While one might assume that discussions of theology and postmodernism are for those in academia, in Coffeehouse Theology, Ed takes on the important task of explaining why every believer should know and care about theology and postmodernism.
Whether we are aware of it or not, we all have a theology.
Theology – what we believe about God – is essential in loving God – growing in our understanding of Him – and loving others – communicating the message of who God is and embodying Him in our world.
We learn about theology because we love God, and we love one another because we love the same God and seek to know him more perfectly.
Aware or not, postmodernism influences our way of thinking which in turn influences our theology. Ed explains that an awareness of cultural lenses is necessary if we want to communicate in a way in which others can understand our message, a message that is relevant but not compromised.
If we don’t take the time to know God through the task of theology, then we won’t be formed into God’s kind of people, and we won’t be able to bring redemptive action and a redemptive message.
We determine if our theology will be narrow and undeveloped or informed by a variety of perspectives resulting in a balanced, solid doctrine. The book lays out a clear guide for developing a theology that is, most importantly, centered on a relationship with God, informed by His Spirit, based in Scripture, rounded out with an understanding of Christianity throughout history and around the globe, and aware of the influences and biases of current culture.
Ed does this in a surprisingly engaging manner, sharing examples and stories from his life and demonstrating that rather than an intellectual pursuit, theology is an ongoing, living process realized in a relationship with God.
Realizing that God is our central source of life — the one who reveals all truth and who occupies the center of Christian theology.
This book covers the bases as a guide to developing a well-grounded theology that is not prone to the errors of a narrow perspective or to the sway of the winds of every passing doctrine. With a topic that could be dry and academic, Ed conveys his message in a way that is redemptive, relational, and filled with Spirit and life.
One of my favorite quotes:
The narrative of redemption — the coming of God’s kingdom — is the true reality that defines our lives.
There will be many more brilliant bloggers reviewing this book, so if your interest is piqued, be sure to follow the blog tour here.
Update: Follow the blog tour to Swinging From The Vine tomorrow to see what Makeesha has to say about Ed’s book next.