By Larry Duggins an excerpt from Our Theological Task
Although we recognize that God’s revelation and our experiences of God’s grace continually surpass the scope of human language and reason, we also believe that any disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason. By reason we read and interpret Scripture. By reason we determine whether our Christian witness is clear. By reason we ask questions of faith and seek to understand God’s action and will. ...By our quest for reasoned understandings of Christian faith we seek to grasp, express, and live out the gospel in a way that will commend itself to thoughtful persons who are seeking to know and follow God’s ways.
― from "The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016"
God gave us brains, and I am convinced that God intends for us to use them. From one perspective, humanity was blessed with reason to be able to carry God’s task of creation forward. Just as God calls us to be God’s hands and feet in service to others, God calls us to use our reason to co-create solutions and blessings for all those around us. We are more than simply caretakers—we are agents of God’s creative mercy and grace.
We are charged to use our minds to question our interpretations and our motives to refine our understanding of scripture and our theological stance. In the midst of God’s good creation, we see God at work—we see people in pain—we see springtime—and we are challenged to reconcile all of those things in our minds through the light of scripture. When we discern a conundrum, a point where things just don’t fit together, we are charged with using our reason together and individually to flex our theological understanding to find a better understanding. We cannot simply read without comprehension and challenge.
Through scripture, tradition, experience, and reason we engage with who God is and who we are—we are called to use our individual and collective minds, bodies, and spirits to engage with God through scripture and reason.
Theologians one and all.