Contrasting theology with doctrine

To speak of theology is to promote a conversation between the ‘I’ and the ‘Thou.’ It is in that ‘divine’ conversation that we find ourselves in a situation of struggling with the nature of what we believe –the situation of faith which unfolds in the whole sweep of our existence. In saying this we struggle to find appropriate speech with which to express our faith.

Surely, such cannot be merely expressed in doctrine as they are the result of a faith community’s understanding of Scripture which is colored by the community’s own history and by the gradual resolution of conflicting positions within the community of faith.

The danger there is that communities of faith are situated into their respective life settings and thus their responses for answering questions that relate to God varies according to their particular contexts and at times appropriation of doctrinal formulations without consideration of its context leads to making certain doctrines as the ruling criterion in relating our faith to our immediate audience, thus subordinating the place of Scripture to doctrinal formulations.

Thus to speak of theology is to make an attempt to express our faith verbally in a responsible way.

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