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Let's Do Theology


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Table of Contents

Preface PART I: DESCRIBING THE PROCESS Chapter 1: Transforming Theology Why do theology? Participating in Theology Let's Do Theology! Living through exciting times: 1. Salvation and the Kingdom of God 2. All theology has context 3. Theology includes action 4. The question of power 5. God's concern for the marginalised 6. courageous spirituality Chapter 2: A New Way to Do Theology Developing a method The Doing Theology Spiral Some Health warnings An African Example A British urban example Getting stuck Mind the Gap PART II: THE FOUR PHASES Chapter 3: Starting from Experience Making the experience come alive 1. Getting to know the group 2. Discerning the Focus 3. Sharing First impressions 4. Explaining the process 5. Getting the best from the group 6. The Group 7. Personality differences 8. the Leadership 9. confidence building 10. Tools to encourage the theological process a. Stating the Problem b. Word-association c. Keeping a record d. Multi-media Chapter 4: Exploring From Anecdote to analysis Using the analytical tools Gathering analytical information Gathering historical information Gathering geographical information Gathering social information Gathering economic information Discerning the culture Religious factors The exploration of ourselves Making sense of the information Looking for connections Looking for causes Looking for values 6. Celebrating the Group Chapter 5: Reflecting 1. Challenge from the Christian tradition 2. [Why do theological reflection?] 3. The liberation of the imagination 4. a selection of set pieces a. Biblical Approaches i. Simple list ii. The check list iii. Bibliodrama iv. Public enactment v. Bible themes & characters vi. Narrating the Bible vii. Prepared questions viii. Using art materials 5. Connecting with other Christian treasures 6. Making the connections 7. The Baby and the Bathwater 8. Checking our intuitions 9. Focusing the Vision Chapter 6: Responding Fulfilling the Dream Knowing what is to be done Criteria for selection Importance and viability Who will benefit? Causes not symptoms Who will be involved? Will the response preach the gospel? Aims and Strategies Implementation Dealing with our fears Continuing round the spiral PART III: THINKING IT THROUGH Chapter 7: Challenging implications 1. The problem of hermeneutics 2. The question of authority 3. Who should do theology? 4. The People's Theologian Chapter 8: Other Styles of Theologising Styles determined by Role i. Personal Walk with God ii. Me and my Group iii. Me in the Ministry iv. The Church in Society Styles determined by Learning Preference i. The living human document ii. Constructing Stories iii. Acting out the Mind of Christ iv. Living the Body of Christ v. Speaking out about God vi. Value-committed Action vii. Theology with a local accent Where Do I see God? i. Treasure Hunt Theology ii. God on the attack iii. Planting the Gospel iv. God in the Mix v. The Praxis Model 4. Four criticisms 5. A Rule of Life Chapter 9: Spirituality ~ Where will we find God? 1. A Rabbinic Story a. Finding God where you are b. Finding God in servanthood c. Finding God at the edges d. Finding God in the Issues e. Finding God in repentance f. Finding God in money, sex and power 2. Joys and Sorrows in the Spirit a. Theology and self-sacrifice b. Celebration with the struggle 3. Worship and prayer 4. The Practice of Prayer 5. Converting the Church 6. Church as Privileged Instrument of the Kingdom Appendix: A survey of sub-disciplines usually considered to be the content of academic or conventional theology Selected bibliography and contact addresses

Promotional Information

An updated, critically acclaimed set text on Contextual Theological Method.

About the Author

Laurie Green studied in London and New York prior to seventeen years in challenging parish ministry. He spent seven years training women and men for ordained ministry before being made Bishop in the Church of England. He has taught around the world and two of his books, including Urban Ministry and the Kingdom of God, have been awarded 'book of the year' status by the Church Times, UK.


