Sunday, July 18, 2010

Theology, one word at a time

We are often asked to describe something - our life, our ambitions, ourselves - in a limited number of words. Sometimes one, sometimes two, maybe three. Ernest Hemingway is famous for his six-word story: "For sale: baby shoes, never used," and the idea has inspired many similar efforts across literature and the internet. This interest in distilling something - ourselves, a story - into its smallest possible form is strong and widespread, because it requires every word to count - discarding only the most essential of essentials, to arrive at the purest essence of its subject. Pondering this, I thought it would be interesting to write my theology in one word, then two, then three, and so on, as a unique (and hopefully helpful) way of expressing the most important aspects of my faith, and going outward from there. Each summary must stand on its own, without its surroundings, and be true to my beliefs. The first word is easy, since I've titled my creed of sorts a "Theology of Love." So I'll start there. This, I hope, will be a work in progress, hopefully improving (and not just growing) as I go. Getting too long may start getting unweildly and not as useful, but thus far, figuring out what one word needs to be added is hard. We'll see.
  1. Love.
  2. Love everyone.
  3. God is love.
  4. Love God, all humanity.
  5. Love your neighbor above yourself.
  6. Always share God's love. By example.
  7. Love everyone perfectly. Any failure is sin.

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