Theological Sources — Formation & Understanding of Self Over Time

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I my own life, moving from fundamentalist theology towards an expansive theology is more like a maze filled with tripwires and booby traps than a linear line. In the beginning, my sources of theology were Sunday school and church — both using the bible as the literal, inerrant word of God (sola Scriptura), and most evangelical churches I attended excluded all other historical writings as necessary for salvation.

My theology was also formed through family with a strong Salvation Army background, as well as Puritanism and pietistic traditions. While many churches we attended emphasized correct orthodoxy, my parents stressed right orthopraxy: social justice as a way of life was practiced far more at home than at church or at school (when I eventually began attending a Christian school). This became a juxtaposition of worlds as theologies of God, Jesus, salvation and justice collided between church and family.

As I moved away from the church, I sought theology in agnostic and secular humanist communities. While theology here was condescended to, in my experience, the reverence for community and nature was elevated thus furthering my journey with God in natural creation and God in science.

As I wandered into the Lutheran tradition, mysticism began to unfold to me in unexpected ways. I began to realize that both ritual-making and experiential spirituality were both languages I had been speaking for a long time, and have helped me begin to articulate my own theology as well as the impacts of other theologies have had on me.

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  1. Andrea Grozli

    Erin – I am so glad that you wandered into the Lutheran tradition and that it has pulled together what you already knew into a new and tangible theology! I look forward to reading your insights as you continue your theological journey.

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