...a classic text in contextual theology, and I welcome the publication of this new revised edition. I hope that a whole new generation of Christians will be inspired to move beyond just reading theology to doing it. -- Elaine Graham, Manchester University, UK
I am very pleased because, as a Latin American liberation theologian, I find myself fully agreeing with Bishop Laurie Green's book. It is a book of authentic liberation theology set within the English-speaking context, utilising the same methodology both in theory and practice, in that it takes instances of human experience, analyses them, reflects theologically and proposes practical ideas for transformation. It is a book that invites you to do theology, without disparaging the great tradition. Additionally it provides a good summary of conventional theology and an excellent bibliography. I enthusiastically recommend this significant little book. -- Leonardo Boff, Liberation Theologian, Brazil
So many Christians today yearn to practice a faith that matters, a faith that is rooted in context and in the dream of God, a faith that changes lives and changes the world. Laurie Green answers that cry in this powerhouse of a book. He moves beyond ivory tower God-talk, mines decades of local and global ministry experience, and provides ordinary Christians with the tools to do theology as a way of life. If we're going to become the compassionate, hopeful people of God for a fast-changing, hurting world, we need wise and courageous companions like Green. We need this book. -- Rev. Stephanie Spellers, Author, Radical Welcome: Embracing God, The Other and the Spirit of Transformation. Priest and lead organizer, The Crossing community at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, Boston, MA * www.thecrossingboston.org *
Now a bishop in the Church of England, Green wrote the first edition in 1989 drawing on his 20 years of ordained ministry in Birmingham and his work with an educational psychologist. Writing for lay readers as well as seminary students, he describes a style of theology that pays close attention to the context. Central to his approach are the four phases of starting from experience, exploring, reflecting, and responding. Other topics include transforming theology, challenging implications, and other styles of theologizing. -- Eithne O'Leyne * BOOK NEWS, Inc. *
A practical book, accessible and direct... a significant resource for all those engaged in leadership and learning, lay and ordained, within the community of faith. * Theological Book Review *
I recommend Green's text for local leaders of faith and communities just beginning their explorations in this vital area of ministry and faith community building. -- Anglican and Episcopal History
Theological resources from Scripture onward were never meant to be hoarded. With generous and accessible hospitality Green offers this valuable gem of a book to the whole people of God. -- Fredrica Harris Thompsett, Professor of Historical Theology, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
Laurie Green's experience as teacher, pastor and agent for God's change informs every page of this accessible and challenging book ... a new and extensively revised edition which makes full use of developments in theological reflection and cultural understanding in the last two decades, and it retains all its freshness, insight and sheer groundedness in the reality of God's people working for God's Kingdom. -- Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
In reading the new edition of Laurie Green's "Let's Do Theology", I had three reactions again and again. I wished I had known about the first edition of this excellent resource over the previous twenty years, because I would have used it in many settings. Every seminarian should engage with this book, so they can bring this clear-minded and warm-hearted approach to theology to their local congregations in the coming generations. -- Brian D. McLaren, author/speaker * brianmclaren.net *
As a Dalit activist theologian I am amazed at Bishop Laurie's wealth of biblical and theological understanding. He challenges the western bias of traditional theology by explaining that every theology is contextual theology. The methodology he adpots helps every reader of this book participate with the author in 'doing' theology. He makes theology 'a tool for the transformation of our own lives and of the society we seek to serve'. This book is a 'must read'. -- Dr. P.Mohan Larbeer, Dalit activist theologian, Principal of Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, India
A tremendously encouraging book - especially for lay people! Ambitious academically and at the same time a challenge for individual and social life in a globalized world. In Laurie Green's book theory and practice are no longer seperated, as theology is brought back into the midst of our life - and things begin to change. Let's hope there will be a German translation soon! -- Dr. Hermann Duringer, Director of the Arnoldshain Protestant Academy, Germany
"Accessible theology" might seem like a contradiction. Surely theology is a discipline for the professional specialist. It's not, as Bishop Laurie Green shows us in his marvellous book. Take a look. Theology is how we talk, think and act in relation to God and our neighbour. Its use is not to argue about "hot button" controversies but as a way to make sense of the mundane events of daily life. Bishop Green wants "Theology to become a tool for the transformation of our own lives and of the society we seek to serve." Laurie Green is a teacher and theologian but also a bishop with years of practical experience of pastoral care for thousands of people in city, rural and multi-cultural settings. He has written precisely for this purpose: to assist ordinary Christians find the words and framework to think and speak themselves about God in everyday life. St. Anselm, 11th C. Archbishop of Canterbury wrote about faith seeking understanding and proposed that each of us must explore our faith to the full capacity of our abilities. The First Letter of Peter tells us always to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that lies within us. Read this book. It is simple, direct, practical and wise. And make the connection between the best of our theological heritage and your own daily experience. -- The Right Reverend Colin R. Johnson, Anglican Bishop of Toronto

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