Theological food for the hungry vs. theological food for the connoisseur (Miroslav Volf)

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Miroslav Volf uses the metaphor of food, chefs, and connoisseurs as he refers to the difference between theology applied for everyday life and mere theological speculation done by the highly trained theologians.

Are not these same issues surfacing everywhere in the world today? Am I not offering staple foods that can be found anywhere? My answer is yes, probably. But then as a theological chef I do not think this should bother me. My responsibility is not to tickle the palates of Wester theological connoisseurs dulled by abundance and variety, but to fill the empty stomachs of people engaged in a bloody conflict [reference to literal conflict]. I have to prepare the food they need. Opinions of connoisseurs might be interesting and instructive, but nutritious value for the hungry is what matters. This is what it means to do contextualized theology.

~ A Spacious Heart, 34-35.

Application Ain’t Got Nothing Without Theology

There are many Christians who tend to believe that theology isn’t that important because, they will say, application and right living is all that really matters. But is this really the case? Is theology unimportant? Should theology take a back seat to application or is theology application’s back seat driver? Is right living and application the only thing that really matters?

When speaking about application, the question always remains, what is being applied? The application of what? Of course the answer, although many may not realize it, is theology. This is why when individuals make statements such as, “Oh, theology’s not that important. It’s the application that really matters. You’ve just got to live right,” they are revealing their ignorance and intellectual and logical short sightedness. Continue reading