Theology on Tap

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Theology on Tap will resume this month!

Our next meeting will be on Friday August 17th at 7 p.m. at the UN Irish Pub.  This is a great opportunity to have a drink, or a meal, and have an open conversation about some aspect of Christian theology.  No previous knowledge is required, just come with your eyes open and your brain engaged!  No view is too strange or too simple!  All are very welcome!

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Our last Theology on Tap meeting was on Friday, 26th January.

We again met at 7 p.m. at the UN Irish Pub!

The topic was “What would a Christian economy look like?”

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At previous Theology on Tap meetings some questions we considered included:

1. St. Paul says, “Love believes all things.” All?

2. Teresa of Avila: “The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love.” Thoughts?

3. The Psalmist said, “Your love is better than life.” What might he be getting at?

4. When it comes to love, what matters more: words or actions?

5. It’s not always easy to know how BEST to love other people, but at least it’s fairly clear what it means.  On the other hand, what exactly does it mean to love God?

6. What does it mean to love something?

7. St. Francis of Assisi: “You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving.  All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.” Examples?

8. Anthony of Padua, thirteenth-century theologian: “Of what value is learning that does not turn to love?” Where does learning fit into your faith or your view of the world? What about love?

9. Samir Semanovic: “If I cannot in some way surrender to the unknown, I cannot love, and there is no greater bondage than the inability to love.” How do surrender and love go together? How does God fit in?

10. How do you experience God’s love? How do you explain or express that?

Articles to Download for previous months’ topics:

Revd Iain Baxter’s essay on the formation of the  New Testament Canon

J. David Miller’s essay “The Story of the Christian Canon”

Some questions to consider:

Is the Bible the highest authority for Christians? What else might be?

The Reformation replaced the authority of the church and church tradition with the sole authority of Scripture. What was gained from this? What was lost?

What might be different about the New Testament if its writers had known that people would be basing their lives on those words, two thousand years later?

Ancient Hebrew, which most of the BIble is written in, had no word for ‘religion’. What does that say about that culture? About ours?

“When sacred texts tell stories, people have generally believed them to be true, but until recently literal or historical accuracy has never been the point.” – Karen Armstrong in The Bible, A Biography. What is the point? How do truth and historicity relate?

Christianity existed for 25 years before Paul’s first writing and for nearly 40 years before the first gospel was written. The New Testament would not be canonized until 363 years after Jesus died, and even then texts were sparse. Jesus himself left no writings. What was the role of the story and oral tradition in those contexts? How different is that than our day of the printing press, the internet, and instant communication? If Jesus came today instead of the first century, would he be a blogger, a columnist for the New York Times, or an author? How would he get his message out?

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