The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


We are all theologians

Be attentive, curious, disciplined, conversant

You are a theologian. It may not be how you describe yourself, but you are. You are a theologian as you listen to God, talk about God, wonder about God. Victor Thasiah, an assistant professor, describes theology as "talking about God and everything else in light of who God is" (page 20).

That we are all theologians is not meant to diminish the significance of those whom we call to be teachers of the faith, be they parish pastors or professors. We are a church richly blessed by theological wisdom that has been passed on for centuries by strong Lutheran seminaries and by the work of emerging theologians who help us think about our complex, often conflicted and rapidly changing world in light of who God is.

As the ELCA we are in our 25th year and we have work to do — theological work. It involves all of us and it calls us to:

Be attentive. Listen for God speaking to us. We cannot talk about God if we have not heard God speaking. Our work as theologians begins in worship and in Scripture. The word of God is God's living address to us and the whole creation. As a Book of Faith church, we are committed to becoming fluent in the first language of faith that is the language of Scripture. As you pray and study the Scriptures, hear them read in worship and listen to the word preached, be attentive to what God is saying. As theologians, we will also be attentive to others through whom God is speaking. Yes, so often through unexpected people judged to be outsiders, God speaks.

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