Sunday, January 21, 2007

Re-discovering the Theology of Christian Practices

Christian practices are patterns of cooperative human activity in which life together takes shape over time in response to the Word and work of Christ. Thus, our practices are a conversation between our actions and beliefs, and are a balance between being and doing. However, Christian practices must not be mistaken for duties, but rather patterns of communal action that create openings in our lives where the grace, mercy, and presence of God may be made known to us. They are places where the power of God is experienced. Wesley calls such practices a means of grace, which helps us live out a life that is holy. Therefore, in the end, Christian practices are forms of participation in the practice of God.

In the coming weeks we will look at the theology of some of these Christian practices (and their deformation), such as hospitality, truth telling, confession, promise keeping, fidelity, gratitude, and so forth.

For Further Thought:
1. How would you (or your local church) define Christian Practices?
2. Are there certain practices that should be more emphasized than others?
3. What practices would you add to the list above?

(Notes taken from: Craig, Volf-Practicing Theology, and Pohl-Making Room)