Reflections on Theological Method

(Or “What is the difference between the presence of God and the experience of the presence of God”)

Reading John Webster’s article called “Theological theology” in “Confessing God”, I came across this quote:
“the subject matter of Christian theology, God in Christ, is not a passive object laid out for our scrutiny… but the transcendent reality which already encompasses us.” The point being made is that God is not only the object of study of Theology, but also the subject. (which is to say that God not only is knowable, but participates in our knowledge of Him).

However, considering that God is present, I wonder what “our role” is in view of God’s presence. What I mean is, of course God is present and helps people understand him as well as helps people understand everything… including the sense to walk on the correct side of the road, etc. So how does this presence of God “specially” inform our knowledge of him, when in fact all knowledge of all things is informed by the presence of God.

Which is another way of asking… is there a special experience of God, for theologians, that enables them to experience God in a special way, that enables them to do justice to their theological formulations of God and God’s world?

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Passage for this Season

Philippians 2:11-13 (NIV) (12)Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (13)for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

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