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5 Theological Words or Phrases that I Really Like

I just did a post on theological language that annoys me. And on the flip side, there is language that does something inside me. It grabs my whole being with an excitement that energizes. So here is a list of language I really like.

1. “In-breaking.” This describes well, when used correctly, the action that the kingdom of God takes as it meets our reality. It breaks into. Look at kingdom theology and N. T. Wright for frequent uses of this term, or similar phrases.

2. “Dangerous memory,” “interruption,” and “anamnesis.” Johann Metz puts forth the notion that remembering Jesus rightly is dangerous. We do this remembering through the term, anamnesis. Go read some Metz, it’ll do you good.

3. “Liberation,” “complicity,” and “solidarity.” These words are incredibly rich when they are rightly understood and I am inclined to think that one does not work without the other.

4. “Grace.” Likewise, rightly understood, grace is incredibly rich. I’d add with grace in the same breadth, “sacraments” and “liturgy” (which are inherently communal), or, as a Christian, I suspect we’d have an awfully hard time understanding or recognizing grace. I recommend a reading of Louis-Marie Chauvet.

5. “Church,” “community,” “ecclesiology,” and “political.” The action of the body of Christ in the world is a very important thing, and I just can’t get enough of it. The political nature of the church seems to unite what is often wrongly separated: theology and ethics, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, christological existence in the world and our action or way of being in the world. My faith, theology, and learning focus on the confluence of ecclesiology and the implications of ecclesial existence in the world. Perhaps I’m a dreamer or an idealist, but in the end, none of the other words I like make any sense outside of the body of Christ as it strives to be Christ in the world.

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4 thoughts on “5 Theological Words or Phrases that I Really Like

  1. Michael Westmoreland-White says:

    Fair enough. I like Wright, but I find that both his die-hard fans and his harsh critics give him too much credit for originality. :-)

  2. chuxg says:

    For someone who thinks Wright gets too much credit you somehow made him the focus of this post, which I think misses the point. In reference to the theological phrase, “in-breaking,” I found an interesting take on this idea in Don Williams’ book, Signs, Wonders and the Kingdom Of God: A Biblical Guide for the Reluctant Skeptic.

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