When Theological Reflection Goes To Church

By Thomas W. Spann

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When Theological Reflection Goes to Church by Thomas Spann - Digital

About The Book


Have you ever given serious thought to who God is and what God is doing in the world? Have you ever wondered what God’s deepest dream is for humankind and creation? That kind of thinking is theological reflection, and when the Church engages in this deeper level of thinking, the faith community begins to look at the connection of the Church’s actions in relationship to the gospel.

When Theological Reflection Goes to Church is a practical blueprint that explores the DNA of the Black Church – from historic and cultural worship styles to how deeper reflection strengthens the Church. Thomas Spann leads the reader through thought-provoking essays, scenarios, and discussion questions that can be explored in small groups, Bible studies, and even as a means to “an introduction” to seminary education. He offers a proposal for the Black Church to create an Academy of Christian Theological Studies as a way to bridge Black theology and ministry of the Church.


“…. In moments when we are tempted to separate spiritual praise and social witness, heart and head, bring us to our senses so that we may be the whole persons that you have created us to be.”


What’s inside


Essay #1: Thinking Theologically


Essay #2: Theological Reflection as a Discipline for Prophetic/Public Theologians


Essay #3: Theological Reflection as Listening for the Sound of The Genuine


Essay #4: Leading from a Place of Deep Christian Theological Reflection


Essay #5: Worship as a Model for Theological Reflection

Chapter 1

What is theological reflection?

I begin by making you aware that theology assumes God’s deepest dream for all humankind and creation. That dream is justice, wholeness, salvation, or the absence of poverty, war, disease, discrimination, racism, sexism, classism—any system or ideology that blocks the fulfillment of God’s gift of salvation for the whole world. God’s dream is that we love God, love one another as we love ourselves, and love the environment which sustains human life on this earth. If theology begins with God’s dream, then it cannot dismiss the massive examples of humanity’s injustices: the neglect and exploitation of children, the abuse visited upon women, oppression of the poor, environmental abuse, and ecological racism. Thus, theological reflection takes place at the intersection of God’s dream and humanity’s refusal fully to live into that dream.

God’s dream is not synonymous with The American Dream, although the democratic principles of equality and justice are partial expressions of God’s dream. Crassly speaking, the American Dream is reduced by many citizens to the ownership of property and material things; whereas, the dream of God is about social justice, world peace, and human cooperation and respect.

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Theological reflection can look within the culture for non-traditional ways of knowledge that may provide opportunities to cast new visions and employ underutilized and, in some cases, neglected, resources for the Church’s work in the world.

Dr. Thomas W. Spann has authored several books.

Click on each title to read more and to place your order.

Memoir Front Cover I Went To Bishop College
Front Cover - A Light in the Bottom
A Girl Dreams of Preaching
Saying Amen through Advent
New edition - Church In the Mirror
The Learning and The Burning
40MidWeek-Meditations - Cover
A Necessary Transition
Cover I Feel My Help Coming
First Sunday - Front Cover
When Theological Reflection Goes to Church
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