“We Have Theology, the Rest of You are Just Visiting…”

I think that much of theology works with the assumptions expressed by Matt Damon’s character in “The Good Shepherd” (about the CIA).  When asked about what “you people have?” he answers, “We have America. The rest of you are just visiting.” (FYI, racial slurs in the dialogue) (My thoughts below).

I think many pop theologians (especially Evangelicals) have the general assumption that it is well and nice that Latin America theology brings liberation, and Black theology brings justice, and Feminist theology brings gender, and African Theology brings the ancestors, and Pentecostal theology brings the Spirit, etc.  But real theology (i.e. white, upper-class) is just theology itself (without an adjective), and the rest of you are just visiting.

Sadly, I worry this represents the state of much of  what goes around as ‘missional’ theology.

4 Replies to ““We Have Theology, the Rest of You are Just Visiting…””

  1. Sure, theology itself can only be written from a position of security (at best), or from a position of privilege (at worst). Can the secure and privileged sufficiently sympathize with those who find themselves insecure, under-privileged, or oppressed to write theology that speaks to each of these positions? While protecting security and privilege, the answer is unquestionably “no.” But if we (since I am a white graduate-educated 30-something male) can move alongside the insecure, under-privileged, and oppressed; if we abdicate our privileges, become vulnerable, and enmesh our lives among the oppressed; well then maybe we can write a better theology. 
    What remains to be written then is a theology *to* the privileged, secure, and oppressing. Much of what Jesus said directly to the powers of His day can be read this way.

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