scripture, Tradition, Culture) are moving at different pace and yet I am also moving, so in order to do justice to the model I need to aware of my own tendency for change and this desire, and make sure that this does not mean I make too many jumps in my thinking (which would be easy as I am emerged in the fast moving culture) but work harder on the tradition to slow me down and the surplus in scripture to hold the tension.
Another issue for me is a growing awareness of how modernist and logical this approach is, which in itself causes me issues around control as I firmly believe that by working with different disciplines and traditions and engaging in mission progress is made and God moves in paradigm changing ways rather than in a gradual process (see redefining church
) and that borrowing from different perspectives other than the christian tradition and reflecting this with scripture can help us see the changes needed. Yet this often leads to orthopraxis and the logic and knowledge base takes time to catch up.