April 2022 Touchstones Readings From the Common Bowl

April 2022 Touchstones Ministry Theme: Theological Reflection

April 1: “Everyone is a theologian, either conscious or unconscious, in the sense that everyone has some conception of the nature of reality, of the demands of reality, and of those elements in reality that support or threaten meaningful existence.” ~ James Luther Adams

April 2: “Theological reflection is the process of seeking meaning.” ~ Patricia O. Killen & John de Beer

April 3: “Unitarian Universalism, at our truest, comprises a shining theology that can deliver saving words to our world. It is life-affirming, liberating, and loving…here and now.” ~ Tom Owen-Towle

April 4: “…Theology is first of all not the study of doctrines, but a process of reflection…. The classic definition of theology, ‘faith seeking understanding,’ remains always valid.” ~ Luke Timothy Johnson

April 5: “How can one maintain atheological confidence in what one claims to be true while acknowledging the existence of multiple religions that also claim to be true?” ~ Namsoon Kang

April 6: “Alimentary theology …is …theology as nourishment: food as theology and theology as food, food for thought …[which] addresses some of the spiritual and physical hungers of the world, and seeks ways of bringing about nourishment.” ~ A. F. Mendez Montoya

April 7: “You don’t need a Master’s in Theology to love people.” ~ D.R. Silva

April 8: “Much of what hinders us is that we have had a lot of mistaken theology in our head and it has gotten down into our heart.” ~ Dallas Willard

April 9: “The world doesn’t judge us by our theology; the world judges us by our behavior.” ~ Carolyn Mahaney

April 10: “It’s sloppy theology to think that all suffering is good for us, or that it’s a result of sin. All suffering can be used for good, over time, after mourning and healing…. But sometimes it’s just plain loss, not because you needed to grow, not because life …or anything is teaching you any kind of lesson.” ~ Shauna Niequist

April 11: “’See that’s where it falls apart for me!’ Anne cried. ‘What sticks in my throat is that God gets the credit but never the blame. I just can’t swallow that kind of theological candy. Either God’s in charge or he’s not….’” ~ Mary Doria Russell

April 12: “The …drive for justice-making lies at the core of my theology… the belief that we—humans, not God—are responsible for making and sustaining a just world.” ~ Engaging Our Theological Diversity

April 13: “Our theology must be demonstrated, not only by our words but, more importantly, by our actions.” ~ Freeman-Smith

April 14: “If your understanding of the divine made you kinder, more empathetic, and impelled you to express sympathy in concrete acts of loving-kindness, this was good theology.” ~ Karen Armstrong

April 15: “Art is so often better at theology than theology is.” ~ Christian Wiman

April 16: “The distinction between faith and theology is itself a matter for theological reflection.” ~ Francis Cardinal George

April 17: “Theological reflection is the most important activity a person can perform.” ~ Vincent Cheung

April 18: “Searching for meaning through theological reflection is not easy, because it does not yield the security of absolute answers.” ~ Patricia O’Connell Killen & John de Beer

April 19: “Liberal theology with its riskiness, its openness, and its tentativeness is not apt to fare well in a time of political crisis.” ~ Bruce Southworth

April 20: “One good thing about being a cat, apart from the extra lives, was that the theology was a lot simpler.” ~ Terry Pratchett

April 21: “Life is a mess. And theology must be lived out in the midst of that mess.” ~ Charles Colson

April 22: “Theological discourse can be, in and of itself, a form of identity and solidarity.” ~ Namsoon Kang

April 23: “We ignore the question of how we talk about and manifest theology in our congregations at our peril.” ~ Engaging Our Theological Diversity

April 24: “Who, then, is qualified for theology? Thetheological task is implied by the very life of faith itself. Every …[one] is therefore called to do theology in this sense.” ~ Luke Timothy Johnson

April 25: “When we recognize that our theology is not the moon but rather a finger pointing at the moon, we enjoy the freedom of questioning it from time to time.” ~ Rachel Held Evans

April 26: “Question the answers, I repeated every class. Reevaluate your conclusions when the evidence changes.” ~ Craig Mullaney

April 27: “Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

April 28: “Our theology, far from being mature in any evolutionary or historical sense, is in fact in its early stages.” ~ The Free Church in a Changing World (1963)

April 29: “…My faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort.” ~ Jimmy Carter

April 30: “Theology is—or should be—a species of poetry…. You have to open yourself to a poem with a quiet, receptive mind, in the same way you might listen to a difficult piece of music….” ~ Karen Armstrong

April 31: “I wish that there were more of a focus on [conversations about theology and beliefs] because I’ve been personally really struggling with it….” ~ UU Youth, 2005