Public Displays of Theology

The deep conversation with writer and public theologian Adam Ericsksen about public theology, which is a vague term but necessary to consider. Adam is an editor and contributor of the Raven Foundation, a contributor for the Patheos column “Teaching Nonviolent Atonement,” the youth pastor at Symnra Congregational Church in OR, and the author of the e-book Dodging the Parenting Trap.

Note: Keep track of how many times does Adam mention Satan or Girard and which one he mentions more.

The Deep Conversation

Theology has been seen and practiced as an academic discipline that should only be done by professional scholars in institutions of higher learning. Yet any time someone things about God or the Divine, or the Transcendent, or the Holy Other, one is engaging in theology in one way or another. While we need to have the nerds and neck-beards straining gnats over nuanced differences around theology, we also need to have a space and place for people to be invited to articulate their own theological questions, assumptions, and leanings.

Public theology is different from theology within the churches as well, because that is theology that is steeped in a very specific tradition. Public theology considers the questions asked by cultural classics, through public events, or by popular icons and helps to articulate the broader, deeper questions having to do with faith.

It is important to have that space for people to express questions of faith and the church should see doing public theology as a part of it’s presence and witness in the community.

Consider hiring a public theologian, or consider how you or your pastor can be a public theologian in the marketplace and how such a voice offers an important word in the public discourse.


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Next episode: Author and speaker Alexis Donkin